Re: Moving with your center
Moving with the center as part of internal-strength skills is like the rest of internal-strength.... there are levels and additions so someone showing people how to move with the middle may be, for example, totally unaware of later/fuller components. The reason I say this is because it's unclear that various "names" in Aikido (Ueshiba, Tohei, Shioda, Abe, etc., etc.) all did the same thing. It can be difficult to tell. So the implication is that "tell me how to move with my center" is not necessarily a question with a simple answer.
The question of exactly how Ueshiba, Tohei, et al moved "with their center" is another question worth taking a look at.
I've watched so many variations of "this is how to move with the center/dantien/hara" over the years that I'm more or less watching how this develops . One thing I'd point out is that to effect a physical result a certain amount of force is used; doing something "with your center" doesn't take away whatever the required force is. You have to train other parts of the body to generate the force. So if someone posts "I'm trying to use my shoulders less", I always think: "what are you doing that replaces the forces that your shoulder was providing?". Most people have no real idea. As a clue I'd point to the fact that someone who really uses his middle (say, Chen Xiaowang and many other Chinese), one of the giveaways is that they have small upper arms: if you truly generate power from the middle, that's where the muscle is.
So instead of just blindly talking about "moving with your center", shouldn't some of the questioning/commentary be around the question of "why is moving from the middle an advantage"?