Re: How to teach and train relaxation
I am new in the Aikido world, so I can just tell you what I can see in my personal "little" experience. I have done Tai Chi for some time, but not as martial art, where like in Aikido you have to be relaxed. I thought I had reached relaxation pretty well till I started Aikido. Seeing someone in fron of you who is actually trying to punch you (even tho you know he/she would stop if you miss the technique) creates a natural tension which is not easy to defeat.
Anyway I have noticed that the longer I practice a technique and the more I get confident with it and am aware of how effective it is, the more I can wait for the attack in a relaxed way and counter attack in a relaxed way. Of course reaching a complete relaxation will take a long time, it is not something you learn in a couple of days. But confidence in your knowledge helps alot. But watch out, coz too much confidence is not good either, it will naturally lower your attention to what is going on around you.
As per the use of Ki/Chi. I have read a book from a kung fu/Tai Chi Master (Dr.Yang) once. In his book he has an interesting theory in which he explains how the so called soft Martial Arts work their way through a long training to reach a harder style of fight, while the so called hard martial arts on the opposite work their way through long training to a more soft style of fight. According this theory there is a point in which all the Arts to be complete meet, losing the distinction of soft and hard.