Hi Phi, I agree with what you are saying about connection going deeper. That's irimi, right? What I am working on here is a little tool for good results that does not depend on complete irimi. Maybe that's not aikido. But I felt that Ikeda was using this trick, see :16, :19 and :40 in the Ikeda vid. I consider this trick to be a type of atemi.
It could be that I am right that Ikeda is using this 'atemi' in his vid, but always in combination with good, complete irimi. Thus you see him doing something different than me, while I see him doing what I am doing PLUS a lot more.
i have not been your uke so i can't honestly say what you are doing is what he does. i have been Ikeda sensei's uke quite a few times. actually, i was his chauffeur for a few seminars (he almost disowned me, because i mentioned i used instant coffee instead of the good stuffs
) everything he does is irimi. he's irimi while turning. he's irimi while moving backward. he's irimi while drinking his coffee! he's irimi while selling bujin stuffs, even with all my resistance, i ended up walking away with arm-loaded stuffs and bank account much lighter (now i understand his phrase "make uke light")