An interesting point made by Sensei Simone during the Takemusu Aikido Ireland Summer School.
Simone often spoke about the importance of keeping our reactions alert and fresh. This requires a clear and relaxed state of mind. For a technique or principle to be studied in depth, both partners most remain relaxed and alert but not expecting a specific technique. This is most notable for Uke who after falling or being pinned several times, may tense up or adapt in one way or another. While this may be appropriate in some styles of practice for kata keiko it is not helpful. If uke tenses up in the middle of a technique, the attack is gone, and with it any flow within the technique. For good Aikido practice, the attack must be sincere. For Tori, adapting to the particular tension of a signal student and perhaps using force and insisting on the technique shows both a lack of respect and an ignorance of Aiki principles. Of course the height, build and physical condition of a student must be considered, but without resorting to brute strength or just changing things to suit our lack of experience. This clear mindedness is something that first attracted me to study Budo and it is just as relevant to my practice of Katori Shinto and Daito Ryu.
If one blocks in one place a opening will appear elsewhere, which may be interesting if engaging in free-style practice, during regular training it is bound to get messy. So for advanced students as well as be beginners Keeping it Fresh is always important.
Sensei Simone Chierchini lives in Mentenero, Italy. He holds training sessions at his home and offers a uchi-deshi program for people to come stay, work and train. aikienitaly.com