Re: Ikeda Sensei Demos of Ki
Hope I didn't leave Marc floundering about specifics. My point was generally that even someone with pretty moderate skills can tell most of the kokyu/jin applications for what they are when seeing them on a video. It's not something that no one can do. Hence, you'll notice that some people are cautious about putting out videos... they understand that their level can be deduced pretty quickly on a video. However, once the ego worries are gotten past (hey, we all have to start somewhere), great progress can be made in some of the video analyses.
Going back to Ikeda Sensei, I like his stuff and it's very clearly good Aikido. One of the problems I have is the story I hear with the implication that Ikeda recently "learned ki things" is this:
First, think about the descriptions I gave about the unity connection and center as a basic principle. All kokyu/jin tricks will be variations of that principle (with a couple of fluorishes and skill-levels tossed in, of course). If you look at some of the videos of the Rocky Mountain Summer Camp that George Ledyard posted, you can see Saotome Sensei not only doing touch-and-control ki/kokyu demonstrations, he does them very well. Going back further in Saotome Sensei's film history, I have also found instances of the same skills.
Secondly, I used to occasionally go to Boulder and attend classes, some of the time with Ikeda Sensei teaching. I went during the days of the Dome dojo, the warehouse dojo, and once attended formal class in the current dojo. While I can see that Ikeda has learned some things in recent times, they're not far-removed from what he already knew and they're certainly not different from what Saotome Sensei does.
Incidentally, I haven't tried to look through the archived posts, but if Ledyard Sensei still has those videos he posted of the last Summer Camp, I'll be happy to point out (and explain) where what Saotome Sensei does is exactly what Ikeda Sensei is doing in some of his recent videos. Since Saotome Sensei learned from Ueshiba Sensei, I think the proper conclusions can be reached.