Paul Sanderson-Cimino wrote:
Perhaps the intent of "70% (or whatever) atemi" was that uke's actions determine what happens, more than what shite chooses to do does?
Hmm. I don't think so. I've only been thrown a couple of times by highly ranked people, but when I was, there was no choice as to where I was going or what I was doing after initiating my attack.
I take O'Sensei's comment to me, at least in part, what I've read here and elsewhere: that nage (or shite) should be in a position to perform an effective strike at any point in the technique
. One should be able to stop a technique part of the way through and strik uke from a position where the strike would be effective and uke could not strike back.
The idea (as I understand it) is that a sensitive uke will know he or she is vulnerable and keep trying to move to a position of less vulnerability from which to attack.
I know I'm starting to sound like a fanboy, but I like Ellis Amdur's idea for training ukemi: basically, nage should stop the technique part way through and check his or her body's relationship to uke. Nage should see if he can perform a good ukemi from that position. If not, adjust. If so, continue the technique to a different point and check again. This requires an uke who will work with you and provide helpful feedback.
I don't think there is anything revolutionary in Ellis's suggestion. It's simply a good way to check that one has proper body position and itent while performing technique. I've done this a couple of times with a guy in my dojo and it really points out where I need work (and boy do I need work!).