Yesterday was one our luckiest day as we had the chance to learn on how to deliver our punch properly and effectively at the MyAikido Dojo. The class was conducted by Coach Mohamad who he himself had boxed for Malaysia for couple of time in the international arena…not to mentioned in the local arena. It was a good experience where everyone try to deliver their best punch….some punched like the is no tomorrow (reminds me the Mike Tyson), some punched like their boss is standing behind (some punched as if the punching bag is their boss….we can see the determination from their eyes) and some start to introduced the kickboxing……..the punches were everywhere………I also try to deliver my best punch……tried to experience few way of punching…straight jab…upper cut…until my knuckle hurt…….and this morning, I woke up with a terrible pain in the shoulder due to excessive punching…………
But doesn’t it sounds weird for aikidoka to learn on how to box?....superficially, indeed it sounds weird because in aikido…we are indoctrinate of not to be aggressive……but if we look carefully…….there are lots of similarity between boxing and aikido….and these were clearly demonstrated by Coach and Sensei during yesterday’s class……
Let us look at them…….
1. The way that the boxer standing is almost similar to our hanmi kamae…..strong center line and stable posture and the body is facing toward the opponent, hand at the chest level, guarding the fragile body part and at the same time ready to deliver the punch or in aikido, ready to receive the attack. The posture is stable but at the same time very flexible for any move without losing the stability.
2. Maai…or the distance between 2….the distance should be adequate for us to avoid the full force of attack but at the same time enough to receive the attack and perform the aikido move…
3. Boxer deliver their punch without opening their armpit which is very similar to delivering a shomen and yokomen. One of the common mistake in delivering shomen and yokomen is lifting your elbow to the side and open up the armpit. When we lift our elbow to the side, we are not only losing our stability because of the change in the center line but we are also release the shield to our fragile body part which is our rib…..not to mention on the effective power of the strike itself…….
4. The source of power. In boxing, the power of the punch is the product of the whole body movement which is one of the core concept in aikido…the whole body movement. The energy originate from the toe that planted to the ground, to the center line, to the shoulder and release at the fist or in aikido at the fingertip. There is no obstruction in the energy flow. The energy is not originate from the upper body but started from the lowest body. Remember……our leg is very much stronger from our arm…..
5. Timing…….when to deliver and when to avoid…..block the energy when it is at the initiation stage and divert or avoid the energy when it is already at it maximum…..in aikido, it is reflected in the irimi (entering or omote technique) and tankan (diverting or ura technique)…..
6. Calmness and be in control of the emotion…
I believe, the list is not exhausted and there are more if we try to look at both of them closely. By the way both are combat sport and it is up to us to learn, experiment and have fun with it.
Domo arigato gozaimasu……..
Hairul Hafez B Abu Bakar