PDA

View Full Version : Being Uke - Make Instructor Look Good?


Please visit our sponsor:
 

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


Hakuru
02-13-2011, 11:27 AM
Hi every one do you think Uke can make the Instructor look good

Mark Freeman
02-13-2011, 04:28 PM
Hi every one do you think Uke can make the Instructor look good

Hi Gary,

do you mean that uke can make the Instructor good looking?:D
or do you mean the uke can make the Instuctor look better than he really is?

Of course, but if the Instructor is demonstrating a point to the class, uke's role is not to make the Instuctor look good or bad, uke is there to provide the means to demonstrate the point.

Having said that the Instructor must be able to do what he is demonstrating, whether uke is compliant or not.

A good uke can make a bad instructor look awful if it was uke's mind to.

A good instructor will look good despite the uke.

regards

Mark

JCT53
03-18-2011, 02:49 PM
Can they? Yes. They often take large, over-dramatic air falls and let themselvs be off-balanced to easily. These (done with good timing) will make the Sensei look better. However, it is realitively impractical. This is because an instructor is there to teach others. So, if he needs an uke to "take a fall for him" then what is he really able to teach others? He will simply be imparting false confidence in them that will prove to be their undoing in a real life situation.
So, Can, yes. Should? No.

That is my two cents.

Hellis
03-18-2011, 05:51 PM
Of course a good uke can make a technique look more spectacular.
I was not one for taking my own flying uke everywhere with me, I would just use whoever was there, I would say " no matter how you breakfall you are going, how you do it is up to you.

In the late 1960s I was on TV with TK Chiba Sensei, he threw me and to my shame I over did the ukemi, Sensei growled in my ear " Mr Ewiss , I can throw you without your help "" never did that again.

Henry Ellis
Positive Aikido
http://aikido-books.blogspot.com/

ramenboy
03-20-2011, 06:03 PM
Of course a good uke can make a technique look more spectacular.
I was not one for taking my own flying uke everywhere with me, I would just use whoever was there, I would say " no matter how you breakfall you are going, how you do it is up to you.

In the late 1960s I was on TV with TK Chiba Sensei, he threw me and to my shame I over did the ukemi, Sensei growled in my ear " Mr Ewiss , I can throw you without your help "" never did that again.

Henry Ellis
Positive Aikido
http://aikido-books.blogspot.com/

Where is the 'like' button? :)

Well put!

lbb
03-20-2011, 06:20 PM
On the flip side, a bad uke can prevent a sensei from doing what he/she is trying to demonstrate...which just gives the sensei an opportunity to look good doing something completely different, but it does interfere with instruction :-D

Mark Mueller
03-20-2011, 06:56 PM
On the flip side...an Instructor can start believing his/her own press when ukes start flying for them. That being said, I try to encourage student to watch both me and uke....one for the technique, one for the response.

raul rodrigo
03-20-2011, 08:09 PM
On the flip side, a bad uke can prevent a sensei from doing what he/she is trying to demonstrate...which just gives the sensei an opportunity to look good doing something completely different, but it does interfere with instruction :-D

I had this happen to me just recently. Uke was anticipating the technique and moved ahead of me, hoping to roll. The trouble was I was doing something else, and the way he moved, I could have just hit him in the face and saved myself the trouble of the technique. (I tapped him on the face with two fingers, just to show the opening.) So to someone off the mat, it would have looked like I couldn't do the technique. So the overeager uke doesn't necessarily help the instructor or make him look good. But it does hinder the teaching. So I eventually had to change the uke so that I could show what I was trying to show.

Some years back with Kuribayashi of Hombu Dojo, I went down too soon as he was doing the waza. He said: "No, no, that's my job."

senshincenter
03-20-2011, 08:37 PM
Why is it that almost everyone will acknowledge that there are uke that are overacting to make instructors look good, etc., but there's not an equal amount of folks pointing out that the multitude of shihan out there are not as good as the masses may think they are????

raul rodrigo
03-20-2011, 09:09 PM
Why is it that almost everyone will acknowledge that there are uke that are overacting to make instructors look good, etc., but there's not an equal amount of folks pointing out that the multitude of shihan out there are not as good as the masses may think they are????

Politeness?

senshincenter
03-20-2011, 10:25 PM
Politeness?

Okay, maybe not pointing things out to their faces or even talking behind their backs, but at least stop the worshiping and the following and conceding and the efforts to capitalize upon them and instead start making one's own way and doing things differently.

sakumeikan
03-21-2011, 02:30 AM
Why is it that almost everyone will acknowledge that there are uke that are overacting to make instructors look good, etc., but there's not an equal amount of folks pointing out that the multitude of shihan out there are not as good as the masses may think they are????
DearDavid,
A multitude?Are you sure here?Maybe a couple but I think you are overstating here.How many do you say constitutes a multitude?
Cheers, Jo
Ps no names required.

lbb
03-21-2011, 07:15 AM
DearDavid,
A multitude?Are you sure here?Maybe a couple but I think you are overstating here.How many do you say constitutes a multitude?
Cheers, Jo
Ps no names required.

I'd say that if you think there's a "multitude" of shihan, good bad or indifferent, then you need to get a dictionary and look up the meaning of "multitude".

senshincenter
03-21-2011, 09:33 AM
How about an experiment then:

Do a youtube search for Aikido - look at shihan videos only. Pay attention to the All Japan Demo ones. Ask and answer if the uke in the video is meeting the criticism here. What number do we get? That number, that's what I call a multitude.

d

raul rodrigo
03-21-2011, 11:29 AM
Many uke in the All Japan demo are doing the over-dramatic falls. And we're not talking Takeda/Watanabe Jedi waza. Just normal waza where people bail far too early. On the other hand, the ukes for shihan like Miyamoto, Kuribayashi, Osawa, and Yokota are doing their damnedest to stay connected to tori, and won't fall unless they have to.

grondahl
03-21-2011, 03:04 PM
If uke really has to work to stay connected, isn´t that also what the op asked about?

Shany
03-21-2011, 03:41 PM
Everyone can resist to the teacher, they just tend not to because they don't want to reveal the teacher's true level.

Jonathan Guzzo
03-21-2011, 05:11 PM
Uke should take appropriate ukemi for the technique that an instructor is demonstrating. Sometimes that's a great big fall. The only time I resist when I'm called up to be uke is when our instructor makes it clear that he or she is demonstrating the incorrect way of carrying off a technique that results in an opening or an opportunity for reversal.

That said, I think the most helpful thing one can do is to take clear ukemi. Demonstrate the safest and cleanest way to the mat for the rest of the class so that they not only see the technique demonstrated but also the proper way to stay connected to nage and the best way to protect oneself on the way down.

senshincenter
03-21-2011, 05:13 PM
I'm not talking about resisting - I'm talking about over-acting, accentuating, self-generating, disconnecting, prematurely disengaging, etc., on uke's part.

And, by extension, I am simply following through with the logic of this thread: If we are ready to say there are a multitude of uke out there that do this, then we should have the gumption to say that that means there are a whole lot of shihan out there that are taking advantage of this. Yet, in reality, we never make that jump. We never see the logic through. We keep our critique to the uke, and we go get our booked stamped at the next seminar.

Jonathan Guzzo
03-21-2011, 06:04 PM
I'm not talking about resisting - I'm talking about over-acting, accentuating, self-generating, disconnecting, prematurely disengaging, etc., on uke's part.
.

Thanks. Those are great points, and I agree with you.

To me, they go to point number 2--uke should allow the instructor to demonstrate the technique and also concentrate on demonstrating rational, martially-sensible ukemi. The mistakes you're pointing out are the exact opposite of what I'm talking about.

Jonathan Guzzo
03-21-2011, 06:06 PM
Also, the proof is in the pudding. If you have never put your hands on someone, you can't really know if they're good. I myself have never struck or laid hands on a high ranking practitioner who has disappointed me, so I count myself lucky, if a little bruised.

Mark Freeman
03-21-2011, 06:36 PM
Everyone can resist to the teacher, they just tend not to because they don't want to reveal the teacher's true level.

Uke shouldn't resist the teacher unless specifically asked to. Any aikido teacher worth the title should be able to deal with resistance from uke with comparative ease. In my book, that is what aikido is for. You are correct, if a teacher can't deal with a resistant uke, that does reveal the teachers level. However, if uke resist a teacher who knows how to deal with them, they put themselves in a vunerable position. Resistance reduces uke's ability to stay truly connected to nage. A uke who is flexible, movable, focussed and connected, can be harder to throw than one who resist.

regards,

Mark

raul rodrigo
03-21-2011, 09:08 PM
If uke really has to work to stay connected, isn´t that also what the op asked about?

Uke has to work to stay connected, not to make the teacher look good, but because it's the safe way to take the waza. In some lineages, if uke doesn't maintain the "live connection," tori will just close the distance and strike. Chiba and Miyamoto do that. If there is a live connection, then tori has something to work with. If uke is looking to bail out at the first opportunity, then there is no need to continue the waza. Uke has already given up his structure instead of forcing tori to take it.

Ketsan
03-21-2011, 09:24 PM
Hi every one do you think Uke can make the Instructor look good

No, it always ends up looking fake and if it looks fake then the automatic assumption is that it's fake because the instructor is fake.
Fancy ukemi that looks good is only possible when you're not being thrown.

JO
03-21-2011, 09:40 PM
I'm not talking about resisting - I'm talking about over-acting, accentuating, self-generating, disconnecting, prematurely disengaging, etc., on uke's part.

And, by extension, I am simply following through with the logic of this thread: If we are ready to say there are a multitude of uke out there that do this, then we should have the gumption to say that that means there are a whole lot of shihan out there that are taking advantage of this. Yet, in reality, we never make that jump. We never see the logic through. We keep our critique to the uke, and we go get our booked stamped at the next seminar.

Maybe we don't hang out with the same shihans. The shihans I've taken even a little ukemi from (Kanai, Yamada, Chiba, Berthiaume, Waite, Konigsberg, Doran, DiAnne) were all extremely solid and had no trouble handling me. They certainly weren't waiting for me to jump. A couple of them I've had the chance to attack fairly strongly and had my nearly 170 pounds tossed back pretty hard. One of the best compliments I received in my first years of training was having Donovan Waite compliment my ukemi after coming at him with everything I had and being bounced back with kokyu nage.

In a demonstration and especially when being used as an uke by the instructor, I think it is best to keep the ukemi clean and "stylized" in such a way that you help show what is being taught. My own instructors, I've actually trained with (such as in seminars or when they have taken turns teaching), in which case I've "played" a little more, even occasionally stoppping them in their tracks, but that's different from demonstrating a technique.

Josh Reyer
03-22-2011, 12:48 AM
And, by extension, I am simply following through with the logic of this thread: If we are ready to say there are a multitude of uke out there that do this, then we should have the gumption to say that that means there are a whole lot of shihan out there that are taking advantage of this. Yet, in reality, we never make that jump. We never see the logic through.
Mainly because that is bad logic. That there are many uke who tank says nothing about the ability of the small percentage of aikidoka who make up the population of shihan.

senshincenter
03-22-2011, 01:00 AM
Maybe we don't hang out with the same shihans. The shihans I've taken even a little ukemi from (Kanai, Yamada, Chiba, Berthiaume, Waite, Konigsberg, Doran, DiAnne) were all extremely solid and had no trouble handling me. They certainly weren't waiting for me to jump. A couple of them I've had the chance to attack fairly strongly and had my nearly 170 pounds tossed back pretty hard. One of the best compliments I received in my first years of training was having Donovan Waite compliment my ukemi after coming at him with everything I had and being bounced back with kokyu nage.

In a demonstration and especially when being used as an uke by the instructor, I think it is best to keep the ukemi clean and "stylized" in such a way that you help show what is being taught. My own instructors, I've actually trained with (such as in seminars or when they have taken turns teaching), in which case I've "played" a little more, even occasionally stoppping them in their tracks, but that's different from demonstrating a technique.

I'm speaking generally, though I gave a specific experiment one can run for themselves via youtube. I'm not limiting this to a group of subjective experience.

We can't have it both ways. We can't have all these over-acting uke's out to make nage look good and then all these shihan that aren't taking advantage of it - unless we want to say that these over-acting uke are only training with non-shihan.

Oh well, like I said, folks are all ready to point out the over-acting uke and talk about how bad they are for Aikido, etc., but few want to make the next step in logic and point out how bad it is for nage - even shihan nage - that don't squash this bug from the get go.

senshincenter
03-22-2011, 01:01 AM
Mainly because that is bad logic. That there are many uke who tank says nothing about the ability of the small percentage of aikidoka who make up the population of shihan.

Like I said, run the youtube experiment - get your sample from the All Japan Demonstrations, and then see if you are willing to keep the critique going. I'm not talking about a majority of folks. I had used the word "multitude." Additionally, I'm not talking about percentages. I'm talking about our general unwillingness to keep the critique going once it hits the shihan level.

Basia Halliop
03-22-2011, 07:10 AM
I wouldn't assume people aren't making critiques, they just tend to be private or limited to smaller conversations. There's a lot of politeness, but it doesn't extend to what's inside your head, which affects decisions one makes when choosing a teacher, and to a lesser extent when traveling to seminars.

senshincenter
03-22-2011, 10:32 AM
Then let us be as polite to these uke as well.

JO
03-22-2011, 11:49 AM
I'm speaking generally, though I gave a specific experiment one can run for themselves via youtube. I'm not limiting this to a group of subjective experience.

We can't have it both ways. We can't have all these over-acting uke's out to make nage look good and then all these shihan that aren't taking advantage of it - unless we want to say that these over-acting uke are only training with non-shihan.

Oh well, like I said, folks are all ready to point out the over-acting uke and talk about how bad they are for Aikido, etc., but few want to make the next step in logic and point out how bad it is for nage - even shihan nage - that don't squash this bug from the get go.

I disagree with some of this. Your youtube experiment is limited in what it can show. You can't feel the shihan, you can,t ask them to explain why they choose to demonstrate what they demonstrate. The shihan I have felt, I have taken classes from and have an idea of the what and why of their aikido. That makes them a much better starting place for discussing ukemi styles.

I don't think the shihans with the light flying uke are "taking advantage" of anything. They have taken their training, and their students with them, in a particular direction. To know why, you'd have to ask them. That type of training has little interest for me, and I stay away from it. But then I occasionnally disregard my own sensei's advice on how to take ukemi if I find it's a little too "light". I'm hardheaded that way.

I've had visitors that outrank me visit our dojo and complain that I was countering their technique. They ask why. I answer because I can, you're wide open. They add that I'm not acting in the harmonious spirit of aikido. I say that you can't create harmony without having something unharmoniuous to harmonize. They slam me down on the mat hard with a judo style sutemi. So much for assumptions about other peoples training.

NagaBaba
03-22-2011, 11:55 AM
I've had visitors that outrank me visit our dojo and complain that I was countering their technique. They ask why. I answer because I can, you're wide open. They add that I'm not acting in the harmonious spirit of aikido. I say that you can't create harmony without having something unharmoniuous to harmonize. They slam me down on the mat hard with a judo style sutemi. So much for assumptions about other peoples training.
You are building yourself The Reputation JO :D Very soon nobody will want to practice with you.... good times, good times..

senshincenter
03-22-2011, 12:44 PM
I disagree with some of this. Your youtube experiment is limited in what it can show. You can't feel the shihan, you can,t ask them to explain why they choose to demonstrate what they demonstrate. The shihan I have felt, I have taken classes from and have an idea of the what and why of their aikido. That makes them a much better starting place for discussing ukemi styles.

I don't think the shihans with the light flying uke are "taking advantage" of anything. They have taken their training, and their students with them, in a particular direction. To know why, you'd have to ask them. That type of training has little interest for me, and I stay away from it. But then I occasionnally disregard my own sensei's advice on how to take ukemi if I find it's a little too "light". I'm hardheaded that way.

As I said, if we can't assume things about the shihan when we watch them, then we can't assume things about the uke either. Yet, we do the latter all the time without doing the former. And, that is my point. There's obviously a bias here, and consistency is being waved aside.

Basia Halliop
03-22-2011, 01:19 PM
While I think it would be dishonest to pretend that none of the difference in people's willingness to criticize ukes vs the teacher is due to the difference in power and prestige of the individuals, I don't think it's the only reason.

When you see a nage with an overly 'helpful' uke, you don't know what nage WOULD or COULD do if the uke was acting differently. I have myself occasionally practiced at seminars with ukes who flung themselves all over the place to a rather alarming and confusing degree if I twitched my arm or scratched my nose or something. In fact most of us have far more opportunities to practice with a teacher's ukes than with the teacher, which I think is also very relevant to our willingness to make judgments. But it doesn't mean that that practice was indicative of my actual ability.

So we don't actually know if the teacher actually _needs_ that, or just likes it for some reason, and without knowing the teacher better and knowing what ideas they're exploring in their aikido practice, I can't discount the possibility that their choice to allow or encourage such ukemi may have nothing to do with lack of ability on their part to deal with less 'helpful' ukes. Of course it very well might, but I have no way of knowing one way or another. It's also possible that they first learned to deal with uncooperative ukes and then later their personal interest went elsewhere. Or it's possible that they don't actually want their ukes to fling themselves about quite like that but have inadvertantly taught them to by making the techniques painful enough. I just can't tell, unless I've seen them with an uncooperative uke.

It often means that what they're interested in teaching in their aikido is of less interest to me personally, though, so I would tend not to be inclined to care as much whether they're genuinely good at the things I want to know or not, since I'm unlikely to search them out to train extensively with them either way.

JO
03-22-2011, 09:39 PM
Very soon nobody will want to practice with you....

You exagerate. I have a feeling there will be at least one Polish godan that'll still train with me ;)

JO
03-22-2011, 09:54 PM
Bassia, I agree with you to a point. Where I disagree is this; if you criticize the ukes of shihan X at a big demo, you are criticizing shihan X. It is safe to assume he has picked his favorite ukes for a big demo and that what they do is a direct reflection of shihan X's training methodology and philosophy. I for one don't feel anyone was unfairly criticizing ukes and leaving shihans off the hook. I mean the ukes in a demo tend to be fairly unknown and any criticism will have shihan X's name tied to it. As in : "Look what shihan X's ukes are doing!"

So David, I assume just as much about a shihan as his ukes/students when I see things I am unimpressed by, it's just that overacting ukes are one of the more visible oddities found in the aikido world, and because of that they attract a lot of comment. You're the one that started a thread about beautiful ukes ruining the art after all.

senshincenter
03-22-2011, 11:52 PM
Yeah, Jonathan, I can't stand them. They are ruining the art. But, that thread for me could have easily been titled, "Shihan that encourage and/or allow beautiful uke are ruining the art." ;-)

Young-In Park
03-23-2011, 01:51 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEDaCIDvj6I&feature=related

amoeba
03-23-2011, 05:35 AM
Well - I do think that a good uke makes tori "look good", but not by falling over by himself or being overly cooperative!
A teacher of mine often talks about how a great uke is supposed to give the best he can, attack honestly, not block and "be in the contact". That does not make it easier for tori but it does enable him to do the best technique he can. So for me - yes, uke can make tori better and I don't think it's a bad thing if understood like this!

Basia Halliop
03-23-2011, 09:13 AM
As in : "Look what shihan X's ukes are doing!"

Yes, I do agree with that. As often as not people don't even know who the uke is; they're comparatively anonymous (at least compared to the teacher), so it's clearly far more a criticism of the teacher than of the uke as an individual.

My point though was more that I don't know WHY a teacher has produced a bunch of ukes that do that, if it's to make him 'look good' (although I'm not sure it does particularly make someone look good to have ukes appear to be throwing themselves for no reason) or for some completely different reason.

So I may say I wish the ukes didn't do that when they were practicing with me, or that I don't find it as interesting or helpful to my own learning when watching a demonstration done like that, without claiming anything specific about their teacher's personality or technical abilities (e.g. that he's incompetent or a show-off or lazy or whatever else I have heard people conclude).

hughrbeyer
03-23-2011, 11:14 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEDaCIDvj6I&feature=related

Why go outside of aikido to criticize, when we have videos like this up?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oE_9wSirYsg&feature=feedrec_grec_index :blush:

Dave de Vos
03-23-2011, 03:22 PM
Yeah, Jonathan, I can't stand them. They are ruining the art. But, that thread for me could have easily been titled, "Shihan that encourage and/or allow beautiful uke are ruining the art." ;-)

I understand what you mean, but I think the term "beautiful uke" is much more general than the type of ukemi that you describe.

I mean, I would consider this this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3NmaYu2Kvc&t=69s) beautiful uke, but I don't get the impression that the shihan would be in trouble if uke resisted more. I think uke would be in trouble and it would look less beautiful if they resisted more. Is this type of ukemi ruining the art? Or is this not beautiful?

senshincenter
03-23-2011, 03:33 PM
Why go outside of aikido to criticize, when we have videos like this up?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oE_9wSirYsg&feature=feedrec_grec_index :blush:

My goodness. You know where I stand. :D

senshincenter
03-23-2011, 03:37 PM
I understand what you mean, but I think the term "beautiful uke" is much more general than the type of ukemi that you describe.

I mean, I would consider this this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3NmaYu2Kvc&t=69s) beautiful uke, but I don't get the impression that the shihan would be in trouble if uke resisted more. I think uke would be in trouble and it would look less beautiful if they resisted more. Is this type of ukemi ruining the art? Or is this not beautiful?

Yeah, my opinion would be the same. It's my take on things. I don't think we can throw folks that are standing straight up prior to throwing them unless we are from the beginning stronger than they are. If this Aikido works, it works only for when you are stronger than your attacker. That ukemi requires that uke be standing straight up or nearly straight prior to being launched. A person that is standing straight up is in too much possession of their full strength. Hence, it works, but only for when the attacker's full strength is not greater than ours. That is a lesser Aikido. I mean, would you go learn an Aikido that from the onset says, "Come learn an Aikido for when you are always stronger than your attacker!" No. No one would. But that is what you are getting when you look to employ that ukemi.

Hence, beautiful uke are ruining the art.

Dave de Vos
03-23-2011, 04:26 PM
Yeah, my opinion would be the same. It's my take on things. I don't think we can throw folks that are standing straight up prior to throwing them unless we are from the beginning stronger than they are. If this Aikido works, it works only for when you are stronger than your attacker. That ukemi requires that uke be standing straight up or nearly straight prior to being launched. A person that is standing straight up is in too much possession of their full strength. Hence, it works, but only for when the attacker's full strength is not greater than ours. That is a lesser Aikido. I mean, would you go learn an Aikido that from the onset says, "Come learn an Aikido for when you are always stronger than your attacker!" No. No one would. But that is what you are getting when you look to employ that ukemi.

Hence, beautiful uke are ruining the art.

First I thought I understood what you meant, but now I'm not so sure.

I have difficulty in understanding this in relation to the discussion about beautiful uke. Do you mean that beautiful uke are a warning sign than shihan's aikido only works because he is stronger than uke? On the other hand you seem to suggest the opposite too: beautiful uke try to hide shihan weakness.

Sorry, I don't understand.

senshincenter
03-23-2011, 05:35 PM
I'm saying that a culture is rising around ukemi. That culture is spreading and spreading - such that more and more people are taking this type of ukemi. This ukemi is coming to be seen not only as "beautiful" but also as "right" and "preferred." In other words, the culture for this ukemi is coming to adopt the status of truth. It's becoming the dominant culture.

What is problematic however is that for this ukemi to work, to manifest itself, uke for the most part is thrown from state of balance - not from a state of being off balance. When you are thrown from a state of being off balance, you don't fly through the air so nice and you don't land so nice either - it's ugly. Fewer and fewer people are trying to be ugly.

I would imagine, if not already, a growing majority will look at ugly ukemi and think nage is crap for it, when in fact, they are doing the more authentic Aikido (i.e. the Aikido that does not require you to be stronger than your attacker).

Dave de Vos
03-23-2011, 07:12 PM
I'm saying that a culture is rising around ukemi. That culture is spreading and spreading - such that more and more people are taking this type of ukemi. This ukemi is coming to be seen not only as "beautiful" but also as "right" and "preferred." In other words, the culture for this ukemi is coming to adopt the status of truth. It's becoming the dominant culture.

What is problematic however is that for this ukemi to work, to manifest itself, uke for the most part is thrown from state of balance - not from a state of being off balance. When you are thrown from a state of being off balance, you don't fly through the air so nice and you don't land so nice either - it's ugly. Fewer and fewer people are trying to be ugly.

I would imagine, if not already, a growing majority will look at ugly ukemi and think nage is crap for it, when in fact, they are doing the more authentic Aikido (i.e. the Aikido that does not require you to be stronger than your attacker).

How about uke safety? Do you mean ugly but safe ukemi?
Do you know an online video example of ugly but correct ukemi (resulting from correct aikido where beautiful ukemi would not be possible)?

senshincenter
03-23-2011, 07:54 PM
See the Beautiful Uke thread - I posted some there.

Janet Rosen
03-23-2011, 07:59 PM
... problematic however is that for this ukemi to work, to manifest itself, uke for the most part is thrown from state of balance - not from a state of being off balance. When you are thrown from a state of being off balance, you don't fly through the air so nice and you don't land so nice either - it's ugly. Fewer and fewer people are trying to be ugly.

David, thank you for clarifying in your past couple of posts what it is you meant by your OP.
I do see what you mean, I think, if I may paraphrase? : that ukemi based on big swooping rolls either requires a nage who can actually overpower uke rather than achieve kuzushi, or else for uke to make a decision to disconnect and take such a lovely roll.
And as someone who can't do those rolls anymore, and who tries her best not to disconnect, yeah my ukemi is "ugly" but to reply to Dave's f/u question, it is also safe. It is for the most part falls as soft and round as possible, but also slappy and hard if they need to be. Efficient.

Janet Rosen
03-23-2011, 08:02 PM
To add to my above post.... frankly, if someone applies that form of iriminage on me, I'm not following and sliding around and getting up again, I'm being driven straight down to the mat face down on the initial move. It takes a younger, fitter, lither human than I do do the ukemi that is EXPECTED on that technique. It's one reason I was happy to no longer train at a dojo that does that style of iriminage.

JO
03-23-2011, 08:11 PM
Dave,

I don't know what David will think, and I have a feeling I'll regret this, but compare Tissier's irimi nage with this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZrjeOSOKTM&feature=related

In Tissier's case he lets uke come back up and then goes straight against his head. Claude works on keeping uke off balance from start to finish. In this example he is taking his time to show the controls he is using to off-balance uke. I have taken ukemi from irimi nage from both these shihans in slow step by step beginner classes. Tissier practically tore my head off by asking me to stand strong then going right against my head/neck. With Claude it was more like being held in a vice as he stopped me in the middle of the throw kept me dangling there off balance as he explained the movement and then threw me.

PS - I think Claude's uke has great looking ukemi. I wouldn't use the term beautiful ukemi to describe the thigs I don't like, but then I'm not David.

JO
03-23-2011, 08:48 PM
Here I'll stick my neck out a little further. From 1:40 to 2:20 on this clip (my shodan exam), you can see the ukemi part of test as Skip Chapman tosses me around :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kz18R8Q4xY

Tell me what you think and I'll see if it fits my memory (which is mostly that it happened so fast and I was so stressed at being up there testing that I don't remember much except initiating attacks then hitting the mat).

Basia Halliop
03-23-2011, 10:19 PM
"Beautiful" is very subjective, though. What one person finds beautiful might not be what another does, even from an aesthetic standpoint.

For me 'beautiful' ukemi is when I see people unexpectedly getting their feet really swept out from under them or unbalanced in some other way, and yet they manage somehow to land without any harm and pop back up quickly and smoothly to attack again. Whenever I see that I admire it... and I don't find from my experience that it does 'look ugly' even from a purely aesthetic standpoint. But the aesthetics follows the function rather than the other way around.

Bratislav
03-24-2011, 02:46 AM
It is very difficult to find the right measure...

Carsten Möllering
03-24-2011, 03:14 AM
Tissier practically tore my head off by asking me to stand strong then ...
...
With Claude it was more like being held in a vice as he stopped me in the middle of the throw kept me dangling there off balance as he explained ...
Just different points of interest ...

senshincenter
03-24-2011, 08:47 AM
if I may paraphrase? : that ukemi based on big swooping rolls either requires a nage who can actually overpower uke rather than achieve kuzushi, or else for uke to make a decision to disconnect and take such a lovely roll.


Perfect. Yes.

senshincenter
03-24-2011, 05:19 PM
"Beautiful" is very subjective, though. What one person finds beautiful might not be what another does, even from an aesthetic standpoint.


This is true. So, for the sake of discussion, let's say we are talking about that front breakfall from Irimi Nage.

JO
03-24-2011, 08:29 PM
This is true. So, for the sake of discussion, let's say we are talking about that front breakfall from Irimi Nage.

I like Janet's wording better.

A front breakfall from irimi nage can make martial sense if uke manages to partially free himself and turns towards nage. This happens to me as nage often enough (not so much as uke as this is not the way I usually turn if I counter).

My feeling is that the pretty breakfall from a stable standing position comes from bad habits carrying over from teching beginners how to fall. A lot of throws in aikido have very open endings where uke is launched and then has to fend for himself as nage is no longer in contact to guide the fall. This is very scary for most beginners, so we tend to let them lign themselves up, tell them to be upright and light (helps for a smooth landing as opposed to crashing in a ball, or on your head) and then we go through the motions of throwing them.

Then we trade places and much the same happens with the advanced person as uke since the beginner has little hope of pulling off a real throw, we position ourselves to fall and go through the motions.

This isn't so bad for a start. But if you are still doing this with more advanced students (say anybody fourth kyu and up), then your pretty much just dancing, each person taking turns being the lead.

One thing I try to do to avoid this trap is that when just going through the motions, I put myself in an unbalanced, about to fall position and try to have the learning nage place themselve in a position to do the final push just as if they had got me there against my will. When it's my time as nage I have more trouble, it's really hard to throw someone outwards and have them land safely if they don't yet have the skill to land or roll safely (I've sent a few beginners flat onto their backs or stumbling into the walls, which I really try to avoid). Mostly you have to stop and let them take self controlled ukemi and wait until they get better.

Jaon Deatherage
03-29-2011, 01:39 PM
Ukemi is where a great deal of Aikido's content lies....it would be a shame to cheat ourselves of such learning by cultivating bad ukemi, whether it is too compliant or too resistant.

All that can be done about poor ukemi is to work hard not to do it ourselves....