Re: VOE: Active Resistance
Bob Galleone talks about the difference between "attacking the person and attacking the technique".
When you here people talking about doing "resistive training" you are usually hearing someone who is "attacking the technique". My favorite version of this is the ever popular attack known as "shomen-uchi-you-can't-do-ikkyo". This is an attack which bears a surface resemblance to shomen uchi but without the intention to really strike. Instead it's sole purpose is to stop the technique which the attacker already knows is coming because the teacher demonstrated the technique. Interestingly, they are mutually exclusive... if it's a good strike, it's not tense.
Remember, if you are tense you are feeling you, not the other guy.
50% of of ones practice time is spent as the uke. If one is doing something totally different when he is uke from what he is trying to do as nage, the body just gets confused. Training in Aikido should be about removing all tension from the mind and the body. It makes no sense at all to strive for relaxed, fluid, quick and responsive technique when in the nage role and then turn right around and attack with the opposite. Most folks who think they are "keeping it real" by resisting their partners are imprinting tension over and over. Their attacks lack real power and speed because they are so tight. When they execute grabbing attacks, they are completely unable to protect themselves from the atemi because they are trying so hard to stop your technique that they can't respond fast enough to protect themselves.
Aikido as a martial art is about striking the opponent, off balancing the opponent and then striking him, off balancing him and throwing him followed by a finishing blow, or in some instances, a restraining technique. Defending against these is about kaeshiwaza (reversals) and has nothing to do with "stopping" anything. Offense and defense are one in Aikido.
Tension robs one of speed and power and it doesn't work anyway unless it is used against someone else being tense.
In point of fact, I do not happen to believe that Aikido is supposed to be about "fighting" anyway. People would develop an understanding of aiki one hell of a lot quicker if they let go of this idea that the whole thing is about "beating" someone else.
If, after many years of training, one gets to the point at which he wishes to test his understanding of how aiki principles work, then go ahead, ask someone to resist. If it's Aiki, he won't be able to access his strength anyway. But if you want to indefinitely postpone your understanding of aiki, then go right ahead and keep on white knuckling your partner and shutting them down.
Training Tip: If when you train, it sounds like you are having difficulty on the commode, you're too tense.