Someone asked me why the groundpath to fourlegged animals is not a good idea.
It works but it is baby steps. If you are concerned with joining -to- someone, you are also susceptible -to- someone. You have created a partnership. So it becomes a game of who is first and who is better. NOT a very good idea in budo! Hence the reason Ueshiba and others didn't stress that model at all. It's fine to feel at a seminar and feel the connection and some power, but it isn't where the higher level work is at. Which is why the more accomplished people never really pointed to that stuff did they?
Something to think about!
I was going to come back to that and ask, but you beat me to it.
I would agree with what you said about "ground path to 4-legged animal", but that alone is not all that ground path is, IMO. If you're still using rigid skeletal alignment to make that ground-path, sure, you're definitely giving up your center to make that ground-path, but doing that is, as you said, baby steps. Is it not true that if I am both relaxed and connected "in me" that any force acting against me is, by nature, creating a ground path? It doesn't have to be a ground-path that compromises my center though and I can still move and output my own power while feeling that connection to the ground but without attaching my center to it. Isn't that the earth in heaven and earth? Isn't that, along with his own connection and ki exactly what Ueshiba is demonstrating with his jo trick? That when they are pushing on the jo, they are essentially pushing the earth through him? The example you gave years ago of the drive shaft attached to a motor buried in the ground seems to point to the same concept. The essence of non-resistance!