Re: M: Maai, Metsuke, and Musubi
Personally, I have no problem with "steal the technique". I think a flaw in that teaching is that we have a competency gap in which the student is unable to comprehend what is happening, and therefore cannot "steal" anything.
Personally, I am working on using more basic blocks on which to build instruction. For example, [for me] the concept of musubi was easier to comprehend than aiki; considering we still cannot find two similar definitions of aiki,.. It was an easier jump for me to move from mirroring my partner to joining my partner to me.
Likewise, I am seeing more seminars where the instructor is calling out students who are not doing what is shown and what is shown is completely do-able. I think it fair that if sensei shows technique, your at least try to perform what is being shown before claiming it impossible.
I've said this before, but I think [soapbox alert] that teaching adults aikido is difficult because it is difficult for sensei to express that some concepts (and their corresponding physical principles) are advanced and beyond the comprehension of [newer] students. So we drop aiki on them the moment the enter the dojo. Blam. "Good morning class, before we look at addition and subtraction let's discuss the fundamental theorem of calculus. Why do you look puzzled Billy, you want to learn math, right? Well, this is one of the most important concepts in mathematics."
Wanna know 2 other terms I learned waaayyy before aiki? Tsukuri and kuzushi. And tsukuri has done far more to help me understand position and relation to my partner than almost anything else. Best way to demonstrate technique? Show nage what the fit looks like as uke...