View Full Version : Poll: How often do you rely on your training partner for your safe ukemi during aikido training?

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04-08-2007, 01:30 AM
AikiWeb Poll for the week of April 8, 2007:

How often do you rely on your training partner for your safe ukemi during aikido training?

I don't do aikido

Here are the current results (http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=371).

Nafis Zahir
04-08-2007, 03:57 AM
Everyone is responsible for taking care of themselves, but the nage also has an obligation to look out for his uke. Training is mutual, a give and take, if you will. There have been plenty of times that I have been nage, and had an uke that was taking very good ukemi. But for some reason, be it an attention lapse or just falling a second behind, or even other trainees entering our space, the uke is not up to snuff and that is something I can always sense. Being able to sense when your uke cannot or is not ready to take a fall is a crucial part of training. You should always take care of the person that will also have to take care of you.

This is no way means that you have to train with less intensity, but that you simply need to heighten your sense of feeling and awareness. This includes your uke's presence and state of being, and your surroundings.

04-08-2007, 05:33 AM
If I want my nage/tori to actually practice aikido, he needs to control me and my movement. So I have no other choice than to rely on him for my safe ukemi. Depending on the situation you can resist nage's attempts to control you, so that you have more control over your ukemi. By doing so you are resisting nage's technique for your own safety and sometimes this means not allowing any aikido to be done at all.
In reality it gets a bit more complicated. Firstly, giving up control completely is not a wise thing to do. You have to take care of yourself. Secondly, an uke should keep moving in a martial way, not be some human throwing dummy. So someone who just hands over control is not a good training partner either. Thirdly, if you are more skilled than nage, you can control your ukemi better. In this situation resisting nage's attempts at control to some degree (if done wisely) allows nage to learn something. Fourthly, if nage is much more skilled than you, you'll have no choice than to largely rely on nage for your ukemi.

But I allow nage as much control over me as I see fit, thus relying on him for my ukemi. And sometimes that means that nage does not get the chance to do any aikido at all. I just anticipate and 'dance' around them...


Chuck Clark
04-08-2007, 09:52 AM
First rule in our group is TAKE CARE OF YOUR PARTNER.

If tori doesn't have uke's best interest at heart how will trust ever develop and good training happen? If uke doesn't trust tori why would they give their attack knowing something dangerous is about to happen? Jita Kyoei

Questions like this are good to stimulate discussion, but the real answer is always a paradox.

Mark Uttech
04-08-2007, 05:47 PM
With good aikido, there is a certain amount of trust involved whether as uke or nage. We ought to trust ourselves first, so we practice safe throws and practice taking safe ukemi. As we age, this basic principle becomes more and more apparent.

In gassho,


04-09-2007, 01:40 PM
It's complex.. and it depends upon my partners and in a certain sense is usually a shared responsibility.

With a certain set of partners, I rely entirely upon tori (generally with seniors or peers) to be responsible.

With another set, I take the responsibility as uke (generally for juniors).

With still others where the seniority is unclear because their rank is not necessarily a reflection of their ability, I used to have to decide who was responsible on a case by case basis..

But lately, I find myself tending not to train with those who I cannot give full trust and responsbility too unless, of course, they are simply my juniors and have not yet learned how to be responsible for my body.