James Vadakin (jvadakin) wrote:
I have a question that I hope some of you more experienced people could answer for me. It seems like it would be very difficult to limit a fight (bear with me, self defense incident if you please) to the Aikido proper distance for throwing and otherwise contorting uke. I think I remember Bruce Lee writing somewhere that there are 3 ranges of combat (kick, punch, grapple). Aikido seems to operate somewhere in-between the last two categories. How the heck do you limit your adversary to the one distance that works best for Aikido? Do we just concede the other ranges that are not compatible with our techniques? Is that a huge disadvantage? Thanks in advance for your help!
Actually, there is a fourth range placed between punching and grappling and that's "trapping". That's the distance at which you use close quarters striking techniques like knees, elbows, head butts etc. and it is also the distance at which you can trap limbs for locking etc. This is the main distance at which Aikido techniques take place. So even if the attacker initiates with strikes at punching or kicking range we enter and attempt to get to what the Jeet Kun Do folks would consider "trapping" range. There are some techniques in Aikido, like koshinage for instance which are done at grappling range but for the most part Aikido folks strive to resolve the conflict before the fight gets to grappling range. Aikido Kihon Waza is largely initiated at punching range (grabs such as katate-tori or kosa-dori are at punching range even though you might not see any punching).