“Going Along With The Attack” by Paul Linden, Aikido of Columbus

“Thirty-nine years ago, I was practicing in the Aikido club at the University of California at Berkeley. I was a new fourth kyu, and I remember looking at my partner and saying: “I know that I’m supposed to go along with you when you attack, but I don’t know what to go along with.” Since then, one element I have focused on in my AikidoÊ practice is sensing what uke is actually doing as she or he attacks.

The simple names of the various attacks don’t reflect the range of subtle differences in the actual ways that uke can move. We call one attack katatetori, but an actual, specific wrist grab may push forward or twist backward, or bear down or lift up, and so on and on. Katatetori is not just one attack. The label covers a wide range of similar attacks. One way of practicing is to see how a single defense technique might work against many different wrist grabs. Another way of practicing is to see how many defense techniques are required to actually go along with all the subtly unique attacks that are possible.”

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  1. bruce baker says:

    Yup … Ya got it! Sensing what to do and ingraining techniques in your brain, in your muscle memory … so you can.

  2. Excellent. I’ve been trying to sort out the grabbing attacks that actually control the nage, if only momentarily. Those are distinguished from many which frustrate aikido techniques but are vulnerable to simple stuff like a right cross to the jaw.

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