Thread: appearances
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Old 01-10-2003, 06:29 PM   #16
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Location: Belgium (EU)
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 35
paul watt (paw) wrote:
So they why worry about timing in anything other than freestyle practice?
Um, forgive me, but I think I already answered that question in the part you quoted. This sounds to me like the equivalent of asking "Why worry about safety precautions with firearms when you're just practicing with an empty gun?" And my answer would be "Because empty guns just ain't." Start learning things right as soon as your begin practicing, because you may not get the chance anymore when things get serious.

OTOH, I've heard it said that you only begin to practice true budo when you can forget about yourself and no longer worry about getting hit, period. But since I'm nowhere near that level yet, I can't comment on that.
paul watt (paw) wrote:
From personal experience, from day one until now, reguardless of who my partner was, I've never been hit during kata training (kata = assigned roles, assigned attack, assigned response)
I have, on several occasions, and so have most of my fellow students. We don't try to crack each other's skulls during practice or make a point of punishing the slightest error by making people writhe in pain for a while, we don't kick the new people all the way around the dojo, and we never take something beyond our partner's ability to receive it (at least not intentionally - mistakes are sometimes made, of course) - in fact, people rarely even get hurt - but they do get shaken around a little when they neglect to "expect the unexpected", and it helps. I learned to leave no openings for incoming atemi by getting smacked in the face by a twelve year old kid (and how happy he was, being able to teach that smug sempai a lesson for once ). Giving a committed attack is as much part of the exercise as being able to handle one.

This is not intended as criticism on your style of practice BTW (I realize it may sound as such), perhaps you just tend to focus more on other things during kata, or perhaps we're just trying to communicate the same things in different ways (most likely, language being the uncooperative ass (=donkey, to avoid transatlantic confusion) that it is at times) but this is my personal view & experience...
paul watt (paw) wrote:
I don't mean to suggest that kata training doesn't have value. I think it does. But I find myself wondering if timing issues are better addressed in freestyle practice.
I totally agree, and I also concur with you and Rob that it can be good practice to occasionally forget about the timing issue (or any other factor) during kata, and focus exclusively on certain aspects - but in the end, it all comes together again and you can't rule anything out if you want to do things right.

Everything that applies during freestyle also applies during kata. Formal practice gives one the opportunity to make mistakes with impunity and learn from them, and there's nothing wrong with that - but, to get back to my the point I was trying to make a couple of posts ago, there's never an *excuse* for making a mistake in the dojo (if only because you can't learn from your mistakes if you refuse to acknowledge them).

Whether certain issues are better addressed in one form of practice or another depends on one's personal preference/philosophy/ability/whatever, IMO.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is, there's nothing wrong keeping one eye on the road beneath your feet, as long as you keep the other eye on your destination, as far away as it may be. So yes, timing or blending or whatever you choose to call it is always one of the essential factors, even if you choose not to concentrate on it in certain situations.

(upon rereading this, I'd like to add one thing: forgive me if I sound a bit overbearing here, I'm well aware that my lecturing abilities far exceed my aikido skills at the moment and I'm just sharing my own thoughts, not trying to present universal truths. Though of course I don't dismiss the possibility that I am, indeed, already spouting universal truths )
Sean Orchard (deepsoup) wrote:
there are other opportunities to harmonize with an attack besides that first one (...)
True. Perhaps this time I was focusing a bit too much on the issue at hand myself, and losing sight of the greater picture


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