Matt Banks wrote:
Do you think that some styles of aikido try to be too soft and flowing all the time and thus lose practicality of the art due to this?
Of course, but I also find people who're too concerned about this who try to use strength, give attacks which aren't committed, or refuse to follow techniques so they can be "effective." I think this often leads to people who don't really understand how gently good technique can work.
I think the root of the problem you're talking about is more related to the attempt to be flowing rather than soft. I think you always have to try and flow, but of course there's no point if you're going to leave uke out of the flow... Softness/hardness is a lot less important than getting technique just right. (I think hardness is of course going to have earlier practical application, though...)