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07-09-2002, 11:18 PM
I haven't been doing Aikido for very long, but have had experience with other martial arts. Is there any sort of general expectation regarding when you give in to a technique that is not working on you? In my case, my arms aren't particularly sensitive to pressure points. Another student was attempting to do Yonkyo (sp?) and I really wasn't feeling anything. From a leverage standpoint he was strong enough to force me down, but from a technique standpoint, it just wasn't there.
Similarly, what about techniques that are supposed to involve unbalancing? If I don't feel unbalanced, do I just go along anyways? I understand that each dojo likely approaches things differently, but I was looking for suggestions in general. Thanks.
07-10-2002, 02:33 AM
Hello there Dave. Your questions are ones I feel everybody comes across in their time in aikido. Would this work? But if he does this I can do that, etc, etc. Regarding whether or not you should fall for someone when their technique is not working, my answer would be no. As a beginner it is very important to start off by doing the technique very slowly and softly just to get the feel of it. When the technique is on then Uke takes ukemi. When you start as a beginner try not to resist the technique, go with it, but only when it is on. As you build up gradually and your technique improves, you can apply the technique harder and have it applied harder, taking into account your Ukes ability. Resistance does have its place, but only up to the point when the technique is on. Once it is, it is dangerous to resist. My own personal opinion is that intent is the important thing. If you just go for Nage when the technique is not on then you are doing him no favours in the long run. The only trouble that this can cause is Nage believing you are being deliberately awkward. Intention again is important here, Uke and Nage should be helping each other build strong, powerful, technique. Through constant practice you will feel when the technique is on and your Partner too in time will learn to apply the technique where you won't be able to just stand around wondering what you're supposed to be doing. Yonkyo is a notoriously difficult technique to apply and if your partner does apply it correctly on the right spot, you will know about it. Again time and practise are the key elements here. Hope this has been some use Dave. All the best with your training.
07-10-2002, 02:33 AM
Originally posted by isshinryu88
I understand that each dojo likely approaches things differently, but I was looking for suggestions in general. Thanks. I'm afraid it is impossible to give general advice - because dojos have different approaches, as you yourself mention.
07-10-2002, 02:53 AM
I haven't been doing Aikido for very long, but have had experience with other martial arts. Is there any sort of general expectation regarding when you give in to a technique that is not working on you?...
From a leverage standpoint he was strong enough to force me down, but from a technique standpoint, it just wasn't there.
Similarly, what about techniques that are supposed to involve unbalancing? If I don't feel unbalanced, do I just go along anyways? ...
The following might be helpful if you haven't already read it.
I can't give you any specific advice as I'm not familiar with the way that your dojo trains. I can only comment on my experiences in the hope that you may see some similarities and/or differences. Regardless, having a chat with senior students at your dojo and with sensei may help address your concerns.
From a personal standpoint, I don't rely on the pressure point in yonkyo to make the technique work. My experience is that there's too many variations to consistently find the pressure point or to force compliance with pain. Others in this forum may have difference experiences. We learn to unbalance and then to control uke.
As for "going along with tori" even if you feel that he/she has not taken your balance. When I train and I am uke I try to give nage honest feedback. I don't "go with the technique" if nage hasnt taken my balance, blended with my attack, controlled the energy of the attack or is giving me mixed messages about the where he/she has redirected my energy to. I provide the energy from a committed attack for nage to control at a speed that allows nage to learn the dynamics of the technique. If nage is having problems with the technique, I subtly catch Sensei's attention so that Sensei can help nage understand the dynamics of the technique.
This is the way that I have been taught to train by at the two dojos that I train at.
Hope this helps and all the best for your training :)
07-10-2002, 06:46 AM
I'd say your the perfect Uke, ppl will basicaly have to apply the techniques Properly in order for them to realy work on you , for instance did the sensei try Yonkyo on you? i'm sure you'd feel it then ;) as for balence its good that you have good balence it will make others really have you use footwork and motion to throw you off.
i have a friend with *Freaky* arms basicaly Nikyo does not work on him no matter how hard we try sankyo always gets him tho and its revenge time as thats my best move (heh) next to Yonkyo of course ;)
07-10-2002, 08:01 AM
Pete. I noticed on your last post you said you were having difficulty putting on Nikyo with your friend. I was just wondering if you were trying to take him from static or not. When we start off learning Aikido it usually is from a static position. On techniques like nikyo if Uke has strong arms/wrist this can prove difficult. Try very slowly at first to take your friend in nikyo by moving as he grabs, move to the side, turn your hips and cut back in bringing the hand applying the technique right under Ukes wrist. Try it slowly at first and build up. The hip turning is the essential part of the technique. If you take the technique from moving you also remove Ukes strength. Try it and see. Good luck.
07-10-2002, 01:36 PM
I've been wondering about this myself lately. A new beginners' class just started, and I never know whether to follow the newbies or not. The thing is, I don't want the brand new nage to get frustrated that s/he is not moving me and then try to force the technique to work. There is an aspect of learning the actual movements first, and then, as you become more confident with them, working with a more difficult partner. I can see how bad habits can arise in both cases of having a "resistant" and "non-resistant" partner (words in quotation marks, because I don't think that they are great words to use in this case). Should you go easy on the fresh-on-the-mat beginners, and save your "honesty" (I suppose) for a more experienced nage?
I also will follow along a bit with a more experienced nage on a throw that I'm pretty sure nage has never seen, at least for the first couple of times, and slowly build up my "resistance" as s/he becomes comfortable with the movements. I like people to go with me a little at first, just so I can get my movements coordinated, and then once I've got that figured out, I can work on actually unbalancing uke. Do others see an uke that does this as a hinderance or as helpful?
07-10-2002, 09:15 PM
Originally posted by Arianah
...There is an aspect of learning the actual movements first, and then, as you become more confident with them, working with a more difficult partner. ...Should you go easy on the fresh-on-the-mat beginners, and save your "honesty" (I suppose) for a more experienced nage?
I like people to go with me a little at first, just so I can get my movements coordinated, and then once I've got that figured out, I can work on actually unbalancing uke. Do others see an uke that does this as a hinderance or as helpful?
Yes I think you are right. In training with some beginners, you need to let them figure out the movements and posture first. IMHO, as Uke/Nage you need to be sensitive to the abilities and experience of your training partner while providing honest feedback whether it is through a committed attack (at an "appropriate" speed that allows Nage to train properly and you as Uke to Ukemi properly) if you are Uke or allowing time for the Uke to ukemi if you are nage.
In the end, we are all trying to learn and improve and the dojo environment should encourage and support that.
Yes I agree that the other aspect is to allow nage to train in more subtle and complex aspects of a technique as they get more familiar with the movements. Things like extending ki, generating power and maintaining posture etc.
Apologies for posting so many times on this thread, but this is somewhat of a pet subject for me. Since I assist Sensei by teaching sometimes, I'm very interested in creating an environment when people are free to learn and explore the techniques.
Happy training all :)
07-11-2002, 02:20 AM
Helping out beginners is an extremely rewarding if not at times frustrating experience. When a beginner gets on the mat he/she will have different emotions and aspirations. Whenever I help out a beginner on a technique I believe you should literally put the technique on yourself if you see what I mean. You should not provide any resistance to a beginner who has just started a technique. He/She needs to learn the movement and application first before any resistance comes into play. The trouble sometimes we have with beginners is with the "Go on then, show me types." Nikyo tends to be the forte with this type of beginner. They will be resisting you with every ounce of strength they have. At this stage of Aikido this is understandable, remember they want to see martial application. If you can't put the technique on from static on them, ask them not to resist so much. They will probably be thinking "they can't do the technique." Don't be concerned about this. Lack of confidence in your own ability leads to people getting frustrated and angry. A beginner doesn't know which way they should be going or not to resist. Remember you're showing techniques from static. Aikido comes alive from movement. As we progress in our training I think our queries all get answered. Just our patience sometimes gets tried!
George S. Ledyard
07-11-2002, 04:15 AM
What is the expectation. Most of the time you aren't training with people who are your close training partners. In cases like that I stay up just long enough to verify in my own mind whether or not I really needed to go with the technique. I owe myself that as it is my training too (if the partner is at all sensitive they will know when I fell to be polite) then I go down. If they are my friends I don't go down and I help them to get it right.
Basically, a lot of this is ego stuff and you don't want to prick people's egos asa general rule. I have a student that is off the chart in terms of strength and flexibility. He isn't even a black belt yet (in Aikido, he does have a karate background) but there are techniques that I apply on him and it has little effect that if I did it the same way to anyone else in the dojo they'd be in the hospital with a serious injury.
In my own dojo it's just considered funny. The students watch as I have to run through a series of really hardcore adjustments to my techniques to have any effect on him. I know it's not a challenge to me and I use it as training. He's just the worst case scenario guy. He's appropriately polite with the other students and everybody knows that if I have trouble with him then they don't have to feel bad if they do as well. But he does have to be careful outside our own place. There are folks out there who would look at this guy as a challenge to their position in the Aikido world and would try to put the serious hurt on him.
It's good for our egos and our training to have these guys around. Although I have to say that I did feel a little better when he told me that one of the REALLY BIG guys at the Expo in Las Vegas put a nikkyo on him and had trouble making it work. Now I know it's not just me.
07-11-2002, 09:46 AM
Learning to be a good training partner (uke) is often harder than learning the waza. Especially early in training we need to not resist too much otherwise we would never be able to train, but not give the technique away because then our partner never learns either. Its that balance between them. Its just take practice. So, relax, breath, and enjoy yourself.
07-11-2002, 10:38 PM
Thanks to everyone for your replies.
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