Dan Harden wrote:
The only issue I have is, as I explained, then showed Mark, is that this work is just about opposite the intent in aikido. Blending is a disaster as far as I'm concerned.
I've enjoyed these threads immensely. I have to say, it looks to me like someone tried to burn you and you just glowed more brightly. Mark's comments have really gotten me interested, but your overall positive attitude is the real key.
However, I think your statement that "blending is a disaster" needs some further consideration. It seems that all you guys are talking about a kind of "immoveability" and "overpowering strength" kind of thing that causes uke to fall or lose his balance or strength on contact with you.
But that's why I always ask, "How does this relate to the sword?"
The essence of aiki, to me, is in the unarmed defender facing the sword-wielding attacker. And I think that in that case the disaster would be failing to blend.
Much is made of how quickly Ueshiba told Tenryu that he had learned all he needed. Again, that followed literal decades of severe sumo training, yet there was still something he had to learn from Ueshiba and that was "technique". So while I am convinced that tanden development is central (and that's always been stated by the masters), there is still an important place for technique.
Best to you.