Thanks for the Cheng Man Ching video. In terms of learning to look critically at videos-- I can see he is really powerful
I think he looks terrible. Stand alone or by comparison. In comparison to Li Chugong, CMC is but a shadow. Every once in a while I see a video of CMC; I have yet to see anything that impressed me. Why he enjoys some sort of reputation is beyond me. I wonder if it is the "one eyed man is king" analogy.
Interesting point-- this is why aikido has so many pretzley locks, isn't it? They are ways to spool your uke's tension in specific ways, so that he isn't as free to relax here or generate force there. They are pretty direct ways to interact with (take control of) a person's body tension, huh?
Externally that may be true, but mores the point you can capture uke's center quite well without the aid of a lock. I think that should be a requirement of all aikido.
Secondly, I think absorbing and cancelling lock attempts and then reversing them (with aiki-not waza reversals) should be taught along side doing them. Learn to do and to undo; to throw and to not be thrown, to lock and to be unlockable, to hit and kick and to absorb the same punishment. It gives a different, more wholistic view, a more complete package.