Last night in class I really focused of the idea of integrating a playful mindset into our training. This was a theme that carried through the duration of class. From what I have experienced, adding a playfulness to your training allows the body and mind to move more freely and change with less resistance. This play-mind can be used in both solo and partner training and should be heavily emphasized in partner training.
During partner training, I should start with a very deliberate and clear idea of what it is I am trying to do. In the beginning, things should be very mellow and cooperative so that your body and mind are not receiving shock. As the level of intensity increases and the level of cooperation with your partner decreases it become more and more important that you maintain a relaxed and clear mind. This will directly carry over to your body and reduce the amount of shock that you receive. If I train in such a way that my body and mind do not feel that they are being punished then they will be more resilient and open and your my skill will grow.
This can be carried into solo training as well. As my stance work deepens and I put my body through more and more rigorous training, it becomes more important that I remain calm, relaxed, and clear. Intensifying the training can often increase the intensity of ones intent. This is fine so long as you don't let that intensity restrict your ability to exercise fluid relaxed change.