Monday, February 20, 2017

Awesome Ikkyo

Monday night at North Shore Aikido we were working on ikkyo.  The most interesting part of this ikkyo is the blending with the attack.  Instead of just getting to the shomenuchi strike early and pushing through uke or even to the side of uke, nage receives the shomen strike, continues it's motion forward some and then changes its direction.

I've felt Rob do this and to me it feels like my shomen strike is hitting a pillow.  The initial impetus is changed.  All of a sudden the attack is stopped in it's tracks.  All this is done from blending with the attack.  This is the kind of aikido I enjoy learning.  There is nothing to struggle against or push against.  The attack is simply absorbed and redirected.

This is the kind of thing I wish some of my fellow practitioners at Shodokan could understand.  Any monkey can hit/atemi someone and then do any old variation of ikkyo.  And that's ok.... but to be able to absorb and redirect an attack is really what aikido is all about.  Sick of hearing some people go on about street effectiveness...... hell, we haven't even learned ikkyo yet.  There is a depth to aikido.  The first step is knowing there is more.  The next step is learning it.  If you don't see the depth to begin with then I guess your inclination might be to look at each technique as flawed in some way and assume that most techniques are not effective.

UPDATE:  Oh.... and now that I think of it.  We had at least a couple of students at Shodokan using the most basic of techniques (1 even after only a few weeks of training) and those techniques were effective.  So if a vanilla ikkyo from a rank beginner or sankyo variation will work in the street then maybe there is something to this that is street effective.


At February 22, 2017 10:50 AM, Anonymous Rob said...

We all want our techniques to be effective, especially in the street. It is important to realize though that our partners who have practiced for a while are not reacting to the attacks as an untrained attacker would. so THEY TEST THEIR SKILLS IN THE DOJO and think that it is a true representation of effectiveness. Very few people are trained in fighting. If you want to judge your mastery of a technique, do it on a newbie who has yet to learn to anticipate your attack. If you can make your movements work well on a new student that is how you judge how far we've come. I used to have people that I hated to work with because I felt I could never make the technique work well. Over the years I've learned that those are the ones I can learn the most from. Now I really enjoy those people because they are a new puzzle to solve and I really enjoy discovering some thing new. Jimmy used to say that in class we practice Aikido but it is only the first attack of the night before you know what it is that is a moment of true aikido. I also think there is nothing wrong with testing your self but to think that once you have mastered the basic forms, say through first kyu , 6 or 7 years of practice, that it is just a matter of continuing to practice it the same way for the next 50 years. I have met plenty of advanced students and dons who have done this and kept their aikido full of hard style techniques. The problem with this is that eventually they break themselves and have to stop practice. Sekia sense used to say if you practice when your 50 like you did when you were 30 you will not be practicing at 70. That is why we look for ways to make our techniques SOFT and EFFECTIVE. But you must go through the hard to get to the soft otherwise there is nothing but dancing going on. The art is martial and earth and fire are important energies to master. water is the hardest to master that's why it takes so long to get. But all 3 elements need to be somewhere in every technique AND TRUE MASTERY INVOLVES ALL THREE.

At February 27, 2017 6:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I can't remember what I said this morning, let alone years ago...
But yes, as an experienced Aikidoka, if you have trouble doing the first repetition of a technique, then you're gonna have a bad experience out in the real world when you need it.



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