Re: Refining my view of aiki
Rupert and Bjoern, thank you for sharing your insights! It is very much appreciated! The aspect that catches my beginner mind the most is that idea of feeling. I'm a dabbler compared to most people here (although I do consider myself a serious life-long student of conflict resolution and Aikido), so I don't mean to sound like I really know what I'm talking about, but the sense I get is that paying attention to what's happening inside of the body is every bit as important as paying attention to what's happening outside, and that while we all pay attention to some degree, we tend to focus much more on the outside factors. It's hard to be aware of so much at once and upping the sample rate of our attention is one of the biggest mental aspects to learning how to use the body most efficiently. This is where slowing things down and focusing on feeling comes in handy, since it allows the mental sample rate to catch up to what's happening, and that makes it easier for the body to "fill in" those weaker openings that chronic bad habits impose upon our bodies. We need to be working with people who are sensitive enough to perceive those things we cannot, in order to be most effective at this. And this is where the partnered feedback becomes so important.
...again, not trying to teach anyone anything here, just thinking out loud.