“Desensitised.. a good thing?,” by Steve Wildash

“The drill we were looking at involved one student throwing a punch of some description at his partner, the defender covered and then closed in to blitz the attacker with these multiple slaps causing him to retreat and at the same time deal with this overload the best way he could. As I said earlier the shut down to my system was within a few seconds, dealing with this stinging pain was very hard indeed.”

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  1. A martial artist, especially one training in a weapons based, non-sport system, needs to have heightened “sensitivity”. What he wants to reduce as far as possible is “reactivity”, or reactions caused by the attacker that take place without one’s own volition.

    The brain needs as much information as possible about the attacker’s intention (sensitivity) in order to make the best movement choices. This information comes from one’s sensory input, including the so-called 6th sense, the intuition.

    By systematically training to remove all tension, mental and physical from one’s body AND mind, one can reduce any reactivity to a minimum and retain choice about the actions one takes. In other words, by removing tension, one can retain volition in ones response to an attack.

  2. From the above link…

    I think that the lack of competition in most Aikido is responsible for this lack of speed. If one looks at the Tomiki Aikido folks, who actually do have competition, the one place where they absolutely stand out is their blazing speed. In most Aikido schools there is simply no incentive to develop that kind of speed, in fact, in many schools there is a disincentive because training with that kind of speed points out the inability of the practitioners to “enter” properly and results in a large number of technical failures, embarrassing and painful. So folks attack at their slow “full speed” and receive at their slow “full speed” and because everyone is equally slow, they all feel that they are training “all out”. I call this “mutually compensating dysfunction”.

    Another related problem is that the mechanics of the strikes are often wretched. Just watch the uke who delivers a tsuki with his back arm hanging out behind him like a flag in the breeze, weight totally transferred to the front foot and back foot coming off the mat, all this before the nage has actually done anything. You could sneeze and this guy would fall over. If one compromises ones own structure during an attack, the nage doesn’t need to do anything properly to successfully throw the uke.

  3. …we spend half our dojo time attacking. why not get good at it?

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