Little House In Ise

Collisions and Connection
October 22, 2009, 17:30
Filed under: Aikido | Tags: ,

There are times when bumping into uke during a technique is exactly what is required to make it work (e.g. an ikkyo variation with a hip-check). Usually however a collision is the sign of a mistake. Entering too sharply during irimi nage and clonking into uke may be the grossest such encounter that I cause regularly but there are other, more subtle, collisions that are just as improper.

For example, when responding to a cross-hand grab, nage may move their grabbed arm in vertical circle. Near the point where nage’s wrist crosses with uke’s, there may be a slight stopping point. This is a collision as well. Often, nage can “power through” the collision and take uke down anyway. In doing so the aiki element is lost (caveat: this is my current understanding and is subject to change).

A different sort of collision may happen in shihonage. Before the tenkan there is point where nage must extend uke’s arm as a bridge. With a strong, balanced uke the technique may end abruptly with a feeling similar to reaching the end of taught rope. Collision!

So, what to do? For each technique the fix is going to be a bit different but the method of finding the solution is shared. With a patient partner slowly play with the technique. Think of the collision points as speed bumps. When you hit them, go over them slowly while feeling for a way around the bump. Look for where uke’s balance goes and remember that the way around may start well before the bump itself! Try to find a spot or range of motion that takes you past without bumping. Keep watching your own balance and that of uke. When you have found your solution slowly increase the tempo. Repeat.


1 Comment so far
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Yes, but that’s so much work! 😉 Maybe the next step is, when you’re sure you’ve got it, find another uke, find out it’s still not right, rinse and repeat.

Comment by lukasa

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