Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Attacking in aikido

A few days ago an anonymous commentator left me a question:

… In both Aikido and Judo I've been a little confused by the punching expected from uke. Coming from a Kenpo/Kung Fu/Karate background, I'm used to a variety of punches, like the jab, cross, etc. I don't hold them out there and I don't expect to follow through with my body weight unless I've got a good combo. I'd expect this is a pretty common question, but how do you train in Aikido or Judo's Goshin Jutsu for those kind of punches? As tori, I would be tempted to fake my own high straight blast in response and rush in low, or just fake high, roundhouse kick low, then grab high for grappling. However, if I'm gonna hold my punches out there long enough for somebody to train with it, I want to know how to apply that against what I know *I* would use in actual confrontation. Thoughts? I'm sure you've heard this one hundreds of times...hope I didn't make you roll your eyes. :)

I answered with the quick, short answer that the straight-arm zombie attack is for the most part a beginner’s training tool and the training should advance to a greater variety of attacks, though it sometimes doesn't. I promised Anonymous dude a more comprehensive answer in a future post, but then, beginning to write it I realize I’d written most all of it before and didn’t feel like I could re-word it better right now. So, here are links to seven of what I consider my best discussions of proper attacking in aikido. Let me know if this helps or if you need more clarification.


  1. OHG!!! Your posts are hilarious!!! Attack of the zombies indeed!

    There are two posts under the tag 'Intent' on my blog. The first one was instigated by a visit to a local Aikido school.

    I think the extended punch and hold it can be a good tool but only for those strikes that are committed and are going for the kill. Exploratory jabs, dueling type moves, and snappy strikes will just literally kill most aikido-ka expecting the lunging and committed strike to come first.

    However, saying that, the arm positions and entering moves are all applicable to deflecting most quick strikes. So long as the aikido-ka keeps his cool and uses the entire forearm to deflect and cover his face and upper body, I believe that this strategy can help secure the entering needed to aiki the oppponent.

    Just check out Multiple Person Drill. It's not neat and nice, but there are many opportunities for the aikido-ka to perform his techniques. So long as he doesn't get winded or hurt too early. :-)

    Good luck to all of us!!!


  2. Besides the excellent posts listed, I would also recommend Jason Delucia's Combat Aikido series. He changes the aikido to fit more of a fighting mode, instead of defending against overhead chops and such.


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