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Signaling the Uke

When I practiced Aikido, the sensei would often call up a student to act as the uke (attacker). The sensei might point or wave his hand toward the student or just look at him. If the student was daydreaming, he would miss the signal.

This is a critical aspect of training. The student must be ready to respond to the sensei's signal without any gap. The split second that the sensei signals, the student must already start moving toward him. There must be no gap whatsoever.

In fact, the sensei might just think about the student... and the student should respond, without hesitation.

This applies to all martial arts, not just Aikido. A student who can respond without hesitation can also respond to an unexpected attack.

Mental alertness is one of the most important aspects of martial arts training.


Charles C. Goodin