Showing posts from January, 2012

Get away! Okay, come here! No, get away...

I couldn't help but notice an odd sort of paradox in my aikido and judo training. It seems to me that, in aikido, we spend our time trying to keep the guy off of us. He's trying to come at us, towards us, and we're looking to either maintain an arms-length distance, or get behind his arm so even though we're in close proximity, he's not facing me.

Then we get into judo and now I'm trying as hard as I can to get close to him, to connect our centers so I can throw him, and he's trying to keep me out (while trying to do the same to me).

In other words, it seems like my budo practice is either a game of  "get away get away get away" or "come here come here come here."

And I can't help but wonder, why am I trying so hard to do the opposite of what the situation is giving me?

If uke's trying to get to me, why am I trying so hard to keep him at a distance? 

And when uke's trying to keep his distance, why am I trying so hard to get cl…

Thoughts on space

My thoughts lately are on the subject of space. I'm still working out the best wording to describe it, though.

I want to say "controlling the space," but for some reason, using the word "control" feels a tad unsettling. It sounds as if I'm trying to make something go, trying to force something that I want to happen, as opposed to remaining open to the flow of things.

But they are intentional, and they do serve a purpose. When do I do one thing over another? I suppose that's the flowing part.

At any rate, there are moments when I want to occupy some of uke's space. Uke is like a stream, flowing down his predetermined path. I am a large stone placed in that path. I'm not trying to stop the stream, like a dam, but interrupt it, send it veering off on a path it never intended to follow.

At other times, as uke flows like a stream and I dig a narrow trench in the dirt. Again, his path is diverted, this time drawn into my space.

Sometimes I rise up, l…