Mike Sigman wrote:
If you think about *controlling* uke, you must keep either a slight tension to him or be "pushing" his movements to some degree. I.e., you cannot control uke if there is not some element of control from you to him. You cannot control your hands/arms from the middle if there is no element of control between them, either, so I always found that thinking about those controls was helpful to me.
Yes, I agree. As my teacher sometimes says, it's like taking the slack out of a piece of string in order to affect what's connected on the other end. I've heard of a lot of people talk about having connection between yourself and uke (or nage if you're in the uke role), but they often do not talk about having a sense of internal connection within your own body before one can establish an effective connection with your partner.
Back to "hand work," I think that you can use your hands and arms separately but not independently of your "center" (if that makes sense). In other words, they might not move exactly in one mannequin-like motion in relation to one's center, but they still have to be connected. I've felt wave-like motions (hi Ellis!) and cyclic motions through the hands and arms that were propagated through the body. Although the hands/arms did not move in "one piece" with the "center," I'd say they were certainly connected to them...