114) Teachings In Aikido That NEVER Will Be Done At AASBK: February 2014

I wish that I can say that I am surprised by what I have seen taught at other Aikido schools.  We can agree to disagree on many things, but ultimately the ability to make something work during a non-cooperative, fighting situation will answer many questions….. As I have frequently said in both of my professions “Reality is the ultimate trump card.”

One area of “disagreement” (which I will simply call a dangerous, bad habit) is for the nage to take the uke’s force and channel it through your back leg.  I have even heard/seen people talking about leaning  back!  It is possible to allow an attackers force to dissipate through your rear leg, so long as their is an equal entering of your energy through your front leg (Method of in-yo-ho or Yin-Yang).  That is very different that simply allowing a person to place force through you into your back leg.  This pattern can allow you to get “underneath” the attacker, but it sets you up in an unbalanced position.  Even if you do not bounce forward if the person lets go (a sign of resistive tension), you are still unstable and are have created a vulnerable situation if the attacker changes the force vector.  Fighters (wrestlers and judoka in particular) know how to easily create and exploit this type of situation.

A simple rule of thumb is that if an attacker can accurately perceive and understand how his/her force effects your body, then you are in for a fight.  If the attacker is unable to accurately understand what is going on, then you have a distinct advantage that prevents to attacker from being able to effectively continue fighting to changing conditions.  We all have preconscious and conscious expectations as to what will happen based upon a set of circumstances.  If a person cannot accurately assess what is going on, then the ability to accurately respond to set of changing circumstances becomes interrupted.  This should be a unique ability that we are developing in us so as to follow the founder of your art.

Maintaining dynamic equilibrium in your body through the use of dual-opposing spirals in your body is at the core of our art.  If you have not read Chris Li’s interpretation of O’Sensei talking about this essential aspect of our art, then read no further until you have gone to his website ( http://www.aikidosangenkai.org ).  If you have not taken a seminar taught by Dan Harden, then you owe it to yourself to receive outstanding education in how to create this process in your body.  When you can begin to understand and replicate this fundamental skill set in your body, you will quickly understand how misinformed it is to suggest that you should off-weight yourself in order to try and disrupt the attacker.  The ability to maintain a state of dynamic equilibrium enables the nage to be able shift and disperse the attacker’s incoming force without the attacker being aware of how this is being done.  You should be able to seamlessly enter your energy underneath the attacker while dispersing the incoming force in a variety of directions, and then enter your energy on top of the attacker.  This should be done without any real discernible clues that the attacker can hone in on.

The nage should be “weird” to the uke.  The uke should be confused and unable to respond properly when attacking the nage.  The simple shifting of the attacker’s force through your back leg is a relatively low level skill that will quickly fail when you are attacked by a person who knows what he/she is doing.  That lower level tactic might work well with a complicit attacker in a cooperative setting, but I would not recommend it in a more dynamic and less cooperative setting.  In that type of condition, you will only be as good as you are superior in tactics, reaction time and force differentials.  Aikido is suppose to be about us moving beyond that point.  That is the focus of what we are trying to accomplish at Aikido Arts of Shin-Budo Kai.  It is long, hard work to “rewire” your body to be able to exist in a state of dynamic equilibrium through dual opposing spirals.  The rewards speak for themselves….

Train hard, train smart!

Marc Abrams Sensei

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