Why Is A Non Martial Man In A Marital Art?

Today we worked mostly from tsuki (punch to the stomach) and in one example nage would almost make a block with one hand as they stepped across the front of the attacker. While it got you off the line of attack you are stil vulnerable so you used a strike to the head to distract the attacker. This is supposed to be a atemi that uke recoils from so that it is more of a feint. The point is that the strike is not the actual “technique” you are applying but something you use to get uke to the place you want them.

None the less, in a real world application you would make contact and if it hurt them, all the better I guess. But for practice we usually make half hearted strikes since that is not what we are really working on. And as Shiba Sensei explained when you bring your hand to somebody's head they natural react to avoid the hand.

Well most people do. Not me though.

He was giving a little personal instruction to uke-nage pair I was part of I and I was uke for the demonstration and just as he said something like “he will react and pull back” he brought his hand to my face but I just stood there and let his hand hit my nose.

Fortunately it was quite gentle and it didn't hurt or damage me, but I think he was a little taken aback that someone would not react to a hand to the face.

I think it shows that basically I an really not a fighter. Maybe I would be if people tried to hit me more, but it justing is not ingrained in my reflexes to response in a martial manner. Of course when practicing a technique I know what the goal is and how I should respond. But in this case I was watch Sensei and listening and even though I saw his hand coming at me I did nothing.

Later the same thing happened after Sensei left. You might think I would learn after one experience.

I don't know if fighting is in me but I just never had to develop those brain pathways, or my dna makes me non-violent. The net result is that when ever an Aikido teacher assumes a natural fighting reaction in the students I'm not in the shaded intersection of that venn diagram of mostly martial and mostly non martial people that react appropriately.

If it is true, why am I even there?

Since i still look forward to Aikido practice I'll just add it to my list of things I do that don't make any sense.


On a different matter, Sidney was showing some technique and he wanted to emphasize the spiral nature of the the movements and said it was like a sea shell that expands out from the center. From that I recalled hearing once that the the ancient Greeks felt the nautilus shell was an example of the perfect ratio in that some out the proportions of the shell as it expanded in size depicted some universal beauty.

May THAT is why I practice Aikido.


Aikido, In Sickness And In Health?

I finally made it back to the dojo tonight. We mostly worked from shomenuchi and went to ikkyo, kotegaishi, shihonage and more. After nearly 3 weeks away I was surprised to see so many new people, and so few senior students. I am still such a beginner it feels odd be asked to work with the newer students since I'm desperate to work with more advanced people.

I think of the 3 weeks I was gone because of some sort of bronchial problem. I suppose a dedicated student would hit the dojo no matter what. I see the point, why do something if you don't go all the way. But I think the answer is if that was the case then most of us would do nothing and where is the fun in that?

The clip is the way I wish I practiced shomenuchi iriminage.


The Soft Hard Throw

I've felt odd for the last week and decided to skip class (I actually made a doctor's appointment for next week and I hate going to the doctor)

I got an email from a fellow Plano Aikdo Center practitioner where he talked about one of our fellow students, Lawrence, who practiced in Shanghai and Tokyo over ten years ago and only recently started up again. The email related how he gently demonstrated to a more aggressive partner (uke) that his (nage) gentleness didn't mean a weak technique

Anyway, I replied with a story from the Saturday before last where we had practiced Irimi-nage but I didn't get to practice with real experienced people.

So after class I asked Lawrence to really bring me down as uke since I wanted to practice my ukemi where I tried to flow around nage as he performed the technique. I MEANT the part where nage steps behind and then tenkans and brings you and your shoulder around and down and afterwards you as uke try to recover after which nage steps through and performs the actual throw.

Well Lawrence thought I meant the last part where the actual throw happens and he THREW ME DOWN!!! I mean I hit the ground the hardest I can remember. It was freakin' amazing, I was literally floored and I barely had a chance to experience it, and Lawrence thought he was doing what I asked for.

The picture shows the founder of Aikido as if he is simply walking by and almost incidentally throwing somebody. It reminds me of Lawrence.

I hope to post about feeling sick and practicing soon