ai or gyaku
This thread has definately inspired me to try a lesson where I minimise talk. At the moment I am teachning a group of beginners and what I have found difficult is that what I am thinking about in a technique is very different to what they are thinking (generally they are wanting to know the body movements and where they should be standing, whereas I am thinking of extension and centre).
As everyone is learning differently, and at different stages, I suggest that talk should be kept minimal so that each person can see what is relevant to them at the time. They then practise and see if they have a problem - and then another demonstration of the same technique helps them to deal with this.
Learning to copy a demonstrator is definately a skill developed through Aikido, and explaining it afterwards may prevent this skill being learnt. If you're anything like me you can sometimes get into the habit of watching a technique and then asking someone, 'was that ai-hanmi or gyaku hanmi?'.