Mark Uttech wrote:
"too much either leads to overconfidence in untested technique or out and out brawling".... That is exactly the scenario I was thinking of when I mentioned 30 years of kihon waza as being prerequisite. Even in the Karate Kid films, Miyagi Sensei didn't bother with reversals or super samurai tricks. O Sensei has been quoted as saying: "Reliance on tricks will get you nowhere." Discussions of kihon waza are much more valuable than discussions of "how many reversals can you come up with, to dazzle your next class." I have another 8 years to go to reach the 30 year plateau myself.
Kaeshiwaza as "tricks"? This just doesn't make any sense. Aikido techniques are simply about different ways to join with an attacker's energy by giving direction to that energy based on the different contact points of the two bodies when they come together.
A technique is just another way of putting energy into your partner's structure. Kaeshiwaza is just doing technique when the energy you are receiving comes in the form of an Aikido technique rather than the conventional attacks such as strikes and grabs. What do people think those grabs were supposed to be anyway? They represent the attempts to throw you by an attacker or to neutralize your ability to access a weapon... and just what is an Aikido technique? It's an attempt to throw the other guy and to prevent him from accessing or using a weapon. Either person can throw, of course...
The idea that this should be taught after thirty years of training makes not one iota of sense to me... Without kaeshiwaza Aikido is just a dance in which only one person is supposed to know the steps... Without an understanding of kaeshiwaza you simply do not have a martial art. Why would anyone wait "thirty years" before attaining any martial competence. This kind of thinking comes from an entrenched investment in the uke / nage dichotomy.