Sunday, January 17, 2010

Shiai Guy

Amongst the aiki thinkers shiai, full strength and speed training, is often poo-pooed for not being constructive to aiki training.

I myself try to go up to Round Rock on Saturdays at least once a month to shiai with Chad Haas' judo class. While I agree an aiki man should not shiai, I enjoy having shiai being done to me. I myself do not have to shiai, I am concentrating hard on making balance breaks, or relaxing. More than anything I am monitoring my own emotions and not getting caught up in the win/lose mindset. It is all motion, and my partner scoring a sweet throw is as joyous as the throws I make.

I must say to my fellow aikidoka, the judo game is strange yet not so different. I think it is a wonderful way to practice ju and aiki. I often do not feel my partners are trying to find softness, but I will use their power and rigidity to aid in my studies of softness and balance breaking.

You see I merely surf the turbulent waters of shiai. I don't care if I win or lose. I am just trying to play hard and make sure no one gets hurt. It is a chance for me to test my theories on opponents that I or aikido have not conditioned.

So yes, the shiai mindset is not good for aikido, and probably not judo training. The people that have that mindset though are fun to play with!