Moving around

Having completed a few of your basic lessons your instructor should get you on to 'free practice'. This is where you try to put into actual practice all you have learnt against an attacking and defending partner. This is where the beginner is surprised to learn that the throws which seemed so easy to do against an unresisting partner now seem impossible. This is where knowing how to move round the mat comes in useful. The beginner will be shown that for most throws there is a particular position in which his partner's feet and body should be in. Some throws depend upon whether the opponent is upright or crouching over, moving forward or scuttling back. An inexperienced man will in the beginning be in a bad position but it doesn't take long to learn how to keep out of trouble and this is where it is essential to know how to manoeuvre your opponent into a suitable position for throwing. It is not usually possible to make a man move as you want. If, for example, you tried to make a man step forward with his right foot by stepping back with your left foot and pulling him forward with your left hand the chances are that he would realize what you were after and do the exact opposite. This gives a clue, however, for action. If you want a man to step forward push him backwards. In many cases he will react against your push and come forward.

However, if you make your push too hard and obvious, the opponent will realize instantly what is happening and use your own pushing action for his forward throw. The art in moving is not to make your manoeuvering obvious.

If a man is moving backwards then push him just a little faster than his own movement. Then when you get some forward reaction pull harder than he is pushing you. This can be done from front to rear or from side to side or a combination of all four. The actual time during which a man will be doing what you want will be very short so that it is necessary to attack immediately the opportunity presents itself.

As for your own movements, try to make them unpredictable. Change direction as often as possible in any random combination.

If your partner doesn't know what you are going to do next it will upset his attacking plans. It is also essential to be able to change your weight from foot to foot. Therefore don't stand with your feet spread wide or close together.

Stand with the feet shoulder width apart and the body upright. When moving about try to keep roughly to this distance. Do not cross one foot in front of the other when turning round. It is very easy to trip somebody with crossed legs.

The extent to which you will move around will depend upon your height, weight and temperament. In general the big men are slow and the little men fast. However, a big man may meet someone even bigger and the small man someone smaller. In which case it is necessary to change the tempo of attack, etc.

A little man practising with a big man must rely on his speed and stamina and try to outmanoeuvre his larger partner. The bigger man, being slower, must rely on his strength and weight to anchor his wily partner on one spot so that he can pick him off.

Most throws can be done with the two men standing almost stationary providing that there is not much weight or strength difference between them. On the move it takes a lot more accuracy but they are more successful as they combine both the thrower's and defender's impetus and weight.

Ancient Philosophy Of Aikido

Ancient Philosophy Of Aikido

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