Working with resistance – Static hand grabs

A standard feature of our practice at the dojo is to train with static hand grabs where strong physical resistance is applied by the uke (the attacking partner). There are many benefits to this type of training, not the least of which is that we have found it to be an effective method of gaining a practical appreciation of the fundamental principles that underlie Aikido based movements and body structure.

morihei-ueshiba-noma-throwPlease be assured that I am not in any way derogating kotai (static) practice where the uke offers full cooperation or at most a dead weight. Far from it and in fact we also include this practice at the dojo. However, if one only practices in this way the risk is the development of an unstated understanding that Aikido can only operate in a static situation with a cooperative uke.

The below video is an informal demonstration of a number of Aikido options for dealing with static hand grab attacks where the attacker is using high levels of physical strength. The demonstrated techniques are performed slowly and with every effort made not to respond with physical strength solutions, but rather responses based on Aikido principles, including those associated with kokyu. The possibility of using atemi (striking) was intentionally excluded to make the exercises more difficult.

Please note the techniques and attack options are not intended to be exhaustive, merely illustrative. The attacks were selected randomly based on what popped into our heads at the time. The Aikido responses were similarly not pre-planned and were selected at random based on what “felt right” to each of us in each circumstance.

Finally, a huge thanks to Eden for dropping down to the dojo and recording the video. Also to my training partner, Jeremy, who graciously agreed to appear in the recording and basically “wing it”.

Ian Grant
Head Instructor
Aikido Warrior Dojo, Brisbane

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