Surprised to see this back on the menu so to speak but I understand your questioning it and as I posted it I am responsible to for answering.
Firstly, I am not of the big organisations of Aikido ie: Aikikai, Tomiki, etc.
My way of teaching is no doubt very different to what many are used to and this alone can lead to questions.
As I have pointed out to enquirers before I approach Aikido from more of a Zen perspective and so funnily enough it appears to most that I teach it backwards. By this I mean I teach or emphasize the disciplined practice of certain principles over and above any use of technique.
This no doubt makes me a minority and not an Authority. I am an Autority only in my way of Aikido.
To understand where I am coming from read the zen koan entitled 'The taste of banzos sword'.
So your view on not seeing pertinent technique with martial application in that video is indeed correct. In fact I do not promote Aikido as that and call it a path of self developement where self defence is a consequence of it.
Therefore I see Aikido as a perfect vehicle for spiritual developement.
In the video you will see me holding the wrist of a student and he has to try to do Taisabaki, a turn. He has to do it in such a way that it moves me from my stable position, no technique, no use of the other hand, no tricks, just Taisabaki. Therefore it is more of a drill.
It is based on a principle given by Tohei Sensei, the principle of 'take your partner's place'. In this particular drill I explain that a full taisabake leads to this whereas a partial one is more for avoidance or realignment of ma-ai. However, I also explain it is a way of entering in the form of a curve with a specific purpose. As with all martial arts the ability to do a particular seemingly simple thing takes as long as it takes to become an obvious part of you.
Your responses to others shows me you have an open mind and therefore I am confident you will find, if you havn't already, the one that suits you and also understand the ones that suit others.
Hi Graham, I think I understand where your coming from a little bit better know. I actually made a post on my blog the other night about the differences in the way people can practice aikido which can be at completely different ends of the spectrum but still be aikido. I guess we all have to find our own aikido, and try to do that to the best of our abilities.