Michele Galante wrote:
When we are in a state of oneness, or nothingness, then the sense of time changes, and it is a matter of onenness or blending or duality. Time is unimportant.
This is the case after one has been training for an extended period but for the average practitioner I would say even up to Shodan, this transcendence of time is not expressed in their waza. In fact I have even found folks in the upper Yudansha ranks who can be setup with timing if one is skilled enough. Is it that these folks have not actually achieved this state of oneness or nothingness?
I think what Kevin was alluding to is the use of varying attack speeds etc. to teach the correct fundamentals of dealing with a serious. balanced attack. The use of speed, compliance/non-compliance etc. at varying levels are means of adding a stress factor (aka tension) to the engagement which requires that one address these factors with minor modifications in one's waza (like timing, ma ai etc.) to produce the same level of technical performance as with the slower, less pressing attack.
I raised a thread on the nothingness question since I think it is critical to how one deals with a serious attacker from a purely Aikido perspective. However I am not sure how well it is taught to students and how well folks judge one's improvement in this area. The achievement of nothingness is key to dealing with any type of attack and any level of resistance in Aikido. However I can't say that I've seen many people who can actually express it in their physical technique, though they may know all the theory.