Saturday, April 10, 2010

Push level and run like the devil!

I was watching a bit of film from a couple of fellow aikidoka, and one of the things I saw was their method of getting an offbalance was to push uke's arm downward toward the ground.  Invariably, both uke and tori stopped moving for a moment, and then started back into the technique.  I think that the reasons for that stoppage of motion were different for the two partners.
  • Uke was stopping because he thought that was what he was supposed to do.  Maybe sort of an over-compliant thing going on. From uke's perspective, being pushed downward just solidifies his connection to the ground, making him stronger.
  • Tori was stopping because the act of pushing downward on uke tends to lift tori upwards and break tori's connection with the ground.  Tori has to stop moving and re-establish his connection with the ground before continuing. See my recent article on floating.
So, my advice was to push uke into offbalance with your arms level with your shoulder (roughly parallel to the ground).  This will leave uke hanging in offbalance (this time uke is unhooked from the ground) while tori is free to keep moving.

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