Logan Light wrote:
Anyways, back on topic. Me and my buddy were boxing the other day. We decided to do a drill where he was just striking (his style is primarily boxing) and I was defending. The whole time I was looking to tenkan and get to his side but if you don't have someone overly committed or someone who has good footwork, it's next to impossible for me. I was also gonna try to irimi and tie up but even then, thats difficult when they're throwing straights.
I was playing with that too, I really think there has to be a back-and-forth. You don't tenkan or irimi as a response to something uke does. Instead, if you are both in striking range (just for example), each person has to be feeling like the other will strike. Through that interaction, entering may happen but it is in the context of (in the case you described) both people striking or being able to strike. I mean, through your expression of striking, you create irimi. Well, this is hard to verbalize, but I just mean you are expressing yourself through striking when the two of you are striking. Rather than, "when he strikes I will do this big movement, devoid of strikes or the threat of strikes, in response to that." Of course, body movement is critically involved in striking, so that is where you can find the irimi movement.
This is good to do. But frustrating, isn't it? I trained very heavily with this type of thing about 11 years ago. I think you're both missing the point. If you commit to irimi or tenkan when your opponent is making a small movement or maybe even feigning a strike, you will find yourself grossly out of position. You can't be said to have any ability with aiki. You are far from it. In fact, you are the one who is over committing. You may even be the "attacker."
You must join your opponent's movements (better to join the movement of their "spirit" than that of their body), but have the mentality that you will stay in an advantageous position. Otherwise you are extrapolating, and no longer responding to anything that is actually present. There is no way other than luck to be appropriate when you respond this way.
I suggest you stop thinking about what you are going to do and start observing and listening to your opponent very carefully. . . and continue to get more subtle with it.
The essence of aiki is not learned in contact, but pre-contact.