I appreciate your candor and I understand you're a very realist person from all your previous posts. I also know you're a genuine person so I don't really mind your questioning. I wouldn't convert from a video and I don't expect you to. Geographical distance is a problem so, there's no way for you to experience this first hand. But there are plenty of great people around the world with similar skills, and maybe one day you'll meet one of them. They might probably do the same thing you see today and it might even work with you. Perhaps then you might come to a conclusion, that yes... there are things out there that do not look real but are in fact quite so. Until then you should continue disbelieving, because then you'll be keeping it real.
Kenji Ushiro predominantly use Ashi Awase to unbalance his opponents (before contact) and then he proceeds to strike them. To most people who see this, they think the opponents are afraid of being striked by a ranking sensei and so they flinch. Most would attest to this if you ask them. Aiki is just obeying natural law. In this form, most would flinch as an automatic reaction, rather than a perceived reaction to an incoming strike. Its not magic, but its not preconditioned.
1. I know, its ridiculous. Actually its not painful but more like a cramp. Body compression. Sort of when you find you have put yourself in a ludicrous position and don't know how to get out. And all you have to do is to release your stupid fingers but it won't listen to you.
2. I feel a bit presumptuous in adding a link of Okamoto Sensei DR in here... its like trying to hide behind a big brand name and say that you're doing the same thing as them. But around the 1.17 mark you can see something similar. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4qXVdGKn9k
I'm not sure if he is credible in your eyes, but there are many DR practitioners in the US who can attest to his abilities.
How I feel at the back end of the line? It works quite well if you invest energy into the contact. But if you stand there disconnected from the uke in front, you won't feel much most times. Before you jump on that, the line demonstration is just that, a demonstration of connectivity. An exercise if you will that probably has no real practicality until you meet a queue of angry children holding hands to practice on. How I would feel at the front? There is no escape.
3. This stuff, I think most sensei's can demonstrate to you. Granted, they're not holding on to their dear life and they're taking ukemi. Most kokyunage is done in that manner one would think. The effect of someone not proficient in ukemi getting thrown this way is not what you expect. They don't fly or roll, usually I just see them hanging to sensei's sleeves until it rips or hands, but fall they do. Most times on their face.
4. He wasn't in pain. The feeling is akin to walking by your key holder on the wall, reaching for it and missing. And as you adjust your hands to grab it, the distance matches you imperceptibly until your weight collapses on you.
Ok. Hopefully whatever I'm doing in this Q&A session isn't wasting anyone's time. I'm only sharing what I'm capable of understanding. I know my knowledge and ability is limited so I'm afraid that I won't be able to give you a more accurate account.
In learning, we are taught that we can do it in 3 ways. We can learn through.
The 1st and 2nd correlates closely with theoretical knowledge, skill and form. Whilst the 3rd applies on muscle memory and instinct.
I'm a firm advocate that learning Aikido requires all 3 methods to be in place.
Lastly, hopefully I will have a more current an applicable clip to show you after this Sunday. I've tried getting some silat boys to come test him out, and a street fighter (my arnis teacher) to try him out. But they're not available that day somehow or rather. I've a guy with some systema and BJJ skills come over for the seminar as well, but I would say that he won't be a fair representative of those arts really. So its really a dilemma. You guys won't believe that he can do this to a real martial arts expert. I've seen him with those experts and those that have tried it out have no questions on his ability.
It all boils down to this. Has he something to teach me? Yes. Has he something to teach you? I wouldn't know. I think I can leave it at that and still be fair.