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Old 09-09-2000, 02:58 AM   #16
Location: South Korea
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 32

Hi, this is my first post on this site, and I've been watching the threads here with interest. In reference to a boxer's jab, I read an interesting story written by Shioda Gozo sensei and I think it gives some good insight by someone who could truly back up what he said. I'm writing it from memory, so what I say here won't be verbatim.
Anyway, it seems shortly after WWII, Shioda sensei was doing aikido demonstrations at American military camps. At one such demonstration, which he was doing with a kohai, a big American GI challenged them, taking up a boxer's stance. The GI took on the kohai first, and KOed him with a single right hook. Of course, the crowd of watching soldiers laughed their butts off.
Then it was Shioda sensei's turn, but as the boxer delivered a fast jab with his left, Shioda leapt in at that moment and delivered shihonage to the right arm of the boxer, amazing everyone watching. The boxer got up, rubbing his sore elbow and asked much more respectfully why he had ignored the left jab. Shioda sensei said he answered that he perceived the jab to be a feint, and that the true intent of the boxer was with the right hand, so he went straight for it. Since the boxer was not expecting such a move, he was taken off guard.
Shioda sensei elaborated further in his book, going on to explain that the reason he could do this was because aikido was not competition-oriented. If he had thought in terms of countering or handling such and such an attack with such and such a move, his movement would have been blocked. His kohai, not realising this, and faced with an unknown combat art, lost his ability to cope naturally with the situation and got hit smack with the follow up punch. Making excuses by saying he was not familiar with boxing was not acceptable, since that would mean he would have to learn every martial art in the world to cope. The essence was to incorporate the opponent's movement into his own, and perceive his intention at its beginning. Waiting would only ensure his defeat.
Of course, it would take all of us a good deal more training to get to where Shioda sensei is talking about, but I thought it could be relevant to where we should really be heading.
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