Well sure. Basic Japanese models-(meaning lacking real information) if trained well will help to a degree to get the focus off the shoulder. However, the real information is part of a deeper process from internal to external that blows the lid off of conventional budo movement to the point that those same Japanese shihan couldn't touch someone who knows this well. You'd walk right through them.
It's only magnified with weapons, but I have never seen the completeness of the skill in any Japanese teachers movement. I think the Japanese Nage/uke model has severely hampered real progress.
Thanks Dan...I have certainly reached a plateau in my training and I don't like our Iaido very much... which has caused me to be frowned upon within our small community.
Hopefully one of these days I'll meet someone like you Dan who'll motivate me to jump off the edge and leap into a better paradigm.
In the meantime mindful solo practice and the occasional randori session will have to do. I am watching our Art get all fluffy-ed out( Just my opinion please do not take offense Nishio Ryu practitioners) with new "wrinkles" as Nishio Shihan Senior Students make their own impression. What I would give to see some of the more solid Shihan like Tanaka Sensei come and visit. Oh Well.