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RonRagusa
08-23-2011, 10:20 PM
We practice in a cooperative training environment. When I train with a partner we enter into an agreement to abide by the structure of the exercise in order that we may both derive the benefits afforded us by the practice. The agreement is simple.

If we are practicing say, shomen uchi kokyu nage, I as uke agree to attack with a shomen strike and not a yokomen strike or katate tori. I agree to attack and, when nage moves, follow in order to continue attacking. As uke I agree to attack without foresight, that is, to attack where nage is and not where I know he's going to be. When practicing static grabs I agree to regulate the power of my attack and operate within nage's ability to receive and deal with that power, regardless of nage's rank.

If I'm not thrown I don't fall. If my balance isn't compromised I keep it. If nage leaves openings I do not ignore them.

As nage I agree to regulate the power of my technique and operate within uke's ability to take ukemi, regardless of uke's rank. I agree to execute the technique we are practicing. I agree to move without foresight, to present a tangible target for uke's strike or grab. I agree to respect the energy uke is putting into the attack and treat the attack with the same seriousness as I would if there was real ill intent behind it.

If I don't follow through on my throw I expect uke not to fall. If I don't disturb uke's balance I expect him to keep it. If I leave openings I expect them to be exploited.

I and my partner work together to better ourselves and for the betterment of each other. Cooperation in training does NOT imply capitulation on the part of either participant.

(Original blog post may be found here (http://ron-aikidothoughts.blogspot.com/2011/08/two-hundred-and-one.html).)

robin_jet_alt
08-23-2011, 10:40 PM
If I ever get good enough to teach at my own dojo, I would like to post this on the wall. Very nicely worded.

RonRagusa
08-23-2011, 10:48 PM
If I ever get good enough to teach at my own dojo, I would like to post this on the wall. Very nicely worded.

Thanks Robin, feel free.

Best,

Ron

Janet Rosen
08-23-2011, 11:59 PM
I think I'd enjoy visiting if y'all werent so far away!

ryback
08-24-2011, 05:37 AM
Very nice post Ron, i agree with everything. It reflects how aikido practice should be. We also practice like that...

Mark Freeman
08-24-2011, 06:11 AM
Hi Ron,

I really like the post you wrote, as it is the way that I was taught and what I endeavour to get across to my own students.

There are opinions being posted on these forums at the moment which seem to say that co-operative training is not the right way to go, that it is creating a sub-standard aikido. What are your thoughts?

Personally I have found that with enough of this type of training, then dealing with an unco-operative uke is relatively easy. An un-co-operative uke usually has tension/resistance built in somewhere and resistance against a centered, non-resistant nage is fruitless.

anyway, good post.

regards,

Mark

RonRagusa
08-24-2011, 12:06 PM
Hi Janet, Yannis -

Thanks for your comments. We enjoy getting visitors here and try our best to make everyone feel welcomed and appreciated. If you're every in the area give us a call.

Best,

Ron

RonRagusa
08-24-2011, 12:21 PM
There are opinions being posted on these forums at the moment which seem to say that co-operative training is not the right way to go, that it is creating a sub-standard aikido. What are your thoughts?

Hi Mark -

I think those opinions arise because of a fundamental misunderstanding of what cooperative training entails. That said, it's the student's responsibility to craft a training program that is in alignment with personal needs and goals. Who is to say what the "right way" to go is? Aikido students study the art with many different goals in mind and will find teachers and schools that come closest to providing them with a viable paths toward achieving their goals.

Best,

Ron