I wish to continue to work on relaxed power in my techniques. I guess this is an ongoing goal of mine and is not new to this year alone. However, 2010 was the year I really started to understand how to use my body completely and not rely on individual muscle groups. This is a continuum, where some techniques I feel like I am driving effortlessly from the ground up while others I catch myself focusing on certain parts and my body falling back on more forceful ways. As an indicator I am watching my uke carefully by looking to disrupt their posture with as little movement or effort from my own. Again, varying degrees of success here.
The trick with this is to try and avoid an uke who is too cooperative, otherwise I am just fooling myself into thinking I'm getting anywhere. I trained with a friend of mine a little while ago BECAUSE he did not practice aikido. He has a background in stick fighting arts. I asked him to grab me in common aikido holds while I performed the techniques. Although I took him off-balance often, the way he responded to that differed from a normal aikido training partner. It was interesting. I also asked how he was taught to attack in his art and tried to neutralize these attacks with the principles taught from aikido. All in all I found the techniques and principles learned in aikido are martially viable and it was reaffirming to see them work outside of a normal aikido dojo context.
So generating power through the center and the ground is foremost on my mind this year (again).