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Seeking Zanshin: Blood, Sweat, Tears & Aikikai Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 02-24-2005 10:53 PM
One small gal + a dojo full of big guys = tons o' fun
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 270 (Private: 12)
Comments: 195
Views: 763,623

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  #52 New 10-23-2003 09:33 PM
It was a fairly typical Thursday night, starting off with some Jo practice --- mostly running through the katas, etc. (I really need more practice on the 31-step...we don't run through it all that often, so I don't yet know it from memory --- this aside, I think I kept up pretty decently, considering ).

Afterwards, we did a variety of waza from Ushiro grabs, such as Kokyuho and Shihonage to name just a couple. I got to thinking more about the role of one's awareness of contact in terms of honing that "sixth sense" that one needs for such techniques; I think I might have touched upon this in an entry on "Feeling Uke", but of course, here it is again.

I suppose one of the more obvious things that makes Aikido unique from other martial arts is that one intentionally maintains a kind of continuous contact with one's attacker --- notwithstanding grappling and wrestling arts such as Jiujutsu and Sumo, the other "punching and kicking" martial arts are based upon quickly subduing one's opponent from more of a distance and thus with as little contact with them as possible (ie. strike and recoil; jab and chamber, in the case of punching).

Now, the way I see this is that the less contact, the less risk to oneself. Aikido then, in contrast, puts one at greater risk by prolonging contact with one's opponent. In doing so, it likewise requires a greater confidence and/or faith in that one can successfully control another person in close quarters, and blend with their energy without being overcome by it. I once read someone describe the challenge of Aikido as not only being able to control and maintain your own centre, but at the same time the centre of another --- in essence, that you must maintain and control the point of contact between you and your opponent as a third centre. Quite the challenge (especially for me, constantly struggling to maintain my balance after throwing larger ukes who breakfall and naturally drag 'lil ol' me with it! ) But we accept this risk and this challenge because we do not wish to permanently damage our opponent, so it is well worth it.
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