A consistent challenge in training seems to be maintaining a balance between soft and firm. While it is pointless to block people from doing a technique {particularly beginners} it is necessary to have a certain level of intensity in training.

Been trying to explaining this in class recently. The grab used in Aikido must be balanced. Firm yet soft, soft but not weak. The important use of the grab is to enable tori to learn correct movement and Aiki principle. If the grab is too strong, it will be difficult for either partner to learn the movement. Saito Sensei describes the grip used in Aiki as ‘honest’. As in we should be able to prevent Tori from making illogical movement whilst allowing for freedom of movement within the limitations of rational Aiki practice.

grab me

The soft part at the base of the palm is where we keep contact. the little and ring finger grip across to the thumb, while the middle and index fingers stay relatively lax. Uke should gently extend forward but only slightly{kihon Keiko}, just enough to be able to feel the movements of their partner. After just a few months practice, the student should be able to feel where movements are coming from. For example if Tori’s movements is led from the shoulder it should be easy for Uke to reverse the technique or to do something else to show that this is incorrect.

That being said the intensity of the grib and/or any attack used should be relative the training situation. It may be necessary and beneficial to use a strong grip to teach a specific aspect. But this can get limiting very quickly if used to much. It is not possible to learn Aiki principles this way. It is helpful to teach correct body alignment and mechanics. But only in context to the rest of practice.

1 Comment

Filed under Aikido, Budo Concepts

One response to “HERE – GRAB MY WRIST !!!

  1. Pingback: Honest Keiko | Irish Budoka

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