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jurasketu
06-08-2015, 09:06 AM
I stumbled across an interesting science article [link below] about fencing that I think applies particularly well to martial arts in general and specifically to Aikido.

Visual perception in fencing: do the eye movements of fencers represent their information pickup? (http://www.researchgate.net/publication/49629040_Visual_perception_in_fencing_do_the_eye_movements_of_fencers_represent_ their_information_pickup)

The scientists were able to show that expert fencers (despite having no better reflexes than average) were "reading" the body of their opponent "expertly" and hence were better able to predict the target of an attack before it was launched. Apparently, this phenomenon exists across a number of sports (according to the article).

My takeaways are this:

(1) Practicing against properly executed attacks and movements [even if not full speed] is important to develop that expert perception.
(2) Predicting an attack before it comes isn't "mystical" - it is just a well-practiced eye. So it seems we should train with that in mind. [I think - maybe that would mess up the learning process... Hard to tell sometimes...]:)
(3) Practicing disguising movement and intent with posture, gaze and circular movement could affect expert perception.

Thoughts? Ridicule?

Cliff Judge
06-08-2015, 10:14 AM
(1) Practicing against properly executed attacks and movements [even if not full speed] is important to develop that expert perception.
(2) Predicting an attack before it comes isn't "mystical" - it is just a well-practiced eye. So it seems we should train with that in mind. [I think - maybe that would mess up the learning process... Hard to tell sometimes...]:)
(3) Practicing disguising movement and intent with posture, gaze and circular movement could affect expert perception.

Yes, developing the skill of seeing what your opponent is doing is vital. But you have to *know* what you are seeing. Koryu gets this through lots and lots of kata training. Perception allows you a sort of comfort in the moment when your opponent has committed to an attack, but it hasn't yet reached you. But you need to be free to move in that moment, and move correctly.

Janet Rosen
06-08-2015, 11:33 AM
No ridicule from here.
The key is the teaching has to include what to look for. The most I got from the first decade of training in aikido in three different dojo was to "move when you see uke's center move." It would have been nice if the curriculum included martial basic principles like weighting, etc....

SeiserL
06-08-2015, 11:40 AM
Yes agreed.
IMHO with proper instruction, the more you train your perception, orientation, and rsponse, the sooner and more subtle they become.

Robert Cowham
06-08-2015, 05:22 PM
Matthew Syed's book, Bounce is good on this subject. Here's a good article on the skills of a table tennis player renowned for his lighting quick reflexes, and yet who when tested was slower than most at raw reaction speed.

http://www.blueprinttennis.com/featured/limitless/

One thing mentioned in the book was that Desmond Douglas spent a long time when growing up practicing in a room with limited space - he couldn't move back away from the table - and so was forced to get better at reacting.

Riai Maori
06-08-2015, 05:29 PM
Are lefties better at sport?

The left hand fist.

http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/human-brain/left-handed-sports1.htm

jurasketu
06-08-2015, 10:43 PM
@Robert Cowham - That is a good article. Let us go train and pay attention and learn to anticipate by actually watching our partners...

Asou
06-09-2015, 12:09 AM
is this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dR_mk_h0oY) a legit way of training that?

or anything else?

Rupert Atkinson
06-09-2015, 01:20 AM
If you want speed, timing, coordination, the desire to control and fool your opponent, and the ability to sum up a rapidly changing situation with instant decision: just take up table tennis.

Cliff Judge
06-09-2015, 10:09 AM
is this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dR_mk_h0oY) a legit way of training that?

or anything else?

It can be.

You don't get the "perception slowdown" until you truly have the kata burned in as second nature. Until then you are too busy trying to remember what your next move is (which is very good training for other things - simply gaining skill at learning kata is useful, and moving in sync is good for AIkido).

Rather than a synchronous cuisinart of movement, kata where there is a momentous pause before an attack is launched can be really great for perception training.

Anjisan
06-10-2015, 11:34 AM
I remember my sensei telling me that Saotome sensei told him years ago: In or Out, Left or Right. From there the appropriate technique will show itself whether known consciously or not. I personally have found it to be sound advice. Coming from a kickboxing background before aikido, there are simply too many combinations that can come in too fast to try to deal with like we typically do with aikido strikes. Either draw them to you to expose angels and take away other weapons so to speak or enter to a safe place. The technique will be there especially if one is not thinking ahead of the response that one is going to do.

Train Hard,
Jason