Re: A Consideration of Aikido Practice within the Context of Internal Training
In both translations I've read, it's clear that the old cat is cautioning the striped cat about the use of conscious projection of ki in combat (despite the striped cat stating that he uses spontaneous technique). Mind/intent leading ki leading strength is what the training is about, which in turn is about changing the body so that it adopts, increasingly over time, the qualities that one has to initially consciously develop in the body.
Also, Morihei Ueshiba reached a point in his training and skill that winning wasn't the end goal. The old cat repeatedly points how focus on the rats, or doing x, y or z to the rats, thwarts the other cats. As one IP/IS "coach" says, "Forget about the uke. Change YOU."