how should we do shomen uchi using bokken? should we open our elbows like in this video of Morihiro Saito Sensei http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Y1iXm89jI0
or should we form a triangle with our elbows and body so that the elbows are closer to each other and not to bend our elbows?
I know that different Sensei can have different bokken kata.. but shouldn't the basic stays the same?
some people teaches the latter part which makes me wonder why it is different from the one being taught by Saito Sensei and all other references I found for that matter..
This thread has gone all over the place and with the best intentions. I hope you have not given up on it already.
My experience for what it is worth is this:
Even within Iwama Ryu as handed down from Saito Sensei, I have found several Sensei, many who trained for years with Saito Sensei, 4th Dan through 7th Dan who all have a slight variation/nuance or personal 'take' on the basic suburi.
They all have very logical reasons for them and when you practice them they do make sense in how the weapon work makes sense in as far as it pertains to Aikido.
Our own Sensei who has trained with many of these other Sensei and even Saito Sensei, says that it is best to train as your head Sensei or Shihan instructs but to learn and understand what you can from other Sensei and take from them what you can/will.
So in short, while you are just getting started, do not sweat the small stuff.