Originally posted by Andy
"Perfect form" is not perfect technique. Perfect technique is one that changes itself to fit your partner, not one that changes your partner to fit the technique. This might be good for unranked beginners, but I don't see how this would be good for anyone with any skill in the art. Form only gets you so far until more subtle things like timing and initiative become a lot more important.
Boy, I hate to be so picky, but you have to be careful using these kinds of generalities. I agree with your point, but I think you left some things out. There are a lot of people who would say that perfect form is necessary for perfect technique. Primarily the Japanese, they are great believers in form, or "kata". I think the word in question here is not form or technique, but the word "perfect". Substitute the word "correct" or "appropriate" for the words "perfect" above and see how you feel about it.
Secondarily, if you subscribe to the kuzushi-tsukuri-kake method of technique, you CAN change your partner to fit the technique. I am pretty sure that if you give a good attack, my teachers can do any technique they would like on you. The real skill would not be muscling you around, but fitting and directing your energy enough to make you do predictable things that lead to "techniques".
Originally posted by Unregistered
Has anybody ever used dynamic tension while performing aikido techniques alone(sort of like shadow aikido)? If so did it help you?
Do you think this is a good idea, why and why not?
Yes. We use a Tandoku Undo (solitary movements) kata as a basis of practice. It is normally the first thing taught to beginners along with ukemi. As a student progresses into different kata, they are encouraged to practice them "tandoku" at home. I don't think we use dynamic tension in the same way as described above, but there is an element of dynamic tension in these tandoku kata if done correctly. That is because we "pretend" or "visualize" our partner in these movements.
All in all, they do not primarily develop strength, stamina or relaxation, they are facilitating neuromuscular changes in the body. The more practice done, the more refined the movements become (with proper feedback). Both visualizing your kata and practicing it alone to the best of your ability will increase your body's feedback loop. But don't forget Andy's point: Internalize the movements so that you can be more sensitive to the subtle things your partner is doing.