Saturday, July 22, 2006

Safety strategies in aikido

There are only a handful of major principles, or strategies in aikido which help to keep tori safer in crazy situations. These principles should occupy the majority of our training time so that we ingrain them into our subconscious at a reflexive level. The major ones include:
  • evade off the line of attack
  • move away from the attacker
  • put a hand in uke's face (shomenate) when surprised
  • move behind the attacker (ushiroate or tenkan) whenever possible
All techniques in aikido are instantiations of some or all of these safety principles in various situations and combinations.
Today in aiki class we did Patrick M's yellow belt demonstration. He did excellent, as did his uke. We will be scheduling Andy S's green belt demo within the next 2-3 weeks and I can already see that his will also be a fine demo. Looks like it'll be the first one we host in our new dojo location.
Anyway, today we worked on the last move of tegatana, spun through hanasu, and homed in on what to do with the tenkai kote gaeshi that springs up out of release #8. We found that ushiroate was a good backup technique, and that if we lost the tenkai kote gaeshi then the situation tended to decay into release #3, which gives us opportunities for variations on kote mawashi.

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