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Old 05-04-2007, 11:17 AM   #53
mriehle
 
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Dojo: New School Aikido
Location: Stockton, CA
Join Date: May 2002
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Re: 90% of all fights go to the ground..

Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post
I'm calling my aikido instructor tomarrow and telling him I'm never coming back. I'll learn all I need about aikido from fighting with my cats.
I realize you meant to be facetious, but...

...I used to have a house full of kittens. This was some years ago when I also had a house full of (irresponsible) roommates.

It's surprising what you can learn from "sparring" with kittens.
  • They are very fast. You don't accomplish anything by waiting until they leap and then trying to move faster than they do. They're faster, get used to it.
  • Hunting instincts can be easily triggered. Get them into true hunting mode and you *will* get bitten...hard. Better to move in ways that don't inspire aggression. And blaming them is pointless, they're just being cats.
  • Teeth and claws are sharp. Playing with kittens means you *will* be scratched and bitten. Maybe not seriously (see above about hunting instincts), but it will happen. Play accordingly.

It helps that they don't really mind losing. It's all part of the game. They seem to regard a loss as an opportunity to refine their skills. They'll get you next time.

Of course there isn't much in the way of physical skill learned here, but it's interesting how the exercise of trying to get inside a kitten's head provides perspective on getting inside another human being's head.

In point of fact, I've found that my Aikido skills are almost always useful with animals. Even my bird. Birds are predisposed to think everything wants to eat them. Convincing the bird you're not going to eat him is important to not getting bitten by a beak that can crush nuts.

Last edited by mriehle : 05-04-2007 at 11:18 AM. Reason: Clarify a point.

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