The other day James and I were trying different techniques with horizontal strikes, the tsuki punch to the belly. We’d try one technique, then another, starting with that punch. We’d been moving with each other in fairly flowing motion when all of a sudden when I punched toward him he didn’t budge at all, except to put up a blocking arm in front of his center. Then he immediately stepped forward to mow me down. That first time I more or less banged into him, and had the distinct impression of encountering the proverbial immovable object.
When it was my turn to receive his thrust, I carried out the technique as I was accustomed to doing it–receiving the punch absorbently, moving aside a bit to allow the energy to express itself before I stepped forward to unbalance James. My moves seemed satisfying, even graceful, and they conformed to my image of a flexible, responsive aikido.