Re: The Role of Uke in Aikido Training
I like the approach as it speaks to the best of all things you'd want in budo practice. I think the details will matter the most in how they get implemented. Grabbing in a way that produces kuzushi - there's some very specific and discrete skills you need to develop that go beyond raw muscle or frame (or timing, or intention, or or or . . ). Being mindful of openings is yet another skill that I think is potentially learned best in settings such as weapons kata (with people that know how to use them) or in more pugilistic arts such as boxing, contact karate, etc. Then there's the optimal shapes of a technique along the geospatial patterns of you and another person - whole host of opportunities to go off on a tangent of varying degrees of worth.
Not at all trying to killjoy as I agree a lot with what Ledyard Sensei writes - I just think that the proper attention (and in some cases definition and parameter mapping) needs to be given with how those details are fleshed out, otherwise it can easily become another case of "I like this idea or notion, so I will do it, too" and people assume the perspective of doing a thing just as easily as they assume that they are in fact doing a thing. Yes, aikido absolutely SHOULD include all of those things, so how SHOULD it be articulated and quantified in a way that they 1) Objectively do 2) Are systematically transmitted 3) Map visibly to the form and shape of what would be recognized as aikido?