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We were doing hamni handachi shomen uchi irimi nage and uke wasn't going anywhere so Sensei starts getting uke to go mental with the attack such that he's pretty much diving into the mat. I hate it when this happens. I hate it more than when I'm uke and I deliver what I consider to be a good attack: powerful, accurate and leaving me in posture and ready to deliver another attack if need be and then tori wants me to throw myself on the floor because they can't move me.
As I see it if uke is delivering a good attack and I can't do the technique that's my fault and so I said to sensei that it was my fault and I worked through the technique until I could do it. It doesn't help when certain shihan say that uke's job is to make tori look good.
That to me is a profoundly unhelpful view; that's no different than saying "You didn't attack me correctly" or "You're supposed to fall over at this point".
I think the problem is that Aikidoka generally really can't attack correctly because they're only really interested in doing the technique. So it becomes that getting the technique done is the only important thing and the attack can be modified if need be to suit that end. The past couple of weeks we've been doing lots of attacks from tsuki and it's obvious to me that no-one in our dojo can actually throw an effective punch except me. I'm not being conceited here, I've done other arts.
It's got to the stage where I stand still in shizentai and ask them to punch me and initially the punches were missing me literally by feet. I've got them down to actually being able to hit me, but not punching through me and they still kinda lack power, I mean if I got punched in the solar plexus by my mate who does karate, I'd be on the floor. That's a proper attack. They're new guys and you can't expect a nidan level punch, I understand this.
The other thing is their tendency to punch with their body weight and not their hips, which leaves them off balance and easy to throw and means they can't really develop any power. Also it leaves them kinda side on so they can't keep the attack going with a follow up punch with the other hand as well as buggering up the body alighnment.
If I had time I would teach them how to punch and make shomen and yokomen uchi but as it is I can only correct what they're doing while we're training. When I get my own class I'll have Greg come down and teach basic punching and probably kicking too and then, if he's cool with it, have him come down a couple of times a year to refresh that.
I think we probably need kiai too; anything that builds spirit and intention into the attack.