Monday night at North Shore Aikido we were working on ikkyo. The most interesting part of this ikkyo is the blending with the attack. Instead of just getting to the shomenuchi strike early and pushing through uke or even to the side of uke, nage receives the shomen strike, continues it's motion forward some and then changes its direction.
I've felt Rob do this and to me it feels like my shomen strike is hitting a pillow. The initial impetus is changed. All of a sudden the attack is stopped in it's tracks. All this is done from blending with the attack. This is the kind of aikido I enjoy learning. There is nothing to struggle against or push against. The attack is simply absorbed and redirected.
This is the kind of thing I wish some of my fellow practitioners at Shodokan could understand. Any monkey can hit/atemi someone and then do any old variation of ikkyo. And that's ok.... but to be able to absorb and redirect an attack is really what aikido is all about. Sick of hearing some people go on about street effectiveness...... hell, we haven't even learned ikkyo yet. There is a depth to aikido. The first step is knowing there is more. The next step is learning it. If you don't see the depth to begin with then I guess your inclination might be to look at each technique as flawed in some way and assume that most techniques are not effective.
UPDATE: Oh.... and now that I think of it. We had at least a couple of students at Shodokan using the most basic of techniques (1 even after only a few weeks of training) and those techniques were effective. So if a vanilla ikkyo from a rank beginner or sankyo variation will work in the street then maybe there is something to this that is street effective.