hard training / soft students
" Almost uniformly the old Deshi complain that Aikido has lost its heart, that people are going through hollow motions but do not have the foundation of hard training to back up what they are doing. I was surprised at the consensus amoungst teachers who are otherwise quite different. "
There's been quite a lot of discussion about this here in my neck of the woods, and we've come to use the word "hard' in a different manner. It means to remember while training that aikido is a martial art - to train as though your uke is a real attacker and not just a friendly face from the dojo. To respond as you would like to do in a real-life situation. To throw with power, to be ready for the next attacker, to put the locks on HARD enough that uke can't escape and clout you.
I've heard the opinion expressed that as dojo's become more commercial, the techniques become softer so that beginners are not discouraged too early when things actually hurt.
I guess its nice to think that your training might be useful out there in the real world - not that I'm denigrating all the other obvious benefits of training.