Friday, July 24, 2009

Helpful handful: Backup plans in aikido

In our aikido classes we try to never lose sight of the one fundamental principle: Nothing Ever Works! Basic implication of that is, you have to have a backup plan. And a backup plan for your backup plan. And a backup plan for that... Five backup plans or general strategies that make aikido fail-soft to a large degree:
  • get out of the way (taisabaki)
  • get back away from the guy (ma-ai)
  • synchronize to reduce his potential energy (ki-musubi)
  • get behind the guy (shikaku)
  • hit him in the face (atemi, shomenate)
If a technique goes bad, doing any of these backup plans tends to improve your safety while you transition to another technique or get out of dodge! These backup plans reinforce each other so you don't have to be the ultimate master of all of them, but if you can do each of them fairly well (and automatically), your aikido improves immensely.
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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