Monday, November 02, 2015

Stop Picking On Your Elders

So one of the beginners we have at Shodokan is a youngish in shape person with a background dabbling in other martial arts.

He doesn't see practical applications for aikido yet  and is trying to figure it out.  I think it's because his practice has been limited to lots of static one on one practice. This is normal and safer for beginners.  I tried to tell him that right now he should just concentrate on building muscle memory and learning the techniques.  It doesn't do any good to practice at speed if you don't have the techniques down yet.

This Sunday, for the second time he asked me to stay and work with him some.  I said sure.  He wanted to show me something a teacher in another art did to him.  It was basically, kubishime like attack.  The one difference was instead of grabbing the hand, there was a gooseneck nikkyo with that hand.  I could turn out of it easily.  But I don't feel nikkyo as intensely as other people so I don't know if that would work.  I also pointed out that I could easily hip throw him from that position but you run the risk that after impacting the pavement he might be able to hold on(though I doubt it).

Then he wanted to just fool around and grapple with me after class.  Most of the time I am limited as I don't want to hurt him.  I usually get a control on him at some point and he has to tap out.  During one of the last sessions I hear Russ the arnis instructor watch us and call out, Hey Eric, enough playing with him, just take him down.  So I step in and do a hip throw and as he lands I put him in a kase gatami headlock.  I don't crank it or anything.... I just let him squirm around until he runs out of steam and gives up.  I was pretty sure he didn't know the escape for this.  What Russ was trying to do was let this kid know that any time I wanted I could move in and take him down.  I didn't realize it but Russ was right.  He has no idea how much I was holding back.  He also had no idea that at no time was I using muscle.

This isn't something I really want to do with him after class on a regular basis.  It was interesting for me because we don't practice with that much resistance.  It's nice to know that I can keep someone off of me who is more serious about harming me.  I think he likes to do it to prove to himself that aikido is useful.  I tried to tell him that if he were really in a fight, you'd do whatever you do.  It may be some aikido, some judo, some plain old boxing.  There is no one art that is correct.  That being said, aikido is about more than just defending yourself.  This isn't something he's taken to heart yet.

I don't mind working with him on techniques or ukemi after class but I really don't want to spar with him every week and be forced to stick him in controls and choke holds.

I think I'm more inclined to beg off and explain to him that we should be training and not fooling around.  I suppose the other option is to provide him with more discomfort but I don't think this is the way to go.

I think he's picking up some judo classes.  An excellent thing to do but it wouldn't shock me if he bails out of aikido.  He's a little impatient.  It takes years for you to be good enough to realize you don't even know anything.  :)


At November 05, 2015 12:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think as long as you are not getting overly beat up it is a gift to have a kid like that to work with. Can you learn to control his power with strong finesse?, with total softness? He is just trying to figure out where aikido fits into a self defense art. If you can consistently demonstrate controls over his attacks he will understand its effect and you have an even better chance of keeping him. Just don't hurt the new kid too much. Rob

At November 21, 2015 9:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Injure him, No. Hurt him, Yes.
Pain makes a believer out of everyone.
Don't just make him tap out, make him
tap a symphony of taps - really rapidly.
He needs to get a real feel of what you 'could' do
if you needed to.
He WILL believe.
Then you can go back to working on techniques with him.
Remember, you get 2, then I get two... :)


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