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Old 08-16-2012, 06:16 AM   #1
bychang93
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Uncommitted Attacks & "Competition-style" Attacks

Hi AikiWeb members,

I have a question that has been in my mind for some time.

How can one apply Aikido techniques onto uncommitted attacks or "competition-style" attacks?
Eg, all the attacks in Wing Chun are uncommitted; "competition-style" karate punches that pull back really lightning quickly.

I've trained in Competition Karate before, and when I asked my brother to do the quick pullback punch that we've been taught to do, I could not catch the arm or do any Aikido techniques.

However, I tried the same attack on my Sensei (with his permission, of course) and he easily applied Kotegaeshi on me. I have never been able to do that. I asked Sensei about it, and he replied "If it's a punch that has more focus on pullback, just follow the pull."

I've practiced multiple times with my brothers and training partners. Either, I couldn't catch the punch, or I get hit by the punch. One of my training partner is my senior in Karate, and his lightning fast punches hit like a truck, so there must be enough momentum for me to harmonize with, but I couldn't manage to apply even a single Aikido technique on him.

I must be doing something wrong, right?
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Old 08-16-2012, 07:13 AM   #2
lbb
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Re: Uncommitted Attacks & "Competition-style" Attacks

I don't think catching the punch is the right idea. It might work with some people, some of the time, but there will always be someone who is quicker than you are -- and if you do succeed in catching it, what do you do with it? Now you're holding onto someone else's arm, and there will always be someone stronger than you are and able to resist whatever you're trying to do at that point.

If your tactic is "I grab you and do something", I'm not sure that's aikido. It seems to me that an aikido encounter is more "You attack me, I find an opening (or create one, but that's not the same thing as grabbing someone) and do something". Maybe a better approach would be to try to figure out where the opening is in these types of attacks (for example, what your sensei says about the pullback -- if it's not a committed punch, then maybe that's your most obvious advantage and where to find the opening).
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Old 08-16-2012, 07:39 AM   #3
Basia Halliop
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Re: Uncommitted Attacks & "Competition-style" Attacks

Hmm, you're making me want to get a friend and try this a lot more -- I've done it from time to time but not a huge amount. How about get out of the way of the punch (e.g. using you arm to 'block' only in the sense of protecting your body, not to try to stop or move their punch) and get behind uke and do something un-arm related? Or deflect their elbow with your own arm and maybe then see if you can keep your arm stuck to their elbow and follow it back? Just ideas to try...

Even with punches that don't have a rapid pull-back I've pretty much always been told _not_ to try to literally catch punches. And I've also generally always been told to focus on body positioning and let things with the arms follow from that. So not sure what specifically you're doing or should be doing, but I wonder if the beginning of your answer might come from thinking more about getting in an advantageous position and less about uke's actual arm.
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Old 08-16-2012, 07:43 AM   #4
phitruong
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Re: Uncommitted Attacks & "Competition-style" Attacks

Quote:
Bing Yen Chang wrote: View Post
How can one apply Aikido techniques onto uncommitted attacks or "competition-style" attacks?
Eg, all the attacks in Wing Chun are uncommitted; "competition-style" karate punches that pull back really lightning quickly.
wingchun is "uncommitted"? my wingchun teacher flexed his arm lightly and sent me flying into the wall, harder and faster than any karate punch i encountered.

if you look at the anatomy of the punch, the fastest moving part is the fist, and the slowest moving part is the shoulder. you don't intercept the fastest moving part, you go after the slowest moving part. think of punching the other person's shoulder, then drop your weight straight down when you come into contact with the shoulder. if the other person isn't commit with the punch, then you punch his/her/its shoulder. if they are yin, then you are yang, and vice versa.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 08-16-2012, 07:50 AM   #5
Cliff Judge
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Re: Uncommitted Attacks & "Competition-style" Attacks

If you find yourself trying to "grab a punch" to do an Aikido technique, what you are doing is playing the other guy's game.

You need to either ignore his game - just go in there and take him down - or else get him to play your game, which you might be able to accomplish by fooling him into thinking you are closer than you are, or fooling him into thinking he can take you out with one punch.

My thoughts on how this relates to the OODA loop is that you either want him to Orient himself improperly so that he makes a poor Decision and thus you can Act before he does, or you want to move in after he has Decided but before he has Acted.

YMMV. You need to play around with people with different skill sets to learn how different people behave.
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:23 AM   #6
Just Jamey
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Re: Uncommitted Attacks & "Competition-style" Attacks

I had an opportunity to attend a class two weeks ago where something like this was addressed. The sensei who was guest instructing had us work on moving/blending with a jab. The overlying message I took away is that if you do not practice how to approach a fast attack (and a fast withdrawal) on a regular basis you aren't going to have the response trained into the muscle memory.

Sensei had us practice a couple of different exercises that can be used to develop that muscle memory. There was no technique involved with these exercises because it was about developing a smooth, relaxed approach to the jab. I think for most of us grabbing for a punch, or jab, has a very low percentage chance for an aikido technique being applied. She had us practice no grabbing.

The exercise that stuck in my head involved a jab at the face (yes, I see the irony). Keep in mind it is an exercise. Nage places a hand up in front of their face with the palm facing outward. Uke strikes the hand. Once Uke's hand connects with Nage's palm, Nage's goal is to keep their hand in physical contact with Uke's fist. As Uke draws their fist back, Nage moves their entire body forward to get into that "safe-zone" slightly behind Uke. The jab exercise starts out slowly, very slowly, and builds up speed as Nage gets comfortable and relaxed with the movement. At no point did Nage grab Uke.

First time out doing this meant I, as Nage, wasn't moving like lightening. First time out doing this meant that my Uke wasn't "floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee".

Where it gets wickedly interesting is we mixed it up a little bit with a standard jab, and a reverse punch/jab from Uke with Nage moving Irimi or Tenkan. Again, we started out slowly when doing these variations. We applied no technique. We simply practiced moving with the punch.

I'm waiting for a little free time between classes at my dojo to grab a couple of guys and work on this some more.
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:51 AM   #7
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Uncommitted Attacks & "Competition-style" Attacks

I like what your teacher said about this. I wouldn't focus on the blow or on a technique. I would pay close attention then move into the opening of the whole body and see here the technique revealed itself.

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Old 08-16-2012, 10:02 AM   #8
Keith Larman
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Re: Uncommitted Attacks & "Competition-style" Attacks

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
If you find yourself trying to "grab a punch" to do an Aikido technique, what you are doing is playing the other guy's game.

You need to either ignore his game - just go in there and take him down - or else get him to play your game, which you might be able to accomplish by fooling him into thinking you are closer than you are, or fooling him into thinking he can take you out with one punch.

My thoughts on how this relates to the OODA loop is that you either want him to Orient himself improperly so that he makes a poor Decision and thus you can Act before he does, or you want to move in after he has Decided but before he has Acted.

YMMV. You need to play around with people with different skill sets to learn how different people behave.
Was about to type a bunch of stuff, but instead I'll just say ... What he said up above.

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Old 08-16-2012, 12:25 PM   #9
Millsy
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Re: Uncommitted Attacks & "Competition-style" Attacks

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
wingchun is "uncommitted"? my wingchun teacher flexed his arm lightly and sent me flying into the wall, harder and faster than any karate punch i encountered.
I don't thing anyone would argue that such a strike is "uncommitted" in terms of intent or strength. I think rather in Aikido we typically train against an attacker who "commits" his/her whole body to the forward movement stepping into the nage with a tsuki, as opposed to say a jab that still it thrown with some power but it not so committed to the forward motion that the whole body moves in and the strike doesn't snap back. I think this is uncommitted we are taking about, not an attack without intent or power.

One thing I'd like to put forward it that such a strike can only be thrown from close range (a boxing range if you will), if you maintain a ma-ai that is out side that range (not as easy as it sounds) the attacker must make a committed move of their body as well to reach that range to strike with a jab, this it the movement you can take advantage of, not "grabbing" the hand.
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Old 08-16-2012, 04:26 PM   #10
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Re: Uncommitted Attacks & "Competition-style" Attacks

Quote:
Tony Mills wrote: View Post
I don't thing anyone would argue that such a strike is "uncommitted" in terms of intent or strength. I think rather in Aikido we typically train against an attacker who "commits" his/her whole body to the forward movement stepping into the nage with a tsuki, as opposed to say a jab that still it thrown with some power but it not so committed to the forward motion that the whole body moves in and the strike doesn't snap back. I think this is uncommitted we are taking about, not an attack without intent or power.

One thing I'd like to put forward it that such a strike can only be thrown from close range (a boxing range if you will), if you maintain a ma-ai that is out side that range (not as easy as it sounds) the attacker must make a committed move of their body as well to reach that range to strike with a jab, this it the movement you can take advantage of, not "grabbing" the hand.
Don't get too caught up on semantics. Phi gave the solution that I would have given in his post.
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:48 PM   #11
Janet Rosen
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Re: Uncommitted Attacks & "Competition-style" Attacks

Quote:
Jamey Johnston wrote: View Post
The exercise that stuck in my head involved a jab at the face (yes, I see the irony). Keep in mind it is an exercise. Nage places a hand up in front of their face with the palm facing outward. Uke strikes the hand. Once Uke's hand connects with Nage's palm, Nage's goal is to keep their hand in physical contact with Uke's fist. As Uke draws their fist back, Nage moves their entire body forward to get into that "safe-zone" slightly behind Uke. The jab exercise starts out slowly, very slowly, and builds up speed as Nage gets comfortable and relaxed with the movement. At no point did Nage grab Uke.
Cool exercise. Think I'll play with that on the mat next week!

Janet Rosen
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:06 PM   #12
odudog
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Re: Uncommitted Attacks & "Competition-style" Attacks

If you watch the documentary about Steven Seagal he might shed some light on this for you the way he did me. There is a point in the film where he talking about this very point. "....When he punches I grab his shoulder, that's all I want, that's all I need....."
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:11 PM   #13
bychang93
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Re: Uncommitted Attacks & "Competition-style" Attacks

Thanks for all the replies, guys!

When I said uncommitted, I did not mean no strength/intent, what I meant is that uke's body does not follow through with the attack. To be honest, I have very little experience and training regarding such attacks, that's why I'm asking these questions... So far in the dojo I train at in Penang, every attack we train to blend with is thrown with uke's whole body moving forward.

Phi, your reply reminds me of a seminar I attended by Joe Thambu Shihan.
He taught us how to defend against a lightning quick front jab to the face.
What he did was something like a "bob-and-weave" motion. As uke threw a right jab, he bobbed underneath and to the left of the jab, and as uke pulled back his arm, he followed through with iriminage.
Personally though, I have never been able to execute that...

About maai, I have practiced a bit with my brothers and Karate senior. It seems I can react fast enough to tenkan around uke without him ever landing a blow on me, but I get hit if I tried to irimi after that.

I'll try out those suggested techniques when I step onto the mat next Monday.

Can I ask you guys an unrelated question about etiquette?
I am planning to join a Karate Society when I get to university.
Is it ok to ask Karateka to train with me those techniques you guys mentiioned?
Or is it considered rude? I remember my first Karate sensei told us never to train with other budoka who are not Karateka.
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:28 PM   #14
Abasan
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Re: Uncommitted Attacks & "Competition-style" Attacks

He didn't just bob. He atemi'd you as well. If he just bob'd you'd have punished him.

And the Steven seagal post alluded to the basis of it. You don't want the hand, you want his center or originating power or whatever...

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:29 PM   #15
Abasan
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Re: Uncommitted Attacks & "Competition-style" Attacks

Oh yeah, ask Joe Sensei to show you the nose trick as well... Gives you an understanding why atemi is so important.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 08-18-2012, 04:42 AM   #16
bychang93
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Re: Uncommitted Attacks & "Competition-style" Attacks

Quote:
Ahmad Abas wrote: View Post
Oh yeah, ask Joe Sensei to show you the nose trick as well... Gives you an understanding why atemi is so important.
He's too far in Australia right now for me to go ask him though

Sorry, I forgot about the atemi, the seminar I attended was quite a few months ago...
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Old 08-18-2012, 07:02 AM   #17
Abasan
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Re: Uncommitted Attacks & "Competition-style" Attacks

Then ask Sensei ramlan to show you the nose trick.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 08-18-2012, 11:19 PM   #18
bychang93
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Re: Uncommitted Attacks & "Competition-style" Attacks

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Ahmad Abas wrote: View Post
Then ask Sensei ramlan to show you the nose trick.
Sadly, I will only be having one last training session before I depart for Hong Kong, and that is with Sensei Kirill. Sensei Ramlan isnt currently at Penang.

Perhaps you could describe to me the nose trick? Or link me to a video of it?
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Old 08-19-2012, 12:17 AM   #19
PeterR
 
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Re: Uncommitted Attacks & "Competition-style" Attacks

Describing attacks as "committed" or "un-committed", "competition-like" or something else really does a disservice to what is really out there and what it really means. In a fight it just may not be to my advantage to completely commit my body to the attack just in case it fails - I want to be able to retreat or follow-up as the case permits. Same in competition. When someone says they want a wholly committed attack I really don't understand what is meant.

That said the answer to any of these questions is to go big. You want to control the wrist aim for the forearm. You want to control a punch go for the body. Trying to catch a punch not only risks a miss but leaves you open to the other hand, or foot or name your poison.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 08-22-2012, 12:42 AM   #20
Mike Hamer
 
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Re: Uncommitted Attacks & "Competition-style" Attacks

I think a good aikido defense to a jab would be to take a step backwards, because really if they jab at you and you move outside the range of the jab, then what harm is done? Thats still aikido, right?

To speak ill of anything is against the nature of Aikido
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:46 AM   #21
Janet Rosen
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Re: Uncommitted Attacks & "Competition-style" Attacks

Quote:
Mikel Hamer wrote: View Post
I think a good aikido defense to a jab would be to take a step backwards, because really if they jab at you and you move outside the range of the jab, then what harm is done? Thats still aikido, right?
I respectfully disagree.
Stepping back and doing nothing else is energetically and physically inviting further attack while doing absolutely nothing to enhance your own position.

Janet Rosen
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:21 AM   #22
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Re: Uncommitted Attacks & "Competition-style" Attacks

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Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
I respectfully disagree.
Stepping back and doing nothing else is energetically and physically inviting further attack while doing absolutely nothing to enhance your own position.
By controlling the space and staying outside the reach of the jab I suppose you would be inviting further attack this is true. But maybe this aggravates the opponent into making a more "committed" strike and making an attack that you can take advantage of? I suppose Im drawing this type of idea from training with knives, and if someone is making small tight quick movements (like they should be) you dont really want to try and mess with something like that, rather, do what you can to control the space and invite them into make a lunging type of attack that you can more easily deal with.
I know we arent talking about knives right now, but I was just trying to justify where I was coming from with that statement, respectfully.

To speak ill of anything is against the nature of Aikido
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:25 AM   #23
Chris Li
 
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Re: Uncommitted Attacks & "Competition-style" Attacks

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
I respectfully disagree.
Stepping back and doing nothing else is energetically and physically inviting further attack while doing absolutely nothing to enhance your own position.
I agree - nothing wrong with avoidance per se, but it does very little to change your position.

Quote:
合気は常に前に出る
"Aiki always moves forward"
---Sokaku Takeda
I think that there is a tendency in Aikido to think of non-resistance as avoidance and retreat - but it really isn't.

Best,

Chris

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Old 08-22-2012, 11:35 AM   #24
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Re: Uncommitted Attacks & "Competition-style" Attacks

Quote:
Mikel Hamer wrote: View Post
By controlling the space and staying outside the reach of the jab I suppose you would be inviting further attack this is true. But maybe this aggravates the opponent into making a more "committed" strike and making an attack that you can take advantage of? I suppose Im drawing this type of idea from training with knives, and if someone is making small tight quick movements (like they should be) you dont really want to try and mess with something like that, rather, do what you can to control the space and invite them into make a lunging type of attack that you can more easily deal with.
I know we arent talking about knives right now, but I was just trying to justify where I was coming from with that statement, respectfully.
I agree with Janet and Chris, knife especially. You simply cannot retreat faster than someone can move forward. Just because you think it's just one jab does not mean that's all that's coming at you. IMO, anyway.

Mark
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Old 08-24-2012, 06:13 PM   #25
miser
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Re: Uncommitted Attacks & "Competition-style" Attacks

Grabbing uke's hand only works so long as you are blending with it. If you're trying to catch it whilst he's snapping it back away from you, he'll probably succeed. So it would be as your sensei said - follow it. Not so that you can be hit, but so you can constantly be in a state of blending with your uke, not trying to execute a technique that does not complement his movements. If uke has been too quick and has already recalled his arm, then perhaps an atemi would allow uke to recoil so that you might blend with him. Always blend - don't try to apply technique that is not consistent with your partner's own movement intentions.
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