Reading the examples cited by Gary and Graham, I am reminded of three examples. Unfortunately, our old computer here no longer can play videos, but I remember two jiyu waza (called freestyle, not sure if the word randori is used in demonstrations by these teachers) in separate clips of Koichi Tohei Sensei and Mitsugi Saotome Sensei --- each when faced by multiple attackers quickly and elegantly just moved through the "pack" and then spun them off, I don't remember the rest, just that first, elegant, direct and effective entering move against which none of the attackers could do anything.
I guess that's the first example of elegant that comes to my mind.
The second is one teacher, Sadateru Arikawa Sensei, who took, what to my mind looked like "extra steps" that I saw in both Irimi Nage and Ikkyo in his regular classes while teaching. In Irimi Nage it seemed to propel the uke quite a bit faster and get him or her just that much more off balance, creating even more of a whirlpool effect even than might be expected with this technique, So the effect of just one or two extra steps, still resulted in .... elegant.... And in Ikkyo, he would , while holding uke's arm stretching uke's body onto the mat, walk with it one or two steps. It seemed very effective yet still elegant with the steps that might at first appear to be "extra"
By the way, for the Endo Sensei fans (not sure of his first name) now there's someone whose Aiikido is obviously elegant.
I've just mentioned specific moments on the videos of Koichi Tohei and Mitsugi Saotome and then remembering Sadateru Arikawa classes that instantly came to mind when I decided to post.
Hope this fits in with the original topic... love this thread and reading all the points of view.
Take care, Daian
Last edited by Diana Frese : 09-10-2012 at 06:53 AM.