Ron:"I'm not David but I want to answer this anyway. Aikido lacks pressure, simple as that... Pressure needs to be continuous for reality"
I have to disagree with this answer Ron - the 1 vs 1 stop start is for training only. Randori and free-form attacks etc. are where the true pressure comes. We also experiment with grappling, ground work and the famous "ok, you've lost, what do you do now?" scenarios - aikido isn't just technical drill, just like judo isn't just trying to remove each others clothing
David, thanks for your reply, it's good to know that we agree on why we keep coming back to aikido. However, I can't totally agree with you regarding teaching and the necessary "approach" to martial arts.
Firstly, as a teacher I don't expect my students to have an instant empathy or intuitive knowledge of what I'm trying to teach. My "job" (for want of a better term) is help them develop as fast and safely as possible and hopefully end up being able to (gently) push my face firmly through the tatami and show me up in technique. My problem with the "chosen students" route is too often this just turns into cliques who's own arrogance can mask bad technique. Fostering an "esprit de corps" (spelling?) is good and I do believe in rewarding dedication (more training), but this is different to the streaming I felt you were implying.
Secondly, the emphasis on needing to know the traditional terms to describe combat awareness etc. I'm always divided in myself over this one. I agree, re-inventing the wheel is dumb and slows you down. However, knowledge of the correct definitions for specific technical areas (which is all these actually are) is not always an aid in training. I've met (and I'm sure you have) martial artists who can quote chapter and verse who still fall over while trying to standing upright. How a person uses what they know is more important to me than how they describe it.
Glad to hear you may manage to disassociate yourself enough to grade and feel free to drop in for a beer if your passing. I have no doubt your budo's bigger than mine but I can manage a reasonable ukemi from time to time so I'll be happy to be bounced around if you turn up (and there's always some of Chiba's loons down the road if you want hard training