Yokomenuchi Ikkyo

Anyway tonight we practiced different responses to Yokomenuchi (side strike to the head). The example (not me) shows the ikkyo response. The attack itself may not be a realistic attack, although I'm not much of a fighter so I don't really know. But it doesn't look like the kind of attack a thug would use.

But the teacher (Sensei) tried to get us to recognize that this attack shows the circular nature of Aikido. A sort of yin yang thing. As the strike comes toward you, you move into the circle and redirect the the force.

It is almost like some of the things we learn are not the most practical but once integrated they are supposed to allow you to receive any attack and shape it into something you can use.

That is what I THINK he meant. Or I could be wrong.

But is an example of one of the ambiguities of practicing Aikido in that what you practice may or may not "work". Many times you ask the Sensei what would happen if the attacker resisted, and he might say that what we are working on was really an "exercise". If an attacker didn't cooperate you would simply use some other technique.

If you look on the web there are some martial arts people that lambast Aikido as not being "real". Of course I'm not in it to win any fights so it is not an issue, but it does show that Aikido may take more patience than some people are willing to endure, since the real world applications are not are not always apparent.


Bob said...

I felt like I at least got most of last night's techniques pretty well, except this one. This one is going to take some time. I understand what my arms should be doing, but I think its the footwork that is really important, and I didn't get that. Oh well. This in only the 2nd time I think I've done much with the Yokomenuci strike.

Regarding Aikido being real, I have a few comments:

1)It isn't meant to be MMA. The martial arts jock sniffers just want to kick ass. Aikido is bigger than that, and a lifelong thing. Even as a totally bumbling beginner I can see that.

2)Having been a highschool wrestler, I think I know what is "real". Aikido is hard to learn, but when an experienced practictioner like our Sensei has his grip on you, well, I challenge anyone to say it isn't real or effective. It seems like the key is studying with an organization with rigorous testing standards, rather than a black belt mill.

3)All martial arts, even the ones that claim be "street effective", are idealized systems. In real life you never know what will happen. It amuses me when, for instance an MMA practioner talks about street effectiveness. Dude, on the street you don't want to go to the ground if you can help it! You go to the ground, and then the guy's friend starts stomping on your face! I think that with practice Aikido gives you a very valid set of tools with which to defend yourself, chief among them being the practice of getting "off the line" and avoiding the attack without directly opposing it.

uchi deshi said...

A new aikido blog! I will add you to my links.

uchi deshi said...

Oh, and thanks for the link!