I would like to know what peoples idea of what is meant when we are told to "relax" while training.
I remember reading an article where a high level Aikido person said the most important thing he learned from O'Sensei was how to relax.
When I 1st started training I heard it was important to be relaxed while performing techniques and I took that to mean physical relaxation. I tried to train without muscular tension. I also thought this tied into the idea that we are supposed to be able to use little muscular power and still have the technique work.
I found over time however that I had some difficulty as my level increased and consequently attackers stepped up their level of attacks. I find myself perhaps straining more than I would like. It could be a problem with keeping a calm mind and trusting the technique when under pressure.
I am now wondering if relax has far more to do with mental relaxation. Staying calm, etc.
Are you taught to perform techniques with strong body effort or more focus on finding out how to make the technique work with the least body effort possible?
I would appreciate your insights and ideas based on your teachings and experience.
All the best