It seems to me we simply have different images of what aikidō is and as a consequence what it should look like.
- So, I like the most forms of aikidō that looke like kind of taijiquan or qigong or yoga. Something like that: Smooth, gentle, calm. Showing movement and stillness as one, the work of in and yo, tanden, aiki within tori ... things like that.
So Saito sensei or the Tomiki video simply don't match my
- not saying the
- image of aikidō that is in me and what I am striving for.
Also we seem to have different images of what "martial" means therefor do not agree about how it can be spotted watching an embu.
- I know from experience that this soft and tender way of connecting to a struggling, fighting opponent can actually bring him to the ground against his will. And I know this not only from playing around in the dōjō. In my case being very small and not very strong, it even works more reliable then other methods. So maybe I indentify certain things as "martial" that others don't
Finally I think we have different oppinions of the relevance of that martial aspect besides the other facets of aikidō.
- For me by now it is most important to see a spiritual dimension when a teacher demonstrates. I expect not to see only his physical body, but also his energetic and his spiritual body. I try to get which feeling his embu creates in me: Does it make me calm and centered or does he bring my qi up or disperse it?
To me the martial aspect of aikidō is not the only aspect. And - at least currently - not the most important.
Lately I have been enjoying this aspect of Aikido the most, when I can get it.