I'm relatively new to aikido but have studied other martial arts for getting on 31 years and from my point of view I failed to see any martial application in the exercises being done in that video. Maybe I'm looking at it wrong but in the classes I've taken in aikido in the past and again over the last few weeks I've never seen said exercises done in any classes I've attended either.
Mind I didn't watch the whole video as from what I did see I didn't see the point.
Gornall, aside from the fact that in some people's eyes Graham may or may not being some of the exercises well - they are just that, exercises. Why do basic exercises in your opinion need to be martially effective in anyway? Aren't they there to teach principles and correct body movement?
One of my students once asked me during a warm up why I make people rotate their knees and move up and down etc... He couldn't see a reason for it so we spent the rest of the lesson on Koshinage and I think he put two and two together in the end
Is there any martial application in someone attacking me and me holding both my knees and rotating them? Nope... but if it allows me to build some sort of muscle memory and get my koshinage better then is it not an effective exercise?
I guess my point is, that you're from a traditional aikido background (as am I) and Graham is from a Ki based background but his lineage's teacher was at one stage one of the main Aikikai senior teachers before his name got erased so most of the 'traditional' Japanese teachers around today would certainly have had a lot to do with the guy and his principles before 'the' incident. People then had to pick sides and it all went downhill from there with many people dropping what Tohei was teaching. I'm not interested in the why's and wherefores but Tohei used to happily take on challengers from all walks so he had something going for him.