“Knife changes nothing” by Patrick Parker

“I’ve mentioned this before in passing, but I wanted to bring some attention to it in today’s post. In aikido (or judo or karate or etc…) we mostly practice empty-handed, but occasionally put a simulated knife in the hand of the attacker. It it not that we want to emphasize those ridiculous “knife defenses” that are the bread and butter of so many martial arts classes – so why do we even mess with a knife?
Simply put, the addition of a knife highlights a particular weakness in the defender’s mindset. That is, if the defender suddenly becomes sharper, more alert, quicker, and more precise when a knife is thrown into the mix, then he was under-estimating the potential of the unarmed attacker.”

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  1. Arming uke, even with a fake weapon, increases the mental pressure on nage. If nage is making a small mistake, adding the weapon will probably magnify it, possibly to the point that nage will notice and correct it.

    Mistakes in aikido are a bit like original sin in Christianity. We’re all sinners and we all make mistakes. The question is whether our sins are so gross as to be irredeemable or our mistakes so large that with all the muscle at our command the technique still fails. (If good technique is effortless, then, conversely, bad technique takes muscle. Bad enough and you won’t have enough muscle.)

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