Sunday, April 12, 2009

Push back from a fight

Photo courtesy of Abolotnov
This month we've been talking about evasion - particularly in the context of aikido. Even if you evade out of the way of the first attack, if you are still within the attacker's reach (especially if you are in front of him) then you are in trouble. You have to evade off the line of attack AND try to regain ma-ai distance between you and the attacker. The easiest way to do this that we've found is what we call the aiki brush-off.
  • evade off the line of attack as he passes ma-ai.
  • put your hands between you and him, as in the cowcatcher maneuver.
  • use your hands to push yourself straight back away from the attacker. Push against whatever presents itself - arm, face, chest, shoulder, whatever. Take a step or two backward to re-establish ma-ai.
  • If you can't get back away from the attacker then all your cool aikido techniques come into play, as sort of a bunch of backup plans for the aiki brushoff.
Point is, you pretty much have to be trying to do the aiki brush-off to get those good, feather-light, smooth, magical aikido techniques to happen. If you are not at least trying to brush off of the attacker then you are probably trying to stand and fight within his reach and that is a recipe for disaster.

Patrick Parker, is a Christian, husband, father, judo and aikido teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: or phone 601.248.7282

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