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Old 09-30-2005, 10:27 PM   #5
Larry John
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Arlington VA
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 74
Re: committed attack/sensitive ukemi paradox

Being what my instructor calls "a really goal-oriented person" I have been struggling with the same problem as Janet. Hey, I'm retired military--someone gives you a mission, you complete it. If they say, "hit the back side of my head by going through the front" you're not satisfied until you can do it every time.

This leads to what I think of as a "single-minded attack"--the striking or grabbing implement and most, if not all supporting structures are tense and over-committed. This causes three main problems:

1. You're rooted and not ready to respond to nage's response to your attack, therefore
2. Your counter or next attack is later than it should be and
3. When nage gets your balance you tend to take BIG ukemi all of a sudden.

We're trying to address the problem by executing our attacks in such a way that the supporting structures are not rooted. Instead of stopping one or both of our feet, we keep them moving throughout the attack and our grabbing and striking implements are relaxed throughout the attack except for the moment of contact. We don't close the hand until the instant of contact, and we relax it a bit immediately thereafter. I think this comes from some of the Chinese empty hand systems.

This creates a fully committed, full-power attack that doesn't root us to the ground so we can move through the attack and deal with or ride nage's response with control while continually scanning for openings and setting up the next attack.

Your thoughts?

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