I must admit that when I started this post I was thinking about the resposibilites of an instructor to create learning conditions in a dojo. Several of the posts are interesting. The experiments with the monks indicate something to do with Fudoshin, IMO, which we as Aikideshi could well benefit from. As to fear and relaxation being antithetical to one another, I totally agree, however relaxation within the prescence of threat is very different than relaxation at home. How do we increase the level of threat correctly whilst simultaneously learning to handle biological reactions. Some instructors of so-called "real fighting" are very busy with adrenaline based training. This definitely helps a student to understand, and therfore predict their own behaviour. but does not lead to the kind of mental control the monks apparently demonstrate.
any further thoughts out there, Alec