October 2013 - The Aiki Sense of Timing
What is an Aikido technique without proper timing? It’s the same degree of discomfort when listening to a broken record…It just doesn’t “flow” right. Aikido is the language between two (or more) bodies on the mat, the first one is called “Uke” the attacker, and the other is called “Nage”, the receiver who applies the technique. For a good conversation in any language, the flow of words should be timed well so that it does not cause disturbance to either persons. The same principle is applied in aikido, not represented in words, but demonstrated physically and mentally. When Uke and Nage approach each other, a distant connection is made between the two bodies, this martial engagement is created to anticipate the speed and the behavior of the attack. Therefore, based on the measure of uke’s approach, capture the perfect moment to apply the technique executing without disturbance. Such execution is not a one man show; it requires both bodies to be attentive and responsive before, during and after the technique.
Here is a list of tips to fine-tune timing in Aikido practice. Please comment on the blogpost if you want to share thoughts and other
tips from your own experience in Aikido:
1) Always consider age, size and the health condition of your partner:
You can’t go superfast with a beginner, a child or an aged student, as injuries can occur. Try to Match their speed and
blend with their energy....it will make training more productive for both Uke and Nage.
2) Always offer to be an Uke first:
A perfect tool for you to study your partner’s movement is to be his uke before becoming his nage.
3) Look into the eyes at all times:
Be attentive to your partner by looking into his eyes instead of watching the hands or the ground. The Eyes are an
open window to thoughts, which can give you a hint of how the attack is going to behave.
4) You can Always slow it down:
It is always harder to execute a technique in slow motion, because people tend to speed up to cover the mistakes
of their techniques. In order to efficiently study a technique, apply it slowly….then vary the speed changing the
distance, direction and timing.
UAE AikiKai Aikido