On Being a Good Aite (Partner)

Being a good partner or aite is another critical aspect to the overall development of the club membership as is the sharing of waza practice. Each person need and must be a good practice partner. The practice of any waza requires that both sides of the drill be done as if it were in keiko. Unless otherwise instructed because it is a brand new skill and everyone is working through it in slow motion, it should be done with full speed and intent. If your job is to attack the kote as part of an oji waza then you should be practicing your kote attack as if trying to score. This allows the partner if their job is to work on a counter to the kote attack to learn if what they are doing really works. This benefits both sides with learning and skill development as your partner gets the correct input so they can understand if their counter is working or not and you refine your kote strike.

Keep a strong center

If the waza drill requires them to move your shinai aside as in a harai waza you must not help them by having a weak center but you must have a strong center. Only in this way does the partner learn how to take the center and create a chance to score. So again when speaking of practicing with sincerity and seriousness we see the importance of being sincere in how you perform the drills. If everyone in the club takes this approach to their practice of kendo then the entire club will continue to improve.

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