Why did Ueshiba and Tohei continue to demonstrate being unthrowable....as a laudable skill?
Why were we told to cooperate when they...did not?
I've told this story before, and I believe it's relevant here. I first heard it in a class taught by Dan Messisco (formerly of Aikido of Modesto). Messisco is fluent in Japanese, and at the time of this story, he lived in Hawaii and spent every other month in Tokyo training at Aikikai Hombu. One day, his training partner was a young, strong sandan or yondan on the Hombu "instructor track". As Messisco described their interaction, every time that Messisco was nage, the Japanese fellow stopped Messisco's technique cold. Messisco was getting frustrated, but then he had a realization: by trying to "do a technique" to his partner, he was attacking his partner; but because he was attacking, then he, Messisco, must have become the uke
So every time the Japanese fellow stopped Messisco's technique, Messisco would take ukemi! After a few minutes of this, the Japanese fellow became quite angry, and sputtered, "Stop doing that! I want to take ukemi!"
Messisco replied in the most elegant Japanese he could muster, "Who is preventing you from doing so?"