The arm is now alive because it's basically a closed system of intent.
And just to be clear, while this post is a reply to Dan's, this is actually aimed at other readers since Dan either knows this or has a different paradigm that he's operating under.
Yes. Different paradigm.
I do not return power out with power back to the zero point. In every sense of meaning you just allowed power a channel back to your center. This works great with the make connect, center to center, make a four legged animal, extend ki crowd. Now its a matter of time and skill before they meet someone good enough to follow that line into their center and they are toast.
The next step in their training is that they have to manipulate ground paths and extending ki in different paths to manipulate forces from a one point returning to a one point. It's all groovy, and the people who show it, are showing it to people who really don't have much of a connection anyway, so the model looks all cool and people want to learn it.
I say it over and over; so...you think making a connection to someones center is a good idea right?
Okay. In theory then...go back in time and "make connect" to Morihei Ueshiba's center...
Hows that working out for ya?
In seminars I tell people..."Okay..come "connect" to my center."
It never works out well for them either.
The idea of making a connection to another persons center... who is developed.. is as moronic as it sounds and so is the idea of establishing a path back to your own center. This is low level internal training, used in a tightly controlled martial art box. As I said , it impresses folks who themselves are not really connected. It will never...EVER...be a good idea when touching hands with truly developed people.
Now, martial art boxes are cool, people love them because they are predictable and you know what you get when you open them. But boxes and defined movements lend themselves to all manner of reverse engineering "crutches" based on presumption and pretext. People in fact do not all move the same, and have widely varied reactions to forces- trained fighters/grapplers having the best. They function outside of prescribed movement and reactive force. The inherent limitations of structure of making a kata look like a kata, handicaps people (even world famous teachers) into thinking certain principles apply and are high level. They don't realize they are themselves "caught" in a false feedback loop. Were some of these famous internal teachers to go put their center in touch with people who actually developed their center under severe stresses at extreme speed, they would be in for one...big...hell of a surprise.
Beep...Please leave a message. My center is not available or interested in connecting to yours.
You can utilize ki in such a way that "no-force"
becomes a permanent state, and power coming back to one point
along the same path is not part of it. By managing forces in a more complete fashion (one blogger called it an overly complicated system-meaning it is simply over his head), things like the unbendable arm become something completely different and is no longer a trick. In fact done correctly it can instantly rise above being yet another...stupid jin trick™...in that it can express some fairly sophisticated IP and aiki all in one in a continuous state of being. A living state of "no-force."
This is what most people actually desire to achieve in their Aikido, they just don't know how to do it.