View Full Version : blending or bouncing off?

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Bruce Baker
09-22-2002, 09:02 AM
I have seen some of the writers ask about black and blue marks, or if there is pain in using the techniques of Aikido?

It made me wonder if too many people were not taking the time to blend, and were there colliding in a fashion that would be the bouncing of two children colliding? (sorry, that is the only analogy that comes to mind at the moment.)

Should we do more of the blending techniques like the one called sticky hands to help those who are doing bumper car blending? Smash, crash ... one point landing ... three point landing ... who cares ... I am on the ground, aren't I?

Or is it the bad habits of training in other striking arts, boxing or karate, that still linger in our training?

09-22-2002, 09:20 AM
I remember a blending exercise that Pat Hendricks Sensei did at a seminar a number of years ago, and that we still do occasionally at the dojo.

She started simply by doing Tai no Henka with a partner... then taking a step or two, releasing, and blending with the next person that came along. So you end up with everyone on the mat moving, doing Tai no Henka with everyone else, and constantly changing roles as uke/tori. A lot of blunt bumping at first, but it quickly turns into a smooth blending of the crowd.

Another variation we do of this is blending to the inside of a yokomen uchi strike (ala ShihoNage Omote), then turning out with Tai Sabaki to find another partner to blend with.

09-26-2002, 08:25 AM
there is a move or principle i think that ends with uke 'bouncing' off nage. Its hard to do... even with a cooperative uke.

it requires you to blend immediately with uke but for you to remain stationary while doing so. soaking up his force and grounding it, and then suddenly repelling the force from your center into his, thereby unbalancing him and making him fall (in the direction where he came from if you're good, and any other direction if you're not that good).

most of the time it degenerates into me trying my best to lock uke's arm up (without using your hands) when he hits me so that i have strong chance to unbalance his center... sucks.

Bruce Baker
09-27-2002, 05:58 PM
That bouncing would be using the oblique angle to redirect the oncoming force. Works great when someone is rushing towards you.

I was more concerned with the couple of threads that mentioned black and blue marks in practice. It should a rare incident that involves enough force to cause a black and blue mark if you redirecting force and not using force yourself.

Jermaine Alley
09-29-2002, 10:44 AM

This is a topic that we discuss all of the time in my dojo.

I have been studying aikido for only five years so I need all the blending practice that i can at times.

Last week I was practicing Shomenuchi Shihonage-Irimi with a senior black belt. During the course of the technique, that black belt reminded me that I was not blending, but clashing with uke a bit during the course of my entrance. My point to him was that, surely we practice to "blend" and go around the attack for the protection of both parties....but what if that "clashing" can be considered to be an atemi? Why not incorporate atemi to vital points while you are preparing for the technique? Sure it isn't in line with what people consider to be "aiki", but if you incorporate atemi, which means that you have to "clash" (with some part of the body for the atemi to work), why can't we consider marks and bruises to be a good thing? Something that furthers our martial education...

I think that it is all aikido.


10-04-2002, 10:19 AM
Can I assume that the issue of black and blue marks (bruises?) involve the lack of blending when receiving uke's attack (in the form of a yokomen, shomen, tsuki, etc)?

I think blending is too vague to really describe the problem. I would like to think that nage blends with uke through out the entire technique. So how about timing? Would this be the central issue then? Timing nage's "response" to uke's "initiation." Or ideally, timing so the distinction between initiation and response becomes quite blurred.

So, to use the example of yokomen-uchi or shomen-uchi shihonage, one of the keys to blending is to be able to match uke's timing (at least as close as possible.) I suppose there will be a certain degree of "clashing" as nage is intercepting the attack at an oblique vs. directly in-line.

At the end of the day though, if there are black and blue marks resulting from practice, then maybe it is time to slow down and allow easier practice of timing.

With regards to sticky hands (as in tai chi), I think that this involves some degree of contraction to meet your partner's energy, then joining with the energy. Would this contraction be too opposed to aikido's idea of extension?

Bruce Baker
10-05-2002, 05:05 PM
Very few people have not pushed a merry-go-round, or a person on a swing in which the goal is to blend with the movement and enhance it to continue or increase the motion. Blending? Absolutely!

Then we have the not so pretty effect of ball games ... baseball, foot ball, golf, soccer (world football) all use strength to effect bounce with a kick, or impact of some sort.

Not including hand throws, of course, the difference of impact should be considered in the same manner that the clashing of force will present black and blue marks, while the blending and redirecting the motion will not leave marks upon your training partner ... not including bad ukemi and crash landing on or off the mat.

No matter what you think about the martial aspect of practicing Aikido, you must practice ways that will enhance your ability to see motion, slow it down so that your movements become that of pushing the swing, or pushing the merry-go-round.

With this type of thinking, the clashing and the bouncing will be kept to a minimum ... as will be your injurys.

I am sure when you look in the mirror the statement,"Gee ... what door did you run into last night?" will be a thing of the past, as will the aches and pains from black and blue injurys as you learn to blend, not bounce.

(Today, all the guys over forty were in class because the tough young guys have tried to tough out injurys from bad falls etc were hurtin' pretty bad, and I thought it was pretty funny. Simply because I did the same thing at their age, and the advice of all the old guys never sinks in until you learn the hard way, as most of us do.)