My Taiji teacher said something this weekend that I thought I'd relate to you... somethign that should sound familiar to any Aikidoka, but this time the simple way it was put, sort of drove it home for me (again)....
He said: "Whenever you're out of balance, the answer is always less tension -- not more."
And yet, often when we're out of balance (leaning too far one way or the other, for instance), our first reaction is to apply a correction with additional effort -- push this way or that, for instance.
In Aikido, we operate on the principle that if we're in balance with Uke, then the technique will flow more or less effortlessly. It's what we put our faith in, as practitioners. So, if a technique in Aikido is not working, it means it's out of balance. If it's out of balance, it means that we need to apply less tension -- not more.
Not working? Do less.