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Old 04-01-2007, 11:20 AM   #43
mjhacker's Avatar
Dojo: Renshinkan
Location: Arizona
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 200
Re: Poll: How important is working with strong-gripped, "static grabs" in your aikido

re·sist /rɪˈzɪst/

--verb (used with object)
1. to withstand, strive against, or oppose: to resist infection; to resist temptation.
2. to withstand the action or effect of: to resist spoilage.
3. to refrain or abstain from, esp. with difficulty or reluctance: They couldn't resist the chocolates.

--verb (used without object)
4. to make a stand or make efforts in opposition; act in opposition; offer resistance.

[Origin: 1325--75; ME resisten (v.) < L resistere to remain standing, equiv. to re- re- + sistere to cause to stand, akin to stāre to stand]

There are so many different flavors to the word "resistance" as to make it nearly useless in this conversation without specific definitions. Resistance can range from simply refusing to obey questionable government edicts to picking up arms and shooting politicians. Both are very different responses, yet both still qualify as "resistance."

To bring this into the context of Aikidō, uke can choose to resist tori's technique by using muscular force to actively attempt to prevent tori from being successful. But uke can also "resist" tori's technique by simply choosing not to play into tori's game, to recover his posture and move in such a way (with no physical and mental tension or contention) that foils what tori was attempting to do. I prefer the latter.

In my training, I will not allow someone to get within tooi maai of me without action on my part. If they take my posture (kuzushi) immediately, that's one thing. But walking up and clamping down puts uke in the dangerous position of being too close. I think this is a dangerous misperception. It also puts me too close, which is why I will attack uke's center if they have crossed the line of tooi maai without taking my posture first.

Training with someone clamped down hard on you is useful, but IME, is not a good way for beginners to learn. I've only used it once in any of my classes, and even then for only a few minutes... just to give students a taste of how it feels. It only took a few moments for tori to adjust. Once they did, they found it easier to deal with uke's strong, muscular grip. Uke found it more difficult to recover posture, remain dangerous, and to "hear" what was happening over the muscular "noise" in their own body.

Such a training methodology taught me to fight force with force, tension with tension, leverage with leverage. This is how I learned up to shodan, and it has taken me twice as long to unlearn as it did to inculcate my body with it.

At this point in the conversation, I think it might be useful for the participants to define (very specifically) what they mean by "resistance."

Michael Hacker
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Renshinkan

自由心流合気武道 - 鍛心館
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