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Old 11-15-2006, 08:57 AM   #21
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,618
Re: Article: 'Sincere' Attacks: A Platonic Dialogue by Peter Goldsbury

More seriously --
Dieter Haffner wrote:
Many times I have seen advanced aikidoka giving a bad attack. ... So an attack is already unbalanced by itself, tori's job is half done (or even completely done).
There are no excuses for poor attacks.
Dieter Haffner wrote:
I have the luck to train with an advanced karateka. And he admits he has never given us a sincere and honest attack.
Training is not application. If so, then he stops short of the position that would do damage, or is not showing you the next opening that the mutual movement has created. In other words, he is likely not actually putting his hand through your head, gut or whatever target may be in play. He must be in a position to deliver his energy, even if we train at a diminished level of that energy.

This is critical, although the speed or energy level at which it occurs is not, for training purposes. Uke's job is not to stop technique -- but to attack and keep attacking, at whatever speed that allows nage to perceive the criticality of the rhythm in the movement.
Dieter Haffner wrote:
What he does do is keep his balance through out the whole attack and keeps himself grounded.
It is so much harder to take his balance then with the so-called sincere and honest attacks as mentioned above. And he is not even going at full speed, which would give us only a split second to go out of the line of attack and take the balance.
Then hit him.
(In the nicest possible way. )


Four to six inches is the differnce between being hurt and getting kuzushi, whether moving in or out, the key thing is meeting the rhythm of attack in irimi. Tenkan cuts him OUT of his grounded center -- although where "OUT" actually lies changes, sometimes dramatically, depending on the respective iniital movements.

I try to teach students to expand their concept of time in order to slow down their perception of that rhythm. If you can move in the rhythm of the attack the speed of the beat really does not matter.

Since we are referencing classical sources, I'll do so in kind. Musashi defined critical strategy almost purely in terms of irimi and defeating rhythm in this way:
Book of Wind wrote:
The sure Way to win thus is to chase the enemy around in confusing manner, causing him to jump aside, with your body held strongly and straight. The same principle applies to large-scale strategy. The essence of strategy is to fall upon the enemy in large numbers and bring about his speedy downfall. By their study of strategy, people of the world get used to countering, evading and retreating as the normal thing. They become set in this habit, so can easily be paraded around by the enemy. The Way of strategy is straight and true. You must chase the enemy around and make him obey your spirit.
Frank Herbert, in another context, said "The slow knife penetrates ..." What aikido trains for is that kind of criticality -- which is largely born of the sword.

It is like Chuang Tzu's butcher:
Chuang-Tzu, (Derek Lin, tr.) wrote:
"The places his hand touched,
... Came apart with a sound.

He moved the blade, making a noise
That never fell out of rhythm.
It harmonized ...
The joints have openings,
And the knife's blade has no thickness.
Apply this lack of thickness into the openings,
And the moving blade swishes through,
With room to spare!
Nevertheless, every time I come across joints,
I see its tricky parts,
I pay attention and use caution,
My vision concentrates,
My movement slows down.

I move the knife very slightly,
Whump! It has already separated.
The ox doesn't even know it's dead,
and falls to the ground like mud.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 11-15-2006 at 09:04 AM.


Erick Mead
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