Something to watch over and over. I’ve actually performed some of these at my recent dojo. All these look really effective. However, I wouldn’t try to kick someone in the head while they are swinging a knife at me. There are too many risks such as the femoral artery and the Achilles tendon. All in all, very nice video.
First of all, I want to say, I love Aikido. Growing up, Steven Seagal was the balls; I had never seen anything like it in film. But, Aikido is nothing like the bone-snapping Steven Seagal movies that I remember.
Aikido is the romantic martial art, created by Morihei Ueshiba in the 1920′s, and is based on his belief that we should love our fellow man even in a fight. Instead of attacking an opponent, Aikido teaches the art of subduing an attack using the attackers energy and little energy from you.
Aikido gets more interesting with weapons so I was very fortunate to find out that during my trip to San Francisco an advanced weapons class was scheduled which I can sit in on at the Aikido Center in San Francisco, instructed by 6th Dan, Robert Laiks. I was privileged to watch Sensei Laiks teach Curt and James three steps of a drill. I wish I can attend another class to see how the drill ends ( if it ends ). I was really into the exercise and I was able to follow Robert Laiks as he demonstrated the techniques. I really wanted to get in on the action. I didn’t video record the demonstration as not to distract the lesson, so I watched intensely and played out the technique in my head.
At the end of the session Sensei Laiks was gracious enough to hear my reason why I visited and invited me to attend the class the next time I visit. He even let me take a great picture.
In boxing, you need to be able to move quickly around your opponent, light on your feet, and be able to burst forward for a fast, powerful jab. The problem is not telegraphing a leap forward. Most the time, while I train, I keep “quick and straight” in mind when striking.
Imagine your solar plexus, the center of your torso below your lungs and in front of your diaphragm is the center from which your strikes can start from. If this was a string attached to your solar plexus, you can get an idea of the trajectory of punches at a full range of direction.
How to get that burst of the speed..
The Jeet Kun Do stance encourages the fighting stance to have the front foot planted but the back foot rests on the ball of the foot (ready to push forward).
This is good for two things:
- This is an ideal stance for boxing.
- The back foot stays on the ball of the foot similar to a hammer of a revolver, how it’s cocked back.
After many attempts with this stance, I dismissed it as too slow. The problem I am having is that I depend on my ankle to carry all my weight and move me forward. That process involves the heel of the back foot has to push my body forward and stay on the ball of the foot.
If you’re having a hard time understanding this:
Stand up and try to take one step forward as fast as you can. I’ll wait .
You might notice an awkwardness while trying to spring forward because your ankle isn’t strong enough to move so much weight from stand still.
I am practicing a different approach and it works for me. Instead of the trying to spring off your ankle, let your heel land on the ground and use the impact to spring you forward. Keep your knees bent, and when your heel impacts the ground straighten your leg to move forward. If you keep your knees bent and flexible enough you are able to cover distance very quickly.
Practice with a shuffle. Push off the heel of your back foot and move your forward foot up quickly. Then practice moving forward with a jab.
Keep in mind that you are ready to throw a cross, even if you’re not intending to. The point is to draw your jab back quickly as good practice to avoid getting wrapped by a wrestler or tossed by a judo practitioner.
On the next part of this post, I will talk about linking the punches and kicks into this step and see effectiveness.
Have you ever tried to pick something up off the ground but miss? You may have embarrassingly stayed bent over, probably bouncing up and down after each consecutive failed attempt at picking up that dollar from the sidewalk.
The problem might be that you’re using your index and middle finger to try to “chop stick” the edge of the paper. Or maybe the issue is that bending over doesn’t compliment your flexibility?
In either case, something as simple as this example can teach us a lesson in committing to an action and anticipating the challenges that may get in the way.
One day in training, my Sensei demonstrated Chin Na for our technique drill. Chin Na is a mixture of grasping an opponent, joint locking the limbs and requires a great deal of dexterity. Ones hands must be able to stick to the opponent to be able to manipulate him.
However, my challenge was not being able to grab on to my training partner. As I try to quickly grab my opponents arm, shoulder, or hands the palm of my hand would make the first contact, slapping away my opponents hands before my fingers had time to wrap around. As a result, I missed or snagged my training partners sleeve and I failed the technique.
My Sensei saw that I was having some trouble and came over to help. Some tips he had to offer:
- Relax because tension keeps my hands from effectively wrapping around my target.
- Concentrate my power into my pinky than my index and middle finger.
- And commit to the technique. Understand that my palms are not the only thing causing me to fail the technique. My stance and body caused my shoulders to face away from my target. Moving my right foot and closing my stance into my opponent gives me more distance to reach for my opponent enabling me to recover my target if my hands slap it away.
Continue to practice you dexterity in other tasks in your day. Try to grab something on the first attempt every time. You may notice that we aren’t as smooth as we think on a day to day basis. When we concentrate on this, then we build muscle memory when we learn to grab a pen from a cup, wet dishes while we wash dishes, or picking up paper from the floor.
Simple tasks and practices such as this can result in great improvements in the martial arts.
Earth – The Tiger – fierce and up close. Never step back and meet force with opposing force. Over power the opponent.
Water – The Leopard – ambushes and uses angles – slip and duck through the attack and strike with power through your step. Like water, the leopard finds weakness in the by surrounding and leaking through.
Air - The Crane – similar to water. Surrounds the attack and find openings through angles. However air is expanded and so the crane is out of range. Use kicks and foot work to stay out of range.
Fire – The Serpent – similar to air and water. For surrounds the attacker but fire only needs to touch to inflict pain. Fire is unpredictable. Try to attack fire and it succumbs your limbs and person. The serpent ensnares the opponent’s strike and then attacks the nervous system with it’s venomous bite. Attack pressure points and use little energy to fend off the opponent.
Steel – The Dragon – the dragon cannot exists without the other four animals and steel cannot be forged without the other four elements. A fighter that invokes the dragon fights with all four animals in any combination
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