Re: Strength vs Ki.
On reading through the thread again, on the whole it's been quite informative I think. It's actually managed to sometimes stay quite spiritual.
As in society the term spiritual, which in some past eras had a clear meaning and caused no adverse reaction by folk whether inside or outside the martial arts, it now has in this day and age strange connotations apparently.
Within zen it is very definite and disciplined. It is probably no doubt similar in Shorinji Kempo and other arts.
When by all accounts O'Sensei looked back over the centuries of what was called budo in Japan and said he was troubled by it and that led him to his realization that true budo was love, then I feel I have a similar view with regards to something else.
When I look back over the history of Japan for example I am drawn to the warrior monks, the Sohei etc. Every bit as disciplined as the samurai, every bit as skillful, every bit as feared or respected. (They even wore their swords with the blades facing down for those who didn't know that.)
However, being very spiritual and Buddhist one can only wonder why they were so fierce and combative. (Against each other and when taking sides in political samurai manoeuvring)
Personally I think it's down to the fact that without enough reality on the spiritual then no matter what robes you wear your still translating thins according to physicality and indeed analytical thought.(ego to be more precise, even if you think you are not)
Which brings me to a point of what I would call Misunderstanding when it comes to spiritual as in Aikido as I use it and indeed from my perspective how Tohei and no doubt some others use it. The term Martial.
I'm sure everyone has an opinion on what physically martial is.
I'm sure everyone has an opinion on what mentally martial is.
I'm not so sure everyone has an opinion on what spiritually martial is though for most always try to translate it in terms of mental and physical. Thus in my opinion there follows misunderstandings.
When you watch the end of the video of Tohei Sensei in the original post he is demonstrating cutting with the bokken according to his principles. He is also making a sly dig at those who think force is stronger which I hadn't see him do in other videos for he also seems to be ridiculing the 'formal' way of the sword.
However, whether I have misinterpreted the fun part there the point is it is very real to some the spiritual discipline, the Ki discipline he is using. It is very soft in it's execution to the doer, nothing to do with body mechanics but purely to do with extending Ki and weight underside. Such was his way and his spiritual emphasis.
Very effective by demonstration, very 'unstoppable' A good example of a way which doesn't mean to say that other ways cannot do similar.
Food for thought.