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Adam Huss
09-21-2009, 09:46 PM
Prompted by different discussion in another post;

In your training/schools, do you follow specific etiquette for taking ukemi from your teacher?

For example, and I don't think too many people follow this for hand techniques (as opposed to, say, kumitachi) do you perform Otoku after a technique? This is a general question I just thought of, not necessarily does it have to be when taking ukemi from your teacher.

Now, more related to the original idea of this post:
Our general principle is that, unless sensei has you in a pin or has his hand on you after a technique, uke bounces up back into the ready as quickly as possible, maintaining good ukemi technique, (either resolution otoku or immediate attacking for renzoku waza, whatever the case may be).

Also, it is considered more appropriate to conduct good ukemi technique...Nice controlled 'jumping' breakfalls, rather than uke jumping high in the air, doing a midair summersault/flip/whatever, and crashing into the mat in one big heap (a bit of an exaggeration, but I think others will know what I'm talking about).

What traditions/tendencies does other schools have when it comes to sensei and ukemi etiquette?

Osu!
Adam

jxa127
09-21-2009, 10:34 PM
Adam,

My opinion, for what it's worth, is that you should attack with sincerity and intensity and only as fast as you can safely receive the technique. After all, falling badly and breaking your neck is not very good manners. :)

There really shouldn't be any difference when attacking a fellow student and receiving his or her technique than when attacking an instructor and receiving his or her technique.

Regards,

ninjaqutie
09-21-2009, 11:17 PM
In my dojo, you are expected to attack honestly and if you hit sensei (or the sempai teaching) it is their fault. Sensei expects you to hit him if he doesn't move. Once you are on the mat, you are expected to spring back to life unless sensei is doing some sort of pin.

Sensei doesn't expect any ukemi above and beyond what is necessary. If a breakfall is required, then obviously it is best to do so. Sensei usually doesn't make his uke do them, but there are times where he wants to whip the students around (whether it is to get them to practice breakfalls or he is trying to show a point). Of course, he only has students who are capable of doing breakfalls doing this. He would never have someone do ukemi that is above their level.

Eva Antonia
09-22-2009, 03:36 AM
Hi,

I think it depends very much on the dojo. In my Belgian dojo, you can do whatever ukemi you want, and if you try to escape a vicious shiho nage or kote gaeshi via anticipated breakfall, it is fine (logic behind: uke determines when to fall; there is no need to wait until it hurts).

When training in Istanbul, the logic is exactly different; the teacher admonished me once when I did the pain-escape-shiho nage breakfall that this was very bad for tori, as tori wouldn't be able to control his techique until the end. In his eyes, uke's attempts to determine his falls were sort of disrespect for tori.

So at our level it depends on who is in control. I suppose that this issue might become less important once you advance, but at the lower level I think it's a very valid differentiation, and different teachers approach things differently. But once I was in a Tissier seminar and had the luck & honor to be uke for kaiten nage; and there I had the impression that he effortlessly controlled everything and threw with force and precision, although I could still take ukemi at my ease...difficult to explain.

No need to mention that you shouldn't slump like a wet bag after the fall but get up and in attacking position again...

Best regards,

eva

drabson
09-22-2009, 04:37 AM
All good points so far, especially about making good safe ukemi and being ready to attack again right away.

Above all else though, focus on your Sensei and don't anticipate the movement. This is especially important for your first attack where you may well not know what is going to happen. Match the speed and power of your attack to what is being demonstrated - if Sensei slows down or stops to make a point about what is being practiced, match that.

Also, when Sensei starts to explain a point, step back and sit Kiza until they are ready to demonstrate again.

Adam Huss
09-22-2009, 06:33 AM
Ahhh, all great points. One thing I sometimes find distracting is when uke moves from kiza to kneeling, to standing too frequently. I know the point is to make yourself less distracting by getting out of the way...but often people are not sure what level of readiness they should be and and move around a bit too much. But's neat to hear Doug mention this...its an important thing I forgot about. Another good point Doug brought up is not anticipating the movement. And that goes for both sensei and your training partner. That's tough to do sometimes as we are creatures of habit.

I would hop most teachers wouldn't try to make someone breakfall who can't. Whenever we teach a technique that would normally be easier to breakfall out of, teacher always show a way to let uke roll, and sit back/step back break fall out of it.

Great ideas all!

Osu!
~A

Lan Powers
09-22-2009, 11:41 AM
i'm not familiar with kiza.....
we sit seiza...(same thing?)
Just curious.........Thanks
Lan

drabson
09-22-2009, 11:48 AM
Kiza is where you sit kneeling with your toes tucked up underneath, In seiza, your feet are flat. Its quicker to get up from kiza :D

mjhacker
09-22-2009, 12:07 PM
do you perform Otoku after a technique?
What does "otoku" mean? The only "otoku" I'm familiar with is お得, which means "a bargain."

Now, more related to the original idea of this post:
Our general principle is that, unless sensei has you in a pin or has his hand on you after a technique, uke bounces up back into the ready as quickly as possible, maintaining good ukemi technique, (either resolution otoku or immediate attacking for renzoku waza, whatever the case may be).
From my standpoint, I would never "bounce" back up. This is actually the opposite of what I'd consider good ukemi.

Also, it is considered more appropriate to conduct good ukemi technique...
Would you define what you mean by "good ukemi technique?"

Kevin Karr
09-22-2009, 02:15 PM
I think the most important ukemi "etiquette" point to remember where I train is this: "DON'T BAIL OUT!" The next important step after that is to "Move your face!" which means, "Be aware and learn to keep yourself safe."

One has to stay with the technique, stay connected and "sticky." Uke should not fall until the throw is done. After that, it is up to uke to roll/fall in the appropriate manner to keep him/her safe. Be connected, stay relaxed, be in the moment...WHAM! ;)

When taking ukemi for Sensei, it is always good to return to seiza or "kiza" until he holds his hand out for a grab. Then, jump up, grab on, don't let go and repeat to yourself, "Be connected, stay relaxed, be in the moment"...WHAM!

mjhacker
09-22-2009, 02:42 PM
"Move your face!"
I would (and, in fact, do) say "M.Y.A. (Move Your Feet)" Not only is your face (hopefully) attached to your feet, but moving your feet (and, presumably, the rest of your body as a unit) preservers your posture better than just moving your face.

One has to stay with the technique, stay connected and "sticky."
Are you talking about uke or tori/nage? If you're talking about tori, I agree.

When taking ukemi for Sensei, it is always good to return to seiza or "kiza" until he holds his hand out for a grab. Then, jump up, grab on, don't let go and repeat to yourself, "Be connected, stay relaxed, be in the moment"...WHAM!
This is very different in my experience on many levels.

Note: The following is said under the assumption that we are talking about doing/training aikido rather than specifically about learning/teaching it.

My job (as uke) is not to "connect" to tori (unless I am senior and I am using my ukemi to educate my junior partner). It is tori's job to connect to me. When I start an attack, I'm not uke, I'm tori. As such, my job is to "take" (取る) or "arrest/capture" (捕る) my partner. Unless he steals the initiative and puts me on the defensive, I never become uke.

I'm very much against nage/tori-centric aikido. Tori must learn to adapt to uke, not the other way around.

That said, if you are talking about the role of demo uke or shido geiko (指導稽古), things can get a bit more cloudy.

Adam Huss
09-22-2009, 04:47 PM
Michael,

My bad, poor ramanji on my part. It should be O Toku....or "great resolving" 解く (とく) I don't know how literal this translation is. I am currently typing the only language I know, so I am definitely no expert on Japanese.
Here are some textbook definitions of toku:
to untie; to undo; to unfasten; to loosen; to solve; to answer; to cancel; to release; to discharge; to remove

Here is how our instructor's handbook explains O Toku: "Non-threatening readiness posture"...although I've only heard sensei explain it as 'great resolving or finishing." Basically its like a kata, or hojo dosa, type movement done after technique. It's totally a formality thing:

Uke and Shi'te (tori/nage) face each other, come up on right knee while facing each other, stand up together with arms slightly down (think guard down), then shuffle step (tsugiahsi) away from each other, then side step to their original positions while still facing each other, then shuffle forward back to proper ma'ai and bring hands back to normal kamae height (or ready position).

I hope this description didn't confuse anyone, but it sure confuses me. Sorry about that. I tried to find a clip from youtube to put on here, but I couldn't find any (and I don't know how to take clips from aikido dvd's I have to put on the internet. I've been trying though...).

Bouncing back up is more of a mental term...no actual bouncing here! If one does a standing breakfall with good control he or she can stand up with the momentum of that fall...but even if its something one typically rolls out of...uke should (where I practice, I mean...I'm not telling others what to do) pop right back into kamae, ready for whatever attack shi'te leads for next.

By good ukemi, I mean proper form and control. Rather than being one of those groups who like their uke to get real high and splash all over the mat, we tend to prefer our uke to show control over their "transition," from a throw, to the mat. So the lead/slapping arm hits well before the body, the leg comes down straight...toes pulled back to flex the calf and keep the ankle form bouncing off the mat, good protection of the lungs (don't land on back), and keep that front foot on the ground as long as possible (to reduce the height uke falls from).

I don't expect this to make sense as it doesn't to me, and I wrote it. I'll try to take some video with my digital camera tonight and see if I can't find a way to upload that somehow, or send it to you via PM. It just kills me that I suck at explaining things. Man, am I ever going to be a terrible aikido instructor!

cheers,
Adam

Adam Huss
09-22-2009, 04:52 PM
Mr. Hacker,

One more thing. I whole heartedly practice what you 'said' about tori being the leader of the technique (and about teaching through ukemi)...as well as uke giving an honest effort to be in control.
v/r
A