Mike Sigman wrote:
Let's say you stand in a right hanmi with your right forearm horizontally in front of you for uke to push on in order to test your rooting ability (of course in Aikido technique you'd never conflict like this; this is only about developing the "ki strength").
Yay, something I recognize!
This is something you'd see happening at our dojo in pretty much every class. We often do this (uke pushing on tori's forearm) before practising a technique from a grab. Then the idea is to keep that connection going all through the technique. ...
If you stay fairly relaxed and keep the push at a light level, the body will automatically acquire/recruit the muscles it needs up the torso and out the shoulder and arm. If you force it, you're going to simply pit your normal use of the muscular system against the push.
...And yes, this is what happens a lot of the time.
One of the difficulties is that if two fairly inexperienced people practice together they end up just pushing against each other and if neither has the experience to feel the difference they can't tell each other that that's what's happening. So this is a tricky way to practice in a big group, like an aikido class.