PDA

View Full Version : Using less force on a smaller person w/o being patronizing


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


AnonymousPoster
06-01-2009, 09:54 PM
I've been training in Yoseikan budo for 4 months, and this is a bit of an awkward issue for me.

There is woman in the class, ~5 ft tall, and 100 (more or less?) pounds - very light. She has just started training.

My issue - here, and in general - is using just the right amount of force. Specifically, I wonder if I'm using too little force - to the point where she feels insulted. I don't want to use too much force, either, and seem inconsiderate.

Rationally, this seems to me like something that comes with experience (knowing how much force to use with a given partner). I still worry about it though, because I don't want her to feel like I'm judging her strength due to gender (if I am using too little force).

I've always been a bit awkward in social situations, and I can't think of a way of simply asking her about it that doesn't itself seem sexist.

I'm not particularly strong myself, and am 5'11", 145 lbs.

Any suggestions, or polite ways to ask her?

Thank you.

SeiserL
06-02-2009, 11:11 AM
IMHO, asking for feedback from any uke (large or strong, male or female) is always acceptable and appreciated.
As her if it feels right? Enough force or too much? Making connection? Taking balance?
Don't make it about gender, make it about training.

Ron Tisdale
06-02-2009, 11:23 AM
Lynn has it right. Combine that with finding out how much force until they fail (male or female, big or small) while still using proper posture. Once the posture fails under load (that could be just them obviously straining) then lighten up. For shugyo, keep it just on that edge. Always push a little more each keiko, so they keep improving under greater loads.

Wash, rinse, repeat, make accomodations for bad days, etc.

Best,
Ron

Marie Noelle Fequiere
06-02-2009, 11:30 AM
I'm a woman and the smallest adult in my dojo, so I speak from experience: if you cannot make your technique work on a bigger and stronger person, it means that it's not good. Period. How many times have I practiced a technique with somebody my size (usually a teenager), and, just when I thought I had it, Sensei makes us swap partners, and I find myself looking at some bearded creature one hundred pounds or more heavier than me, and my technique just does not work on them. Aha! Believe me, babying a smaller training partner does not help them. Imagine what will happen when they need to defend on the street, and the beautiful technique that worked so fine on you does not work on a aggressive thug. This is the reason why Sensei will let a small person practice a technique first on someone their own size, or sometimes smaller, so that they can have the coordination for the moves. Then, switching to a stronger partner is necessary.
But I do know how you feel. Precisely because I am short, Sensei sometimes pairs me up with his ten year old daughter. I mean, I know I'm supposed to attack her, but she's so funny and so cute that I often get reprimanded for not attacking hard enough. I'm a woman, and I'm a sucker for cute funny kids.
So be nice to your smaller training partners: let them learn. That means, do attack.;)

Nick
06-02-2009, 01:17 PM
Strong lead... soft finish.

You get to train to your level of comfort and they can still fall at their level of comfort.

Lan Powers
06-02-2009, 03:15 PM
Strong lead... soft finish.

Great way to develop control as well as making the ukemi be fun for the uke too......

L

ninjaqutie
06-02-2009, 05:08 PM
Simply ask if you are hurting her/ throwing her too hard. You don't want to slam her. If she is new, chances are her ukemi and slaps aren't that great yet. On the other hand, if she seems to be doing okay with a certain fall, speed it up a tad. Don't baby her (as mentioned above it doesn't help her), but don't slam her either because she isn't ready for it.

Also, watch her face. If she is making faces when she lands, then it just may be hurting her.

Good luck.

Janet Rosen
06-02-2009, 06:10 PM
Also part of her training should be that the speed and intensity of her attack should match the energy she can take in having technique applied.

AnonymousPoster
06-02-2009, 07:10 PM
Thank you for your thoughtful replies!

Suru
06-02-2009, 07:53 PM
Well put, Nick. You summed it up in four words. I'll be verbose and expand on it; I've trained with bulkier guys, some of whom have a higher threshold. I've trained with kids and men and women on the frailer side. Since there are 6.6 billion, unique people in our world, I train differently with everyone.

Abasan
06-03-2009, 01:22 AM
Actually I echo the same thoughts. Most holds I have no problem with finding the balance. But 2 I have some trouble with.

Shihonage and Sankyo.

I know it can be done without pain to the partner. I know I'm only trying to take their balance. I just don't know how to hold it without some discomfort on uke's part, not without losing control of uke anyway.

Discomfort occurs at Uke's wrist. Not shoulders or elbows etc.
Would welcome any insights.

Eva Antonia
06-03-2009, 01:43 AM
Dear Abasan,

I have the same problem with shiho nage, and, to lesser extent, with Sankyo.
But it has nothing to do with the partner's size or strenght, more with his flexibility or his ability to fall in the case of shiho nage, which hurts much less if you can do mae/ yoko ukemi to get out of the wrist lock before spiralling down. And the problem is the same: it hurts too much for the partner when I control while letting him down in order to block him on the floor, but it doesn't hurt if I just throw him, letting him go once he is on his way downward. I don't have a clue to this one.

For sankyo, I think it is possible to apply just a tiny bit less torsion without losing control - there the challenge is that everyone has a different threshold to react...impossible to find the limit if you don't know the person!

As to smaller persons - I also have this problem, being nearly 1,80 m tall. There are lots of smaller women, children and also some men in the dojo. I think they don't take offense if you start "tenderly" and then, seeing how much they can take, get a bit stronger - or not. No gender issue in my opinion. It's more a matter of how well you know the partner. In my dojo in Belgium, where I train regularly, we all know each other and are aware of what the partner can take, and when training abroad or going to seminars you have to find out. If someone is training too sweetly with me I'm not offended, but I just tell him that he can apply the technique more vigorously. And if I'm not sure of the partner I just ask.

Best regards,

Eva

Mary Eastland
06-03-2009, 06:35 AM
Since she is new and probably is confused herself she may not know how to answer.

Watch how others treat her. Ask your teacher how she wants to treat new students.
Mary

Ron Tisdale
06-03-2009, 07:25 AM
I know it can be done without pain to the partner. I know I'm only trying to take their balance. I just don't know how to hold it without some discomfort on uke's part, not without losing control of uke anyway.

Discomfort occurs at Uke's wrist. Not shoulders or elbows etc.


At some point, uke has to protect themselves with their ukemi. They have to absorb the control in their body, move to a place in a way to take the pressure off, or tap (or some combination of these). It's uke's responsibility to let shite know if there is too much pain or tortion.

Of course, this is assuming a reasonable and responsible shite.

Best,
Ron

Keith Larman
06-03-2009, 08:51 AM
Actually I echo the same thoughts. Most holds I have no problem with finding the balance. But 2 I have some trouble with.

Shihonage and Sankyo.

I know it can be done without pain to the partner. I know I'm only trying to take their balance. I just don't know how to hold it without some discomfort on uke's part, not without losing control of uke anyway.

Discomfort occurs at Uke's wrist. Not shoulders or elbows etc.
Would welcome any insights.

My take fwiw. Pain in the wrist implies you haven't taken their balance and only have a "wrist" lock of sorts. The goal isn't controlling the wrist but everything else. Don't focus on the wrist but focus on taking their center away well before. Done correctly the shihonage and sankyo are simply controls as you continue to remove their balance. No pain necessary. If you stop and they regain balance, well, it becomes much harder to hold either of those two without delivering pain to get them off again. But if you're in a good flow with their balance taken initially, you can complete both without ever reverting to pain compliance again assuming you prevent them from regaining a balanced state.

Slow down and take balance before it is applied with vigor.

Abasan
06-03-2009, 09:09 AM
Hmm, Keith I think you've something there. When I do these dynamically, there's very little pain. As you said, I'm aiming to blend and take their center.

Its when I'm asked to pause at the control stage (point where I'm about to throw) that I have problems. I think I tend to lose it there. And now that you mention it, as Uke finds his feet they tend to receive more pain.

Eva, I think I know where you're coming at with Shihonage. I like to slide uke along my leading leg to brace the fall without undue pressure on their wrists but foremost I make sure their head is bent to their shoulder to ensure no shoulder injury happens.

Janet Rosen
06-03-2009, 10:36 AM
Ahmad, it might help you focus more on balance and less on wrist if you change, even temporarily, where you hold uke. For sankyo, how about simply holding uke's fingers and very slowly applying sankyo until you move the lock all the way up the arm, past the shoulder to the center? Shihonage you can try holding a little higher on the forearm and making sure that before you start entering uke is already on tiptoe and slowly do all your entering and turning making sure uke stays on tiptoe; then when you are ready to throw uke is only standing because you are supporting him and you can gently project.

ruthmc
06-03-2009, 10:43 AM
My issue - here, and in general - is using just the right amount of force. Specifically, I wonder if I'm using too little force - to the point where she feels insulted. I don't want to use too much force, either, and seem inconsiderate.
Hi there,

Has she given you any indication that she thinks you're using too little force, or patronizing her in any way? If not, then you really DON'T have a problem ;)

Usually uke will indicate if you can crank it up, or if you need to crank it down. As you advance you'll also feel their arm tightening up, their centre being taken, and have an appreciation for their ability in ukemi, which can help you gauge your throw.

It's really good that you are open to developing sensitivity to your training partners, as there are too many who just see other people as a rag doll or a throw toy!

Ruth

ruthmc
06-03-2009, 10:52 AM
Its when I'm asked to pause at the control stage (point where I'm about to throw) that I have problems. I think I tend to lose it there. And now that you mention it, as Uke finds his feet they tend to receive more pain.
Hi Ahmad,

If you pause at the point just before the throw and uke is finding his feet, then perhaps you haven't quite got his balance?

Last Friday class my Sensei was demonstrating this with our 2nd kyu student as uke, and had him leaning backwards, mostly off-balance, with uke's arm under Sensei's control. The final part of the throw was a sword cut movement of tori's wrists which takes uke completely off balance. Uke wasn't in great pain but he wasn't comfortable either, and Sensei was in a good position to control him if he decided to try to regain his balance...

Ruth

Marie Noelle Fequiere
06-03-2009, 11:38 AM
In my first post, I talked about attacking a smaller partner. When applying a technique, however, we are encouraged to go slowly in order to give time to the other student to first get used to the technique and allow their joints to get some stretch before tapping when they have enough. When I apply a shihonage, I also release my grip on my partner's wrist when I take them down, so their joint can readjust and I can finish without torturing them. And this is regardless of the size of the partner. One of the big guys in our dojo, one of those who can really show me wether I've mastered the technique or not, is very stiff and taps very early. Unbalancing him is difficult, but once the technique has worked, we need to handle him very delicately.
That's the beauty of Aikido: it really shows you how far your toughness goes.;)

Keith Larman
06-03-2009, 11:46 AM
Hmm, Keith I think you've something there. When I do these dynamically, there's very little pain. As you said, I'm aiming to blend and take their center.

FWIW sometimes I tell students to think about sankyo like gently turning a chain. The first bit of turn contacts the second link. Once that is turned a bit it connects to the third. And so on. Eventually you have a moderately solid thing even though it is still a chain -- you've locked everything together. If you only have the first link or two you have to rely on pain since you have no connection to the rest of the chain. Done correctly you've started to "lock up" things starting at the wrist but your goal is to connect via that "chain" all the way to the person's center. That's not done with a hard twist but with a gentle connection. Once you have them all then you have a solid, connected "handle" of sorts rather than a loose, flopping chain. With the former you can control their center and move them. With the latter your only means of control is that first link relying on pain.

FWIW.

Janet Rosen
06-03-2009, 01:55 PM
Keith that's a nice explanation/elaboration of what I was trying to express about moving the lock ever upward and then to the center.

Abasan
06-03-2009, 02:18 PM
Ruth exactly my point. I have him off balanced right of the bat, otherwise I'll get hit. But when I pause the technique midway instead of flowing through it, invariably uke will find their balance. I don't yet get how to keep them on their toes without using too much force to keep them there and some pain being generated as a consequence.

The thing is, senior ukes are fine. They are somewhat pretty light on their feet. Its the juniors who feel the pain and they tend to drag their weight on my arm.

My sensei can keep you on your toes regardless who you are, weightwise or experience wise. There's no pain either.

Keith, chain connecting to each other is an interesting concept. The way I try to apply it is through the little finger gripping Uke's palm, torque upwards through the elbow and from there to their center. It helps if I use my free hand to palm up the tip of their fingers. I think I'll try the chain. Somehow I sense that there's a technique there that will eliminate the wrist pain. Ie focusing on the chain in the hands as oppose to the hand itself.

Eva, a link of the shihonage I meant. Couldn't edit it in my previous posting. As you can see, I don't straight arm him like a sword cut since he's relatively new. I slide him along down to brace his weight.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_cSxT4YedtjY/SiYVUPknWPI/AAAAAAAAABc/pdQIhlay1IU/s320/476.JPG

Keith Larman
06-03-2009, 03:11 PM
I think the problem is that you're thinking torque at all. Sankyo is IMHO one of those very elegant and subtle techniques that can be applied early and with finesse. People tend to think of sankyo as the twist with the "down" or "final movement" while at least in my experience it has more to do with the setup initially. Getting all that slack out and connecting directly to the center as Janet discussed is critical. We all talk about aiki and internal skills, but how many do sankyo as a purely physics experiment? Or pain example? You've got them and the whole point is to control their center through the connection you have. Make the connection to the center and try not to rely on the wrist itself. Once you have that connection you have control even if you haven't really "finished with" the sankyo yet (in the sense of sending them down, out, or wherever). So think of having sankyo connected all the way down the chain *before* you try to do anything with it. Then you have full control the entire time.

I have very flexible arms, strong arms (polishing swords is hard work for the forearms and wrists), and many complain they have trouble applying it to me. The reality is from my point of view most who have trouble are the ones who hurt me because they tend to rely on pain rather than the blend and control (aiki?) aspect. My sensei is dramatically shorter than me, not as strong, but has zero problem tossing me around the room with sankyo. He has never hurt my wrists even with a fast, powerful sankyo. Others will hurt me regularly. He tends to call me up to take ukemi when demonstrating sankyo I think to make the point to others that they don't have to hurt me to apply sankyo -- they just need to do it more calmly and with more of that connection. Too often, however, people try to compensate by speeding up, or torquing harder, or dropping and twisting the wrist really hard. Sure, I go down then too. But usually they do it faster than I can react (I'm big -- inertia is a tough thing to overcome) and I end up with injured wrists to show for it. There are some people I'll avoid with sankyo solely out of the desire for self-preservation.

Keith Larman
06-03-2009, 03:16 PM
Forgot one thing -- the palm on the fingers thing in addition to the conventional hold is one of those things I think you should hold in reserve and not rely on. If you have them completely you can do what you want as long as you can keep that connection hence control. The habit of the extra "umph" on the fingers in sankyo goes more to pain compliance rather than a physical manipulation of their structure. If I'm angry and attacking, pain just makes me more angry. I'll fight through it and try to shove my elbow through your head -- I've been in conflicts before. I know I can fight through pain. But if you have my center, you have control of me. Twist my fingers and Mongo wants to crush you all the more...

Honestly I think sankyo is one of those techniques that doesn't require pain. Like most of these things it is more about controlling their center through their structure. Lock up their structure while maintaining your center and taking over theirs and you can do as you please. But... Easy to say, hard to do... ;)

Janet Rosen
06-03-2009, 03:45 PM
I have small arthritis-impaired hands, and I tried my sensei's advice to grasp sanko not on the hand or wrist/hand, but the distant part of the fingers. It makes it easy to find and control the chain of the lock.

Keith Larman
06-03-2009, 05:15 PM
I have small arthritis-impaired hands, and I tried my sensei's advice to grasp sanko not on the hand or wrist/hand, but the distant part of the fingers. It makes it easy to find and control the chain of the lock.

True, actually I teach the kids how to do that for sankyo when working with adults. Their hands just aren't big enough or strong enough to grab the hand. Fingers work really well.

The problem I have is with taking sankyo on the hand with one hand, then using the palm of your other hand to push the fingers back. It simply adds more pain and people tend to rely on that rather than improving their overall technique. Just my own take on things fwiw.

Fred Little
06-03-2009, 05:34 PM
One solution is to ask the smaller person: "Would you mind lowering the force level so that I can work on X with some precision and attention to form instead that stupid muscling through thing I usually do?"

FL

Janet Rosen
06-03-2009, 06:44 PM
The problem I have is with taking sankyo on the hand with one hand, then using the palm of your other hand to push the fingers back. It simply adds more pain and people tend to rely on that rather than improving their overall technique. Just my own take on things fwiw.
Yep.
I was lucky in having an instructor some yrs ago who would have us all gather round and we'd study the anatomy/kinesiology of the various locks as he very slowly applied them on somebody, starting with the contact point and progressing up and to the center. Then we'd practice just that part, isolated from attack or completion of technique.

ruthmc
06-04-2009, 04:58 AM
Yep.
I was lucky in having an instructor some yrs ago who would have us all gather round and we'd study the anatomy/kinesiology of the various locks as he very slowly applied them on somebody, starting with the contact point and progressing up and to the center. Then we'd practice just that part, isolated from attack or completion of technique.

:cool: Oooh - I really like that Janet :D

This has given me great inspiration for something I've been quietly mulling over for whenever Sensei asks me to take a class for him :)

Thank you :cool:

Ruth

Keith Larman
06-04-2009, 01:38 PM
Yep.
I was lucky in having an instructor some yrs ago who would have us all gather round and we'd study the anatomy/kinesiology of the various locks as he very slowly applied them on somebody, starting with the contact point and progressing up and to the center. Then we'd practice just that part, isolated from attack or completion of technique.

Well, fwiw I do that rather frequently. I find it helps to slow down and work on the connection to understand why the techniques work. Then try to maintain that control and feeling as things speed up. Works for me. Just another method to gain an insight into the bigger picture.

jducusin
06-05-2009, 12:16 AM
Hi there,

Speaking as a petite woman (5"1, 110lbs) who has been training for 7 years now, I would have to second Lynn Seiser's response in regards to asking your training partner instead of simply making an assumption about how capable they are. I could tell some funny stories about guys on the mats making assumptions about me due to my size, but that's for another time. :D Seriously though, I can certainly appreciate that in asking your question, you're wanting to be considerate of the other person. :)

The other thing to keep in mind is that if this person is new to Aikido, then like all other new students (regardless of gender) chances are your instructor would prefer that beginners refrain from challenging each other with excessive strength right off the bat so as to give each other "room" to learn proper basic form first. If it seems like your training partner is struggling, you can always ask them if they you to ease up or slow down a bit so that they can concentrate more on the form - and then leave it up to them to decide how they wish to practice.

While I personally enjoy having to move training partners much larger than me, I can also appreciate that when you're a complete beginner, you're already pretty occupied just trying to learn the specifics of how to move and that one of the last things you need (regardless of size or gender) is to think about how to adapt the basic form to your partner's extra force. You're training, not fighting, and the intent is to help each other learn - so definitely when in doubt: ask, don't assume.

Happy training,
J

jducusin
06-05-2009, 12:29 AM
Also, watch her face. If she is making faces when she lands, then it just may be hurting her.

Good luck.

*chuckles* Or she could be enjoying it... ;)

I've certainly been known to make faces (mostly the smiley kind) while airborne - but instead of the dreaded "bicycle face" disease doctors diagnosed women with in the 1890's, maybe they'll come up with "ukemi face"? :D

Eva Antonia
06-05-2009, 02:13 AM
Hi Abasan,

this is just to inform you that I tried to use the "letting-down" method for shiho nage you showed in your photo - and it WORKED :D .

I tried it on a blue belt, and as it worked fine, I suppose I could also try it on the white belts - just slipping the wrist down over the leg instead of letting poor uke spiral down with a free hanging torn wrist.

Thanks a lot for the insight,

Eva

ninjaqutie
06-05-2009, 11:26 AM
I've certainly been known to make faces (mostly the smiley kind) while airborne

So I am not the only person with this problem. HAH! People think I am weird because I actually love to be thrown. I would rather be thrown then throw in all honesty. Much more fun. :D

Abasan
06-06-2009, 09:54 AM
No probs eva. Glad I can be of help. But let that be a start into the many many ways of doing it. Pretty soon you'll be able to do the flipping shihonage without pain as well. Just as long as you maintain proper connection with uke and he understands how to flip with shihonage.

ytlh
04-14-2010, 03:15 PM
Rationally, this seems to me like something that comes with experience (knowing how much force to use with a given partner). I still worry about it though, because I don't want her to feel like I'm judging her strength due to gender (if I am using too little force).


Kudos to the original poster for being sensitive enough to worry about the issue but my two cents (being a small woman myself) is that you are highly unlikely to come across as patronizing. It is a fact of life that there are general correlations between size and strength as well as between gender and strength. I'm a lot stronger than most women my size but I don't get particularly offended if people assume otherwise...I just enjoy surprising them.

niall
05-19-2010, 05:23 AM
I just noticed the title of this thread and I don't think anyone made the basic point that you shouldn't be using any force - on anyone.

Mark Uttech
05-19-2010, 07:21 AM
I just noticed the title of this thread and I don't think anyone made the basic point that you shouldn't be using any force - on anyone.

Onegaishimasu. I think that is because minimum force is the ideal. If I were to use no force at all on the keyboard, I would not be able to type this reply.

In gassho,

Mark

niall
05-19-2010, 08:01 AM
Mark it's not a question of minimum force. If you use force there will always be someone stronger who can use more force. The point about aikido is that there is no force. It's not using force when you brush the hair out of your eyes. A baby doesn't use force. That's what aikido should be like.

Basia Halliop
05-19-2010, 10:00 AM
It's not using force when you brush the hair out of your eyes. A baby doesn't use force. That's what aikido should be like.

Yes it is. A very small force is just as much a force as a big force. F = ma. Nothing can accelerate without a force. Nowhere in the universe, whether it's the electrons orbiting around an atom or planets and galaxies or anything in between.

But a very very small force by human terms, yes, sure.

Basia Halliop
05-19-2010, 10:10 AM
To the original question, just ask her every now and then and try not to worry so much about it. It's not an unreasonable question, just being safe. Actually it's probably good to get feedback from people every now and then in general, especially if you don't know them well, even if it's just a brief "OK?" after throwing -- some of the 'big' people may actually be inexperienced, stiff, injured, etc...

JW
05-19-2010, 10:12 AM
I just noticed the title of this thread and I don't think anyone made the basic point that you shouldn't be using any force - on anyone.

Hi Niall, that's interesting. Since I thought the question was about providing a proper attack for the smaller person to work with-- what is your take on how an attack should/could be provided without force?

I have a feeling that for training, all we need from the attacker is the intent to produce force.. but in practice we seem to expect that the attacker will indeed follow through with the force, not just the intent. Makes things clearer.

niall
05-19-2010, 10:21 AM
I don't think it's useful to get into a discussion about physics equations because that's probably not going to help your aikido to improve. Thinking about not using force definitely will help your aikido to improve. Perhaps I should have said conscious force but I thought it was clear from the original post. I thought it was worth clarifying that if you use [conscious] force you are blocking yourself and certainly blocking your growth.

niall
05-19-2010, 10:36 AM
Hi Jonathan. I assumed like a lot of the other people posting comments that it was about how to do the technique with a smaller uke.

Good point about ukemi because you have to create a sincere attack or the tori doesn't have anything to work with.

But in ukemi too you should always be relaxed and attacking from your centre, and your shoulders should never be stiff or raised. I already said once today (in a comment on ninjaqutie's blog) that ukemi should be honest.

Your point was even more subtle because you were talking about intent. In fact maybe Basia will be pleased because we can get back to physics. The forces of the attack can be pictured as shafts or planes or vectors or arcs of energy that we can join with and use. I'll talk about energy in my blog one of these days.

RED
05-19-2010, 11:14 AM
whoa, battle on the zombie thread!


epic.

Basia Halliop
05-19-2010, 11:47 AM
In fact maybe Basia will be pleased because we can get back to physics.

LOL! I'm always happy to get back to physics :). Just ask anyone who knows me...

I don't think it's useful to get into a discussion about physics equations because that's probably not going to help your aikido to improve.

Well, I may just be weird that way, but I do find sometimes thinking about physics equations is just what I need to help me understand something. Not always, but often enough.

In any case, as far as force goes, as far as I can understand so far to me it seems like more a matter of using force right, and using force generated the right way, and particularly, not directly opposing your force to uke's. Certainly people seem to throw ME with a lot of force sometimes :).

JW
05-19-2010, 12:40 PM
If I understand Niall's original point a few posts back, the idea is that uke provides the force, and nage/tori only needs to provide the conduits to harmless resolution of that force. Then the throw happens purely because uke continues to attack. (Uke's force throws him.)

I've always liked the idea, and the internal folks' descriptions of application seem to jive with it.
But I keep wondering how complete a picture that is:
Certainly people seem to throw ME with a lot of force sometimes :).

It would be easy for us to say those partners are just doing it wrong, they should let uke's force do all the work. But maybe they are not so wrong-- what about "aikido is 99% atemi" (oh my the number gets higher every time)? Even if atemi can mean things other than your fist traveling through the air to impact your partner, doesn't it still mean there are lots of times when nage should provide force?

Still mulling this over. Sure is fun to put some force in, at certain times, in certain places. And effective at resolving the interaction. But it is a nice challenge to do without adding of forces.. does that mean it is the right way? Or just something good to play with?

Basia Halliop
05-19-2010, 01:01 PM
If I understand Niall's original point a few posts back, the idea is that uke provides the force, and nage/tori only needs to provide the conduits to harmless resolution of that force. Then the throw happens purely because uke continues to attack. (Uke's force throws him.)

But then uke has to provide that energy in their attack -- which comes back to the original topic of the thread -- how much force to use when attacking someone smaller -- I don't believe you can attack with the kind of minimal force Niall described (I'm not going to say no force, because as I've said I don't think that even exists). Defend? More so...

The other thing is for me, I don't think the distinction about conscious vs. unconscious use of force is quite how I'd put it -- because then it's more about how much effort it's taking you -- if it's very very easy for you, you may _feel_ like you're not using significant force, but it might just be that you're really strong. But you might be exerting force in exactly the same directions and using the same muscles as the person who is obviously forcing it -- but since you're so strong it's so easy that it _feels_ to you like you're not really exerting any effort

Like pushing back your hair -- if you had some muscle wasting disease you would feel like you were doing very hard work -- it's just because you're so much stronger than you need to be to move your own arm and push a hair that it feels insignificant.

If I'm helping a small child and they're uke, I very often feel like I'm not using any significant force, even if I'm doing it completely wrong and just overpowering them. They're just so small and light it takes so little effort either way and I can feel like I'm just moving in a totally relaxed way even when really I'm just directly opposing their attack and overpowering them with a stronger force.

This is why I think it's an advantage to be one of the smallest people in the dojo, like me :).

To me it seems to be more about the direction of the force as well as where it's coming from (if both are right, the amount of force needed really plummets).

Basia Halliop
05-19-2010, 01:06 PM
Still mulling this over. Sure is fun to put some force in, at certain times, in certain places. And effective at resolving the interaction. But it is a nice challenge to do without adding of forces.. does that mean it is the right way? Or just something good to play with?

What if you do the technique 'right' in such a way that it doesn't require almost any force -- then you increase the force without changing how you're doing it -- wouldn't you then get a throw that is correct and crazily powerful? That's what it feels like to me, anyway, when some people (Sensei, sempais, etc) throw me...

niall
05-19-2010, 04:45 PM
What if you do the technique 'right' in such a way that it doesn't require almost any force -- then you increase the force without changing how you're doing it -- wouldn't you then get a throw that is correct and crazily powerful? That's what it feels like to me, anyway, when some people (Sensei, sempais, etc) throw me...

No you get a throw that is less powerful. Try it then ask the uke. We have to lose power to become powerful. And the power we have to use is breath power not muscle power.

Walter Martindale
05-19-2010, 07:39 PM
So I am not the only person with this problem. HAH! People think I am weird because I actually love to be thrown. I would rather be thrown then throw in all honesty. Much more fun. :D

One of those! Pursuit of Vertigo.. Back in the university days there was a bunch of theory about why people gravitate toward different sports. (I know, this isn't a sport).
There were 7 main groupings. Can't remember them all, but they included
Vertigo (I like to be disoriented or upside down, or... - seems like Ashley is one of those)
Ascetic (I suffer for my sport)
Athletic (I like the movement, I guess)
Aesthetic (my body is more beautiful through sport, or, the movements of the sport are beautiful - not sure which)
Spiritual (not sure if that was included)

and, well, I forget the rest. There has probably been a lot more work done in the area with people dreaming up all sorts of things about why we train, but that was the western stuff from the 70s.

Cheers,
W

Walter Martindale
05-19-2010, 07:46 PM
No you get a throw that is less powerful. Try it then ask the uke. We have to lose power to become powerful. And the power we have to use is breath power not muscle power.

Well, yes and no. It depends on the method. I used to get criticized for "finishing" my throws too hard - smashing uke to the mat. All I think I was doing was timing my release of the throw to the transfer of weight to the appropriate foot. Acceleration of body mass through the hand, rather than trying to fling someone around by hand.
When I transfer the weight first and then finish the throw, uke is not challenged as much to land well. (comes from the judo days, throw the guy a foot below the tatami, and then squeeze him a little deeper)
W

Basia Halliop
05-20-2010, 10:11 AM
No you get a throw that is less powerful. Try it then ask the uke. We have to lose power to become powerful. And the power we have to use is breath power not muscle power.

That doesn't match with my experience so far.

Can you define 'breath power'? In such a way that it's something fundamentally different from muscle power?


Well, yes and no. It depends on the method. I used to get criticized for "finishing" my throws too hard - smashing uke to the mat. All I think I was doing was timing my release of the throw to the transfer of weight to the appropriate foot. Acceleration of body mass through the hand, rather than trying to fling someone around by hand.
When I transfer the weight first and then finish the throw, uke is not challenged as much to land well. (comes from the judo days, throw the guy a foot below the tatami, and then squeeze him a little deeper)

Yeah, this makes sense to me. Definitely when I say 'using more force' I'm not talking about upper body...

niall
05-20-2010, 10:43 AM
It's cool that Walter brought in judo. I've also done quite a lot of judo and it has always seemed to me to be much easier to explain in terms of physics than aikido.

By the way there's a lot of discussion about kokyu ryoku in the Yoshinkan and aiki thread (which for some reason was posted under Non-aikido martial traditions). There's some disagreement on the terminology. In the Aikikai line kokyu ryoku means breath power - and that means everything in aikido. O Sensei told my teacher he had to get it at all costs and that is what my teacher told me. In some of those other lines kokyu ryoku seemed to mean just a component of what they were apparently calling aiki. But the goal is perhaps the same.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14340

ninjaqutie
05-20-2010, 12:51 PM
One of those! Pursuit of Vertigo.. Back in the university days there was a bunch of theory about why people gravitate toward different sports. (I know, this isn't a sport).
There were 7 main groupings. Can't remember them all, but they included
Vertigo (I like to be disoriented or upside down, or... - seems like Ashley is one of those)
Ascetic (I suffer for my sport)
Athletic (I like the movement, I guess)
Aesthetic (my body is more beautiful through sport, or, the movements of the sport are beautiful - not sure which)
Spiritual (not sure if that was included)

and, well, I forget the rest. There has probably been a lot more work done in the area with people dreaming up all sorts of things about why we train, but that was the western stuff from the 70s.

Cheers,
W

Interesting. I would like to learn more. I honestly think I fit into several of those with the different sports I have or had done over the years. Thanks to you, I have something new to research. :D