Aikido attacks are like real attacks. How, you ask? We are working at simulating the realness of an actual attack. We give energy and follow. When an attack happens in life it is unexpected and spontaneous. The person being attacked feels uncomfortable and may deny and minimize. In aikido we can just be with what is happening. We can even celebrate the attack because uke is gifting us with energy.
We have been talking in class about attacking by directing our energy towards nage’s center. We don’t push or pull. We give a live attack with intention and energy and then we follow as nage leads. Uke lets go of any agenda and simulates the spontaneity of the energy a real attack would have. In class today uke grabbed nage’s wrist in different ways and nage then told uke what the attack felt like so uke could have an idea of what was happening right away from their nage.
We continued with this idea as uke grabbed nage’s wrist with intention and energy towards nage’s center. No pushing, no pulling or lifting or pushing down -- just good honest grabbing energy. Nage could do any throw by responding to ukes energy. This training makes uke have to slow down as they go find their nage and continue their attack. When uke attacks in this genuine way nage has energy to work with.
Sometimes people will poo poo this idea saying: this attack is not real enough. As if a hard grab that just holds on to nage’s wrist is realistic. Why would anybody just grab and hold? If an attacker does do that one can still make the connection but our goal today was for uke to become more conscious of their part in this connection of uke and nage that makes up aikido.
One time I was grabbed by 2 hands on my one wrist. The person was trying to push past me to get out the door. I relaxed and let the energy of the person go where she was directing it and she went right down to floor. She looked up so surprised and snarled “Don’t you use aikido on me.” But I had and it worked. My center clicked right in and the anger I was feeling went right away.
Kim and I went to a black belt mixed art seminar and one of the instructors was talking about being grabbed as if it were a big deal. Kim and I just looked at each other and shrugged. We are used to it.
Because of my aikido training my body knew exactly what to do when I was grabbed. Training really matters. It keeps us safer and helps us look at what we can change. Again, I am the only thing I can change. Any other practice is futile. I must look at myself, accept what I see and change what I can. Then I can be the healthiest and safest me that is alive at any given moment.