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Jonathan
01-10-2002, 04:31 PM
I'm curious about how much time, if any, other aikido dojos devote to perfecting attacks. I make a point of spending 5-10 minutes each class practicing tsuki, shomenuchi, and yokomenuchi with my students. One night a week we work solely on attacking and receiving attacks. No actual throwing or pinning, just proper body placement, timing, and ma-ai. The attacks range across the spectrum from kicking to grabbing to punching. I do this because having a grasp only of the general form of an attack seems, in my opinion, insufficient for good training. Weak attacks produce weak defense, right? So, I'm working toward developing speed, power, accuracy, stability, etc. in my students' attacks.

Some yudansha-level aikdoka I've spoken to seem to think that this isn't genuine aikido, that I'm messing around with the art. They believe I'm risking or "mutating" the defensive nature of the art by emphasizing attacks. What's your view?

(My apologies if I'm resurrecting an already thoroughly discussed topic.)

PeterR
01-10-2002, 04:47 PM
Originally posted by Jonathan
Weak attacks produce weak defense, right? So, I'm working toward developing speed, power, accuracy, stability, etc. in my students' attacks.

Some yudansha-level aikdoka I've spoken to seem to think that this isn't genuine aikido, that I'm messing around with the art. They believe I'm risking or "mutating" the defensive nature of the art by emphasizing attacks. What's your view?

Well I agree with you and I don't think 5-10 minutes a class can be considered emphasizing. In the Shodokan style of Aikido there are several drills to develope the very things you speak of - at the very least the increase in speed and stability can only improve ones "purely defensive" Aikido. Of course where I come from there are attacks in Aikido (tori/nage can initiate). I would say there is no aggression in Aikido.

lt-rentaroo
01-10-2002, 04:55 PM
Hello,

During my classes, we practice the basic strikes as part of the warm-ups. I agree that a solid attack is necessary to develop good defensive skills. 5-10 minutes doesn't seem like over-emphasis to me. You mention that during practice of the attacks you stress body positioning and ma'ai. These two concepts alone are very important in Aikido. Certainly those who may criticize your training regime can understand the value behind your teaching methods, at least I hope they would.

michaelkvance
01-10-2002, 05:12 PM
Proper attacks are so important... it's difficult to practice technique properly if uke's attack is weak, un-committed, or just plain wrong for what is being practiced. So many errors--attacking where they know you'll move, attacking weakly, not following through with the attack (those stamping feet), etc.

If someone were to say that teaching good attacks is contrary to the spirit of aikido, I'd be hesitant to trust their understanding of the art.

m.

Erik
01-10-2002, 05:19 PM
Originally posted by Jonathan
I'm curious about how much time, if any, other aikido dojos devote to perfecting attacks. I make a point of spending 5-10 minutes each class practicing tsuki, shomenuchi, and yokomenuchi with my students.


I think that 5-10 minutes a month (year?) is more like it in some places.

Personally, I think it's great that you do this.

Thalib
01-10-2002, 07:21 PM
I do see importance of this. If the attack is improper, it might give false security for the nage (tori). But in our dojo, we wouldn't spend a special time to practice it. Our sensei would probably emphasize it from time to time if he saw most of the class is doing it incorrectly.

Most of the hitting practices occured during our weapons class (tachi-suburi). Of course our sensei then correlates it to the empty hand version. This explains that all aikido attacks are based on the Japanese sword.

But one good thing is, a lot of the students have sometype of background in hitting arts. Therefore attacks were not much of a problem.