I don't think Dan's been saying any different previously; I'm reading the same thing I think he's always saying, I guess it comes down to terminology and interpretation.
We all read things through a filter composed of our experiences and arrive at a conclusion based on those which can lead to all sorts of misunderstandings and seeming contradictions.
Sometimes when someone uses a word it doesn't mean what you (one) think it means.
As Janet pointed out, some thought I meant rough housing and using strength to throw. Which is not what IP/aiki is about. Power? Yes, but on the other hand, it produces crazy, disruptive, neutralizing, softness along with that incredible power to break bones and do damage or be soft. The decision or choice is the adepts. More's the point it can happen instantly back and forth ats they are one and the same. The difference is ....velocity and not "Jacking up" like some gym rat.
If you think about it; that ability to go from neutralizing softness to increbible power in wierd positions and at rapid speed is one hell of a set of skills for any martial artist to posess.It's really no wonder why those who possessed those skills were sought after, and set apart from other martial artists and started traditions and lineages around their teachings.
At any rate, soft...has always been about power. Soft power as a teaching is old. My opinion, yours or anyone else's means nothing.
The requirements to produce no-force
start with the ability to emit soft power; sustain load and resist pulls as one...without moving. The greater you are at that, the greater your ability to produce no-force
. Hence the reason Takeda, Sagawa, Ueshiba, Shirata, Shioda, Tohei etc, demonstrated it all the time. It's why people went on and on About Takeda and Ueshiba being "so strong."
What I find interesting is that we are all a part of that tradition, but don't demonstrate the same skills. I've wondered why
That central power, is THEE Ki power everyone is on about and what all the big shots were famous for. It spans time and cultures. It's one of the ways they divided the internal from external arts, or the courser arts from the deeper ones. Interestingly enough it is also one of the hallmarks of the esoteric pursuits and why monks and others who trained in certain temples were known for soft power.
Interestingly my signature line is from one of the giants of Aikido. Notice the first line? The immovable body? It is a requirement. It is NOT about standing still but of a central power that produces speed and wierd advantages due to connected movement,
The next line is a strategy partially produced from the the first ability.
The next line is what connected non-dedicated skills feel like; blinding strikes, and movements.
The last is the result of high level work.