View Full Version : technique flexibility

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05-01-2003, 07:42 AM
One of Teds e-mails about 'steering a car' and the randori question made me think.

Can anyone do FAST aikido technique in the dojo without any pre-conceived idea of what technique they are going to do?

Although Henry Kono sensei has revolutionised my approach to randori and made it much more flexible, when I look at Ueshiba I tend to think he has 2 or 3 potential techniques in mind when someone attacks him, but his flexibility is that he can then change once he is getting physical feedback from uke. I almost see a progression in response moving through e.g.


Any thoughts?

Dave Miller
05-01-2003, 10:08 AM
That's a great question, Ian. I find that the more confortable I get with certain techniques, the more naturally they flow in randori. I think that as we continue to mature in aikido, more of these techniques will become second nature and will just flow. I liken it to knot tying.

As a boy scout (and now a boy scout leader) knot tying is something I have spent years and years working on. There are two keys to good knot tying: Being able to tie the knots.

Knowing what knot to tie.The more knots that a person knows (i.e. can tie without thinking and understands what they're good for), the better they are at the second point. It's one thing to just tie a know, it's a completelly different thing to tie an appropriate knot for the given application. It's this second point that seperates a good knot tyer from someone who knows a few knots.

I imagine Aikido being the same way. It takes both knowing the techniques and knowing what they're good for to be able to use them naturally and appropriately at the right time. It's this difference between just throwing in a technique and throwing in an appropriate technique that seperates "someone who does aikido" from "someone skilled in aikido". I figure that if my aikido gets even close to my knot tying then I'll be one the road to becoming an effective aikidoka (someone skilled in aikido).


05-01-2003, 10:28 AM
Your probably going to get alot of opinions on this one but I'm thinking that your definition of FAST could probably be put side-by-side with spontaneous, right ?

No thought, no RE-action, just action. If the particular technique your in doesn't work or your attacker is resisting, simply move into another one.

I think that's very possible but I also think that people have "familiar" or maybe "favorite" techniques that they will use -or attempt to use- when a situation arises. That, I don't think can be helped without several years or maybe even decades of practice.

It's simple human nature to do -or try to do- what we are most comfortable with in any given situation.

From a more scientific standpoint, it's a conditioned reflex that probably comes from one of the lower brains.

That's one of the things that I love about Aikido. There's no absolute way of doing any one technique, that is, nothing is etched in stone as far as form is concerned and that gives most (if not ALL) of the rest of the techniques the ability to implemented almost anywhere.