thank you for your insights. From the Daito-Ryu AJJ dvds I own, their kata seems similar to the Dentokan/Hakkoryu version; do you think that the emergence of Aikido as the dominant aiki art in Japan has had an impact in the evolution of Daito-Ryu AJJ? From what I've heard there are some Daito-Ryu schools that go under the name Aikido in Japan.
I agree with you though Hakkoryu and Kokodo don't include aiki in the name of their art and this probably is a reflection of their style of Jujutsu. I do think that the aiki in Dentokan AJJ is subtle compared to Aikido; in fact just last week we had an evening of practising aiki techniques because our instructor thought we needed to understand the aiki in our art better.
I am enjoying my AJJ more now, I am not worrying about the grading (although I am still eager to do well and pass naturally).
To be honest with you I'm confused as to the application of the term "aiki" at this point. After experiencing the type of aiki utilized by the Ginjukai it is clear that Hakkoryu doesn't have these types of body skills, even at the highest levels. Is our art simply lacking aiki or do we have a different "flavor" of aiki?
I'm curious as to how your instructor explains aiki techniques to your group. Does he talk about connecting your center to uke's or moving them off their center? The aiki seminar I attended promoted a concept in regard to center that I'd never heard before, which made complete sense and is different from what I've seen in Hakkoryu or Aikido.
If I recall correctly I once listened to a lecture by Stanley Pranin where he discussed speaking with a number of Daitoryu instructors who referred to their arts simply as Aikido.