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Old 01-04-2007, 08:58 AM   #13
Min Kang
Dojo: Aikido Shobukan Dojo
Location: Arlington, Virginia
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 34
Re: "Proactive" Aikido?

The methody my Sensei taught me when talking of teaching Aikido, considers static grasp situations as the basic training tool intended at improving your technique
Exactly. In the beginning you learn the appropriate techiques to do when someone grabs you thusly or strikes you from there in this mannter.

Once one has reached a certain basic level, he should progress to dynamic grabs - move before the grasp and learn to do it so the other will only feel you later.
I consider this when you start to learn timing - both your own and throwing off the uke - by moving the target IN to get his attack off beat (and slow down his attack/center) or OUT to extend the rhythm of his attack (and cause his center to extend out past his base momentarily). Of course, this can also be done by moving the target up/down; right/left and all variations depending on the attack.

We then progress to strikes and again, one learns presenting an opening is an invitation to being struck there, e.g. if you wish to be hit in the head - lower your hands.
This is what I was referring to when I tried to talk about setting the terms of engagement. That's why it seemed silly to me when I see training where nage has his hands fully up and in guard/hanmi and uke steps right in front of him to do a shomen. I mean, really, what are you teaching? For uke to learn to disregard your "target"s fully aware defensive stance and walk into his fist? For nage to learn to do a technique from a artificial condition that will not be replicated off the mat and is martially unsound?

One should neverstay in place or move in a predictable manner after the attack has decided on his intent
I thought of this as walking through the technique to remind myself always keep moving. Whether it be "walking" as in left/right/left/right or rotating your hips or lowering your center by bending your knees or waist ... always keep moviing until you have total control. After all, the hands and the arms serve as agents for connecting your centers and aligning your bodies (uke/nage) appropriately for the technique, but it's your lower body - hips/legs/center that powers it through.

Also, as you set your feet, you have a tendency to try to muscle your way through the technique (and vice versa).

it is best to move between the intent and the actual attack movement

(I have seen sensei do it with some success, but my presentages on my best awareness days are still low).

And then, you can start thinking on initiating your attacker intent and misleading him to attack as you wish and eter the trap.
I think that one, maybe "moving between the inent and the strike" and "initiating your attacker's intent" may be very similar if not the same. It requires recognition of the attacker's intent - the squeezing of the trigger, as it were - but if the attacker has the requisite intent to attack, then something as simple as stepping forward past his threat perimeter may serve to trigger his attack - not because he wants to but as a reaction to your movement (and the timing is on your side and he is a half-beat behind).

The really masterful instructors I've seen do some crazy stuff that I couldn't hope to do ... the only way it makes sense to me *now* is that they connect with their uke's before physical contact, dictate how uke will have to attack, and maintain the connection with timing/distance and always remain a half-beat ahead, forcing uke to keep losing his center.

That's what I think now. Tomorrow? Who knows!

They that have power to hurt and will do none,
That do not do the thing they most do show,
Who, moving others, are themselves as stone ...
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