Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Three move chess game of Aikido

I remember during study hall in high school a member of the chess team issued a challenge. Putting down my copy of Sun Tzu, I felt up to the task of vanquishing this foe. The battle field was set. The armies sat perched for attack.

One minute later and three moves from my opponent, I was defeated.

damn, I had tangled with a student of aiki on his battlefield of choice.

In a seminar years ago, Chuck Clark sensei defined Aiki as instantly penetrating the spirit of your opponent. Russell Waddell sensei also talks about instant victory in aiki, the moment of contact is the moment of victory. I feel it in Hussey sensei, the moment of touch I have lost.

Looking around the world of aikido, I believe this is how most aikidoka train. We are an art devoted to the quick victory. We are students devoted to the three move victory.

On the other hand, in judo class I see another strategy form. In this game often defenses form, the army clashes, The castle is at seige. Throws that take three steps in aikido, take more time and maneuvering to work in. The opponent reacts to the battle plan, often unfavorably. Judo often is a longer game to play.

Is either strategy better or worse? NO. They are reflective of a training philosophy. I consider myself a devotee of both arts forms - the quick victory and the extended battle. An opponent will not always crumple at my first touch, but often they do.

I believe the student of the three move victory should keep this as his goal - perfection in the martial sense - ending conflict from the moment it starts. However, my brothers and sisters on the path remember, your expression of aiki can fail you. Your three move plan can extend into a longer campaign. Make sure you train your strategy to include these possibilities.

1 comment:

  1. Victory is always instant, no matter how long it takes.