George S. Ledyard
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.
Nice post George. Thanks.
I guess the one point that I would like to continue discussing is the point you made about "after many years of training,". While I also felt that way a number of years ago, I am beginning to shorten that "many years" to "many months" because I feel that if one is teaching Aikido from a principles basis rather than a techniques basis, you need to get into that resistance mode a lot sooner. This is in order for the student to really understand what the principle being taught is about.
Again, I want to stress that I do not consider "locking down" to be the only form of resistance but that flowing with the technique is also a form of resistance. I do feel that the flowing form of resistance in Kaeshi Waza should be left for a number of years in many cases but this too has its purpose in teaching certain principles like that of orthogonality in movement. The Tai No Tenkan exercise is one, for instance, in which resistance through flow is paramount and that is one of the earliest exercises taught in Aikido.
Correct understanding of Kokyu Dosa requires Uke to resist by trying to lock down at progressively faster rates. Correct understanding of the use of Kokyu also requires Uke to resist by trying to lock down, especially in doing Kokyu Ho from Morote Tori. Of course, like the old saying of Masakatsu, Agatsu, Katsu Haya Hi, learning the form for the exercise requires slow and easy but once the form is learned, without strong resistance, the exercises simply seem to become exercises in wasted motion. Once the form is learned, without significant resistance, Uke and Nage are just going through the motions.
Yeah, I might be overstating my point but I don't think too much. I really do get my students to start giving higher levels of resistance to each other much earlier than a lot of other teachers, I guess. I do so because I want my students to understand why the principles are important and how they are used. It also helps by providing the students with good modelling on how to provide each other with the right type of resistance for later on when I am not there to give them guidance. That resistance becomes important for good research.
So, yes. I do start the students giving each other a significant level of resistance from early on.