Dear Ledyard Sensei
There were a number of things I didn't quite get in your previous posts regarding Keith's training method. I wonder if Mike Sigman's response to this link I posted a while back might give a better view of what I believe Keith was describing:
That's an excellent article, Carl. It's basically about the development from normal strength to ki/kokyu skills and going from static to moving techniques.
There is an interesting implication that a student is expected to go from resistance and muscle toward using correct strength (kokyu ryoku) and then developing technique and correct-strength toward using no-strength (that's a very classical statement). What's interesting about the stated ideas in that article is that a person more or less has to find his own way out of the muscle-puzzle. Too many people never do, so they wind up adjusting their use of muscle to techniques... and that's the common scenario in Aikido (and a number of other arts).
The power of the ki/kokyu skills is very much tied to the power that an Uke/opponent puts out in an attack. There is an old, old saying that essentially says "I cannot beat a wooden man or a brass man, but if he is human I can beat him". The essential idea is that using ki/kokyu skills I can blend with the various generated forces of an opponent, blend my forces with his forces and the combination will defeat the opponent. Since a wooden man and a brass man generate no forces, my ki/kokyu forces offer no real advantage.
Reading of an opponent's forces becomes critical. It goes beyond having a response up your sleeve that is an omote shiho-nage to a shomenuchi. You have to be able to see or feel the actual direction of general-movement force in the opponent and adjust your own internal forces in such a way the the attacking force is neutralized or, better yet, used to initiate the throw/technique that actually defeats Uke.
The body can be trained to instantly analyse and react to an incoming force, even if the force comes from behind. Tohei's "ki tricks" are actually basic training for always being in balance and letting the body "adjust" to any incoming force. At first in your training you just "ground" incoming forces... hence all the "immoveable" aspects of most "ki tests". But the Iwama comments imply the same things that Tohei's ki-tests do. Iwama just uses a different approach to the same core goals.
And of course doing some manipulations to affect Uke's forces before they actually reach Nage is a valid corollary of legitimate Aikido (and many other arts).
I often read old translations about various famous sword duels in the past and it's easy to see how much attention was paid to not giving away your general force directions, controlling the opponent's "ki" by generating your own force/kokyu/ki intentions in certain areas, and so on. "No touch" and "ki throws" are meant to be in these legitimate categories, but once you understand the idea it's pretty easy to spot the people who are making a parody of the legitimate skill, and so on.
I agree with Mike's warning here that without proper instruction people can get lost in the muscle-puzzle but essentially, this is a way of purging strength and tension in favour of kokyu