I may have been that guy...
One of the things causing me grief these days is the inconsistent ability to "do" aikido. I have broken down things to try to better understand where the "doing" part happens. In that respect, I have consolidated around the concept of "expressing/demonstrating aiki" and demonstrating a practical application of aiki, "demonstrating aikido." Essentially, I am just talking about technique done with aiki. But, I believe that aiki is real and been shown, which is not what everyone else thinks. I also believe many of us are not actually using aiki in our technique.
I agree. But I think kata is still important to learn basic shapes - even for high grades. The shapes we have - the katas if you like - are like a library. We go in there, take a look, pull something out, and practice it. But too much kata takes you further from aiki, not closer. The better you get at kata, the more rigid you become, especially if you beleive it HAS to be done THIS way and ONLY this way. But we still need to maintain connection to kata as who is to say we are right anyway. And, in my opinion, if we teach, we should not immediately start teaching the aiki-ness before they learn the kata, or instead of the kata. But that is what many do. I say - Kata first, then add aiki. You can`t add aiki to bad technique.
We need to constantly review the source - kata - and then put aiki into those kata to - give them life. The takemusu
of it, to me, is the escape from kata. Some people seem to think takemusu
is randori or jyuu-waza. Not me. Takemusu
for me is adding life to dead kata, in a kind of random, yet, predictable way. It is what mainstream Aikikai Aikido is. This is the main difference beween say, Aikido and Daito Ryu (totally fixed kata). Going back to randori or jyu-waza - most that I see just seems to be kata performed in a random way, like in a dfferent order.
Any way: Learn the kata/shapes/waza, do some aiki exercises, then add what you `feel` to one of your waza and experiment.