Re: Poll: Do you think telling someone to "relax" is helpful in aikido training?
This question reminds me of a specific occurence in my past. After practicing Korindo for over 10yrs, I added TKD for a while. The TKD teacher was a great guy and very "S.D." oriented.
The occuasion I recall was one in which he asked us to play a slapping game, while each person holds the same hand of his partner. I Utilized my Aikido advantage and got into a controling situation time after time, lightly slapping the other person almost at will and evading his attacks. He lost his temper and started loosing it and getting wild. I mostly kept my advantage and continued the same, while asking him to loose the strenght and keep the game light. Then one strong slap of his passed through my light defense and hit my eye. I got angry, brought him to a an indefensible situation, with his both hands immobilized by my one hand, and his back turned to me and then I kept slapping him while yelling at him "stay calm" and "only light slapping is in this game" and "keep yourself under control" ...
The TKD techer stopped us shortly and asked me why did I think the other guy had a chance to hear me out, when he was under such an attack, or did I loose my temper too?
My answer would ahve to be that the manner of telling is most important. Just saying relax is not effective in most excited situations, but more sophisticated means such as "think of XYZ" (your breathing, his breathing, the sea waves, the wind, ...) might distract a person into relazation.