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Home > Weapons > Intensity in Weapons Training
by Kim Taylor <Send E-mail to Author> - 1. Oct, 1998

Neil McKellar wrote:
Intensity is difficult in any form practice. Because we don't want to injure our partners, the level of trust required is outside the bounds of what we *consciously* experience in day-to-day living. We do it often without thinking, but here the risk is up front and in your face. It can be very difficult to break that barrier and place your life in the hands of someone else struggling to do the same thing.
Paradox, you can do more damage trying to be careful than attacking full force.

I've collected very few injuries from people who want to clean my clock with a stick, provided they were attacking within the parametres of the kata, but I've been hit countless times by people who are pulling the swing, swinging slowly, missing to one side, or doing something else "helpful".

The whole idea of kata in the koryu sense of the word (something that is more or less identical when you do it today to what you did 10 years ago and what you'll do 10 years from now) is to provide a situation where you CAN attack full out since your partner knows where you are, what you're going for, what his maai is, and can play with that accordingly.

By "helping" and deliberately missing (my personal least favourite thing to have happen) you endanger your partner. By attacking with something less than 100% you waste everyone's time.

The old chestnut about sempai changing the kata in the middle is another silly and dangerous thing to do. If you want to mess with your kohei's mind in order to wake him up you change the timing, not the kata. Changing the kata is like changing your attack or freezing your wrist or resisting the technique instead of continuing the attack on a beginner in Aikido practice. Since you're in charge, it's easy to screw them up so why bother? It doesn't do either one of you any good.

Kim Taylor
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