Thread: Full Resistance
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:41 PM   #118
L. Camejo
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Dojo: Ontario Martial Arts
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,423
Re: Full Resistance

Richard Player wrote: View Post
resistance implies knowledge or foresight?
I think this can be misleading to many. Especially people who do not train with someone exercising their free will to not cooperate with ones waza.

Resistance does not exactly require foresight, unless we see the human nervous system as a way of having foresight or foreknowledge. People in general react very quickly and instinctively to sensory input, especially touch input. The instant someone senses that they are being moved in a direction that they do not want to go, they start an instinctive chain of motions designed to thwart that movement. This is as instinctive as reaching ones hands towards the ground if falling. A good example is found in trying to lift a child or animal that does not want to be lifted for any reason. The instinct of making the body heavy through dead-weight relaxation appears almost instantly when someone tries to lift them against their free will. This is instinctive resistance. It requires no foreknowledge except for the neuromuscular system.

There is a reason why Aiki waza involve a matching of energy, direction and motion with the aggressor, because if one does not detect that they are being taken somewhere that they do not want to go they will have no reason to resist or not cooperate.

It's interesting that in Tomiki's writings on what we call "resistance" training he hardly uses the word resistance but instead says that ones partner is "expressing free will." This is the free will to not be thrown by ones partner if one chooses not to. Imho if one is engaging in randori and uke has the choice not to be thrown/pinned etc. then something is lacking in the application of that waza. It is simply not effective as executed.

I can concur with a lot of what Don is saying above since I have entered Judo and Jujutsu dojos with pretty much only Aikido knowledge and been able to effectively resist (i.e. block waza) when engaging in standing waza. Imho this had less to do with any prior knowledge or training I had in those arts (which were zero) and more to do with my ability to feel my partners' attempts at kuzushi and merely maintain posture and body weight in a way that canceled out what they wanted to achieve. In ground work, it was a new environment to me at first, but again when I held on to Aikido principles when on the ground it was very difficult for the guys to pin me. Of course I had no experience in these arts so all I could do was defend/resist until I did get pinned at some point, but I did not require foreknowledge in order to do so.

Don Magee wrote:
On top of this, there are some things you can't train without doing it for real. You can't learn what it is like to have someone punch you in the face via kata and compliant drills. You can't learn what it is like to recover from a drastic mistake from compliant drills and kata, you can't learn what it is like to stand back up after you have fallen and are still under attack. You can't learn what it is like to get so stressed you lose awareness and get cornered and pummeled.
Again this is my experience of randori and in fact kata practice.
This has also been my experience. Bruce Lee had a saying that the best way to train for an event is the event itself. Fighting, randori or any engagement involving people who are allowed to use their free wills during the encounter is the exact opposite of kata practice which requires foreknowledge of what is going to happen next, cooperation and compliance. As soon as one leaves the realm of pure compliance in kata practice one enters the realm of randori. Definitions of the terms can be found on Aikidojournal here - Kata & Randori. Imho the purpose of kata is to learn technique - it is the reference manual. The purpose of randori is to test and develop ones instinctive application of kata. When ones waza fails in randori one can revisit kata to look for any technical flaws and then return to randori to test and develop instinctive application.

Mistakes are made and where I come from uke is expected to do something. On monday night I goofed irimi nage and was promptly thrown by my uke.
This is a form of randori, not kata practice.



Last edited by L. Camejo : 01-02-2009 at 09:44 PM.

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