Peter A Goldsbury
Have you asked your 'Dry Stone Waller' to grip you with 'intent'? Or does he know how? If he does, how would this differ from him gripping you without 'intent'? How have you taught him the difference?
I guess we could enter into an 'exactly what does intent mean' discusion here
, however, to try and answer your question - the 'intent I ask for, when demonstrating is for him to grip as hard as he can and try and prevent me from moving my arm. So from a martial attack point of view it's pretty low level stuff. It is really only a test to show that a relaxed co-ordinated mind/body beats a strong arm grab each time.
Now once the test moves into dynamic movement, then uke's attack may still have the 'death grip' on the end of his arm and his intent would change to one of forward momentum and a desire to control nage in some way. Once we are here then aikido is enough to deal with his attack.
Yes there is a difference between holding with and without intent, holding without intent, seems to me to be a bit of an oxymoron, if there is no intent, why hold? I guess everything comes down to exactly what is it you 'intend' to do with the action of grabbing.
For me, my practice now is much more weighted in the what the mind is doing, now that I seem to have got the physical side pretty well up to scratch. So I am very interested moment by moment as to where my mind/ki/intent is.
My main point that was trying to get across is that once you engage the muscles in the tension required to give a really strong grip, then the total body relaxation I am searching for goes, also the tension is in the mind as well, it becomes fixed, both the mind and the body can become 'choked' on the point that they are trying to control. My aim is to be completely free to move 'on balance' with non-resistant ukemi. This I can only do with relaxation.
My Dry Stoner is a second dan, so he knows the difference, but he still needs plenty of reminding
Peter, you know my teacher, if I don't hold or attack him with full intent (particularly with weapons), he's not going to cut me any slack. So I do as I'm instructed. When he holds me, it is like being held in the jaws of an imaginary vice, you don't feel a thing, until you try and do something!
Not sure if that answers your question, but it's a bit more to go on. I find it easy to demonstrate, but not so easy to put down onto pixels.