Friday, November 17, 2006

Solo aiki

For a long time I have worked on ways to practice aiki concepts when I'm out of the dojo and don't have a partner. Here are a few.
  • Always shake hands with those you meet. As thry reach to grasp, step slightly to the outside and put your free hand on their elbow. Greet them cordially and think to yourself about the kuzushi you just achieved while moving toward shikaku. People tend to be slightly disturbed by the offbalance but they react favorably to the two-handed handshake and think youre just a really friendly person. This also reduces their strength so that if they are the hand-crushing type then they are at a disadvantage.
  • Pick a person walking down the other side of the street or hall and synchonize your movement to theirs. This works best when you don't freak them out by setting off their spidey sence, so be discreet.
  • Doors are heavy objects that rotate around an axis - just like a person. Practice pushing doors same-hand-same-foot vs. same-hand-stuck-foot and watch how your mobility changes.
  • Walls are REALLY heavy ukes. Practice trying to push them then bouncing off them. This is easier when you are same-hand-stuck-foot. try to smooth out the transition from push to move when you realize you can't push the wall.
  • Concrete curbs - walk on them like balance beams. Just don't blame me when you fall off and break your ankle and get run over.
  • Practice SMR jodo solo forms a lot. Let the stick be your uke.
  • Practice taisabaki from Tegatana every time you brush your teeth. Try this while brushing our teeth with the wrong hand.
  • The transition from lying in bed to standing on the floor is the same as lying on the floor and rising to standing - just easier. Focus your attention on what you are doing as you rise from bed.
  • Stay aware of ambush points as you are walking around. Pay special attention to places where a person could take one step from hiding to inside your ma-ai.
  • In college we made a pact among the higher-ranked students and instructors that we would attack each other anywhere on campus if we could catch each other unawares. That was FUN! Thank God those guys live hundreds of miles away from me now.

I'd love to hear how y'all discreetly practice martial principles outside the dojo.

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