Yesterday night, I offered my opinion to Rennie and Daniel to pay more attention to their stance. Both men are stocky fellas, with a good complement of strength without a doubt. However, without a well thought out stance, they will not be able to bring their best asset to bear.
Its not a ‘problem’ with their stance, I prefer to see it as improving what they are doing now. So i dared not tell them “hey, my stance, look at my stance. Its ‘better’.” So i suggested the proverbial Youtube to their learning. If they are smart, they’ll figure it out.
Its the most fundamental in any martial arts, the first thing we were taught is how to stand. funny how it seems taht we have been standing since we were babies and now we have to learn how to stand again? As beginners we were taught specifically, the technicality of how to stand. Our ‘fighting’ stance. And as beginners, sometimes adopting a martial arts stance look kinda cool.
A stance is more than that, literally and metaphorically. Our physical stance betrays our mental stance, how we stand reveals how we think, our beliefs and insecurities. it betrays our political stance, if we are right or left winged. it betrays everything that we stand for. how to conceal what we stand for is in how we stand too.
Strictly speaking, for martial arts, for Aikido, people like to see Aikido as rather ‘reactive’. An Aikido stance does contribute to that bias, because, for Aikido, there is generally one one stance to learn, unlike other arts, where there is a myriad of stance to choose from, some of them in a rather dramatic fashion. The way an Aikidoka stand is ‘boring’ and perhaps this is the start to neutralizing a potentially explosive and violent situation?
How an Aikidoka understands an ‘aikido stance’, will determine the success or failure of a movement. It is a well poised stance, not aggressive, neither is it waiting to die. Its a fine line to walk, when faced with a seemingly superior opponent, we would want to adopt the latter, the waiting stance, but by waiting, we are effectively waiting to die. we will always be a beat slower than our opponent, thus helps to bring about a self fulfilling prophecy. if we prefer the former, we will preclude our death too, as we can only be too aggressive to ourselves, and do our opponent a favour as well.
Loosely speaking, I wouldn’t want to think the Aikido stance can be considered an Aikido stance. Likewise, a neko-dachi should not be strictly seen as a karate style stance. However, not a lot of martial arts styles uses the stance that is used in Aikido. Perhaps that is what makes the stance an Aikido stance an ‘Aikido stance’?? I’d rather not think of it as that.
What i’d prefer is to look at the stance, as natural and as neutral as possible. Not Aikido, not martial arts, just a stance. a stance that offer no openings to my opponents, or my opponent thinks that there is a opening, it is because i opened it, so as to force my opponent to funnel the attack in a prescribed manner that i can effectively neutralize. All this depends on how i stand.