Seems like everyone is writing about basics, fundamentals and simplicity right now, it must be in the air.
This morning, at the semi regular workout I get to do with my friend T and Sensei Mike E, we were working on the Kumitachi (partner practice) from the Toyama Ryu sword system.
Toyama Ryu is a military school system and as such shares the quality that many military systems, like Xing-Yi, have - simplicity and pragmatism.
'Simplicity' of course is a relative term and what struck me learning the techniques, I think we did 6, was how 'simple' here refers to the most direct approach ... which also means that you deviate from center the least you can with your sword, and move the least you can with your feet ... thus the price of screwing up the Ma-ai - range and timing - means eating the attack. These techniques are eventually practiced with the opponent running at you and cutting full power, and of course you closing to meet them also.
The technique works great IF your read of your opponent's intent is good, and you are in the right place at the right time, with good alignment, to do the thing, at the right moment, relative to what your opponent does. (OK, so there is some built in safety redundancy .... but not a whole helluva lot.)
So ... 'Simple' here means utilizing the quickest route between A and B with sword and footwork - not much choreography - but is also means you are on, or very close to the center line and the power of the incoming attack of your opponent, which means that if you screw it up any one small aspect - relative contact point along the sword, how rotation meets the straight line, your structure vs their structure, range etc - you are toast.
So simple, yet .....