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Paula Lydon
05-15-2003, 11:37 AM
~~Hi all! Anyone out there practice touch response training, just having a friend come at you for an unbroken minute or two with strikes, grabs and even kicks, while you try to 'grab the moment' of contact employing as many principle as you can. If an acutal technique appears and you follow through with it, that's fine, but that's not the point. :D

Bronson
05-15-2003, 01:36 PM
Sounds a little like beginning randori but with only one person. We'll do this sometimes and it's a lot of fun. I especially like doing this exercise with nage's eyes closed (we limit it to grabs...usually ;)).

Bronson

George S. Ledyard
05-21-2003, 02:21 PM
~~Hi all! Anyone out there practice touch response training, just having a friend come at you for an unbroken minute or two with strikes, grabs and even kicks, while you try to 'grab the moment' of contact employing as many principle as you can. If an acutal technique appears and you follow through with it, that's fine, but that's not the point. :D
Paula,

I am not clear exactly what you mean here. How does this, or does it, differ from what we nromally refer to as jiyu waza? Could you explain a bit more?

shihonage
05-21-2003, 02:29 PM
Paula,

I am not clear exactly what you mean here. How does this, or does it, differ from what we nromally refer to as jiyu waza? Could you explain a bit more?

The difference between jiyu-waza and this kind of sparring is the fact that the latter actually presents a competitive, aggressive opponent giving multiple uncommmitted attacks at the speed of about 5x faster than a typical jiyu-waza session, and using uncomfortable distances.

I posted more about this in a recent thread ...

This kind of practice, despite being ugly at first sight, is actually beautiful - it teaches the natural movement, fluidity, and the DIRE NECESSITY OF FIERCE ATEMI, as well as injects a healthy dose of reality into your perception of self-defense overall.

Given from what I see on Aiki Expo tapes, either they woefully misrepresent Aikido, or a lot more people need to start engaging in some kind of sparring practice.

It will knock the ethereal out of you.

L. Camejo
05-22-2003, 04:16 PM
~~Hi all! Anyone out there practice touch response training, just having a friend come at you for an unbroken minute or two with strikes, grabs and even kicks, while you try to 'grab the moment' of contact employing as many principle as you can. If an acutal technique appears and you follow through with it, that's fine, but that's not the point. :D
Interesting concept Paula, we do something like that when we do Tanto Randori, but the attack is only a tsuki with the knife.

As a more self defence oriented variant of the same exercise I let folks start at one end of the mat and have someone continuously attack them with a variety of attacks and even combinations. The idea of Tori (Nage) is to keep ma ai and keep from getting hit. When Tori senses a chance to enter and set up for technique they go for it. When they get to the other end (or time is up), the roles switch.

This exercise is done at different levels, the first is just to avoid and keep ma ai and metsuke, the second level is to successfully avoid the attack and break balance (tsukuri - set up for technique).

The third level is where full technique is applied and Uke is allowed to fully resist as well by using tai sabaki and muscle resistance mainly.

This helps to add a different dimension to training as one has to apply the principles of maai, metsuke, tai sabaki and keeping weight low to just avoid being hit.

It also takes away some of the false confidence one may get from applying techs in kata successfuly against no resistance for too long. Of course, Tanto Randori is very humbling as well :)

Hope this helps.

L.C.:ai::ki:

Paula Lydon
05-30-2003, 05:45 PM
Hi George,

It's pretty much as Larry C. explained it. Seems different to me from jiyu waza (at least as I've seen it practiced in different Aikido dojos) in that the attacks in jiyu waza still seem held within paramaters that limit full range, freeflowing attacks. We seem to focus on nage doing open response techs on known or unknown attacks, but there's still no on-going attack if tech fails. Uke goes with it or simply stops, etc...THEN starts over. At it's best, touch response practice is completely open, flowing movement bewteen two people--no nage or uke--no rules except honesty with yourself and partner. Perhaps that's what evolved jiyu waza is, and I'm not seen as being at a level where my seniors practice so with me, but I can't say I've seen it as such :)

Charles Hill
05-30-2003, 10:36 PM
Paula,

In my opinion, for the kind of training you describe, the most important word in your post is "friend." In the various relationships I have with other Aikidoists, only with people I deeply respect and trust (and they with me) does this kind of training ever have merit. And it's interesting that it never is planned but spontaneously happens.

I believe that the most fundamental thing that has to happen in the dojo is to develop good relationships with partners. Otherwise, any kind of "realistic" or "self defense" type training quickly turns into a downward spiral.

Charles

Paula Lydon
06-04-2003, 08:35 AM
~~Yes Charles, I absolutely agree that the partners must be at a certain level in their personal and martial developement, that's why I was wondering if this sort of training was held aside for upper rank levels--not, of course, that rank is a gaurantee of developement ;). And yes, I only practice like this with folks whose character I know well and we can fully trust each other to train with honesty, caring and integrity.

Good points!

Dave Miller
06-05-2003, 07:14 PM
One of the things we do regularly is "stick hands" drills. We maintain just fingertip contact with our partner and then move together. It may be simple back and forth movements or it may be one person "spelling their name" while the other follows. The point is to develope sensitivity to your partner's movements. The ultimate example of this would be to maintain perfect mai without actually touching.

The next step is to add simple "attacks", all done very slowly, of course. Again, the point is not to simply attack or defend but to feel what the other is doing. Doing this with eyes closed is also good.

:)

L. Camejo
06-06-2003, 06:34 AM
One of the things we do regularly is "stick hands" drills. The point is to develope sensitivity to your partner's movements. The ultimate example of this would be to maintain perfect mai without actually touching.

The next step is to add simple "attacks", all done very slowly, of course. Again, the point is not to simply attack or defend but to feel what the other is doing. Doing this with eyes closed is also good.
In Shodokan we do an exercise called Tegatana Awase that has this effect. The idea is to maintain ma ai at tegatana distance (roughly the distance where uke must make a step to land a successful attack). Contact is kept where the 2 wrists touch, utilising an aigamae stance relationship. The purpose of the exercise is to move in all directions keeping ma ai by not allowing the tegatana arm to collapse and using correct tai sabaki (unsoko). Keeping the body square to maintain centreline and keeping weight low so one can respond to the subtle changes in movement are also elements of this exercise. The results of this exercise are of course tested in Tanto Randorigeiko afterwards, where ma ai must be maintained in the face of persistent tanto thrusts where tanto (uke) is trying to really hit you without giving any openings for you to apply techinque.

Relaxation is key in this. This exercise, done with eyes open helps with developing metsuke, with eyes closed (or the lights off ;) ) it helps develop even greater sensitivity.

A step upward from this, where strikes are utilised is an exercise called sei chu sen no bogyo (centreline defence). This includes all the elements of Tegatana Awase, but allows one person to strike at will with either the other hand or foot, in which case the other must respond by sinking and pushing through the attacker's centre before the attack lands. Reaction development is a major benefit of this exercise.

The speed of both of these exercises of course depends on the skill level of those involved. These are basics done at the beginning of all sessions and are practiced at all grade levels with varying degrees of intensity.

On another level though, Tegatana Awase can also be practiced with Bokken and Jo, to develop metsuke and sensitivity to be applied during weapons practice as well. From my experience, Bokken awase has greatly helped my abiity to be sensitive to changes in distance and body movement at the touch level, but even more so at ranges beyond touch, where most strikes tend to originate.

Just my 2 cents.

Arigato Gozaimashita

L.C.:ai::ki: