PDA

View Full Version : Every Attack Leaves An Opening.


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


gdandscompserv
03-18-2009, 06:47 PM
Is this a basic principle of all martial arts?

Ketsan
03-18-2009, 10:09 PM
I would imagine so. I mean boxing and kick boxing has counter punching and all the Japanese/Okinawan arts have the concept of attacking after an opponent has launched an attack, so they obviously realise that there is an opening that can be exploited there.
I'd be suprised if the Chinese arts were unaware of this, so I suppose it must be pretty univeral.

lbb
03-18-2009, 11:02 PM
Is this a basic principle of all martial arts?

I'd call it more of a platitude...sort of like that stuff you get in fortune cookies nowadays, which really ought to be renamed platitude cookies.

philippe willaume
03-19-2009, 03:15 AM
Is this a basic principle of all martial arts?
Amazingly enough, the idea behind martial arts, whatever the weapon, is that one does do his opponent(s) whilst not being done oneself.
So really, most systems have a method to get into effective range and deliver attacks safely.
phil

George S. Ledyard
03-19-2009, 11:59 AM
Hi Guys,
This is a fundamental and all important principle in the martial arts. The entire foundation of Aikido technique and philosophy is connected with this truth.

This was the basis for the Founder's statement that (I am paraphrasing) that violence is essentially a misunderstanding of the unified nature of the universe. An opponent is already defeated in the instant he decides to attack. (as an aside, this was the Holy Grail for European fencers back in the Renaissance - the undefeatable technique. No one ever found it.)

For this to be true, you have to be in that state of total connection mentally. Also, to make really sense of it you need to assume a sword mentality in which one cut can finish the encounter (empty hand it requires an understanding of how to end the fight with one strike).

That's the whole thing about Aikido... it requires that you be vulnerable. Not only is it impossible to physically attack someone without having a suki (opening) but it is also not possible to defend and not "accept" the attack (meaning that you have to enter (irimi) into the heart of the attack right where you could also be struck.

There is a point at which everything in martial arts is mental. For the samurai, an enemy would most likely also be from the samurai class. That means that he most likely started training as a child just like you. Everyone knew how to cut and thrust. So what determined who won in a duel? Who cut the other first. All of this is mental.

There is a whole body of theory about when the opening is greatest.Sen no Sen, Go no Sen, Sen Sen no Sen, etc are all terms about "initiative" and the timing of ones response to an attack. Each "timing" is designed to take advantage of the inherent opening at certain stages of an attack. These opening are always there but it takes greater skill than tha attacker to exploit them.

If the attacker is more skilled, he might well have mentally reorganized the attacker so that he either feels like he simply can't attack (O-Sensei did this a lot, Ushiro Kenji does this as well) or he cuts the fellow down just before his attack can take form.

Ultimately, O-Sensei said that his Aikido wasn't about timing. I have summed this idea up with a sort of koan to think on in my training, "What happens to the notion of reaction time when you introduce the concept of already?" What I have been working on is the idea that I already have my partner before the attack begins. I am already "in" mentally but haven't yet actualized that fact with my body. This is tangible to the partner / opponent when I am successful and "in the zone".

Anyway, if you don't think this concept is important you have missed something totally central to EVERYTHING we do in Aikido. It is the whole basis for the principle of "instant victory" which should be contained in every technique we do. We start by training to understand that the fight is over at the instant of contact. That takes quite a bit of time to develop (lots of folks don't). But eventually, the goal is to understand that the fight was over before it physically started, in the very instant that the partner / opponent had the thought of attack.

If the training you are doing isn't designed to take you to some level of understanding on this, then I do not think it can ever take you to the higher levels of the art. What you do will simply remain just physical technique.

gdandscompserv
03-19-2009, 01:09 PM
Hi Guys,
This is a fundamental and all important principle in the martial arts. The entire foundation of Aikido technique and philosophy is connected with this truth.
Thanks George,
I was taught this principle by my aikido sensei. I have been focusing more on it recently, hence the topic. Always great to hear from a voice of experience such as yours.

SeiserL
03-19-2009, 01:14 PM
I would agree its pretty common.
And a useful one at that.

It heard it as every attack offers an opening, inviting a response.
Always look for where the other person is not.

Leif Summerfield
03-19-2009, 04:27 PM
Ultimately, O-Sensei said that his Aikido wasn't about timing. I have summed this idea up with a sort of koan to think on in my training, "What happens to the notion of reaction time when you introduce the concept of already?" What I have been working on is the idea that I already have my partner before the attack begins. I am already "in" mentally but haven't yet actualized that fact with my body. This is tangible to the partner / opponent when I am successful and "in the zone".

In my mind this ties in with the whole topic of relaxing. (see another current forum topic, expertly commented on by Ledyard Sensei)

If you are "in" before the physical attack has started, then there's an acceptance of the attack, and fear based movement goes away. Once I have accepted the attack, I think movement happens "with the attack" as opposed to "in reaction to the attack".
Natural (instinctual) movement happens..."beginners mind" stuff.

Then again, why do I still keep getting hit:blush:

Michael Douglas
03-20-2009, 01:57 PM
I'd call it more of a platitude...sort of like that stuff you get in fortune cookies nowadays, which really ought to be renamed platitude cookies.
I agree with Mary.

Erick Mead
03-20-2009, 02:19 PM
I agree with Mary.

Less platitudinously (if that is a word), I try to point out a simple body geometry fact to students. Six inches before his sword in shomenuchi hits the top of my head, I can touch his hands.

The question I ask them to ask themselves is: Who is ahead of who, now?

Joe McParland
03-21-2009, 04:37 PM
Ultimately, O-Sensei said that his Aikido wasn't about timing. I have summed this idea up with a sort of koan to think on in my training, "What happens to the notion of reaction time when you introduce the concept of already?" What I have been working on is the idea that I already have my partner before the attack begins. I am already "in" mentally but haven't yet actualized that fact with my body. This is tangible to the partner / opponent when I am successful and "in the zone".

[...] But eventually, the goal is to understand that the fight was over before it physically started, in the very instant that the partner / opponent had the thought of attack.


The rising thought of a defense already successful is an attack already initiated.

Amir Krause
03-22-2009, 08:20 AM
Hi Guys,
This is a fundamental and all important principle in the martial arts. The entire foundation of Aikido technique and philosophy is connected with this truth.

This was the basis for the Founder's statement that (I am paraphrasing) that violence is essentially a misunderstanding of the unified nature of the universe. An opponent is already defeated in the instant he decides to attack. (as an aside, this was the Holy Grail for European fencers back in the Renaissance - the undefeatable technique. No one ever found it.)

For this to be true, you have to be in that state of total connection mentally. Also, to make really sense of it you need to assume a sword mentality in which one cut can finish the encounter (empty hand it requires an understanding of how to end the fight with one strike).

That's the whole thing about Aikido... it requires that you be vulnerable. Not only is it impossible to physically attack someone without having a suki (opening) but it is also not possible to defend and not "accept" the attack (meaning that you have to enter (irimi) into the heart of the attack right where you could also be struck.

There is a point at which everything in martial arts is mental. For the samurai, an enemy would most likely also be from the samurai class. That means that he most likely started training as a child just like you. Everyone knew how to cut and thrust. So what determined who won in a duel? Who cut the other first. All of this is mental.

There is a whole body of theory about when the opening is greatest.Sen no Sen, Go no Sen, Sen Sen no Sen, etc are all terms about "initiative" and the timing of ones response to an attack. Each "timing" is designed to take advantage of the inherent opening at certain stages of an attack. These opening are always there but it takes greater skill than tha attacker to exploit them.

If the attacker is more skilled, he might well have mentally reorganized the attacker so that he either feels like he simply can't attack (O-Sensei did this a lot, Ushiro Kenji does this as well) or he cuts the fellow down just before his attack can take form.

Ultimately, O-Sensei said that his Aikido wasn't about timing. I have summed this idea up with a sort of koan to think on in my training, "What happens to the notion of reaction time when you introduce the concept of already?" What I have been working on is the idea that I already have my partner before the attack begins. I am already "in" mentally but haven't yet actualized that fact with my body. This is tangible to the partner / opponent when I am successful and "in the zone".

Anyway, if you don't think this concept is important you have missed something totally central to EVERYTHING we do in Aikido. It is the whole basis for the principle of "instant victory" which should be contained in every technique we do. We start by training to understand that the fight is over at the instant of contact. That takes quite a bit of time to develop (lots of folks don't). But eventually, the goal is to understand that the fight was over before it physically started, in the very instant that the partner / opponent had the thought of attack.

If the training you are doing isn't designed to take you to some level of understanding on this, then I do not think it can ever take you to the higher levels of the art. What you do will simply remain just physical technique.

Thank you for this excelent post.

This was a mid opener, in putting to written words some concepts my teacher keeps explaining and I keep trying to do (instead of doing).

Thanks
Amir

Michael Douglas
03-23-2009, 05:36 AM
Less platitudinously (if that is a word), I try to point out a simple body geometry fact to students. Six inches before his sword in shomenuchi hits the top of my head, I can touch his hands.

The question I ask them to ask themselves is: Who is ahead of who, now?
I find Erick's comment interesting ... but in order to ask him about it I'll have to divert the thread ... maybe you all can pretend this post is invisible.
Erick, do you mean you give credence to training empty-hand vs bokken-weilding aikidoka? I'm asking ... is this six inch window of interest to training a defence against bokken, or do you think it would hit you in the head even if you could touch hands?

philippe willaume
03-23-2009, 08:07 AM
I find Erick's comment interesting ... but in order to ask him about it I'll have to divert the thread ... maybe you all can pretend this post is invisible.
Erick, do you mean you give credence to training empty-hand vs bokken-weilding aikidoka? I'm asking ... is this six inch window of interest to training a defence against bokken, or do you think it would hit you in the head even if you could touch hands?

This window is only available if:
Your attack was done not using proper body mechanics
If you attack from too far away/ you have not put enough effort in the “coming to fence” stage.

You can set that up easily, star one pace outside the cutting range in ai henmi
Have the student gather with his lead leg so that he enters the striking range.
The sword holder strikes as soon as the target is in range.
The student can pass and touch the hands or even the shoulder of the sticker in all impunity.
(this is the case where the coming to fence of the strike was ill conceived)

phil

Erick Mead
03-23-2009, 08:58 AM
Erick, do you mean you give credence to training empty-hand vs bokken-weilding aikidoka? I'm asking ... is this six inch window of interest to training a defence against bokken, or do you think it would hit you in the head even if you could touch hands? This is fairly common stuff found in Saito's tachidori entries -- I just break it down to show the mechanics of it. The position is initially shown static for demonstrative purposes, with hands in contact, and the student asked to cut the blade offline from that "six inch" position, as uchitachi cuts from that position. Uchitachi gets good training to, because cutting strongly on such a short throw (like tegiri) is good for building internal connection and projection in turn. In dynamic motion, the "target" moves in time with the strongest extension of the cut ( ~ the last quarter of the blade sweep -- there is a distinct mathematical reason for this) and this puts the initial physical contact at ~ about the last six inches, with the cut seemingly still well online.

It is really passing the blade hand, close aboard in contact on the side and then a strong ikkyo cut of the hips takes the falling blade out of line and him into kuzushi -- it is a kiri-otoshi with no blade ... It is a distinctly go-no-sen movement. Move even a little in anticipation before the opening presents itself and it never will -- he can certainly track and close the opening by pivoting the base of his cut laterally.

The same point is true of a yokomenuchi or a do cut for that matter. If I step squarely into the lateral sweep of the blade in a do cut, the geometry is such that I can touch hands before the blade reaches me (because his hands pass the line before the blade does) Then, I either continue my pivot in synch carrying him out with his cut, or carry the cut more forward in funetori, either way taking kuzushi and denying him the back foot, thus preventing an adjusted retreating pivot cut (the intuitive counter).

Many formal techniques may flow from this creative cusp. Yokomenuchi or shomenuchi may be addressed in this way on the inside or outside of his cutting kamae. Again, this is training to refine the precision and internal connection and projection of tai sabaki and emphasize immediate kuzushi at contact -- I much prefer having the comparable weapon to play with. :D