Ron Tisdale wrote:
This is not to say I don't think for myself, or go outside for occational practise or even focus on other things. Or that other traditions don't foster this very thing in another way. Shodokan aikido would probably use just the sort of thing you suggest very well. Its just that my focus is on yoshinkan "keiko".
As it happens, one of the paired exercises in the Shodokan kihon kozo is intended to help develop that sense of timing. (The same excercise also works irimi, maai and awareness of centre, we call it sei chu sen no bogyo or 'centre line defense'.) In that sense, my ansewer to Paula's original question is "yes, every time I train".
At my dojo, we generally think in terms of 4 separate 'timing opportunities' to apply technique.
(Hopefully Peter will correct me if I'm wrong about this.. ) I believe the terminology currently used at Shodokan honbu for these four 'timing opportunities' are:
kochaku no shunkan
tsuki taru no shunkan
hite no shunkan
oujita no shunkan
When we practice a technique in kata training, we're often working with a specific timing opportunity in mind. The one we're talking about in this thread is 'kochaku no shunkan', which means the instant that Uke 'digs his heels in' in preparation to lauch an attack.
I hope none of this comes across as "horn tooting", by the way, just trying to describe the way its done in the dojo I train at.
Ron (got to get me some shodokan, someday) Tisdale
Sean (funny you should say that, one of these days I'm going to get me some yoshinkan
ps: Tom E. raised some valid & interesting points, I think. But I dont have time to address those now - its time to throw a gi in a bag and go out to play! Maybe later.