Re: Non-aggressive way to test ability and level of understanding.
Testing can happen at a touch...and it is over. It does not have to be rude.
Intent is not your "intentions" or "intending" to do a thing. And grip strength is never an issue when you understand aiki. It's only valid as an inhibiting factor for the "straights" (those without a properly trained bujutsu body). For those with martial understanding it is a non-issue. Why? You are not responding to the grip in the first place. Only the straights do that.
Secondarily, grip-at least bujutsu gripping- is not in the hand it is in the body. There is a reason that "Aiki in yo ho" originates with the hara, the hand opening and closing is activated by the breath. You can “actively grip,” moving them in any manner of fluid connections with a relaxed body, and that grip feels very powerful.
Moving, even with intent, is not enough. Moving with properly trained intent is the way. Intent is only "King" when it is precise and cognitively aware. Any lack whatsoever causes the effect of your movement to fail incrementally, whatever your lack. So intent has to be built, created, to activate everything correctly. All else can just be vain muscular movement. Sure, you may intend to do something...or worse happenstance created something correct. We all know that familiar... "I had a good day at the dojo...but I don't know why”…sort of thing. Which for us should be a swear word. When we fail we should know HOW we failed, WHY we failed, or we are just not aware....and that...is a slap in the face.
If by this point we are unaware of our scapulars separating, or shoulders disconnecting and rising under stress or our chest engaging with our shoulders, or we default to the martial artists "one side weighted" dance, or our hips are tied to our knees and our shoulders tied to our hips....it doesn't say much for our previous training and body awareness does it? And one needs to consider what in Tohei's "one-point model" would ever fix that and when?
People can go on and on with all sorts of opinions on the net and talk about who's who and who can or cannot do what....but in person..."our bodies never lie." They reveal our true understanding. Self awareness can be hard won. And "self-awareness" -in the face of everyone you are exposed to moving just like you- doesn't help get you very far either...
There is a reason so many of the Budo axioms like "Push when pulled" work. But they were meant to be axioms that work on the "straights"...not on us. At the end of the day when the straights touched hands with someone who has a bujutsu body- read: "a better understanding of what the body is really capable of," there was supposed to be no further debate. It was never meant to be the budo people themselves now "moving like the straights."
It is for this reason we see so many budo teachers of all types -with decades in -moving just like the straights and now meeting certain individuals and being neutralized and handled on contact despite their best efforts. I have not met the Budo teacher yet, who after touching hands and contesting; wanted to continue moving the way they did when they walked in the door.
And no we didn’t need aggressive testing to test that ability. As most have reported here...they knew instantly. Why? We... are the ones who are different (created from our training), removed from the way the normal folk..."the straights" move. Moving with a bujutsu awareness in our mind and bodies. And it has not one, single, thing, to do with technique...it is Aiki, kuzushi on contact; which is created by the body, soft, fluid, and relaxed and instantly and continuously powerful, without shape, This is the way of aiki. As Sagawa expressed....in my tag line and Ueshiba repeated and demonstrated, continually..
Last edited by DH : 12-27-2010 at 12:12 PM.