Re: My aikido is at the crossroads
I'm with Cherie. Aikido training isn't a tit-for-tat situation, so it doesn't make any sense to look at how hard you're being thrown vs. how hard you're throwing. If someone is performing waza on you at a speed or intensity that doesn't work for you, they need to lighten up. If you're performing waza on someone else at a speed or intensity that doesn't work for them, you need to lighten up. The two things aren't related, though.
Overenthusiastic beginners sometimes do need a bit of reining in, but it's got to be done the right way. One good non-judgmental way to do this is to point out that when uke attacks with a lot of speed and force, it's hard to respond slowly and gently -- an advanced practitioner can sometimes do this, but at your level or my level, it's difficult to do (often impossible), no matter how much you might want to. The force and speed of our waza is much more dictated by the force and speed of the attack, so if uke is saying "You're throwing too hard, go easy," it's worth looking to see if they're swinging for the fences in their attacks. If that's what's happening, you can say something to them, such as, "I'm not trying to throw you hard, but when your attack is very fast and strong, my response is going to be too, whether I want to or not. How about if we just slow it down a bit?" Likewise, when you're uke, if you find them "bringing the hammer down" on you, consider your own attack. They're beginners! They don't have control! So, don't hand them a situation where their lack of control is more likely to result in injury to you.