Rob Liberti wrote:
about harmony and using the other's force.
principle of circular movement, the response to an attack is immediate, and the opponent never has a chance to get a firm grip. One movement flows into another until an attack is completely neutralized, and there are no fixed patterns to adhere to.
blend with attackers, harmonizing rather than meeting force head on
Here's a quote from "Total Aikido" by Gozo Shioda. (Probably if I had to pick 3 books from all the Aikido books, this would be one of the 3, Kisshomaru's first book would be another, and Koichi Tohei's book "This is Aikido" would be the third"):
Whether it is blending with your partner when he comes to grab you or strike you or, alternatively, striking him, whatever you do, timing is what gives it life. If your timing is late, you will be crowded out by uke; if you are too early, uke will see your movement and change his attack. You should apply your technique exactly at the moment that he commits himself to the attack -- this is proper timing.
Utilizing that split second is what is called "harmonizing". It would be correct to say that in aikido all techniques begin from this idea of "harmonizing"
Of course, the point I am trying to make is that "harmonizing" does not preclude striking or always imply "blending" with someone's force in a way that suggests I must not move counter to his force. I may opt to simply throw someone backward through the air with a sudden move, but it takes a trained "harmonizing" to know how to do that.
Just a thought.