I often hear Aikidoka talking about "being" or "staying" soft. Meaning that they stay in a place where they are not resisting, and not forcing technique. I would agree that this is a very important part of Aikido. The ability to be responsive, and move with your attacker is essential in developing "Aiki".
The problem I see is not in the Idea of being "soft", it's in the idea of training this concept. While it's true that most beginners need to focus on being sensitive, and relaxing, and should be kept at a very slow pace. Advanced Aikidoka seldom leave this generally relaxed environment with their practice of their Aikido. They may speed up the practice, ask for harder attacks, and even practice regular jiyuwaza, but they are still leaving themselves completely untrained with respects to real resistance. By never practicing your technique against resistive opponents, you are short sideing yourself. When you actually meet a resistive attack in real confrontation, you are likely to freeze up, and not respond, you will lose the "softness", you've been training!
So my question Is why don't more Aikidoka practice against resistive attacks. Why is there not really any sparring* in Aikido.
*Sparring: (I know lots of people will have confusion about my usage of this word.) I mean sparring in the since that you would see in in a competitive sport martial art school.
Last edited by ChrisHein : 05-17-2005 at 11:32 AM.