Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Initiative is Always With You

Aikido as a martial art is the kinetic expression of a response to an attack. You watch just about any aikido video and see nothing is going on until well within the ma-ai which is fine for some particular technical practice.  The "grab my wrist" practice is fine, but it leaves out about 90% of the action in a particular expression of the art.

Easily 90% of the art is done outside of the ma ai, with the art 90% complete as nage crosses into uke's territory to deal with whatever.   In every instance the initiative is always with you (even if you decide to remain still, in your deciding you took the initiative.)

Ran dori needs to be practiced much more, to include that other 90%, the closing of the space in which the uke sets up what will happen to the nage.  I was surprised to see this video of a young Steven Seagal hanging back in ran dori instead of moving forward.  It must have been back when he was a beginner. (He went straight in instead of to the side and then largely stood still as attackers took the initiative.  I imagine that has been schooled out of him since then.)

Much better to have the initiative at all times especially when confronted with multiple attackers.

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