Why was Aikido designed the way it was designed? Of course the best person to ask would be ‘O’ sensei himself, if we can, then again now that he is long dead and gone, we have to reverse engineer the matter altogether, which makes our Aikido learning interesting.
So let’s just explore one aspect of it, why does most technique in Aikido deals predominantly with hand techniques? Katate tori, ryote tori, kata tori, morote tori, ushiro ryote tori…, why not so much was addressed in punches? jabs, round house, upper cuts. so doesn’t that limitations leave an Aikidoka vulnerable to other forms of attacks? like front kicks, snap kicks, heel strikes, spinning kicks,etc?
Well, I can only discourse it in theory. It is very much harder even for me to walk the talk i am about to talk about. so Let’s get hypocritical about it shall we?
Its a touch and go thing, for Aikido. We do not rely on strategies to softening our partners up for our ‘killer moves’, we don’t really have a strategy as a form of a pattern, jab, jab, kick, neither do we pummel our partners to submission. What we do is spontaneous, and ultimately free. Free from our own prejudices about our partners. We hone our skills on touch. We act on touch, a feel of the skin.
Aikidokas play on the tension of a touch, irrespective of a punch or a kick, as long as a kick or a punch does not connect, there is pretty not much harm done. as long as there is a probability of a contact, the Aikidoka has to be in the right place, to neutralise the aggression. Part of doing this is the circular movement, which is one of the most effective way to neutralise a linear attack. The flip side of it is that the circular movement isn’t the best form of attack. An attack employs the most fundamental policy of movement, the shortest route from point A to B is, a straight line. draw circles around it? you’ll get what i mean.
what matters most to an Aikidoka is touch, not the violence. our touch, unlike a punch, aims to soothes the violence, not stroke it. Aims to open the fists, helps our partner sees peace through positive effort. Sure sometimes, we will get hit, well in a real fight who doesn’t? The real courage is for a skilled martial artist to take the blows and still help the aggressor find peace. in such a manner, is the greatest display of courage.