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Old 02-09-2010, 11:53 AM   #26
Dojo: Aiklikai of Philadelphia
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 92
Re: The Problem with Being a Big Guy

Sorry to weigh in so late but at 6'8" tall and 235lbs I obviously have spent my aikido career grapping with the same issues. Lots of great advice. I would just add that my practice has been to first simply follow the lead to be sure that my partner understands the technique. This translates into placing my arm and body in a position of kuzushi for the first few throws even if the uke doesn't create it. I was taught that, especially working with yukusha, this posturing allows them to experience the technique and adjust their body and position. I attack strong but slow, maintaining pressure throughoyut the ukemi and increase the speed as my partner appears to gain facility. After a series of successful throws then I feel for a place to either reverse or escape but rather than doing so I borrow a tactic from Osawa Shihan and indicate that spot with increased pressure. (He paused at that moment then allowed me to continue. When he threw he emphasised the same moment. When I got the message then the moment of pause appeared later in the technique.) Finally, when/irf uke is comfortable then I simly attack and respond, confident that my partenr will not be overwhelmed. My goals always are to allow nage to practice in whatever way he chooses and to attack until escape becomes prudent then rise to attack again. I look forward to all of us big guys training together at a seminar or summer camp. There's a seven footer over at Yousef Meter Sensei's Syracuse dojo. It would be quite a site and great fun to perform shihonage without crazy sinking tactics.
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