Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A fine lesson from Mytchi

Here is a picture of Mytchi working on release # 6 from hanasu. Pretty good extension. She's losing her arm behind her head a little bit, but overall very good. I learned an interesting lesson from Mytchi yesterday. I was talking to her about her blindness and how it affects her life and her aikido. She was telling me about how people see the cane and think "she's blind, she must be retarded." Well, Mytchi is a pretty sharp tack and her other senses have compensated to a pretty high degree. She gets some sense of distance based on the amount of detail that she can pick out with hearing. For instance, if she can differentiate two parts of footstrike she knows you're within about two steps.
She also seems to have more acute kinesthetic and rhythm senses, and that brings us to the the fine lesson. Mytchi pointed out that everyone in class except for Patrick M. has a different timing on the left side than on the right side. Sort of a hesitation in their taisabaki. This likely comes from side dominance, but after having done hanasu, for instance, for fifteen years I can't really feel that my left side is different - but she can. I dont think that I have been underestimating Mytchi like she mentioned above, but her little observation took me by surprise. Initially it seems like a little thing but it's cool and a great thing to know. It suggests some potentially important weaknesses. For instance, is my sense of ma-ai different based on which leg I have free to move?

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