Thank you all for the advice. I greatly appreciate you having taking the time to post.
JW, I have always had this issue with half speed my whole life. I can go slow and I can go fast, but I have no middle gear. Certainly a huge problem for me and one I have tried to work on. And no doubt that dodging atemi is good training, but I don't have a clue what I am doing most of the time, and am in no way prepared to recieve what many people have to give. I am simply out of my league.
Don, there is nothing more inspiring to me than a big man falling silently. My ukemi is slap heavy right now, but it saves my bum, which is about all I can ask for. And I agree "stopping" somebody doesn't teach me anything. Which is part of the problem I have. If me giving somebody a "strong attack" just results in a clash of energies, where is the harmony? I haven't learned anything, and more than likely am just frustrating somebody who probably has a lot to teach me.
Carrie, thank you for the advice. I try to match nage's speed. Sometimes those devils are to fast for me though
I am beginning to understand that if you cannot do the technique slow, you are really just kind of lucky if it works fast, and training fast all of the time leaves no time to learn nuance.
Pauliina, I am a fool. The simplest solutions always elude me. When I am on the mat I don't do much thinking, and I generally will do what people tell me to do. Senior Student says, "get off the line," so I get off the line. Sensei says, "mind your posture", so I mind my posture. Training partner says, ""grab strong!", so I grab strong. It hadn't really occured to me to say "OK" and then grab without full force. Kind of comes back to that having no half speed. I only know one kind of strong, and that is summation of all the force I can muster.
Thank you all for taking the time to respond to my post. I greatly appreciate you wisdom and experience.