..., most everything is upper body muscle. ...
2. work on developing a relaxed, connected body. Right now I see you using lots of muscle
Although you are preaching to the choir about there being a different way, I was hoping my level of development would be self-evident in the video. Maybe it is and that is what you are correctly telling me, or maybe you are not seeing what I am. Hard to say about that. Although I certainly can know how far I have come in the last 2 years, I don't know how far I have to go, and it sounds like you believe I have a ways to go.
BTW, what I was working on just before I made this video was connection in the compressive and tensile directions. No leverage. I could move the uke to and fro easily. But it wasn't kuzushi. I studied that Ikeda clip, and saw him do this buckling action-- that came straight from there. I think that is the aspect you are talking about as "leverage." It is a trick I saw him employ that I was not doing, so I copied that and made the vid.
It is an interesting comment to hear that being one of the main parts called NOT Ikeda-like. It could be because I am doing it wrong. Thanks!
You watch too much TV. Keep it up!