Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The 60kg puppy dog

Regarding Sensei Zoran Stojanovski's fourth question about karate vs. aikido; Sensei Zoran asked,
Whether a good aikidoka is able to free of strong squeeze from a strong man, when the difference in weight is 40 or more kilos?
My instructors used to tell me that if you do it right, you can't even tell if the opponent is strong or weak - aikido is that effective at negating the opponent's strength. I had a hard time believing it, but over the years I have worked with several students, each of whom weighted at least 60 kilos more than me. I frequently work with students who are physically stronger than me. Aikido works fine against all of these people, and sure enough - you really can't tell much difference between someone 60kg smaller than you and someone 60kg bigger than you.
In fact, aikido is especially harsh on uke when uke is so big that he has to reach down or bend over to get to you. Small people have these awful arms, such that strikes slide in under uke's chin, appearing from nowhere and locking uke's spine! Ooh! Messy!!
I recall a cool old story about Terry Dobson. I'm not sure where I read it but If I remember rightly, Ueshiba used to carry Dobson around with him to serve as uke because it made for such amazingly violent demonstrations when someone as big and athletic as Dobson attacked someone as small and aiki-like as Ueshiba. I seem to remember that OSensei had a nickname for Dobson, "Terru-san," which made Dobson really mad because it was so trite it was like Sensei calling him, "puppy dog." Taunting the big man because of his utter ineffectiveness against the little old man.

Stay tuned - I bet you can't guess which of Zoran's questions I'm going to answer next!

Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282
Suggested great books on aikido, judo, and strategy.
Subscribe now for free updates from the Mokuren Dojo blog
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...