“Metsuke,” by Rick Berry

I’ve been teaching Aikido for over twenty-six years but before that I spent eighteen years teaching Ji Do Kwan/Tae Kwon Do in a system I call The Quiet Storm.

Regarding the excellent blog by Nev concerning “Metsuke,” here is a method I’ve employed for my Aikido students as well as Tae Kwon Do over the years:

I use 5 students. I have 3 of them standing about 4 to 6 feet apart while standing in one line. with the 2 outside students facing toward the one in the center. I then have the 4th student facing the center student.

That 4th student executes a strong lunge punch at the face of the center student with the intent of making contact. The intent on contact is essential. The center student is (A). The lunging student is (B). The 5th student (C) is standing about 8 feet behind (B) with his hands spread outward. I have (A) focus his eyes on (C) while deflecting the face-punch coming from (B).

At the same moment (B) is punching, the 2 students standing to the side facing (A) move either their left or right hands, or their left or right feet. (A) is required to call out which item moves. I then have (A) move slightly forward of the other 2 on the line to increase the difficulty of his peripheral vision.

The beauty of this exercise is most people can do it with a little practice. It just scares the hell out of them the first few times they attempt it.

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