Aikido: The Art of Deception

After almost 2 months away I made it back to Aikido tonight, and boy am I tired. There are other dojos that keep a more vigorous pace during practice, but in any case for a plump middle aged man like me tonight was a whipping. A good time but still I am pooped.

Anyway I don't know if it was because I was away for 2 months or one of my recurring confusions. We were working on shiho nage from yokomenuchi (strike to the head from the side) and it was like I had never done it before.

But in an effort to explain things Sensei tried to explain how you can use a little trick to get the attacker (uke) off balance. As soon as Uke starts to raise his arm to strike, you extend your leading arm toward him. But not to block or atemi, rather as distraction that tuns into a “hook”. Just by dangling your hand in front of the attack you throw off the attack calculation of the attacker. Then you use you arm as a buffer to the coming force to retract a bit as your body moves back a bit to absorb the attack.

Then once you have his balance you apply shihonage (see above), BUT you do the technique with little to no force as you move uke's arm up high enough to step through. So that he doesn't know what you are doing until you are on the other side of his arm and can finish with some extension and bingo he is on the ground.

These two component demand that you feel what you are doing and what uke is doing, so that there is no resistance at any point.

In sensei's closing remarks he opened with something like “Aikido is the art of deception!”

He speculated that it is natural in any conflict for a forceful attack to expect forceful resistance. You as nage must present the target but at the right moment you move the target and actually Uke is deceived because all the stuff he was expecting was not there. And when he demonstrated it on us it was like magic. One of those times you say “What just happened” as you are laying on the floor.


Bob said...

That's a good description of what Sensei was teaching last night. Some people really lock that arm down tight for shihonage before they step under -- very forceful. I tend to like Sensei's way of "giving them no information", however. You give them nothing to fight against or react to before you actually apply the technique. Good stuff. Remind me to show you the leading arm style that Shawn was showing me for that move.

ZeppoManx said...

I remember when Charlie was still there and he showed how you could use you elbow during shihonage to force uke's arm up as you went under. But that was a lot of info and a bit of force.

I bet it would normally work unless Uke was a really strong guy.

The thing is, Sensei's way feels like magic when it is done to you. And that is way cool!

Laurel said...

In Shinshin Aokido we say "mind moves body" - What you believe is what is true for you.