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Old 03-11-2009, 09:38 AM   #7
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Re: The speed of a technique

When you start off, speed is an important aspect of what you are trying to develop. Most Aikido folks are very slow, especially on their attacks (even more so in their weapons work). This is due incorrect posture and too much tension.

As people begin to take care of those issues, everything gets faster. Then you start to hit the limits imposed by physics. I am 330 pounds. I can't move as fast as someone who is 150 pounds. So there is no way I can be "fast" enough if that is how I am dealing with my technique.

Once you've maximized the speed at which you are capable of moving, the real training begins. It is far more important to move at the correct time than to be merely fast. Also, most people introduce tension in to their movement by trying to "out speed" their partner. Understanding how to perceive another's attempts at speed as slow (we call this time shifting) is the mark of more advanced skill.

Changing how one projects ones attention and finding out how that can completely change ones sense of time to the point at which "reaction time" more less ceases to exist is one of the goals of advanced training.

If you want to really see someone who understands "speed". Look at Kuroda Sensei's clips on You Tube. Of course video simply doesn't due justice because it make Sverdlovsk look slower. But Kuroda is by far the fastest swordsman I have ever seen; if you blink you've missed the move. He talks about movement always being at "one speed". He is always completely relaxed... when it is time to move he simply moves, in an instant. Watching him one can learn a lot about what we are shooting for.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 03-11-2009 at 09:41 AM.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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