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cck
05-09-2006, 09:13 AM
Through fellow aikidoka I have just now started to realize that there are such things as reversals and openings and recovery. I just generally don't see them as uke!?!
Is this something people train specifically, or is it one of those realizations that comes along with increased awareness and practice? If so, at what level did you start to see this (rank/yrs of practice/other yardsticks)?
So many things go into it - when I train with a higher rank I tend to assume that they can and do control me, and hence they do. If I believe that I am controlled, I am (creepy stuff, really). It took someone pointing out to me that I was pinning myself and that I could stand up - imagine my surprise.

Ron Tisdale
05-09-2006, 09:25 AM
Is this something people train specifically, or is it one of those realizations that comes along with increased awareness and practice?

Both, depending on where and when you are. Different dojo have different policies on that. Personally, I think when you are comfortable with your ukemi in most situations, you'll start to be very observent about what is happening, when you are controlled, when you are controlling, etc.

If so, at what level did you start to see this (rank/yrs of practice/other yardsticks)?

Again, it varies widely from place to place. I had a really good training session on saturday, but midway through the 2nd class, I noticed something a little strange in my movement in shomenuchi shihonage ni variation, where I was moving my front foot first to cross-step behind uke rather than my back foot. Seems like someone training as long as I have would never do that... ;) Then I checked while taking ukemi for the waza, and my partner was doing it too...it left shite in front of uke long enough for a strike or counter to be applied. So the next time as shite, I asked my partner to tap me if he could. He could, and did. Then I fixed what I was doing.

Best,
Ron

Budd
05-09-2006, 09:36 AM
I believe it's part of training to be a good uke. In our dojo, we typically approach a given technique from two perspectives.

In the first, the perspective is regarding the form of the technique. Uke and nage both work towards creating a platform for the technique to work where the intent, timing, trajectory and distancing are appropriate for the practice of the given technique. I believe this is one of those things that's trained from the 'top-down' -- in other words, your teachers and seniors should be demonstrating this when they train with you in this paradigm. They provide an attack with intent, but allow the platform for you to properly execute the technique you're practicing. Pay attention to how they take ukemi. Do they take their attention off of you as they fall? Are they looking for counters (even if they don't capitalize on them)? How relaxed or tight are they? Are you taking their balance or are they just falling for you?

These are all things you can pay attention to as nage, as you move through the pattern of the technique.

The second perspective involves moving towards a randori/resistance approach. As you train the form of the technique and gain skill in that area, your training partners should begin to incorporate counters/reversals, as well as recoveries when the main technique fails. You should still be going for the ideal form of the technique, but you'll start to have in your tool box other "stuff" that will work based off of the same principles from the main technique. After a while, with people you trust, you'll be able to go at pretty frisky levels of speed and resistance (intelligent resistance, not the "I know what's coming so I'll jam it, variety" -- which eventually won't matter, either).

It's been a great journey for me, so far -- hope you enjoy yours as well. :^)

dps
05-09-2006, 09:43 AM
Personally, I think when you are comfortable with your ukemi in most situations, you'll start to be very observant about what is happening,


.

Best,
Ron
When your mind is on being afraid of falling you do not learn. Learning to fall correctly will free your mind to learn and allow tori to practice technique. A good step to being a good uke.

Dirk Hanss
05-09-2006, 11:31 AM
Hi David,
we are at the same point again. You should always nage to practice the technique at his level.
But every attack is a gift and a chance to get the technique to perfection. That includes different levels of resistance. Depending on the level of training and the purpose of this special session, you can, if nage starts early, adapt your direction of attack, to help him/her improving de-ai. If you are at a point, where nage should control you, you can test, if he really does.

For example yesterday sensei showed us kotegaeshi and told the beginners, that they should not raise the hands, as it allows uke to stand up and get stable again. When my partner raised the hands up to head level for the third time, I tried, how stable I was and yes, he could not do the technique at all - well with brute force I could block him also at low level, but, that is not our way to train, and in this case I did not have to use power and I was stable and safe.

And if you are pinned, you can test, if you can escape. If you do, you show nage where his pin has to be improved.

@Camilla: Be careful with any resistance. It is not a problem to be blamed, that you could have escaped. I guess that nage felt, that he did not do the technique, because you went into pin deliberately - on your own and too early. But if you resist, be aware that nage changes his technique. That can be damned pain! So if ever you do something do it slowly and be ready to go softly back to where you belong ;) And if nage overreacts, ask him to act as slowly as you did - to avoid damage. A pin should be a kind of massage. In the end you should take it relaxed and joyful - as long it goes slowly to the point, where it starts to get uncomfortable. That is useful stretching. If it goes further, it is only sadism.

And of course, it is up to your dojo rules, if you are allowed to, and whom you are allowed to resist.


Cheers, Dirk

cck
05-09-2006, 12:33 PM
Hi Dirk -
It is not so much my concern that I should have resisted - the technique was applied very well, and apparently so convincingly that I just stayed down once I was on the ground. He legitimately got me down. There was a pin to my wrist, but as my nage pointed out he did not control my elbow; I could have bent my arm and withdrawn my wrist.
It is more that it simply did not occur to me that I could get out of it. There was no awareness of what was really happening to me. One thing is that I was in the dojo setting and hence safe - apparently I find it difficult to get in the "100% every time" mindset because hey, we're among friends. Another is the whole concept of "well, its my sempai, so obviously I am under control". I suppose that comes under expectation, which is darned difficult to get rid of - that whole "being there in the moment" thing.
Weird stuff - I am not at all opposed to questioning authority in general, but it is a delicate balance; I am not opposed to trusting those who (should) know better than me either. And then there's trusting myself, too...
Deep enough for now, off to training I am.

Dirk Hanss
05-09-2006, 12:43 PM
Hi Dirk -
It is not so much my concern that I should have resisted - the technique was applied very well, and apparently so convincingly that I just stayed down once I was on the ground. He legitimately got me down. There was a pin to my wrist, but as my nage pointed out he did not control my elbow; I could have bent my arm and withdrawn my wrist.

Well, trying to get out of a pin is - in my view - a kind of resistance in a very late stage of technique.

So everything I said before is valid here. If you test the pin, do it carefully and slowly.

And while you have to show respect to your sempai, there is no reason, not to test him. In a technique the sempai (in our dojo) is always the first nage (tori), and if he wants to show to tell you, watch and listen carefully - mostly he is right and wants to help you.

But he is just your trainingspartrner as anyone else, in the technique there is no sempai or kohai, not even a sensei, if he chooses to do a technique with you. If you think you cannot evade a pin of your sempai or sensei, what would you make believe, you could do against an opponent, who looks much stronger and heavier than you (in the street)?

Just think about it


Dirk

Mark Freeman
05-10-2006, 06:47 AM
Through fellow aikidoka I have just now started to realize that there are such things as reversals and openings and recovery. I just generally don't see them as uke!?!
Is this something people train specifically, or is it one of those realizations that comes along with increased awareness and practice? If so, at what level did you start to see this (rank/yrs of practice/other yardsticks)?
.

Even if you don't train specifically for what you speak of it comes with increased awareness and practice. You may be more likely to feel these openings than see them.

In my own experience, I started to consistently notice 'openings' even though I was unaware of what to do with them, around 1st kyu/shodan level. I also found that the lighter I held and followed my partner, then the easier it was/is to find/feel an opening.

regards,
Mark

SeiserL
05-10-2006, 07:59 AM
Yep, when you open you mind to the possibility and become aware of your body sensitivity to openings, reversals happen.

Reversals are harder if the waza is applied correctly. Initially uke should just be a good training partner and not offer much resistance so tori/nage can practice. Eventually, a good uke will make tori/nage do the waza correctly by find the openings and reversals.

Jonathan Guzzo
05-10-2006, 02:51 PM
I avoid reversing anyone who is just getting his or her feet wet in Aikido--I want to encourage new folks as much as possible. However, I have reversed people of my own or higher rank when their technique gets sloppy. It happens to everyone. Of cource, the response is that the next time around, nage doesn't allow any opening to happen, which is the point of a reversal in a training scenario. I've usually gotten the friendly reply, "You don't think I was going to give you that two times in a row, did you?" I like to be reversed, since it shows me where the holes in my techique lie. I've gotten quite a few friendly taps in the forehead when my head is down.

My own rule is that if I can get my elbow lower than my shoulder, and I'm uke for someone who is my own or higher ranke, I reverse! It helps me be a better uke.

Jonathan

RoyK
05-16-2006, 09:08 AM
If my instructor is training with me, he will reverse if I'm being sloppy, which happens allot, which is very frustrating.
Also, he taught us one reverse, from recieving nikyo ura to giving sankyo. i'm doing aikido for almost a year, and i think it was too early for me, i still need to know how to give/recieve the damn nikyo right first :)