View Single Post
Old 04-30-2003, 10:09 AM   #40
Dave Miller
Dave Miller's Avatar
Dojo: UCO Budo Society
Location: Oklahoma
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 204
Jasper Arenskogh (Jappzz) wrote:
Just my two cents...

With every new batch of eager, aspiring aikidoka that enter our dojo i have made pretty intressting dicovery,

Many of the expected defensive reactions to techniques and atemi (hard or soft) will fail to show...

Is Aikido atemi and SG only effective in it's full extent on relatively seasoned fighters?
I'll take a stab at this.

I think that there are two things that effect the reaction of a newcomer:
  • The newcomer doesn't know how to make a "committed" attack. They tend to pull and hedge so that their balance is never "offered". That makes it much easier for them to react in a "non-catastrophic" fashion, thus not reacting how they're "supposed to". I have seen new students not respond to eye threats and such in kata but when I simply walk up to them and offer a hard, controled backhand to their face, they jump out of their skin! The difference is both the suprise and also the felt intent. As more experienced aikidoka, we know both how to make that committed attack and how we're "supposed to" respond.

    I think that experienced folks are often hessitent to make good "hard" atemi to newcomers. Whether or not we actually hit them is somewhat beside the point. If we have enough control, we ought to be able to toss up a hard atemi within a millimeter or so of their nose. If that, combined with a strong feeling of intent (projection of the ki, if you like) doesn't provoke a response, then they need to see a neuro-scientist.
Regarding whether these "self protection reflexes" are innate or learned, they are definitely innate. Just think about wandering around grandma's back yard and being "knocked down" by the clothes line without it ever touching you. It all goes back to their learning how to make solid, committed attacks (a difficult skill indeed, IMHO) and feeling the intent of the atemi.

Does this make sense or am I out to lunch?


If you're working too hard, you're doing it wrong.
  Reply With Quote