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Old 01-23-2005, 06:42 PM   #51
Location: Auckland
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 971
New Zealand
Re: Taking the high road

Casey Martinson wrote:

Michael: "Why is it important that we have a specifically and uniquely Aikido response to an attack like this?"

From what I have seen, the sprawl involves sort of shooting your legs behind you while you secure a hold on your opponent's shoulders or head or gi or whatever? Is that correct?
Yeah that's more or less it.

If it is, then it seems like your center of gravity is way out over your supporting limbs (your legs). Is it not fundamental to aikido to stay centered and grounded?
I would suggest it's fundamental to Aikido to stay conscious so a sprawl vs a double leg is a good start.
Seriously though, centered and grounded could mean different things to different people. By which I mean, just because your're not standing there with a straight back and head up doesn't necessarily mean you are not centered. IMHO it's about keeping control of your center and taking control of there's. Which a sprawl acheives. I see nothing un aiki in it.
That has been my impression so far. If my line of reasoning isn't totally half baked then, once you're in the sprawl, would it not be difficult to regain a grounded posture? You may escape the takedown, but then you have entered into a grappling contenst where the odds are not in your favor. One thing that seems very practical about the aikido immobilizations I've seen and practiced is that they leave you (standing or kneeling) in a good position to escape or defend against other attackers.
Well you don't have to go from sprawl to grapple. You can regain your feet again pretty quickly if that's your desire. The sprawl can be very transitory and need not overly impinge your ability to deal with others who are on their way. On the other hand it's been shown time and again that if you don't know the sprawl. the most likely result is you flat on your back, perhaps unconscious, if not mounted and on your way to unconsciousness. Which much more seriously impinges your ability to escape or defend against other attackers.

In other words, it would be great to choose a defence to a shot that leaves you on your feet in strong stance with your would be attacker pinned on the ground and under control I have simply seen no evidence that such a defence exists in Aikido or elsewhere.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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