I think the key phrase is joining with someone's center from within you. How you do that is the name of the game. I've met a number of folks that were hard to move when someone was pushing on them with a dumb force but then got really easy to move when you knew how to muck with their sense of where down and up were going. So I'd say yeah, it's a combination of conditioning and skill with the result you're shooting for enabling kuzushi on contact because you are better developed. I've had some luck with folks that have in theory been training this stuff for multiple years but couldn't do basic jin things by getting them to use the "make a connection with their center" exercise - but I also acknowledge it is just a starting point and that there's a bunch of other things going on in tandem. Maybe folks that don't need to adjust their sensitivity regarding how additional forceloads get reconciled inside themselves don't need the step.
.....I do not agree either that you passively connect, nope. You need to understand how gravity and ground are reconciled inside you before you can effectively make someone else's gravity and ground part of the overall system. So, yeah, lot's of solo work to get there. Lot's of conditioning. But that piece of making somebody else's orbit part of your ecosystem - I guess we're going to disagree on the utility of training that as a discrete thing to develop sensitivity and layer in to the overall package as it becomes one thing.
..... If I understand you correctly, you're saying that resolving the forces inside you is primary - no argument here - then you go to how you need this in applications, fighting, etc. No argument there, either. What I'm arguing against is dismissing the "connecting centers" bit as a wrong step or unnecessary one. Managing the bits inside you in such a way that you automatically connect to someone and can manage them as well is awesome and the way to go. But I'm not convinced that advocating against training the extra sensitivity parts to link the "inside" to the "outside" isn't a worthy step in the overall progression.
Training to link the inside to the outside is a requirement and is far more difficult to do correctly IMO than people give credit to. And.....it has nothing to do with connecting to someone else's center.
I think you, and many others advocating this lower level (lower/high level- not low level) work of connecting centers are missing some very important key factors that can see you undone at higher levels. And you are beginning...in the wrong direction. Try thinking of this. If you pushed on a Tibetin prayer wheel attached to a post and it turned...would have made a connection to your center? Or would its structure have just moved and you lost yours. Now, thinking of internals without or with movement; you can move inside or inside to outside, in a such a way that it doesn't expose your center, and anyone touching you, becomes part of you as ....you move. And it can be done without exposing your center to them but having theirs exposed to yours.
I have a nice paper somewhere arguing for that understanding out of China. And there was a nice video talking about hiding your center while taking theirs done by one of the Chen guys. No matter. I am sure everyone is happy doing there thing.
Hah, I know you aren't (talking about moving externally)- but, see, if I wanted to - I could borrow a similar argument to the one you gave and say, "Sure, that works on someone with little to no skill but meet someone that's resolved the forces inside themselves and can better manage yours as well you'll find that you can't manage the forces inside yourself very well and are easy to keep off-balance" ... yadda yadda ...
Well...I can't wait to meet em.
I will only say that in relation to the type of movement and training I am talking about, there is a quite a bit of expert opinion that agrees with me. I will also add that ....I..... did what I was challenged to do in these very pages (unlike some)....I HAVE taken it to freestyle push hands with big dog experts in open rooms. Trust me-the last f-ing thing you would EVER want to do is to "make connection"...with their centers!!! As well I am doing it with MMA fighters and a ridiculous amount of Kali, Escrima, Koryyu, Aikido and Daito ryu teachers and others....and sparred with them?????
Thus far...things have gone very well for me.
Anyone else done that....yet?
At least ...I...am stepping up and trying and experimenting
I have no ego about winning or losing. Nothing has changed from my wrestling days. If I win I win, if I lose I win because I learn. It's just more research for me...yeah!!!
Anyways, this is a much better disagreement to have than those of the years before regarding "I know all this ki crap already" or "It doesn't exist!" Always a pleasure.
I feel the same. No more fighting and bad blood. but in all honesty...and fairness. I think it is partly because I and others have taken it out for a spin on an international scale and UNLIKE the ki war days.
We...deliver!! And in person, there isn't a damn thing that doubters have been able to say. To a man...they were stumped.