Re: Poll: Is "soft" aikido martially effective?
I think we get hung up on the soft or hard concept too much. Both elicit different responses based on one's interpretation of the term. I prefer personally the term relaxed vs. muscled. A relaxed response is connected and may feel soft and generally does not elicit as much of a fight from uke since the movement is from center. Endo sensei is apparently a good example of this. Muscled, however, tends to elicit a similar response or fight from uke. The feeling of strength and tension elicit a response of strength and tension vs a feeling of relaxed power, one that is calm yet assertive and center connected. Movement from center does feel "softer" but no less powerful. Movement from the periphery feels strong and muscled. One moves through the body the other through the extremities.