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Old 06-17-2011, 08:18 PM   #13
Dojo: Kiku Matsu/Chicago, IL
Location: Chicago, IL
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 23
Re: Aikido wrist catching?

OK, I'm a beginner, but what I'm about to say is my attempt to paraphrase a LOT of coaching I've received from a LOT of people, while not consistently applied yet I have been able to absorb and demonstrate at least occasionally. I'm getting better.

Let's stop calling it "wrist catching" and maybe for just a few moments call it "wrist interception." It's useful because the argument is that speed of movement makes "interception" of an attackers wrist difficult.

There are two concepts that need to be pondered in order to understand connecting a wrist lock with a determined attacker. First is that while the target of a particular technique (like munetsuki kotegaesh), is the wrist, Aikido techniques are not like shooting at an incoming target. That's the "Patriot Missile Defense" intercept trajectory, and it doesn't work. The best way to shoot down a missile is to launch the interceptor from as close to the launch site as possible (irimi taisabaki), at as close to the same time that the attack is launched as possible (sensen no sen), in a very similar trajectory (tenkan taisabaki).

The next concept to ponder is that once a certain level of mastery is attained, jiyu waza becomes more natural in that one doesn't go for a particular technique: nage just does Aiki movements to maintain freedom in harmony with uke's attack, and at some point nage will be in a position to easily execute a technique and uke will be in a position to just take it. So the small target of the wrist becomes a large target of uke's overall movement.

Once you get there, you have to take whatever Uke's given you for a "fat and slow" target. Just get in there and take uke's balance blending your interception from uke's upper arm down to uke's forearm, and then uke's attacking hand gets slow. Getting the kotegaesh from there is just the Tekubi Kosa Undo movement: your hands come together, and uke's hand is in between them, right at at your hara.

Oh.. one more thing: you can be a lot faster than you think if you're not slowed down by thinking. If you need to think to get the movements right, do it at the speed to get the movements right. When moving right at that speed feels "boring" then you know the distractable part of your brain is no longer necessary, you can do the movements smoothly from motor memory at whatever speed uke moves. That's not supposed to be a third concept: you have to forget the two concepts (after you've internalized them).
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