Re: The uke/nage paradigm
The problem I and many people have with this is that the uke/senior people sometimes have their own propaganda or, pardon me, full of shit and ego. I notice that modesty has seriously been lost in some Aikido practice. When some1 gains the "senior" status (which in my dojo is granted at 2kyu for men and 3rd kyu for women, which still means NOTHING in term of understanding of Aikido), a lot of the times they develop an attitude that their way is right and start abusing their status.
For ex, in Iriminage a big senior told me to get control of the head and make a big irimi tenkan with the outside arm to bring him down. When I do that to another senior she shrieks and tells me that's totally wrong and it's disrespectful to touch some1 head/face in training and that I have to place both hands on her shoulders. Now when I do THAT to another senior girl, she falls face-first onto the mat and got really angry. She told me that I should only keep the contact and turn by myself, she will follow. Of course that wouldn't work with anyone bigger than me...
All these people, if I don't do the technique their way, they would lock up their body and block my technique, or do kaeshi. Sometimes I get frustrated and apply a bit of force and the senior girls shrieks in pain and call me a brute... when they were the one who use force to resist my techniques...
Seriously, how can you learn to walk if people are pulling your legs in different directions?
When I work with people who are my juniors, I shut up and follow their technique. If they do things wrong Sensei will correct them. If they ask me I simply say I don't know, I have no authority to tell them what is right and wrong. The only feedback I ever give is encouragement when I feel like they do a good technique. I find that this empowers people while not confusing them.
That, and it really annoys me when a 2nd kyu says stuff like "Aikido is like this and that and not this and that". Really? Even the highest Sensei wouldn't say that they truly understand Aikido. My Sensei has been training for 40 years and she still says "I'm not sure. Let's test that out" all the time.