Without proper coordination of mind and body my performance will be less than its optimal potential. This is a fact I learned long before I had ever heard of Aikido, though expressed in different ways in varied circumstances.
"Keep your eye on the ball", "Keep your head in the game", "Concentrate on what you're doing", "There's only you and that high bar" ... all say the same thing - coordinate mind and body. When I heard "Keep one point" during my first Aikido class I had no trouble establishing an intellectual reference point for what was being asked of me since many of those other phrases came immediately to mind.
All the phrases, metaphors and injunctions are triggers meant to bring the mind and body together as a single seamless unit in order to maximize performance no matter what the situation. It's necessary that I learn to let go of my need to direct my actions and trust that my training will enable my coordinated mind/body to perform at its maximum potential in the moment.
For it's in the moment where everything comes together and actually happens.
Ki exercises and testing facilitate the coordination of mind and body. Continued practice of these exercises strengthens the integrated mind/body structure thereby enhancing performance in testing situations. The exercises themselves are many and varied with but a single goal. Whether solo or paired, static or dynamic, Ki exercises drill down to the one essential fact that mind/body coordination is the engine that powers technique.
(Original blog post may be found here