“If aikidoka continue to practice this way over the course of their careers, never noticing this failure to unbalance their partner, their technique will remain ineffective.”
Editor’s Note: This short article is followed by numerous insightful comments from a number of our experienced readers. Please take the time to scan these comments as they can be considered an important extension of the points I raise here.
I don’t travel nearly as much as I used to. But by the same token, I surely see more different approaches to aikido than ever before thanks to the amazing resource that is youtube.
When watching videos across the spectrum, I am constantly amazed at how many practitioners and teachers alike attempt to apply techniques on a “balanced” uke. Another way of expressing this is that nage has failed to disrupt uke’s posture before attempting a throw. This is especially obvious when uke takes a spectacular fall. An uke whose body structure has been broken will not have the chance to perform an acrobatic fall.
If aikidoka continue to practice this way over the course of their careers, never noticing this failure to unbalance their partner, their technique will remain ineffective.
On a physical/mechanical level, an aikido effective technique begins with repositioning, followed by unbalancing uke often with the use of atemi (combative strikes), and a skilled throw or lock.
The general process is easy to describe, but takes a great deal of practice to learn to apply consistently.
This simple realization and an ongoing effort to notice the effect of your mechanics on your partner will go a long way toward dramatically improving your aikido.
Your thoughts, please!
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technical problems that hold back your progress!