I'm just a beginner in Aikido, (Zip-Kyu, as I call it
), but it seems to me that the development of Ki is an essential ingredient for a person's progress in Aikido. It seems further evident that in order to properly develop Ki, one must develop a certain attitude; a spiritual center, for lack of a better term. For myself - a retired soldier, I'm as aggressive as they come in life and on the mat; I'm working hard to develop the inner calm required to properly perform Aikido. Therefore, I don't believe that technique alone is enough; they should be equally balanced with Ki - or at least the Ki exercises - when testing for advancement. Thanks for reading this, friends.