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A lot of the Ki exercises we study are designed to enable us to remain immobile while being pushed or pulled in various directions or otherwise distracted by our partner. At first glance it may appear that we are training to resist the forces being applied in order not to be moved. This assumption is derived from the fact that outwardly it does appear that resistance is exactly what is going on. Inwardly, hidden from the observer outside, what is happening is that the student is learning how to absorb and redirect the applied force so as to give it nowhere to "rest". A force with nowhere to rest can perform no work, it has potential only. The force can be directed into the ground, as in some Ki tests, sent back to its source as in kokyu dosa or stored at the recipients one point to be released in an explosive counterforce.
This absorption of force is a kind of strength quite different from muscular strength. It's more strength of will than strength of fiber. It's what gives the experienced aikidoka the feeling of extreme heaviness that seems all out of proportion to her physical stature. It's the mountain that falls on you during a well executed timing throw.