Re: Article: 'Sincere' Attacks: A Platonic Dialogue by Peter Goldsbury
I liked the dialogue method - made a bit of a change.
Our method of teaching would be as such:
- go through the movements to unbalance the attacker slowly (not full commitment to attack)
- Increase speed and power of attack to enable realistic unbalancing of opponent
- with realistic force, then continue into the rest of the technique
i.e. the 1st part (physical/psychological unbalancing) is the most important, the technique is secondary. Beginners, within one lesson, can manage to unbalance a sincere attack (just getting used to timing, movement and relaxation).
Sometimes other aspects (e.g. moving between techniques etc) can be trained without a sincere attack at slower speeds to understand the concepts - however students should understand exactly what the exercise is trying to train (otherwise they cannot focus on the aspect they are trying to improve, and they will have an unrealistic concept of a real attack).
Thus I would say you can have sincere attacks on relatively new students. I would say the dialogue didn't expand enough into other arguments of competition vs non-competition, nor the fact that aikido is NOT like traditional arts in that the uke can change and adapt, does attack sincerely, and the response is less regimented. Indeed, in jiyu-waza randori it does approximate more of a sparring scenario if done effectively.
I also disgreed with the comment about some people believing the attacker would be unbalanced due to the sincere attack (presumably because the defender moves out of the way). Although this is an aspect, I think many people actually think the subtle redirection and over-extension is the major aspect of unbalancing (which therefore can occur, even if the attacker has a low centre of gravity*, and even with 'no touch throws'), and is necessary or desirable for almost all aikido techniques. However, for such a short piece I thought it was a nice introduction for competition vs. no competition for a beginner.
(* to transmit force to a body you need to channel your body weight into the attacking object e.g. fist or foot. That is why in aikido we don't use excessive force; otherwise we can be unbalanced ourselves).
Last edited by ian : 11-14-2006 at 05:51 AM.