Hi Joe & David,
Interesting discussion about how tori should appear prior to uke's attack
In my experience, I find that if tori does not leave an opening, then uke has no reason to attack. He attacks because he is told to do so by Sensei, and so his attack tends to lack focus, direction and intent (and therefore power).
Having a strong defensive posture which allows no openings is appropriate for boxing or wrestling, but I'm not so sure this applies to Aikido. Even in Judo one must feint an opening to allow the opponent to commit his energy to you, and allow you to throw him..
Perhaps this is the true reason why people complain about uke not attacking them 'properly'?
I find the worst offences tend to occur during weapons partner practise - uke is told to attack tori a certain way, while tori has the attacking area covered by his bokken or jo. Why should uke attack?
I learned from Haydn Foster Sensei (another of Abbe Sensei's first students) to 'invite' uke to attack by leaving an opening, so I agree with David that standing in a normal, upright and non-threatening posture with the chest open is the best way to achieve this. Being relaxed also allows one to respond with far greater speed
Apologies if this has drifted off the original subject a bit!
Thanks for your input.Mr Foster is a good friend of mine.
We both go back a long way.
To follow up from your points no would be attacker launch an attack against anyone who shows no openings[mental /physical ].Any tori who understands the way to lead a persons mind/body will momentarily leave an opening then by doing so uke will attack.Having 'lured' the attacker into a position which tori has already ascertained before the attack was launched, it becomes easy for tori to take action against the uke.This is Ki Musubi at work.True masters of this aspect of Aikido , utilising the concept of Path Of an Echo already 'know ' what uke is planning to do .
This training of Ki Musubi /Path of an Echo is very subtle and in my view pretty difficult to acquire , even after years of training.
If you study or investigate articles related to late Sekiya Sensei [Chiba Sensei 's father in law] you get an insight into the concept .
Posture in itself is not the full answer .Ones mental attitude has to come into the equation.In fact the mental aspect may well be more important than how well you stand.
Winning without fighting or without direct conflict with the opponent is without doubt the best method to resolve physical or any other conflict.
As far as Judo is concerned this idea of deliberately leaving an opening is normal.A bit like Chess with muscles.
Best Wishes, Joe.