Jan asked me yesterday if there was anything else that can be suggested to about her jyu waza.
The caveat is that free is actually not free, there is still a matter of control, the only control to bear in mind is the arrest of the intent and ego. Because having an intent and thinking will slow the physical movement by 1-2 heart beats. Per attacker. So if you are dealing with many attackers, say 3 ukes, that will multiply by to a lag time of about 6 heart beats. The train of thoughts must come to a halt, free practice is a movement of body, not a movement of mind.
I left her with a parting word, ‘Aikido is the antidote to thinking.’
Notwithstanding my egotistical attachment to the form of Aikido, most physically inclined art or sports arrests thinking. Specifically in my case of Aikido practice, thinking impedes efficient movement in Aikido. The line is cut very, very fine. If you move your hand, it will be caught, if you allow your hand to move, it will move in a manner that even when caught, it cannot be arrested. The distinction is in a fleeting, atomic thought of ‘I shall move my hand left-wards and my uke will follow…’ just that alone, will slow the physical movement down. So when you think, don’t move, when you move, don’t think.
Remember, our uke are also thinking and moving, attempting to get ahead of us in everything, speed, thought, attack. With initiative, we cannot possibly think faster and ahead of our uke. We cannot think, like our uke. If we do, we become caught up in them and we’ll get swamped. Dealing with one attacker is still fine, how about 2,3,4,5?
To interrupt our uke’s thought, may I suggest applying openness, to go beyond their comprehension of thought. They think my hand if for them to catch. I think I shall move my hand in a manner which will not be caught, the end result? I get caught. So? I shall not think about my hand, and allow my hand to move, in an open and fluid manner, that way, I will disrupts my uke and they are compelled to chase the hand which they think they will catch, and even if they caught it, they will fall for the bigger trap of our waza.
The mind and body link is actually very synergistic. In the arena of free practice, it will fail. Instead, allow your being, the body to dominate, for free practice is a physical endeavour. Not entirely, but predominantly. So the mind has to subject to the body. The body knows, where and how to move, to avoid and find protective spaces. It’s the body’s purpose to protect our physical existence. Our body is like our very own personal body guard. The best way for you to use this body guard is to get out of the way. And allow the body to do what it is suppose to do, move, protect and get out of harm’s way.