Kent Enfield wrote:
Since I'm not very familiar with Saito sensei's weapons work, how do the kumitachi end? Do they end with the "loser" side just giving up, or do they end with the "winner" side striking a decisive blow? If it's the latter, which I suspect, what are you practicing, and what are you practicing for? Are you only training for friendly training matches? If you're not training to kill using the sword, are you actually training to use the sword?
If you look at the two first kumitachi of kashima shinto ryu and compared with the two first kumitachi of O-sensei the katas are practically identical (see Aikido Journal for reference). One major difference is that in KSR shitachi final cut ends uchitachis life, and in Aikido shitachi cuts down uchitachis swordcut and adopts hitoemi (one line, or no opening attitude) preventing further action from uchitachi.