Took a Wednesday Night Class
Didn't get to go Monday because of Independence day so made a point of trying to get an extra class in. Wanted to go in on Wednesday night to see how Joanna was settling in with her teaching classes.
She led an interesting class. Did a lot of different stuff. The theme troubled me some. I've heard from many people in the dojo both inexperienced and experienced alike that the dojo should focus more on self defense. In this class, short direct techniques were preferred. There is nothing wrong with these techniques, but I'm getting the impression that if the bulk of these people had their way, the softer side of aikido will get ignored at this dojo. Soft doesn't mean ineffective. It seems that Shodokan folks don't believe that soft aikido would work in a self defense scenario. The understanding isn't there.
They've been watching too much of this....
In recent years we had two students use aikido (one was in a beginners class) and what did they use? Ikkyo. And.... it was effective. No one had to be twisted up, or punched in the face. There was no complex combination technique. Now maybe in the right situation there is nothing wrong with a punch to the face. I just don't think it should take the place of good aikido.
We should be more interested in tai sabaki and kazushi. We should be focusing on our ukemi so we can all improve our practice.
If ever it came down to defending myself I'm sure it would start out looking like boxing. But as soon as something occurred that triggered muscle memory I'm sure I would quickly fall into a control or technique. Mostly, I would make sure I never got into that situation in the first place.