Robert M Watson Jr
The stronger the better, I says. Now that I've pondered a bit I don't think the shape is so important per se as long as the connection is there and one gets under ... it can look pretty ugly sometimes but still works. Kind of depends on exactly how and in which directions uke is going with the grab.
In general, the "shape" (defined as the outward physical manifestation in uke) is up in some manner. aiki age = rising energy. So, in some way, yeah, I agree that the "shape" is not so important.
However, I do disagree with your last sentence. It really shouldn't matter how, where, or in which direction uke is grabbing, striking, holding, etc. aiki age as a principle of energy rising should happen whenever, wherever, however uke comes into physical contact with tori/nage/etc.
The "shape" should really just be the "effect" on uke when uke comes into contact with the principle of aiki age in tori/nage/etc. aiki age is within tori/nage/etc. The "shape" is how uke reacts.
Josh Philipson wrote:
Do you think this is a good way into figuring out aiki age? (i.e. just doing kokyu ho agains harder and harder holds)?
Everything in progression.
Why train against very hard holds if you just automatically resist with muscle? Work to the point of failure and work through it, progressively pushing your point of failure farther.