Re: Really, grab my wrist!
I came across this thread while browsing for a t-shirt I'd seen that I thought was funny: "Grab My Wrist—I Dare You!"
Out of idle curiosity, I began reading through the comments on the thread. In fact, I just started an account here so I could respond to some of the things I've read and put in my own two cents.
I am female and have been studying Tomiki Aikido for nearly 2 years now. I love it—both the martial side and the spiritual side, which I have only begun to explore.
There are comments in this thread regarding the practicality of the wrist-grab training. Well, I have to say that it is very practical. Wrists do get grabbed.
But what if something else gets grabbed? That brings me to my next point: The wrist-grab is a demonstration. It teaches us that Aikido is not strength-against-strength. It teaches us to work from our center, to go around the force that is attacking us. Do these still apply if my attacker were grabbing my hair or my shirt? Absolutely. My Sensei has worked with me with such scenarios. He will grab a handful of my hair, he'll grab my clothing, he'll grab me from behind, and so forth. Do I think, "Oh no! He didn't grab my wrist, therefore I can do nothing!" Not at all. The wrist-grabs taught me to work from my core. With a fistful of my hair, he is connected to my body... and my hand can further trap him there while I twist. Trapping his hand, turning my body, going around his strength—all of these come into play no matter what sort of grab he has. And these things I learned while doing the wrist-grab demonstrations. I learned that it doesn't matter how much larger an opponent is (and with me, that is everyone in my class other than the one other woman there). If I use the principles of Aikido, I can at least do something. Will it work every single time? I doubt it. No martial art is the end-all-be-all of martial arts. Anyone who thinks that their martial art is the best or such-and-such martial art is "stupid" has already closed his/her mind and done themselves a disservice.
Doing the wrist-grab exercises and doing all parts of Aikido (that I've learned thus far, that is!) have helped me understand that I don't have to be a victim. It has given me the peace of mind from knowing that because I might very well be smaller and weaker than my attacker, it does not have to put me at a disadvantage. Whether my hair or clothing or purse or wrist is grabbed, I know to keep moving, keep blending, and keep working from my center.