Re: Techniques are dead: Living movement vs dead technique
One difficulty I see in the whole discussion is the (unavoidably?) negative/pejorative tone that attaches itself to labels like "alive" and "dead". Too often in aikido, we see terms and criticisms like this used as weapons in a war of one-upmanship. That's unfortunate, because there's a legitimate concept and concern at the heart of all this. No matter how well you grasp the concept, if you use that knowledge the wrong way, it's worse than if you'd just kept your mouth shut and let people train.
That aside...I was thinking the other day about a practice partner who struggles greatly in partner weapons practice -- much more so than in solo weapons practice or in body art. As it happens, this person also tends to verbalize a lot, not chit-chat but verbalizing what he's doing. After years of practicing with this partner, it finally occurred to me that this verbalizing may be what's getting in his way -- that the act of verbalizing is engaging a part of his brain that is interfering with the ability to do the technique. I think the next time we practice, I'm going to try and find a tactful way of suggest he experiment with simply not talking, and that while it will doubtless be really hard at first, I have a hunch it will make for better practice.