“When the body (a physical manifestation of technique, posture, breathing stance, etc.) and the mind (that part of our being that directs internal energy and controls mental imagery) become one in training, the body’s physical force becomes magnified and intensified. To unify the mind and body means that the mind plays an active role in training. But this is more than just a mental exercise is itself. There exists a psychophysical connection where mental activity is very much a part of the technique, where a budoka coordinates mental imagery with the martial technique during kihon.
Training of the body is comprised of more than simply learning techniques, although this is an essential component of practice. The techniques must be practiced with the aim of perfecting each basic movement, practiced to the point where the movements have been ingrained into the nervous and muscular systems of the body and are a component of the autonomic nervous system. At this point, the body will be relaxed and fluid, with no tension in the movement. This state of relaxation is essential to facilitate the flow of energy within the body which is governed by the mind. This is where mental imagery comes into play. When practicing kihon, the mind will project mental images of cutting, piercing and penetrating over and over until the body becomes able to actually perform such functions.
When looking at the full spectrum of budo training, power development is but one small facet of the Way, albeit an important one. The martial prowess of a budoka is determined by other factors as well, such as speed, fighting spirit, knowledge of kyusho (vital areas of the body), breathing, and balance. While all these things deserve consideration, they are beyond the scope of this article about power. The main point is that a budoka should aim to build iryoku to tap the true latent power that exists within the self, and to grow physically and spiritually even as their strength and speed may deteriorate with age in order to reap the full benefits of the Way.”