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Aikido on and off the mat are two different dynamics.
I noticed there can sometimes be strong tensity in attacks off-the-mat. A lot of it depends on the experience of the person attacking but applying technique to that tensity can be a real eye-opener. Deflecting the attack wasn't that much of a problem but I found myself buying time quite a bit - probably due more to my lack of experience than the art itself. Had a strong desire to break out of Aikido a few times.
Controlling that line of attack is so important!
I was amazed by the application of techniques against grabs. Tensity can be your friend when grabbed with intent. With seemingly little effort Nage can gain control fairly easily.
Be aware of uke's resistance and don't push it too far.
Overall I am enjoying these off-the-mat practices, bruises included. I feel it's very important to experience the different dynamics when you don't know what (non-traditional) attacks are coming.
I'm looking forward to more...
Sometimes I wonder about myself and the purpose of this art in my life. Not because of its effectiveness but because of mine.
At lunchtime today I was at the local pawn shop when there was a commotion at the counter. Apparently someone outside was beating up their woman. He had hit her and smashed her head into the side of the store.
One of the employees grabbed a crowbar and ran outside to confront the guy.
I stood inside the store. Just stood there watching this all take place. Watching the threats and shouting...watching people calling 911 on their their cells and finally watching the woman get back into the vehicle of the guy that beat on her in the first place. They drove off.
A lot of watching but no doing.
How have I become so passive, witnessing crimes on their fellow man and doing nothing?
Working at apartments on the ghetto side of town, we've seen our fair share of crime. Fights, gun-play, drugs, suicide, robberies, abuse and murder. That's not counting the schizophrenics, threats, arguments, racial accusations, and the partridge in the pear tree.
What's the point of helping at personal risk if the victim doesn't want to get out of that negative environment themselves?
This is an element that defends their abuser.
Do I only defend myself or whom I deem worthy of my risk? I shake my head 'no' while saying, 'yes'.
At what point does one become involved in this type situation? As soon as he raises his hand or when he's abou
I absolutely love dreams. The vivid, strange and hyper-real scenes that play out during dreaming are astounding. I've studied lucidity both in waking life and while dreaming and know all about the rewards it can offer one while asleep. I truly believe that lucid dreaming is one of the top ten most exciting things to discover in one's life.
During those lucid moments I've often tried aikido. Sometimes I'm attacked by multiple people, sometimes only one but invariably the excitement of the moment takes over, the lucidity wears off and I lose the connection to real-world physics.
Responses to attacks that started off solid and true to technique begin to take on the bizarre physical properties of dreamscapes.
I usually end up windmilling an attacker around like an olympian hammer thrower and tossing them through the air into buildings, obliterating anything they crash into.
My aikido fades into a wild superhero brawl that even Neo would be jealous of.
I've found that if I relax and stay calm during these moments, I can retain the proper form and technique within the dream for much longer.
It's interesting to me that the goal of an aikido practitioner to remain calm during an assault also applies to the rules within the dreamworld. When you dont, things start to spiral out of control...
...or maybe I'm just looking too deep into it.
I'm feeling the need for more practice but not in the dojo - by donning gloves and headgear and going head to head with another.
When I mentioned this the other night to a fellow student, he remarked about competitiveness and aggression which is not the case. I have no complex to prove or to see how well aikido works against other arts.
I purely want to feel the dynamics of varying attacks. To feel that timing and distance in the heat of a quick or even sloppy fist in the face. Getting hit doesn't bother me...but getting hit due to poor technique, bad timing or improper distance does.
Controlling the attack seems to be the crux of aikido and I want to feel that control in real time outside the 'comfort' of the mat...outside yokomen uchi, shomen uchi and tsuki.
I hate it when I'm caught dead in the middle of a technique...When I cannot complete a technique due to uke's resistance. Sure, I can switch to something different or try and best uke with speed but it just doesn't help me learn.
It's so frustrating and can be embarassing (when sensei walks around and sees me struggling and accomplishing nothing).
I hate it!!!
That being said, I love it when I'm caught dead in the middle of a technique. I love it when I cannot complete a technique due to uke's resistance.
I love getting caught and struggling to find the proper dynamic to complete the technique that sensei demonstrated.
I love that we have sempai in class that don't just fall for you.
It's such a gratifying feeling to overcome through solid aiki.
Today was a big day for me. It's the first day I've actually been able to practice with the jo.
Our dojo has weapon classes on Sundays but due to conflicting schedules, I've never been able to attend since starting.
*hangs head in shame*
Fortunately, there has been a window for the past month or so and I've been taking advantage of it.
Over time with the regular classes we've practiced with bokken, tanto and shinai but the poor jo has been laying dormant, jealous.
I am amazed at how well the jo blends with open hand techniques. Ikkyo, nikkyo, sankyo and yonkyo - were all applied with seemingly less effort than open hand. Using these controls at a jo's distance feels strange...but almost liberating with the feeling that there is much more space to react and apply.
Now jo to jo is a different story. lol
The first and only time I've been involved in a mugging was in my early twenties.
My friend, his nephew and I were leaving the movie theater after seeing 'Three Musketeers'. It was about 11:00 at night. On our way to the parking lot, two guys joined us and were complimenting my friend on his football coat.
I remember the strange vibe in the air and felt the red flags going up when another guy eased in from some parked cars and slid behind me.
'You best be getting out of that coat,' said one of the hooded guys to my friend.
Almost without hesitation, my friend began taking his coat off as the mugger was pulling at it.
It's funny in those situations how you almost go on auto-pilot.
I recall saying, 'hey hey hey' or something like that as I grabbed the coat from being pulled of my friend.
'Just let them have it Frank,' my friend said. 'It's no big deal.'
Those team coats were expensive I knew, and these thugs...these kids were only 13-15 years old. I couldn't believe this was happening and my friend was just letting it happen to him.
The nephew was standing there in utter shock and scared as they yanked that jacket off. He was maybe 11 or so at the time.
My friend opened the car door and got in, leaving me standing there humiliated, pissed and shaking as the teens ran away whooping and laughing...and they didn't even take anything from me.
The car ride back home was solemn. The nephew was in the backseat crying, my friend was driving and silent and
My wife will be giving birth to our new son in April and I'm already feeling the early pangs of dojo separation. Dunno how long I'll be gone this time but I'm in an absorb-as-much-as-you-can mode right now.
Wouldn't it be nice if you could rent an uke for those long absences? You know, head into the local Uke's-R-Us and select from a wide range of sizes and weights to lease out for however long you needed them.
They would be fully-animatronic of course (no consumption expenses there) and could be neatly folded for easy storage when done training.
But I suppose there would be insurance issues if the dog got ahold of one or if it got stolen...
Hmmm, I wonder how much they would go for?
The power of aikido is amazing and thankfully injuries have been a rare occurance in our dojo (knock on wood).
Long-term knee injuries, however, is something that I've been following on the boards here and on the web.
Trying to be more gentle on the knee while on the mat affects my techniques, my center. The mat we practice on really grips the foot when pivoting so there's alot more effort than on other surfaces. Adjusting myself to what might happen in the long-term, I feel, is a bad habit in the making, especially with something as important as tenkan.
But on the other hand, I've been having aches and pains in my knees.
It's never during or right after class but later in the night and lingers into the following days. I've only been in Aikido a short time but to already be putting stress on my knees?
I really need to watch that torque in my tenkan...or perhaps just shutup and practice. lol