Well, in Ki Society we refer to them as hitori-waza, or one person exercises.
Practicing them does not guarentee a 'soft' technique (what the heck is that anyway
). However, it does give you a chance for solo practice, when not in the dojo, and to work on the most basic of movements.
Opinions on Aiki-taiso please, in my opinion they reflect the principles (thats all). All important principles.
Well, as we practice them, they don't just
reflect the principles, they act as building blocks to understanding all of the techniques.