Re: O Sensei observation
Ken: You'll be pleased to know that my "clever use of language" earned me a red card from Jun, appropriately, I think. The point I was trying to make is that I think your passion over these issues has led you to to take extreme positions that, if you think about it, you don't really hold. Have you never finished a technique and realized that every part of your body, from your left little finger to your right big toe, is aligned and connected and a part of the movement? Do you not think that for a martial artist of O-Sensei's caliber, that would be the norm and not the exception? Do you think anything he does on the mat, while dealing with an attack, is accidental?
More specifically, don't you teach kyu grades the role of the "free" hand during a technique? Surely you do.
As for Ledyard Sensei supporting my post--thank you, but please stop looking at this as a fight between opposing camps. I read his post as riffing off mine to offer perspective, history, and a different point of view. Whether he supports or opposes any point I made is simply irrelevant to understanding what he had to say, I think.
I wouldn't, by the way, put your understanding of Saotome's art up against his. That's a mug's game anyway.
By the same token--I'm much less interested in arguing with you about whether blending matters, than undesrtanding what you mean by blending and how blending happens in an aikido technique, and what happens to uke when you "blend"--whatever that means.
I'm not sure why a smaller movement on nage's part would lead to more committment than a larger one is. This might be a useful area of exploration.
Finally: I understand you're feeling beat up. Please understand part of the reason for that is that you claim not only to have your own understanding of aikido, but to be able to speak for Saotome, for Terry Dobson (in another thread), and for O-Sensei himself. And you won't be corrected by those who have a closer relationship than you to the people you pretend to speak for. Speak for yourself. Share your realizations. And for heaven's sake, get on the mat with some of these people.