You may know more than you think!

May 2003

Volume 5 Issue 5

Aibudo Kanji

"The Lead"

     Knowing that of which is your opponents effective "lead" is of the utmost importance.  "Stepping into the unknown" is not pleasurable, to say the least.  If you are unaware of your opponents lead, you are probably in trouble.  If you are at a "kicking distance", the "lead" is going to be a leg movement of some kind.  It may just be a quick hop forward for a hand technique or it could be a body shift for a foot technique.  It really doesn't matter and you shouldn't concern yourself with what the intended technique is, just what is about to initialize it.  Only concern yourself with countering the "lead" appendage and then let your void go to work.  If you are within arms reach, counter the "lead" arm and "end the trip", as we say.  Now I said, counter the "lead" arm.  That doesn't mean that it is the arm that is the most "forward".  That also is to be said about the "lead" leg.  Take for instance, a spinning kick.  In many cases a spinning kick comes from the rear leg, not the front.  In some case, the "lead" leg is the forward leg.  Just watch the action of the hip and waist area to determine which is the case.  You'll have plenty of time to counter that "lead" if you wait for the execution of it.  If you move against the "obvious", it may be your last "move".  Remember the "sucker kick" that even beginners can perform and catch a senior totally off guard, if the senior has neglected his training.  A senior who is functioning totally off of his "seniorship", will most generally "jump the gun", directly into an embarrassment.  Seniors in particular, must "wait", if they want to maintain their "seniorship" status.

Your "Second" Technique

     At the Greenfield Aibudo Dojo last class, we spent a good bit of time on a specific set of movements, which ended in an "expected result".  This "expected result" is your "second technique" of which was your most important.  The first "technique" was countering a hand movement, positioning yourself properly, before bringing your opponent to the ground.  If you hadn't completed the "first technique", the second could not occur.  The "second technique" was the automatic arm bar that resulted from the completion of the "first technique".  As you found out, the "second technique" only had two variables to consider for the successful completion of winning the confrontation.  In many classes of martial arts, there is too much emphasis on the techniques prior to the desired result.  The problem with this type of training is, that when the "first technique" fails, the "trip" comes to an abrupt halt and a "slap-jack" situation is the result.  Put your emphasis on your chosen winning result and not on how to get there.  In this way, no matter what happens to change your "planned route", that arm bar control, as we worked last class, was there without trying.  The "second technique" was the position of the hand at the lower area of the arm, before the takedown that set up the automatic arm-bar and win.  If the position of the hand ended up to high on your opponents arm, it took two extra moves, to attempt the arm-bar.  Most generally you don't have the luxury of that much time.  That all goes back to an old saying of:  "Make it simple stupid!".

RE: Greenfield Dojo

     Mr. Hinton made a comment during the special class at the Greenfield Dojo, that (something like this) "just when I think I know something, I find out that I don't".

     I told him, that is really not the case. It's not any different than "common sense".  If you remember, "common sense" comes from the "Wind Element".  Knowledge of the past added to what you learn today, is what makes you better at what you do.  Tracy's comment, I believe was in reference to a specific technique or move and the "expected result".  There, in most cases, is a physical counter or attitude change that can be applied to reduce, or neutralize, an initial result or situation.  Without the building "blocks" of being presented with a situation, then a counter or reversal into another situation, followed by another reversal and/or counter, you would not have the knowledge required to "win".  You have to be able to adapt.  Without the "Wind Element", there would not be a "common sense" developed, that would tell you "what to do next" or "that which could not be done next".  Sometimes you need to know  both at the same time, in the same instant of time.  In an instant of time, it may be to your advantage to be able to perform several effective movements, without conscious thought.  Without conscious thought, techniques or movements from the void, come with unnatural speed.  This unnatural speed comes from repetitious training, which builds a muscle memory, necessary for specific situations.  What move or strategy is unknown, until that split second of time of which it is needed.

Picture of Shihan