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

Come here, dammit! No! But I wanna throw you!

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 closer?

. . .

Does aikido by nature afraid of getting in tight, closing and joining centers?

Is judo by nature only interested in something decisive—the throw, the great, spectacular IPPON! that wins the match?

. . .

If he insists on keeping distance, why don't I just work with it, and deal with his wrists and elbows?

If he insists on coming at me, why don't I just let him, and join my center and dump him right there?

. . .

Hmm. Just thinking out loud today...


  1. I think you're on to something. Remember Aikido isn't always "keep away". The rule is, you're either all in or all out (tenkan/irimi). Karate guys eyes dilate when you get in their range.

    The Judo problem of keep away is a PROBLEM with Judo. It's BAD JUDO. Good Judo says, "come here! oh, you're closing? good, you're close, I can counter" and it becomes a game of controllign the mutual joined center. In Aikido also you are working on controlling the OTHER, SEPARATED center, either with rise&fall, tension&compression, torsion, or shear.

    If you are combining the two, remember that in self defense you want distance, and using Judo means either you lost it or you got impatient and decided to take the game to your assailant.

    Best Regards!

  2. Yes, I think I feel the "all in or all out" aspect of aikido more, and may be one of the reasons I'm more comfortable with it. I think that last statement—"in self defense you want distance, and using Judo means either you lost it or you got impatient and decided to take the game to your assailant"—is my thought, too, so I'm glad to hear someone else voice it! =)


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