David Valadez wrote:
I think I can understand you perfectly when you mention how surprising it is to see how folks try and deal with the pressure - it truly is amazing to see how differently we all try and cope with it. Yet, and I think you would agree, some major patterns emerge nevertheless.
A few common once that I noticed, for example, were laughing and treating the drill as a game, wincing, ducking, turning away, taking very wide and big steps back away from the attack...
As a result, we can often feel pretty "weird" after such training - "odd" in a way. So, as a teacher, I just try and be aware of that and make sure that folks have some sort of positive context from which they can interpret what it is they may be feeling. Thus, such drills, in my opinion, have to be part of larger training perspective that not only works to bring more depth to one's training but that can also actually work to support such efforts.
This why I'm not sure I want to repeat the experiment in a class that I lead, I don't think I can offer that support. I might prefer to ask a few people and just train by ourselves at free practice time.
It's actually equally hard to be at both sides in this drill. It's hard as the attacker to see your partner getting stressed. We're such nice people all in the dojo...
I asked my husband to try this today, at home, actually. Now he wasn't willing to really hit me, but OTOH he has the advantage of not being shy to touch me anywhere. Tickling can be very startling.
I could keep my gaze level but it felt "hard", it felt like I created a lot of mental space between us that I didn't like, especially with someone I love. The experience I had in the dojo was similar, and I wonder if it's possible to not have that mental pushing away (I dunno if that describes it well) but to be more open towards the attack, in a way. I didn't find it hard to keep calm and facing the attack (up to a certain level of intensity), but the difference between open and closed calm, so to say.
I've been having a summer holiday from aikido, this conversation is giving me an itch though.