I am member of the German Aikido Federation with Endo Seishiro and Christian Tissier as shihan.
From members of other lines of aikikai here in Germany I am used to hear that the aikidō of Christian Tissier depends completely on his uke being compliant ...
That his aikidō is too soft and too "big" for being martially effective and only works as a way to fondle uke down to the floor.
Interesting. Can you explain more. Taking Iriminage for example, the clips I've seen on youtube of Tissier performing this technique he always destroys uke's balance before throwing them, generating a lot of velocity. This to me does not appear "soft", although the movement is much bigger than techniques in AJJ.
In my very humble opinion, looking at just these two videos, Ueshiba's technique is a lot more martial than Tissier's; Tissier seems to be the showman here. Imagine if the ukes had hidden knives. Ueshiba is very centered, his uke's are very much extended past their centers; if he were to fail to take his uke's balance perfectly, he would have a bit of room to flow into something else. It looks to me that what Tissier is doing, if he were to screw it up, he would be in a pretty bad position.
I understand your point ma'ai is an important martial principle, but how Tissier would react to a knife attack I am sure would be different to the empty handed attack as demonstrated here. Although his techniques appear more "showmanship" they also generate more force, meaning after the technique is executed he has more time to prepare for the next attack, whereas Moriteru's techniques are so flowing that uke is protected more and therefore back on balance much quicker. Maybe I need to understand martial principles better but that is how I see it.