Re: What do you call "technique"?
I donno about other styles, since I've only been exposed to Yoshinkan, but from what I've learned through class and self research is this: everything is techniques.
Think back to when you first started out. Everything is a mess and you are eternally confused. That's no surprise giving that you were an untrained whitebelt. However, as you progress, you begin to act differently. Certain movements become natural. When you lose your balance, instead of stumbling, you shift your centre and shuffle or cross-step to maintain balance. When you fall, you do ukemi and stand up perfectly fine.
These things are all "techniques" since they don't come naturally, but as a result of your training. The same principles apply to things like the Ikkyo (or as we say it, Ikkajo). It is something unnatural to begin with, but by the time you are shodan, it would be a natural thing to do when you are attacked (hopefully).
Later on, especially at the higher dans (godan and above) you start to get into aiki-waza. Now you don't really even need to use joint locks. The locks are easy to do by themselves, but to have them be effective, it is important for your balance to be correct, and of course for things like yonkyo (yonkajo), both the centre power (chushin ryoku) and the focus power (shuchu ryoku) matters quite a bit. In this way, all of the basic techniques are training for those things, so that at the higher levels, combined with breath power (kokyu ryoku), you will be able to effortlessly apply techniques that employs no joint locks, with or without uke in motion.
This is the way I understand it, that everything we do is "technique". I've recently noticed how I'm always cross-stepping to catch my balance, rather than gripping harder on something, when I'm on the bus. In another instance (just today). when sensei threw out a slow punch as a demonstration, I who was close by automatically did an entering step (irimi) and placed by hand on sensei's elbow, just like kotegaeshi. I caught myself before I applied a technique, and was very surprised given how I did that basically on autopilot mode, and sensei was quite happy about it, saying "you are now a martial artist, because your subconciousness has changed"
Frankly, I'm not sure if I should be happy about improving, or scared that the techniques are seeping into my brain. O_O