Drew Ames (jxa127) wrote:
I prefer to think that there is no "proper" aikido distance, but there is a proper training distance.
Think of the training ma-ai as the ideal distance, but work with what you have.
I like this! I'll try to remember it....
I just finished viewing a video on Shodokan (aka Tomiki) aikido in which they presented a drill that looked like it was designed specifically for maintaining distance (tegatana touching, alternating pressure). When I used to fence we did similar distance drills. Very valuable.
I've read that koryu arts tend to present a lot of distance/engagement info in their kata. The kata starts before the participants are in range.
On the other hand, seems like you should practice situations where you have been unable to maintain ideal distance. In fact, I'd imagine you should practice the worst-case scenario of distance.
I remember reading that the Dog Brothers describe several more categories of distance than the usual close, medium, long. If I remember correctly, they have ground grappling as closer than standup grappling range, and they have a range that is outside of long range (with an evocative name that I cannot remember right now). Interesting reminder that the engagement may occur before you can reach each other, and therefore your response begins then as well... interesting parallel with koryu....