Re: Ikeda Sensei Demos of Ki
Having some direct experience with Ikeda sensei, my thoughts:
1. What Ikeda sensei shows in his seminars is based upon the presumption that those attending have a basic understanding of proper structure and body alignment. I believe he also expects most in attendance to have a basic comprehension of technique.
2. I believe much of the instruction Ikeda sensei is based upon layering on top of proper structure and alignment internal movement that strengthens the entire shape. I believe this is the advanced level of training where Sensei is showing "make connection."
I think you need to give Sensei a reasonable expectation that he will work on something more than basic training even if it still looks like basic training. I think Ikeda sensei relies on other instructors (and certainly dojo sensei) to prepare students to see what he is doing and eliminate the "gee, that's exactly what we do in class," responses; no, but if what you are doing in class is the proper structure than you can spend more time seeing what is different in Ikeda sensei's technique than what is similar.
Lately, Ikeda sensei has been including new exercises many students have not seen. These exercises need to be incorporated into aikido curriculum and used as part of daily training so the next time Sensei is in town we can move onto the next step. I think Ikeda sensei, along with others in the US, are trying to re-incorporate some of these basic internal exercises back into daily class... They almost have to be collusive exercises at this point because we're like virgins rolling around in the dark with the stuff.
That being said, Ikeda Sensei is starting to raise the bar slightly too by giving back to aikido these exercises... Don't think he won't notice the 3rd time you attend a seminar and you're still not getting what he is showing...