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Old 04-08-2008, 08:56 PM   #253
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Join Date: Feb 2002
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Re: Knife Randori Videos

The reason I wanted to stick to what was in the video, and why I wanted to make “space” for the content to not be so easily dismissed as irrelevant to Aikido, is because Chris’ videos still deserve comment. I don’t think they have really gotten that up to now and I’d like to be able to offer some opinions.

Here’s my take on things…

In short, and sticking with my analogy, one should work to move from cutting off the eyelids to hitting with a stick – moving from Bodhidharma to Linchi. I do not think it is a coincidence that Linchi had way more students that reached Awakening than Bodhidharma did (even if he did exist – you pick). To make this a clear point: I think once you get a taste for how something is supposed to work, and you seemed to have already gotten that taste, the next step is to see what makes it work as it does in kihon waza. For this, one has to return to Kihon Waza – to uncover the “hidden” aspects that are pre-settled in basic training but that need to be analyzed under spontaneous conditions in order to be fully understood. In particular, I would like to humbly suggest finding spontaneous conditions that are more conducive to fostering the following two things: a spiraling maai and the ensuing leading of the attacker.

In my experience, these two things are the foremost elements that make any aiki move a high percentage move – which in turn makes any Aikido tactic used provide you with a high percentage of surviving at attack. This only becomes truer when weapons are involved – which is a vital concern to real-life encounters. However, more importantly for anyone trying to gain a spontaneity that is Aikido in nature, the spiraling maai and the ensuing capacity to lead the attacker along this geometry is really what is vital to performing Aikido tactics at their most fulfilled level of manifestation. This is what my experience has led me to conclude – as discovered when the intensity of the training is increased to the maximum possible and the limits placed upon what is allowable are reduced to as near as nothing as possible.

In my opinion, this could be the next thing you might want to try – not just doing techniques under less-cooperative conditions, but finding the spiraling maai and the ensuing capacity to lead the attacker upon that geometry under less-cooperative conditions.

Again, I offer this in all humility.


David M. Valadez
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