RE: Mongo and Nick (prev. 2 threads)
About a year ago, I satisfied both your suggestions and attended a Saotome Shihan seminar at Shindai Aikikai in Orlando. I certainly felt a presense throughout the dojo. The chief instructor at Shindai, Hooker Sensei, was accepting his Rokudan certificate from Mitsugi Saotome. Even his knee-walk (shikko) was powerful. Saotome Sensei's presentation was intense, extraordinary, and fun. An important point Shihan made was that there exists NO "magic ki". I truly agreed with his point, because I know some aikidoka who really believe understanding ki will give them some magic powers. The seminar cocentrated on atemi, which showed me a more combat-effective aikido than I'd seen before. However, I still do not fully trust the aikiwaza I've learned for use during a physical conflict. Maybe in time, maybe in due time.