There's also the cerebellum, a part of the brain that takes care of translating the request signals of the conscious brain into the complex patterns/signals to all the various muscle groups that need to fire in harmony for nearly all of out macroscopic movements. This is also why knowing exactly which muscle you need to fire is almost useless unless you have trained the cerebellum to fire that muscle exclusively.
For kicks and giggles sometime, try tightening the muscles of the forearm/wrist and shoulder while relaxing the muscles around the elbow. It's entirely possible to do, but until your cerebellum figures it out, you can wish all you want to do this seemingly simple task. When you try to relax your arm above the elbow, I guarantee you'll relax the muscles of the shoulder and wrist, at least if this is the first time you've tried this.
Intellectualization is great, but words are words.
Absolutely...and a good point about the cerebellum. I agree that words are almost pointless when it comes to learning how our own bodies can behave. Biofeedback (as I understand it) requires simply that we pay attention to ourselves and try to couple our awareness with our purpose. The words we use, whether they're Erick's efforts at quantified description, or Dan's qualitative efforts mean very little unless we can experience them viscerally.
...er...assuming I'm understanding the words I'm
When it comes to being good at aiki, I think the best approach is to experience someone who is very very good. When it comes to describing good aiki, all we have to know are the physiological and physical terms. Ultimately, I'd rather be good at aiki than conceptually understand it, but that doesn't mean I'll knock someone else's attempts at that conceptual understanding.
Thanks for the reply, Christian. I always find your posts to be very helpful.