There are a lot of different flavors of aikido out there. If you search a little bit, you can find an instructor and a class where you can be as light and airy or as powerful and grounded as you want. You can find more linear approaches or more circular. You can even find different feels under different names ranging from hapkido to aikijujutsu to shintaido.
To a large extent, the feel and flavor of the aikido that you get is determined by how you train uke (the receiver) to do his thing.
Above is the first in a series of several videos where Nick discusses how we prefer to train our ukes to behave. One thing that I find interesting about this approach is he talks about dialing uke's intensity level in so as to maximize the amount of communication going on between the partners and maximize the learning occurring in both partners.
You don't want an uke that is programmed to jump on his head when you wave at him, and you don't want someone that is going to go full-blast 100% pedal-to-the-metal the whole time. The optimal uke, it turns out, is somewhere in the middle of that spectrum.
You have to have your uke attuned to that Mutual Benefit thing.
Want to discuss this blog post?
Come find me on Facebook at my Mokuren Dojo FB group