Re: "Irimi" by Ellis Amdur
I would say the physical change has everything to do with not being able to translate the philosophical into practice.
Simplicity: It is based on the attacker commanding and using that straight line of attack. Irimi says let him have it in more ways than one ha, ha.
Just because someone has never met someone who could do it doesn't mean it's not so. To me it means they need more training until they can.
They would have to know the principles of non-resistance, non-interference and pathways to do so. Until then they don't know and thus change it to suit.
If your purpose is to defeat the attacker then you will have a hard time understanding irimi in it's essence.
All 'tricks' by the way are seen as tricks for only one of two reasons in my mind. One is that they are beyond the observers understanding and looked at dismissively. The other is that the observer understands yet sees it as not true to the purpose of the activity and thus with a purpose of looking impressive or some such. However, all 'tricks' are principles in action.
I've been to a demonstration by Shioda Sensei and anyone who has would know it's full of 'tricks' and has the audience laughing. Good fun but also shows a measure of understanding and application of certain principles. Isn't I/P full of 'tricks'? Therefore it's using certain principles. Whether they align with the purpose of Aikido is open to debate.
Just like the principle of irimi, you don't know until you can do it rather than being an expert on how it can't be done.