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Old 11-19-2005, 07:35 AM   #2
Ed Shockley
Dojo: aikikai of Philadelphia
Location: philadelphia
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 84
Re: Body position for receiving

I have a boxing background and was taught to always maintain balance on probing punches and only commit weight aggressively it the adversary is staggered. (And even then with caution since they may be playing possum.) We did silly exercises like tying our feet so that we couldn't over-extend. This added to the fact that I am extremely tall has caused me to struggle with the idea of "committed attack" that places one in the best position for Aikido breakfall. I have witnessed similar struggles in accomplished karate practitioners who train with us. (The attack and sit back over their hips .) Often I "flop" so that nage can practice the form of the technique. More studied yudansha, however, have learned to extend my strike just a few inches past my chosen impact point (and also down) and then as I adjust to regain my balance I am in the prefect position for them to capture my rising and inspire a breakfall throw. There is still a quick series of steps on my part as uke but this seems to be the natural adjusting inspired by the martial desire to escape a disadvantageous position. My understanding of uke, from Nizam Taleb Sensei (5th dan) is that it is the "art of escape." An attack goes sour and now my "captured" mind focuses on how to keep myself safe to continue the fight.
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