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Old 02-03-2004, 01:41 PM   #1
GC_Chew
Dojo: ANU Aikido Club
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Boken Attacks hurt

Yeah they HURT!

O-sensei one said whatever stance you are don't look at his eyes you will fall into them, don't look at his eyes etc etc

I am not sure of the quote could someone post it.

My question is where do u look when u r in stance? I mean i know we are suppose to focus our mind and ki on the attacker but where you look you tend to focus. Evenmore so when the attacker is holding the boken and your eyes stray to it. Its not a wise tactical move as i found out after getting hit by fists when i focus on the boken too much.

Advise anyone? Where do i look? Also how do i focus so i can sense the attack?
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Old 02-03-2004, 02:03 PM   #2
Nick Simpson
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I tend not to focus on anything but rather to look behind uke if you will, therefore I can see his entire body and any movement he will make. Its kind of like using your peripheral vision. I think its called distant mountain viewing or something.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 02-03-2004, 02:05 PM   #3
Jesse Lee
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Prior sensei of mine also taught us to avoid the eyes. He advised to always look at the sternum / upper chest area. He calls it the "information center" for the rest of the body, as applied to aikido anyway.

, can't find m s
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Old 02-03-2004, 04:37 PM   #4
Lan Powers
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The chest was the focal point for european fencing as well. ( at least in the classes here in the states) As Jesse Lee pointed out, the movement of the chest shows where the body is actually going, as opposed to feints. Sort of a "soft focus thing" for using peripheral vision.

Lan

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
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Old 02-03-2004, 05:04 PM   #5
Don_Modesto
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Re: Boken Attacks hurt

Quote:
Ghee Chuan Chew (GC_Chew) wrote:
My question is where do u look when u r in stance?

Advise anyone? Where do i look? Also how do i focus so i can sense the attack?
I tend to look at the sternum about nipple level in aikido, a practice I picked up unconsciously from a Saotome student named Suzuki Shigeru who used to teach in Chicago way back when. I think you could make the best of any practice, though. When I do karate, I look 'em in the eye. Some folk say you can better tell their intentions thus. Some sword folk recommend looking at the hands.

As to sensing the attack, I've found patience works best for me. I quiet myself and concentrate; UKE's intentions become obvious. The quiet seems to psyche 'em out some, too. Most aikido practice doesn't lend itself to picking up this skill, in my experience. Too often training is formulaic: My turn as UKE, attack four times, now I'm NAGE, etc. Karate's KUMITE will hone this for you.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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Old 02-03-2004, 05:14 PM   #6
Jesse Lee
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what is KUMITE, sounds cool....

, can't find m s
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Old 02-03-2004, 05:40 PM   #7
Don_Modesto
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Quote:
Jesse Lee wrote:
what is KUMITE
Free sparring.

Cool? Maybe.

Humbling? For sure.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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Old 02-03-2004, 06:44 PM   #8
Noel
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I was once told, "Focus on nothing, gaze at everything."
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Old 02-03-2004, 09:18 PM   #9
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
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I've heard look at their eyes, but see their entire body. Not getting lost in their gaze (so romantic!), but at their eyes.
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Old 02-03-2004, 09:31 PM   #10
John Boswell
 
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I know it's cliche' to talk about Bruce Lee, but he has a lot to teach.

In "Enter the Dragon", there are several good scenes where he is taking on more than one attacker. Look at his eyes. He is looking at the SPACE in front of him, not the individual attackers. This will train you to see your surroundings more than just the individual(s).

As far as one on one... when it comes to bokken work, I try to do the same. Feet, Hands, Hips, Chest, Weapon... all of it gives indications as to intent. My advice would be not to focus on any ONE thing and just be comfortable in yourself and your ability. Know how to get off line and what your action will be once you are there. Sounds simple but really... experience is the greatest teacher imho.

Good luck! Train hard!

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Old 02-04-2004, 01:38 AM   #11
boni tongson
 
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why not look at the eyes? by the way, being attack by the uke with a shinai or bokken is a very good practice. i enjoy it very much. actually what works for me is I directly look at the eyes before any attacks is yet to be delivered. for me I think that once your uke has the shinai or bokken and is attacking with no control, you should not remain passive.

Weak hearts and flesh do not exist where undaunted spirits dwell!
-PMA
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Old 02-04-2004, 06:11 AM   #12
Jason Tonks
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I feel Nick alluded to the correct perception of an opponent. The ancient masters I believe called it "looking to the mountain and beyond." It applies to facing an unarmed opponent as well. The feeling is one of absorbing the opponent's spirit with your own and taking his mind. Your looking through him as if he is no threat. Difficult as with all these things to put into words; has to be felt.

All the best

Jason T
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Old 02-04-2004, 06:56 AM   #13
vanstretch
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hi all, I like the above posts and there seems to be a consensus that the upper chest and neck area is an "information center". this is so true and reminds me of the great poker player Texas Doyle "Dolly" Brunson. He says that every man has two things that he cannot hide; his eyes and his neck. The neck can show much and for aikido attacks can show when the opponent inhales(is weakest here),and most vulnerable. and the eyes rarely lie. any mother can tell you that.
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Old 02-04-2004, 08:22 AM   #14
Josh Bisker
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saw a movie called "sword of doom" where the protagonist is this murderous swordsman, who me and my friends called "crazy eyes" because of his crazy wide eyed blank seeming stare (also because we couldn't figure out what his name was. Ryunosuke, maybe?). i tried it out in class just to screw with my buddy, yet actually found that by opening my eyes a bit more than is casual and by abandoning the drive to focus on any one moving thing, but rather try to perceve all the motions around me, my awareness in training expended quite a bit. seeing instead of looking, you know? and this way my friends on the mat call me "crazy eyes."
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Old 02-04-2004, 10:32 AM   #15
John Boswell
 
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I found on a different website the quote that O'Sensei gives regarding where to look, etc.
Quote:
Watch not his flashing blade;

Nothing can be seen there.

His fists will reveal where he intends to cut.

-- Morihei Ueshiba
Hope this helps.

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Old 02-04-2004, 07:56 PM   #16
Ian Williams
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Quote:
Nick Simpson wrote:
I tend not to focus on anything but rather to look behind uke if you will, therefore I can see his entire body and any movement he will make. Its kind of like using your peripheral vision. I think its called distant mountain viewing or something.
Averted Vision?

http://www.roboticobservatory.com/je...g/averted.html
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Old 02-05-2004, 12:39 AM   #17
GC_Chew
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Watch not his flashing blade;

Nothing can be seen there.

His fists will reveal where he intends to cut.

-- Morihei Ueshiba

Naaaaa thanks John but i rem the thing saying something abt eyes.
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Old 02-05-2004, 11:11 AM   #18
Nick Simpson
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Erm, I dont think so Ian, that sounds a bit complicated to me and I stopped reading halfway through, sorry! Its nothing complicated, you just let your eyes go blank and dont focus on anything, because of this you can see anything that is moving in your field of vision e.g. uke.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 02-05-2004, 11:59 AM   #19
James Giles
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I know this might be changing the subject a little bit. I have been practicing Aikido for only about 5 months now. Since our class is really small, there is no beginner class, so I am sort of pushed to learn things quickly (which I really don't mind at all).

We are presently practicing the bokken kumitachi for the ASU Nidan test (#6 - #12), which my Sensei is going to take soon. Up until last night all had been going well. I learned all of the bokken kumitachi #1 - #11, and had not been injured nor injured anyone else.

I was practicing the 8th kumitachi with my Sensei, and I cracked him on the top of the head with a Shomen strike by accident. Looking back, I don't even know how it all came about. I tried to pull back at the last instant, but I heard a loud *WHONK* and a very hurt look on his face.

I know this may sound crazy, but I felt so badly about it, that I went home and took my bokken and cracked myself on the head just to experience what he must have felt. I still have a headache this afternoon. Yes bokkens do hurt! But what hurts more is knowing that I hurt my Sensei, who I really respect a lot.

Has anyone else out there had to go through this?

James
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Old 02-05-2004, 12:32 PM   #20
happysod
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Quote:
I know this may sound crazy, but I felt so badly about it, that I went home and took my bokken and cracked myself on the head just to experience what he must have felt
Yep, you're crazy, don't do that again! (visions of James committing sepuka for treading on sensei's hakama )

One of the joys of teaching beginners is the interesting bruises and scars they sometimes leave, your sensei will know and expect such things, so don't take it to heart.
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Old 02-05-2004, 12:55 PM   #21
Don_Modesto
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Quote:
James Giles wrote:
I was practicing the 8th kumitachi with my Sensei, and I cracked him on the top of the head with a Shomen strike by accident. Looking back, I don't even know how it all came about. I tried to pull back at the last instant, but I heard a loud *WHONK* and a very hurt look on his face.

I know this may sound crazy, but I felt so badly about it, that I went home and took my bokken and cracked myself on the head just to experience what he must have felt.
It happens. I think most folk have the same reaction as you, they'd rather get hit than hit. But the trade off is choreography (instead of honest attacks.) I rather take a hit once in a while than just go through the motions. I'll bet your teacher feels the same.

Chin up.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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Old 02-05-2004, 01:41 PM   #22
Jesse Lee
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Your Sensei is a survivor; survey says he is going to make it through this one

, can't find m s
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Old 02-05-2004, 09:04 PM   #23
Lan Powers
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Regarding the focus issue, the point of using the peripheral vision,as verses focused vision is the routing of optic nerves into the brain itself. As this was explained in the USAF (United States Fencing Association)

this means the signal from the main focal area of the back of the eyeball itself is routed more into the lobes of the brain. Edges of this area are routed deeper into the more primitive core or (reptillian brain).

Reflexes come from this area. more direct connection less re-routing =quicker reaction times.

I, myself, don't know for absolute fact on this...... just repeating what the fencing coaches curriculae contained.

I would appreciate it if anyone with more Read "any" anatomical knowledge would verify this?

After all the instructors in the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs may have disproved this as a no-longer-valid theory.
Twenty years have passed since I was taught this, so...

(And, no, I haven't fenced in the olympics...)

Fwiw Lan

Last edited by Lan Powers : 02-05-2004 at 09:07 PM.

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Old 02-06-2004, 05:10 AM   #24
Nick Simpson
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I cracked a mate on the head with my bokken a couple of weeks ago, I was really scared cos I heard the crack and then he dropped down out of shock. He was fine but I felt really crap all night, least it wasnt a live blade!

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 02-06-2004, 05:41 AM   #25
batemanb
 
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Quote:
James Giles wrote:
I

Looking back, I don't even know how it all came about. I tried to pull back at the last instant, but I heard a loud *WHONK* and a very hurt look on his face.
He didn't try to move of line?

Don't beat yourself up over this, it's his fault for not getting out of the way, not yours for hitting him, unless he had his back to you when you struck him . Even then it's still his fault because he should have been aware of you wherever you were, even more so when working with ken.

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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