Michael De-Campo wrote: "...however I'm not sure comparing the arts is that much useful."
The reason I sometimes find it useful to make some specific comparisons among martial arts (with an attitude of respect of course) is that Shintaido does not exist in a vacuum. Sometimes it's helpful to consider where Shintaido is located in the vast landscape of martial arts, meditative disciplines, health exercise, varieties of yoga etc.
At times Shintaido feels like a complex project that arrives on our doorsteps with a message "some assembly required" (and complete instructions not always supplied). There is a specific practical problem, internal to Shintaido, that I hope we in the Shintaido community can work on together: renki kumite. (I believe this exercise was introduced to the international public for the first time in 2000 at the event in Haguro, Japan.)
In some ways, this partner exercise (especially renki kumite variations 6 and 7) appears similar to T'ai Chi push-hands. Shintaido certainly has some movement principles in common with T'ai Chi, but other principles might be quite different. I feel it would be helpful to clarify the details of this exercise, and to define what we aim to learn from it. The details were not made very explicit by Aoki-sensei when he introduced it, so there is certainly room for interpretation.
Therefore I hope Shintaido practitioners of any level of experience will take a shot at answering some of these questions. I'd like to hear your opinions.
Have you ever practiced or taught renki kumite? If so, just some of the variations, or the whole process (10 parts is it?)
Generally, what do you feel are some of the goals of this exercise?
Are there some specific movement skills we should aim to learn from it?
Is it better to maintain a vertical posture throughout, or is it OK to lean, or is it desirable to lean?
How much pressure should be allowed to build up at the point of contact? (I do remember Aoki-sensei saying "Don't make it a contest of strength."
Should you sometimes try to put your partner off-balance?
How much should you accept your partner into your space? Should you to some degree deflect him/her away from your center?
Do you consider this part of the Yoki-kei (softer, nurtuing ki exercises) aspect of the Shintaido system? Can it be done with many variations of koshi (hips, pelvis) positions?