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Old 07-16-2009, 09:35 AM   #11
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Re: Attention & Intention - Receiving and Projecting

Russ Qureshi wrote: View Post
Hello George Sensei,

We worked on some of these drills in the dojo last night. Very, very useful drills - thank you. It was good because we were all very tired after due to the intensity of having to maintain one's attention for an extended time...(sad, I know, but most people, including my self simply are not used to that)...and it's a great reference to bring students back to when practising other waza. When "it's" on, it's an amazing thing....too profound for words.

Thank you again!

I am glad you found them helpful. Last few years Saotome Sensei has really been giving people a lot of hell about their lack of ability to project their intention. It is my considered opinion that this should be taught from the beginning, since everything later on depends on it. Why end up with a bunch of yudansha who have been training for years who don't have any idea how to even think about the issue?

This would be the primary area of focus of someone like Ushiro Kenji the Karate teacher. On the other hand, if you look at the Systema folks like Vlad and Michael, at least at the beginning of the training they seem to focus most on the receiving side rather than the projecting side.

I am of two minds on this... Most folks associate power with tension. So when you start to try to get hem to develop the ability to project, they typically tense all sorts of things, both mentally and physically. That's why I like those exercises because there is an element of competition in them which gives instant feedback if you are carrying tension. Tension of any sort slows you down and makes it difficult to really resonate with the other guy.

So, even when you are talking about projection, it is imperative that this is done via an increasingly calm and relaxed mind. So exercises which serve to "ramp up" folks focus and intensity are good but you have to combine them with practice that keeps reinforcing "stillness" of the mind and relaxation of the body at the same time. I like doing slow to medium randori practice for this. It demands people focus their attention on multiple centers while letting them stay unstressed (relatively) while connecting that state to their bodies. It's like systema but with an Aikido outer form.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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