Re: Poll: How important is physical resistance in your aikido training?
The real problem I think everyone is encountering when dealing with "lower ranks" and resistance, is judgment. When practicing a preset from, if there is to be "resistance" (direct opposition to your technique) then the Uke has to judge what would "work" and what wouldn't (to decide what he needs to resist and what he doesn't). So if you get a new guy, and the form requires that uke lean forward for the technique to work, but this new guy decides he wants to make it hard on you, so he leans backward instead, this becomes a problem (he has decided resistance means leaning back, but that won't work with the form). To the new guy, he has just tricked the black belt, and for the senior student, he's embarrassed and trying to explain what is appropriate and what is not, and maybe feeing a little hypocritical himself because; why couldn't he do the technique. Because Aikido relies so heavily on preset partner forms, it's hard for either side to understand what they are really doing. In a partner form both sides need to play their roll, uke needs to have the preset responses, and nage needs to do the technique he is suppose to be training, it IS kinda like folk dancing, because it's a cooperative practice. This is why we like "good uke's" because they know the response they are suppose to have and we can work with that inside of the set form. This of coarse doesn't mean uke falls down when you touch him with your pinky, but it does mean that he must have the preset response to your actions, there really isn't any resistance unless nage strays from the form. However in order for this to work properly, uke and nage must both understand the form, a new guy cannot be expected to respond correctly within the context of the form, and when that happens nage can't be expected to do the same form.
This is why there needs to be practice outside of partner forms. We must begain developing drills, and practices that allow us to train with more spontaneity, and resistance.