Special to the Nugget
After a student has learned the mechanics of stances and footwork, they are then prepared to use that knowledge to engage an attacker by moving to neutralize any immediate threat. Initially, the movement is rather rudimentary. A side step or a step back that allows the force of the attack to dissipate, will often give the defender enough time to respond. During this phase of training, the ability to recognize and develop proper timing is essential. What do we mean by timing? Timing is a skill that includes making a judgment about the speed, direction and intention or intensity of any attack. A student who no longer doubts the quality of their stance or footwork can move with a sense of certainty and can rely on that during any physical engagement. Not being concerned about what the lower body is doing, frees the upper body to counter the threat.
As skill and confidence increase, the student will begin to practice, for want of a better word, blending. Blending is a skill that uses a well timed movement to intercept a force “vector” or the attacks’ directed path and “ride” it briefly. By helping the attacker to continue his intended aggression until the force of it is almost spent, you’re able to now redirect the opponents’ vector, to a new one – a direction of your own making. Obviously, highly skilled individuals can move with increased speed and assertiveness. Entering into the attack before it matures, turning with the attack to weaken its’ force, redirecting and extending the attack can all allow for a swift counter measure to end the threat. This ability to move with ease and proper timing is the most difficult of all the training requirement skills. It can also be the most satisfying and the most fun.
Mr. Weber is the chief instructor at the Aikido Academy of Self-Defense located at 16134 N. Oracle Rd., in Catalina. He has more than 45 years of experience in the Martial Arts and has achieved skills in a variety of disciplines. He also teaches Tai-Chi on Saturday from 9 to 10 a.m.
Please call (520) 825-8500 for information regarding these and other programs. If you wish, check out the website at www.AikidoAcademyOfArizona.com.