Saturday, December 19, 2015

And The Crowd Went Wild!

I was watching a video of a 7th dan giving a seminar and showing some techniques, and the crowd went wild after each technique.    I can see why people find aikido incredible, in the etymological sense of "not credible."

While the shihan is showing a twist of the wrist, any casual observer is noting the other 95% of the threat, which is idly standing by while a painful twist is applied.  Not real world.

Since aikido demonstration is limited to this, shihan are limited in experience to ignoring 95% of threat potential from a human.    Having been smacked good and silly while sparring with followers of other arts, I've taken to practicing with full-spectrum encounter.  Yes, the throw gets down to that twist of the wrist while an opponent's momentum is sailing past, but the threat potential any human can offer before and after must be addressed in tactic, movement and attitude.

When you step within the range of the ma ai of a mal-actor the attitude ought to be "I came here here to pacify you, why are you here?" as you take in the entire threat potential.

To give 5% attention to a human in a demonstration because the throw only takes 5% of the total encounter is to denigrate what aikido can be.  The fact is one has no idea at any given time in the continuum of an encounter which 5% will be drawn on.

To demonstrate a throw in the context of not knowing what you will show, or having to do three or four other throws to get to a situation where you can do what you hoped to show, is better for aikido, the instructor and the students.  In the real world, you never know.  Better to teach in that milieu.

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