I have to ask, what possible benefit is there training to "connect (harmonize) my ki with that of my partner (opponent)" in weapons? Perhaps I'm being too simplistic, but the way I see it, an attacker with a sword would never want to "harmonize" their ki with me or create/maintain that sort of connection -- they simply want to defeat me -- so what are the benefits of both partners training to harmonize their ki? I think a better training paradigm is to have one partner deliver a realistic attack and have the other partner deal with it using his/her ki (and aiki) to control or defeat the attack.
Blending with your partner is not just a question of him attacking you then you counter with an attack . The object of blending is to be able to adjust /.neutralise the effect of any attack whether you are acting as uke or as tori.In the practice of Sansho 1/2/[Jo work , a set of paired exercises] [ for example ]the relationship between both parties change as the movements are practiced..There is a point where an attack by uke is neutralized by tori resulting in a counter attack by tori, which in turn is neutralized by uke etc.Each person has to absorb the energy from the attack of the other , and then in the role of the attacker each of the persons involved has to extend ones energy.Thus there is a flow not unlike a wave motion in a sense.A sense of attack -defend -attack as it were from both parties each responding to the actions of the other.
Both parties have the opportunity to move/train their centres, stimulate their bodies ie conditioning , maintain connection and improve their awareness.I also include weapons training places a lot of emphasis on maai.I see weapons training as a method of training ones body, mind and spirit.Its a challenge for myself.As I am quite elderly I have to maintain as far as possible a degree of flexibility.At present I am somewhat limited here due to the effects of a serious car crash.My goal at the moment is to try and recover from the accident.I find weapons training a very useful tool.
I do not use weapons training to dominate or try to be a macho man.If indeed there is an enemy to be defeated the enemy is myself.Before I can hope to control others I hope I can control myself.This is the bigger battle. Cheers, Joe