Ian Dodkins wrote:
Thanks folks - very interesting feedback, esp. speed of anticipation reply. Maybe I'm just lazy and I want to do the minimum effort and the slowest speed
There is a reason aikido is called a "martial art:" It is Martial.
If you think about it, we train to handle a physical confrontation (and various reasons) but the physical brings about many things. In a real fight situation, you'll have an adrinaline rush going, the need to calm yourself and focus on center so you don't loose your ability to see the situation for what it is, awareness of your environment, ability to counter the unknown because you don't know what is coming your way yet.
When you train, it is no time to be "lazy" or to have a desire to use "minimum effort" at ANY speed. When life comes at you and you need to react in a martial way, YOU BETTER BE READY! You need to develop the desire to look for openings, anticipate attacks, see the signs of agression before the agression ever confronts you... and act on your personal knowledge of how to handle the situation.
People train in various martial arts for many different reasons. Personally, I train in aikido for Control. I know if things ever get out of hand around me, there is a fight or attack of somekind, I want to be able to take control of the situation so no one gets hurt. If you are in aikido for fun, for rank or to just hang out with your friends... then intuition and speed don't really matter, now do they?
Sorry if I sound rude, but I take aikido very seriously. Yes, it's fun and I do enjoy it and hanging with friends and even getting rank. But when a friend throws a punch, even in fun... on or off the mat, I take it seriously.
Getting back to the original question about getting off line or just turning the hips, etc. Full or Part-time students still need to learn the basics. It may take longer depending on how much time you have to give the mat, but better to learn it right the first time, refine your skills and pick up the pace down the road. There is no "short cut" to Skill.
(boy, am I nasty today or what???