Way too over simplified. Where do I begin in trying to discuss the issues I have with this and how to explain. well here goes.....
You are using only one modality to try and understand this. I think you are making the mistake that I see all too common in the Western mind. We tend to look at everything as a intellectual pursuit. that is, I can observe, rationalize, discuss, talk about it, and conceptualize it...and there for it is mine and I know have knowledge that I can apply.
If this were the case then O'Sensei would have installed bleachers in the dojo and made everyone sit there and watch as he lectured...no need for hands on.
Principles: well these principles you discuss are not really principles at all, but they are kinesthetic movements that are based on the human struture and frame. the ACTUAL principles you are dealing with are things like Gravity and the physical properties of dirt, cement, air, water etc.....everything we do is a reaction to this environment and therefore is not a principle but a response.
I could try to explain this, but I doubt at this point you really care to hear my answer. Basically you can observe an apple falling and hitting the ground...that covers the principles of Mass, gravity etc. We can then do this over and over and observe what happens and then write a consistent LAW or Principle that states what happens to an object. the properties of that object might determine the RESPONSE that is returned. A human will respond differently to these principles. Two humans might respond differently based on many factors of age, speed, size, and experiences.
Baking a cake. We tend to glaze over whole swaths of implied/implicit knowledge. I can observe that the guy making the cake puts in four "cups" of a white powdery substance. I was out the night club and this dude had a white powdery substance....I remember, go to him and ask him for the same amount...pay like $1000 for it, go home and make a cake...however it taste much different and I get high.
Why is that...you'd say I was an idiot, but why? because it based on what we have grown to accept as a common understanding we "assume" that the substance is flour, but if I don't have that level of knowledge cause I am from Bizzaro world it does not seem so stupid.
AIkido works the same way. I think alot of us are from Bizzaro World. That is, a bunch of pseudo-intellectuals come to this practice. They are smart in so many other pursuits in their lives because in the west we tend to reward those that get A's in school. A by product of the technical/industrial revolution.
So we come to aikido...a martial art in which we have no basis of understanding, observe something, rationalize and intellectualize the practice and say "ah, I understand THAT" and then proceed to make the proverbial cocaine/crack cake! THEY are so removed from any real experience in making that proverbial cake...they don't even have a reference point for judging the taste! They eat it and think it taste good!
IMO, this is NOT as far fetched as it sounds! I see it all the time!
I would recommend a ton of books.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance I think actually captures the essence in a very poetic way.
The Art of Learning by Josh Waitkins is another good book that captures the essence of what I am talking about.
Humans learn through three basic modalities, Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic. Most of us in the west have been rewarded for using our brains which in the normal industrial/technical "jobs" is highly visual and auditory. We know we fail in the kinesthetic area as you look around at the over all physical condition of the average human.
Yet we have the audacity to come forth and profess that because we can intellectualize stuff we profess true and authentic knowledge! I love intellectuals and scholarly types.
It's like the MBA professor telling someone how to make a ton of money in business, yet he has never actually done that!
IT is like...why does Baguette taste better in France than in the US. I hear it is in the water!
Speaking of water.......Humans are like 90% water right? so if I have a big jar of water...then I have 90% pf a person right????? Principles would dictate this based on your rationality here.
No there is MUCH to be said for DNA...both figuratively and literally. It is the arrangement of "stuff" at a very subtle and microscopic level that determines the QUALITY and properties of what makes something work and defines it.
Again, read Zen and the Art to get to the root of this.
Therefore...it is absolutely important in the TRANSMISSION of this stuff that you EXPERIENCE it HANDS ON. the TRANSMISSION dictates that I must communicate and a very basic level that hits all three of my modalities. VAK. and I must EXPERIENCE it..the ART.
Again it is like making Baquette or baking a cake....you have to get with the artist and understand exactly WHAT is going on that gets it to be so special and different than the next loaf or cake.
Sorry for the rambling...I had no other way of really trying to communicate this.
You assume a lot there. I am not being or oversimplifying it. How can you say what I am giving as principles is whatever when I haven't given any examples of principle.
Now saying what I said means just sit there and no hands on is also you misunderstanding for I said step one is observing and learning the principles. This means seeing and getting in there and applying. Thus when you understand then you can take them away and use them, step two.
When I say that's how Ueshiba studied I obviously don't mean he just watched do I ?
So sorry, no cakes for you, back to bread and water. Ha, ha.
Amount of water in a body is not a principle. Your misunderstanding is on the word principle itself the way I am using it. Operating principle, the underlying law (or laws) that the rest must follow.
So I recommend less books. Less data. DNA? That's more a program.
It's quite the opposite of intellectualizing so assuming you can spread out how I think is you inteelectualizing.
As I said in a past thread, I wanted to know how many Aikidoka had helped martial artists from other arts but didn't get many replies. I found this a bit odd at the time bacause it was like second nature to me. Why? Because I like watching other martial arts for I look only for the principles in play and how they are using them.
Visual, audio, kinesthetic. That could equal copying. The professor of business has done that. You are right though in that he hasn't run a business that's why I go to someone that can do rather than someone who has data, qualifications, phd's and history etc.
So the example of step one I give above includes hands on practice of the observed principles. Now sometimes it doesn't need that, can you guess when?
When you are already a very good experienced able person at something. For instance if I was Picasso and went and looked at some african art I would recognise how the artists were using the principles in a different way to me. On recognising this I could take that knowledge away with me and it would inspire me towards some new style of picture which I would then practice and finally do.
No history lessons, no having to find out who the artist is and where he was born. No needing to find out the makeup of the paints used or their weight age or how long it took. No, just studying the principles and thus seeing how the artist did it. Simple.
The principle of the circle in Aikido. It's not a fact or something that applies to one technique because blah, blah, blah. No, it's a principle. An operating law. That's one example of a principle of Aikido. Nothing to do with the persons weight or size or build.
Anyway, VAK is good and is thus included in what I already said about shuhari the only difference and thus THE difference is the emphasis on principle only and if you don't then you could well just be copying, hands on or not.