The 1st principle of Aikido is moving off the line – here is why.
Sensei Saw It…
Sempai Heard It…
Uke Wore It!
Most times I fail to move off the line completely and then wonder why I have trouble completing the technique. The prerequisite of being off the line isn’t there so the correct levers and pivots are not easily accessible.
Pre-grading preparation has been mostly choosing the variations and memorising the required entries. The wonderful and very patient Sempai’s have also been ‘Poking the Bear’ in order to get me to move correctly and to apply the technique and atemi at the correct points. I was instructed to just deliver the atemi and the rest would follow.
In the grading, facing a tsuki attack at full speed, years of previous karate training kicked in, and I delivered the atemi whilst moving off the line. Poor unsuspecting Dick Sempai as uke wore the atemi, as I continued the kote gaeshi technique without hesitation.
Sensei said the look of shock on Dick Sempai’s face was priceless. Fortunately the atemi was a relatively light tap, although a light bruise on the cheek was visible the next day. (Apologies to Dick Sempai)
The Setting: Audrey, 1st Kyu Grading
The Technique: Kote Gaeshi from Tsuki Attack at full speed