Re: Multiple attackers, using their idea of what is happening against them
FWIW, I have a hard time believing that if you showed Ueshiba that video or other similar videos that he wouldn't happily proclaim "Ah, that's aiki", because I watch videos of him in the last 10 or so years of his life and I see his expression of "aiki" often being quite similar. Though I fully believe that HIS aiki was based entirely on internal skills, the reality is that it is his external expression that we've all been emulating and he seemed, for the most part, ok with people working backwards towards it. Do I believe that one can really do what he was doing without first getting the internal skills? No, I do not, but I'm not entirely convinced that he was too terribly upset about those that were trying in that direction. It seems to me that his aiki, what he considered aiki, both evolved over time and was pretty leniently defined. We probably have as many examples of him giving rank and/or praise to some random person for demonstrating aiki as we do of him freaking out that "this is not my aikido". He seems to have found aiki in all sorts of places, including people using timing, deception, and external blending to off balance someone else.
I guess my point is that it's not hard to see why there are so many opinions about what aikido IS... FWIW.