Thread: Blind Aikidoka
View Single Post
Old 09-29-2004, 09:33 PM   #4
Michael Young
Michael Young's Avatar
Dojo: Alamo City Aikido
Location: San Antonio, TX
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 133
Re: Blind Aikidoka

Here is something I posted in another thread about looking in your opponent's eyes or not here:

I'll just copy and paste it:

While visiting Hikitsuchi Sensei's dojo in Shingu, Japan in 1998, I had the opportunity to train with a blind Aikido practioner. I think his rank was 3rd or 4th dan. During one class, the attack shown was tsuki (punch to the midsection), and I was partnered with the blind gentleman. At first I was timid about attacking him at the normal speed, but he communicated to me (mostly through gestures, he spoke no English and my Japanese was pretty bad) that he wanted me to attack full speed. I figured "O.K. you asked for it" and went ahead and punched at the normal pace, and immediately found myself flat on the mat as usual . It was a completely amazing experience. This guy could sense my timing, spacing, and intent without being able to see. He obviously doesn't have to worry about where to place his vision...of course, the rest of us are handicapped with the problem though .
Another interesting story involving the same person... He was a masseuse by profession. During class one of my fellow American friends, who was also practicing, hurt his toe by catching it in between the tatami mats. After class was over, the blind masseuse came over to my friend and pointed down towards his foot. No one had told him that my friend had hurt himself, and they were not practicing together at the time the injury occured. The masseuse, of course, went right to the toe that was hurt without being told which one...he did his massage thing...and my friend stated that his toe felt much better after. FWIW cool story, maybe with a lesson or two about preconceptions and how we limit ourselves to just the visible world.
  Reply With Quote