Graham, it all looks so easy cause it is....the way you are doing it....Looks like you and your mate were running the dojo that day. I know this is unsolicited advice:-) but you should show what you know. Clearly sword word, the most basic of basics in sword work, requires more study on your part before you instruct it.
I love your laid back attitude (my perception). Take of your hats though. Move your body, connect with your training partners and make yourself sweat...every time you're in the dojo. Don't look back ten years from now only to discover you weren't really training aikido...that's such a huge blow to the ego when you only need chip away at it bit by bit, everyday.....
Good luck to you,
Interesting thoughts Russ.You are quite right, it is easy. To me reading is easy which shows I went through the discipline of learning how to read, the same goes for everything in life.
When I see a person doing something all too easily, be it a golfer, a football player, a martial artist or even a car mechanic who just looks and listens to a car and diagnoses what's wrong with it, then I see someone who has been through the mill.
Now by what you say about sword work I think I can safely assume you think the basics of the sword are to do with physical subari or set cuts of some kind or another, or kata. Mmmmm. Not my way I'm afraid.
First I teach how to cut with Ki, from center and with weight underside from the view of cutting through the universe. Without this then the sword training is a waste of time.
Secondly, as with attacks without the sword, I teach two things to start with:1)He who holds back gets hit. 2)He who runs in, rushes in with great intention and force gets hit harder.
Watching this, especially the second one above all looks very good but is not basic, not worth jot.
Even he who enters with superb technique gets hit.
Then I teach about center line, for the key to Aikiken is ALL to do with center line for the true sword doesn't protect YOU it merely protects center line. It operates from center line, it returns to center line.
Then, more important than all of this is to learn how to enter with no mind, with zanshin, and the spirit of loving protection reaching out and cutting through the universe from the void.
If you understand this then I bow to you. If you don't then it's all good, don't worry about it.
Now, for a time, a period of about ten years, I trained four times a week in the fashion you describe and learned many things. I learned how to relax, how to face and welcome the opponent for to me he is no longer an opponent. How to give myself completely and thus allow the opponent to strike without resisting and thus to see what is happening almost in slow motion so theres no need to rush. Just a simple motion, an aiki motion, and all is done.
So finally let me ask you this: 'Have you ever differenciated between Aikido Technique and Aikido Motion?'