First, we work solely on the taiso in engagement to effect immediate kuzushi, unconcerned with any eventual waza that may result. Next, we build on that taiso to carry kuzushi with it into a particular direction of movement. Then we work into progressive elements of an eventual waza that arises from the engagement and the taiso. The we apply the same taiso to a different form of engagement (i.e. --a punch vs. grab, or unarmed vs. weapon, or vice versa) to show the applicability of the taiso in various settings.
The point of this sort of "fugue and variations approach" is to reinforce that the canonical waza are all connected by the taiso in which the aiki lives, and while waza are very important as guidepoints to the student -- they are really simply splices out of a spectrum of continuous action, that has no real categorical boundaries within it. The onlty categorical boundary is between what is aiki and what is not. The reality of contact proceeds without plan or direction -- but nevertheless according to forms strictly defined (and enforced) by the nature of the body itself in an engaged setting. These can be felt, recognized and followed and initiated intuitively, once you can break it down and build it up again.
This essentially is how I've been training with people for the last few years. We're not training an outer form through the emulation model. We begin at the initial connection, and work our way out a step at a time, checking that connection is still there, and then explore the broader applications and possibilities.
We have a form, but it's internal. Working from the inside out. Most of our moving training is Jiyu Waza.
But, I guess, too, I've been so influenced by Nishio's idea of getting the initial irimi right from the beginning, and then watch how everything unfolds after that.
I've seen too much training of people just going through movements, and compensating more and more as the technique progresses. When if they'd connect initially, and understand what that means — and that you absolutely can't lose that — and do it effectively applying aiki resulting in kuzushi, everything just moves along so effortlessly.