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Mariska Poiesz
10-30-2012, 06:44 AM
I have been having trouble training with one of the other students at our dojo.
When we train together I find it very difficult to practice the technique asked of us on him. I feel as though he is risting too much for technique's to work, but maybe I can't get controll over the situation because my technique is bad.

For example, yesterday we were practising morotedori iriminage. He places a very fierce morotedori that quickly moves into a yonkyo. That yonkyo still hurts the next day.
From that attack I can move into a kotegaishi or an ikkyo, but not directly into an iriminage. (Kokyonage is also difficult with him) I've asked him to calm down a bit so that I can figure out the best approach to his attack, but even then I feel as though I am not executing the technique right, and other techniques seem to make more sense when dealing with him. When we speed up again I can barely apply the iriminage and I have to use strenght. However my iriminage seems to work with other people.

After class I've spoken to some other people about him and they also find him a difficult and anoying training partner.

Am I being too sensitive?
Are other uke's not resisting enough during my irimi, making me think I can apply the technique while in reality I can't?
Or if his way of taking ukemi is the problem, how can we get him to ease up and relax?

We are both 4th kyu, going for 3rd end this month.

Mary Eastland
10-30-2012, 07:15 AM
HI Mariska:

If I am having trouble with a technique with an uke I ask the uke for what I need like you did. For example, "Could you slow down and not grip so hard because I can't move?" Then we can progress together so that I can understand it a bit better. If they forget and go back to their habit I might need to ask again. Some techniqes are very difficult.

If I am doing freestyle and a technique doesn't seem to be working...I pay more attention to my uke and let them go in the way they are heading with some guidance , of course. ;o)

After more practice hard techniques and difficult ukes make more sense. Good luck with you test.

lbb
10-30-2012, 08:43 AM
It sounds like mostly a case of a bad uke to me, particularly given that you've been clear with him about what you need. At the same time, good ukes don't (usually) just happen, and people who are strong and can grip like iron don't turn into good ukes unless they've had someone explain to them what uke's role is. Uke's role is to execute the attack they're supposed to, with a speed and intensity (strength, if you will) that gives nage something they can work with, given their level, to execute the technique they're supposed to. Those are the conditions that allow nage to train. If you're acting in such a way that nage can't train (and therefore learn to handle attacks with greater speed and intensity), you're a bad uke -- but only if you've had that uke role explained to you in that way. So I'd put it back on the sensei and sempai, at least to start with. If he has received that explanation, and he either rejects it, or thinks it doesn't apply to him, or thinks that it makes training "not realistic" (or, worse yet, he uses the "not realistic" judgment as a fig leaf for a self-indulgent ego-gratification game of "You can't handle my attack, I'm better than you, neener neener neener"), then he's a bad uke.

Dealing with a bad uke can be very tough, depending on the dojo. My sensei really frowns on nage who color outside the lines -- for good reason, because it's an easy way for a bad uke to get hurt, and also it can become a convenient excuse for nage to be lazy and fail to learn to deal with more difficult attacks. But then, when he calls people up for ukemi, he's absolutely devastating on any kind of "bad uke" behavior: attack him in such a way that it would be very hard to do the technique he's "supposed" to do, but easy to do another technique, he'll go with plan B and uke will get schooled. So we don't get people with ingrained "bad uke" habits like that. I guess I've circled around to the same point, and it's back on the sensei. If your sensei doesn't mind if you do a different technique, that's what I'd do, I guess.

NagaBaba
10-30-2012, 10:46 AM
I have been having trouble training with one of the other students at our dojo.
.

1. Uke is always right.
2. in other cases look at the point number 1

Of course some people will always find a million cheap excuses to justify their poor technique, don't be misled.

Your partner is very right to introduce ‘difficult’ attacks; his job is to guide you out of your comfort zone. This is only way only changes can be done in your body, because such situation force you to find new solutions, and consequently it means a jump to higher level of understanding aikido.

Normally in correct aikido practice the ratio of successful techniques should be not higher than 1 to 50, it means that 49 tries you should fail miserably to get one technique working OK (doesn’t mean perfectly of course..). Also using muscles is very good, you have to find a way to use them correctly :D
Being you, I’d practice as much as possible with this person.

Kind regards

Basia Halliop
10-30-2012, 11:17 AM
This is only way only changes can be done in your body, because such situation force you to find new solutions, and consequently it means a jump to higher level of understanding aikido.

'New solutions' = possibly a different technique than the one you originally intended? I can see the benefit of learning to feel the attack and quickly find the most efficient and effective technique for a given attack...

Or the technique you meant to do, but done differently than you were originally doing it? I can also see the benefit of learning to feel the attack and figure out how to close holes and make a given technique work regardless of uke's attempts to counter or be difficult...

NagaBaba
10-30-2012, 03:48 PM
'New solutions' = possibly a different technique than the one you originally intended? I can see the benefit of learning to feel the attack and quickly find the most efficient and effective technique for a given attack...
This is of course ‘the easiest’ solution and in application you are using it. However when technique is imposed by instructor you can’t switch a technique all time you encounter some difficulty – this way you will never deeply learn this particular technique.
Example of ‘new’ solution: until today you were usually waiting to receive an attack. So when attack touches you, it is too late to apply a technique and you had a difficulty to do whatever…So you are forced to introduce a new dimension to your practice – just before the attack touches you, you change position of your body in such way that it is you who is deciding how attacker ends his attack. Once such new concept is incorporated into your existing techniques, suddenly the context of interaction changed. Now you are able to deal more easy with ‘difficult’ attacks.

Without practicing with ‘difficult’ attacker you will never discover new dimension of the practice and will stay forever at very low, comfortable level of practice, because nothing push you to do it.
'New Or the technique you meant to do, but done differently than you were originally doing it? I can also see the benefit of learning to feel the attack and figure out how to close holes and make a given technique work regardless of uke's attempts to counter or be difficult...
Yes, closing openings is a very direct benefice of such practice, but 99.99% of aikido population has no idea what ‘opening’ is, as they practice over cooperated techniques. And they don’t understand why they should close it, their uke will throw himself to the ground every time, regardless what Nage is doing.

Other direct benefice is to face ourselves under pressure, sometimes in dangerous situation and with a lot of adrenaline. So here you have a chance to take a look at yourself, and truly see who are you. You can observe your emotions, what choices you are doing and later you have a chance to think why you did it. Than you can look at your attacker and you may perceive he is also a human being struggling with very similar issues and in reality you both you are not such different…it helps a lot to get rid of usual dualistic perception of the reality…
These are a very basic first step on the Path…

Lyle Laizure
10-30-2012, 04:34 PM
1.
Of course some people will always find a million cheap excuses to justify their poor technique, don't be misled.

Your partner is very right to introduce ‘difficult' attacks; his job is to guide you out of your comfort zone. This is only way only changes can be done in your body, because such situation force you to find new solutions, and consequently it means a jump to higher level of understanding aikido.

Being you, I'd practice as much as possible with this person.

I don't think the OP is looking for excuses but exploring the situation to better understand what is going on.

That said, I agree that it is important for uke to offer more resistance as directed by the instructor. Aikido training has do be done in a cooperative manner lest someone get injured. An uke who after being asked to "lighten up" but refuses isn't helping nage learn anything but how to be a bully. If the uke is not offering some guidance, some kind of direction as to how nage can overcome the additional resistance then the uke is not helping and is only creating a hostile training enviornment where again someone could become injured. Based on what the OP stated, there being issues of the same nature with other students, I would be inclined to beleive that the uke is doing a disservice to his/her training partner.

I like working with folks that will challenge the level of my Aikido. Working with those folks is frustrating but a tremendous pleasure all the same. But there is a difference in challenging someone to perform better and being a bully on the mat.

robin_jet_alt
10-30-2012, 05:40 PM
The short answer is "both".

Good technique will work against someone locking you out and applying yonkyo with morotedori. My sensei used to do it to me all the time, and working out how to deal with it has helped my technique a lot.

Having said that, when my sensei did this to me, it wasn't in order to make me screw up, it was to help me to learn how to move correctly, and he helped me to do this. If this uke isn't doing this, or can't do this, then it really isn't helpful.

What I would do when training with him is to grab a senpai, and get them to work with you to show you how to deal with this kind of attack. Once you learn, it is really quite manageable.

FWIW, the kind of ukemi that really bugs me is where they grab you lightly, and the minute you move an eyelash, they let go and jump away from you as if you have have punched them. Those people are really hard to work with.

Janet Rosen
10-30-2012, 06:02 PM
Normally in correct aikido practice the ratio of successful techniques should be not higher than 1 to 50, it means that 49 tries you should fail miserably to get one technique working OK (doesn't mean perfectly of course..).

"Normally...correct..."
Not in any dojo or in any field in which I've actually learned anything.
I don't know of any endeavor in which a person is supposed to learn by being unsuccessful 98% of the time. You have to be allowed to develop the gross movements by practicing them fully, not by being repeatedly stymied in them.
Others have posted here the very apt analogy that you cannot learn to drive if every time you start to press the accelerator the instructor hits the brake.
I've heard it suggested by others who are very good teachers that 80-90% success rate is what slowly develops knowledge and ability, the proportionally much smaller failure rate being where the manageable challenge to hone skills lies.

Michael Hackett
10-30-2012, 06:40 PM
I think NagaBaba is correct in detailing the benefits of having a resistant Uke, but both the OP and her troublesome Uke are both mid-range kyudansha. At that stage it is easy to thwart the learning process of Nage - Uke knows the attack and the technique. I think it preferable to lighten up and allow Nage to develop the gross movements without excessive resistance. I define excessive resistance is that resistance that is so overwhelming Nage is stymied. I often ask my partner, regardless of rank, to increase resistance as we go along and I find that helpful for my own training. If I get stymied then, I have to find a way within myself to make it work without resorting to henka waza.

Basia Halliop
10-30-2012, 06:56 PM
2% success, 90% success.... I think the optimum varies from person to person and is different at different stages of learning or different kinds of practice. For me I usually seem to learn best somewhere in between those two extremes. Two much success and I'm missing too many opportunities to see problems and just building bad habits, but too little and when something does actually work I can't remember what I did differently that time let alone compare it do what I did the last time it worked and it's all just lost anyway, nothing sticks... For me there needs to be enough of both success and failure to be able to compare somehow what was better with what was worse. Though some days it's mostly failure (experimenting with some particular opening or tricky part or person) and other days it's mostly success (cementing something in your reflexes or muscles so you can do it without conscious thought).

Shadowfax
10-30-2012, 10:18 PM
My way of handling that sort of situation is to just work as best I can until sensei comes by and then look at sensei and say "I can't seem to make this work. Can you show me how to do it and help me figure out what I am doing wrong?" Most times sensei will use my partner to demonstrate. Partner if he really does have a problem with his ukemi will get corrected by sensei and I never look like I am accusing them of attacking me wrong. And if the problem really is me then sensei will see and correct that as well.

Between 4th and 3rd kyu is about when my teachers started saying well, if you can't do that technique because of the ukemi you are receiving then do something else. Now just past 2nd kyu I am beginning to see more of the thought on observing what it is ukes attack is requiring as a response and doing that rather than trying to force a specific technique to work when the attack might not warrant it. On the other side we also are spending a lot more time examining what uke's role is and how to improve our ukemi so that we can be a good training partner.

One observation I have made many times is that not enough attention is given to teaching people what uke's job is and how to be a good training partner so that your nage can learn and so that you can as well, while taking ukemi. Fortunately my teachers are giving more attention to that aspect of training. Might be something you could request as a subject for class some time.

Mario Tobias
10-31-2012, 02:10 AM
Hi Mariska,

Looks like bad uke to me. Of course, uke always has the right to make it difficult for nage to do the technique but in this case there is a difference between

1) giving proper resistance,
2) reversing the technique, stopping the requested technique

these are 2 different practices. Both uke and nage need to understand first what kind of practice they want to do and agree. for 1) this practice is more for learning/understanding lines of forces and lines of least resistance. For a 4th or 3rd kyu I would assume the practice is more on 1). In this case uke should not attempt to reverse the technique but just give enough resistance to nage for nage to understand the technique and where it is most efficient for him to do the requested technique.

practice 2) is more for advanced aikidoka. If uke is trying to stop nage from doing the requested technique, then nage should attempt a different technique more suitable to uke's position at that moment.

It looks like in your case you are trying to practice 1) while your uke is trying to practice 2). Of course nothing will be learnt this way.

both practices achieve different outcomes. uke plays an important part. Unless both of you have mutual understanding of achieving either 1) or 2) then you will have difficulty practicing

If you are still having problems, ask uke to give you constant resistance and not reverse the technique if you want to practice 1). If you want to practice 2), ask uke if you have openings during the technique which he can take advantage of.

It is not bad technique in the sense that you do not yet understand the technique for a properly resisting partner. Moreso, it is much difficult to get the technique right for a partner stopping you from doing the technique so it is not your fault.

robin_jet_alt
10-31-2012, 02:25 AM
2 people in a row have talked about "doing a different technique" now. Personally, I'm against this. If it's a good technique, it will work regardless of how much uke resists (unless uke attacks with yokomen-uchi instead of morotedori or something extreme like that).

NagaBaba
10-31-2012, 06:39 AM
2 people in a row have talked about "doing a different technique" now. Personally, I'm against this. If it's a good technique, it will work regardless of how much uke resists (unless uke attacks with yokomen-uchi instead of morotedori or something extreme like that).
Yes exactly what I think. Also there are very good spiritual reasons for that, if somebody is interested in such personal development. After all, we are not learning techniques just to know the techniques? It would be very superficial approach, and surely O sensei didn’t create aikido as another form of jujutsu?

The goal is to use those techniques as a tool to change ourselves as human beings, to be more perfect and to be able to perceive correctly the reality. I think prof. Peter Goldsbury has written, in one of his essays, about it - once you master some activity(ikebana, tea ceremony, martial art etc…) to the perfection, you have quite a good chances to perfect yourself during this process. That is why, on technical level, we have to work hard to produce a perfect technique. And it would be impossible if you constantly switch the techniques just because it is ‘easier’ to deal with problem.

NagaBaba
10-31-2012, 06:59 AM
"Normally...correct..."
Not in any dojo or in any field in which I've actually learned anything.
I don't know of any endeavor in which a person is supposed to learn by being unsuccessful 98% of the time. You have to be allowed to develop the gross movements by practicing them fully, not by being repeatedly stymied in them.
Others have posted here the very apt analogy that you cannot learn to drive if every time you start to press the accelerator the instructor hits the brake.
I've heard it suggested by others who are very good teachers that 80-90% success rate is what slowly develops knowledge and ability, the proportionally much smaller failure rate being where the manageable challenge to hone skills lies.
And what is the result on the character of Nage if his attacker is falling down every time for nothing? He creates in his head plenty of false ideas. I.e. I don’t need to use the muscles to throw somebody – of course!!!! Uke is jumping down by himself! And because of constant repetition of the success, the physical feedback from uke reinforces this idiocy.

It is not all. Such Nage then see in all other combat sports people struggling hard to throw somebody, but him, no! He is doing it effortless….EVERYTIME!......the conclusion? Our art is superior to others! Also morally superior, as he can realize his ideals without violating or beating other people…

And he develops a false pride, false perception, lack of respect, false confidence in his martial abilities…etc…we are talking here about perfect human being…:(

So Janet, what exactly did you learn with 90% of success? After all these long years of training, can you face with confidence stronger, violent, full of hate, possible with weapon, attacker on the street?

Shadowfax
10-31-2012, 07:06 AM
The way I see it, being willing and able to adjust and change technique is a form of self development. Instead of being tied to a specific outcome, when things don't go as we planed, we can simply adjust and go with the flow. It has come in quite handy in real life situations. It does not mean that you have to always change what you planed on doing but it is nice to have the ability.

As far as I can see being attached to doing one technique when the attack obviously would respond better to another one and forcing it is more jujitsu than being willing to change.

But we all have our own take on what we want to get out of our training and how we want to train.

NagaBaba
10-31-2012, 07:15 AM
I think NagaBaba is correct in detailing the benefits of having a resistant Uke, but both the OP and her troublesome Uke are both mid-range kyudansha. At that stage it is easy to thwart the learning process of Nage - Uke knows the attack and the technique. I think it preferable to lighten up and allow Nage to develop the gross movements without excessive resistance. I define excessive resistance is that resistance that is so overwhelming Nage is stymied. I often ask my partner, regardless of rank, to increase resistance as we go along and I find that helpful for my own training. If I get stymied then, I have to find a way within myself to make it work without resorting to henka waza.
I don’t believe there is something special with mid-range kyudansha. Everybody, regardless his level, has to face the situation where his present abilities are far from sufficient to deal with the attack. Immediately, your ego stop growing, and you are finding yourself in ‘right place’. I’d say, it is true even more for high ranking folks.

Second process that is starting in your head is –“ all what I’ve learned until today is not good enough to deal with THIS! -> here we have 2 possibilities
1. People quite practice
2. Such person changes completely his approach to training, to incorporate ‘new’ (new for him) aspect of art.

It plays a very similar role to Koan in Zen training. Without hitting THE wall with no results, the breakthrough is not possible. Your progressive approach also will not provide desired results at this level.

lbb
10-31-2012, 08:14 AM
The way I see it, being willing and able to adjust and change technique is a form of self development.

That's a good generalization, but we're talking about a specific case here. Speaking to the particulars of this case, I think that it really isn't for a student of your own rank, who is supposed to be acting as your uke, to make the decision that it's time for you to self-develop and learn to be willing and able to adjust and change technique. Your fellow student, your peer, is not the one to make decisions about your training -- even with the best of intentions, which is often not the case. Let's not kid ourselves, there are a lot of people who use the guise of "helping" as a fig leaf for ego-gratifying displays of their own superiority.

Mary Eastland
10-31-2012, 09:27 AM
I agree with, Mary M. If this was happening in my class. I would stop it and use it as a teaching oppurtunity as many times as it presented.

Many students come in with their own ideas. Which is wonderful if they want to teach them at their own dojo.

When you come to our dojo...we train in a certain way and we spend a lot time teaching how to uke and nage because we have ideas about how to train. So if a person shows up to train at our dojo we want them to try hard to do what we are teaching. A third kyu might not understand enough about the idea of what is being taught to teach it themselves.

Janet Rosen
10-31-2012, 10:27 AM
And what is the result on the character of Nage if his attacker is falling down every time for nothing? He creates in his head plenty of false ideas. I.e. I don't need to use the muscles to throw somebody -- of course!!!! Uke is jumping down by himself! And because of constant repetition of the success, the physical feedback from uke reinforces this idiocy. ...
So Janet, what exactly did you learn with 90% of success? After all these long years of training, can you face with confidence stronger, violent, full of hate, possible with weapon, attacker on the street?

You are positing an extreme in which uke detaches and falls down. Did I ever say that?

I am positing a moderate training path in which uke stays attached and gives feedback, body to body, appropriate to the level of the partner. Incrementally correct movement by nage shows as a reaction in uke. Uke doesn't try to make nage fail - uke's body guides nage to correct movement.

Note the OP is talking about folks who are still working on basic kihon waza. An attack that is always faster and harder than can be handled is not a learning experience.

Basia Halliop
10-31-2012, 11:21 AM
You are positing an extreme in which uke detaches and falls down. Did I ever say that?

I am positing a moderate training path in which uke stays attached and gives feedback, body to body, appropriate to the level of the partner. Incrementally correct movement by nage shows as a reaction in uke. Uke doesn't try to make nage fail - uke's body guides nage to correct movement.

This makes sense to me. There needs to be some kind of feedback for any person or animal to learn something. No one, either humans or animals, learns behaviour patterns by seeing the same response regardless of what they do. That goes both ways -- all success or all failure, either way there's no information in that, and consequently no learning. I don't know how to express it without going mathy, but you need at least two values to encode information! A computer that had only 1s or only 0s wouldn't be a computer, it would be a plastic and metal box.

I suppose that doesn't actually mean uke has to go down, but you have to at least be able to see somehow which of your attempts were somewhat better than your other attempts. It's like playing a game of 'hot' and 'cold' -- you're unlikely to get anywhere if don't know if you're getting closer or further, if you aren't told anything until you're actually 'there'.

I also want to point out that switching techniques to one that's easier in a given situation is only easy if you know how to do it. When I was 4th kyu I found that extremely difficult! You don't automatically see the opportunities, let alone see which one will work best. I totally agree that it doesn't make sense to always do that, but it's still an actual skill and takes work to learn and doesn't necessarily come easily or automatically to everyone.

aiki-jujutsuka
10-31-2012, 11:22 AM
The way I see it, being willing and able to adjust and change technique is a form of self development. Instead of being tied to a specific outcome, when things don't go as we planed, we can simply adjust and go with the flow. It has come in quite handy in real life situations. It does not mean that you have to always change what you planed on doing but it is nice to have the ability.

As far as I can see being attached to doing one technique when the attack obviously would respond better to another one and forcing it is more jujitsu than being willing to change.

But we all have our own take on what we want to get out of our training and how we want to train.

It depends what kind of Jujutsu you're refering to? I've never been taught to force any technique. If a technique doesn't work, you change, you adapt or if its kata you work out where you went wrong, you don't try and compensate with strength or brute force. Jujutsu techniques when performed correctly, even against resistance, should require no strength.

lbb
10-31-2012, 12:25 PM
I also want to point out that switching techniques to one that's easier in a given situation is only easy if you know how to do it. When I was 4th kyu I found that extremely difficult! You don't automatically see the opportunities, let alone see which one will work best. I totally agree that it doesn't make sense to always do that, but it's still an actual skill and takes work to learn and doesn't necessarily come easily or automatically to everyone.

It's also a bit dicey if uke is also relatively inexperienced, and particularly if he/she seems to be locked in to the idea that things will go according to a certain script (as seems to be the case here - uke knows what's coming). Switching the technique calls for different ukemi, and unless uke also has the skill to switch, he/she is more likely to not take proper ukemi and be injured.

Pauliina Lievonen
10-31-2012, 03:32 PM
From that attack I can move into a kotegaishi or an ikkyo, but not directly into an iriminage. (Kokyonage is also difficult with him) I've asked him to calm down a bit so that I can figure out the best approach to his attack, but even then I feel as though I am not executing the technique right, and other techniques seem to make more sense when dealing with him.To me it sounds like in this particular case uke's grip maybe has a push, or pull, or twist, that's in the wrong direction for the technique that is being practiced. It might well be that uke isn't even aware of that but is just trying to grip the way he thinks he should. Asking him to grip less hard might not help if the direction of the grip isn't useful for that particular technique. In that case I think it's time to ask a more experienced dojomate or teacher to give more detailed feedback to the uke. Or to give more detailed advice to the tori about how to move into the technique from such an attack.

I've noticed that really quite often "stubborn" ukes are just simply not aware enough of what they are doing to be able to succesfully change their attack to a more appropriate one. Asking uke to lighten up for example only works if uke knows how to lighten up. That's not a given.

Another example that just came to my mind is this one guy who used to grab in katatedori with an overextended arm and locked elbow. Obviously this isn't safe ukemi since the elbow can easily be injured, and difficult to deal with if tori is relatively inexperienced. It took someone physically moving this guys arm to a less overextended position for him to realize that this is what everyone meant when they asked him to "relax your arm".

My experience has been that sure over the years there have been a few people with an attitude problem who came and went through the dojo. But the vast majority of people in the middle kyu ranks, which is what we were talking about here, are well meaning and just simply somewhat clueless. :D

It's much more helpful to give people feedback of the sort of "look, your pushing to my outside while you grab, try to push to my center" "let your shoulders stilll be moveable even if you grab hard" "after the shomenuchi, allow your feet to still move, don't glue them to the floor" etc. when they're uke, instead of assuming that ego is involved if uke feels resistant, in my experience.

kvaak
Pauliina

Shadowfax
10-31-2012, 04:17 PM
That's a good generalization, but we're talking about a specific case here. Speaking to the particulars of this case, I think that it really isn't for a student of your own rank, who is supposed to be acting as your uke, to make the decision that it's time for you to self-develop and learn to be willing and able to adjust and change technique. Your fellow student, your peer, is not the one to make decisions about your training -- even with the best of intentions, which is often not the case. Let's not kid ourselves, there are a lot of people who use the guise of "helping" as a fig leaf for ego-gratifying displays of their own superiority.

And my first post suggested that the student enlist the assistance of their teacher in order to determine if they needed to correct themselves or if the uke needed correcting. At that level a fellow student may simply not understand their role as uke because as I noted in my first post the role of uke is not given enough attention in aikido classes which tend to be a lot more focused on nage's role and how to do technique. It is not the students fault if their teacher has not instructed them thoroughly on just what their job as uke is and so they give bad ukemi.

I agree with, Mary M. If this was happening in my class. I would stop it and use it as a teaching oppurtunity as many times as it presented.

Many students come in with their own ideas. Which is wonderful if they want to teach them at their own dojo.

When you come to our dojo...we train in a certain way and we spend a lot time teaching how to uke and nage because we have ideas about how to train. So if a person shows up to train at our dojo we want them to try hard to do what we are teaching. A third kyu might not understand enough about the idea of what is being taught to teach it themselves.

Again this is why I first suggested enlisting the instructor's assistance.

It depends what kind of Jujutsu you're refering to? I've never been taught to force any technique. If a technique doesn't work, you change, you adapt or if its kata you work out where you went wrong, you don't try and compensate with strength or brute force. Jujutsu techniques when performed correctly, even against resistance, should require no strength.

If you ready my post in context as to whom I was answering and what we were discussing in the post of mine that you quoted, you would see that we agree. :)

Janet Rosen
10-31-2012, 04:24 PM
The OP says that to attacker's actually changing up the direction and intent of the attack to turn it into a yonkyo if he doesn't react in time to the incoming energy. That's a lot of incoming energy and I would say that's probably not the problem the instructor is wanting nage to solve.

Shadowfax
10-31-2012, 05:48 PM
I tended to think what was meant was that the grip was just strong enough and in the right spot to trigger the pressure point for yonkyo which would not be that hard to do by mistake in that grab.. Maybe I am wrong and the OP meant that it was intentional in which case I would be having a serious private chat with my teacher about the issue to insure that he was aware of the situation and would pay attention and intervene when he sees it happening. And I know my teachers well enough to know that they would not stand for that sort of behavior in the dojo.

At this point if someone were intentionally doing that to me ( and I was sure it was intentional) I would not put up with it. And if the continued to disregard my requests for proper ukemi after sensei had a chat with him, I would probably do something not so nice about it until he got the point.

Another thought to add is that at 3kyu (in my dojo) one can start doing techniques less static and in motion and you don't have to wait until the grab is on before you move into the technique. ;)

robin_jet_alt
10-31-2012, 10:41 PM
I am positing a moderate training path in which uke stays attached and gives feedback, body to body, appropriate to the level of the partner. Incrementally correct movement by nage shows as a reaction in uke. Uke doesn't try to make nage fail - uke's body guides nage to correct movement.

Note the OP is talking about folks who are still working on basic kihon waza. An attack that is always faster and harder than can be handled is not a learning experience.

Agreed.

OwlMatt
11-03-2012, 01:42 AM
1. Uke is always right.
2. in other cases look at the point number 1

Of course some people will always find a million cheap excuses to justify their poor technique, don't be misled.

Your partner is very right to introduce ‘difficult' attacks; his job is to guide you out of your comfort zone. This is only way only changes can be done in your body, because such situation force you to find new solutions, and consequently it means a jump to higher level of understanding aikido.
I don't think this is necessarily accurate. There's a great piece somewhere by George Ledyard (I'll see if I can find it) in which he writes that he can throw a yokomenuchi that even O-Sensei couldn't shihonage. Anyone can, if they know what technique is coming and set out to thwart it. That's not being realistic or difficult; that's creating a situation built on the premise that the attacker can read the defender's mind and the defender can't alter his course of action. Obviously, there's not much use to training for that scenario.

I myself used to work with an uke who, knowing that a kotegaeshi was coming, would stop his tsuki short and plant like a statue to deprive me of any momentum to work with. He would smirk at this as if he had beaten me, but the truth is that he had just performed an incomplete attack that (a) gave me no reason to defend myself and (b) left him open to all manner of attacks.

There is absolutely such a thing as a bad uke. Just like nage, uke has a job to do, and if he does it wrong, there can be no technique.

Dave de Vos
11-03-2012, 05:42 AM
I don't think this is necessarily accurate. There's a great piece somewhere by George Ledyard (I'll see if I can find it) in which he writes that he can throw a yokomenuchi that even O-Sensei couldn't shihonage. Anyone can, if they know what technique is coming and set out to thwart it. That's not being realistic or difficult; that's creating a situation built on the premise that the attacker can read the defender's mind and the defender can't alter his course of action. Obviously, there's not much use to training for that scenario.

I myself used to work with an uke who, knowing that a kotegaeshi was coming, would stop his tsuki short and plant like a statue to deprive me of any momentum to work with. He would smirk at this as if he had beaten me, but the truth is that he had just performed an incomplete attack that (a) gave me no reason to defend myself and (b) left him open to all manner of attacks.

There is absolutely such a thing as a bad uke. Just like nage, uke has a job to do, and if he does it wrong, there can be no technique.

I think you are right. But I also think that sometimes it's hard for me as a 4th kyu to distinguish between difficult uke and bad technique. If I'm tori and I fail, it's important that I determine correctly whether it is caused by difficult uke or bad technique.

Sometimes it is a case of difficult uke. Sometimes the instructor corrects uke to change the attack or other aspects of ukemi. In many cases uke may not even be aware that he is being "difficult".

And with some ukes I just know that my first attempts will fail. Then they might give me some advice and sure enough, after that most of my later attempts will succeed. Every time we pair up, I know it will go like that. I think those are situations where both issues are in play. My technique has flaws and they happen to be people who like to "lecture" me on my flaws. I do get frustrated by this on some occasions, but I keep this to myself. Normally I'm an "easy" uke (I think), but lately, when I think they're just thwarting my technique on purpose, I sometimes cannot help myself from thwarting them once in the same way when it's their turn (I know it's wrong that I do it, because I do it out of frustration, not to help them). It's not hard to make someone fail.

But for me, last week something shed new light on this issue. When the instructor had us practising shomenuchi ikkyo omote he stopped the class. Apparently he saw a tori muttering that his uke was being difficult (yes, I too consider that uke to be a difficult uke of the type I describe above). But the instructor said uke was not to blame in this case. It was tori making a very common mistake. He showed us the mistake and showed us how to do it correctly. It was hard to see the difference, but by telling us what he's doing while he's doing it, the difference was clear. It was a real eye opener to me.
On the other hand, the correction of the instructor (6th dan) seemed different in important details from the correction that this uke (2nd kyu) usually lectures me about, so I should not blindly trust the advice of uke, difficult or not. But perhaps this uke tried to tell me the same thing all along, he just could not get it across, I don't know.

So I learned a couple things:
- don't be too quick in blaming uke when your technique fails
- if you think you fail because of difficult uke, ask the instructor to correct your technique. it could be a great learning opportunity for you (and perhaps uke)
- those learning opportunities could be worth the frustration of difficult uke

I still like ukes better if they build up their resistance, so that in my first attempts they are easy to move, but in later attempts they become more difficult to deal with. I like this better than the other way around.

hughrbeyer
11-03-2012, 09:34 PM
The OP says that to attacker's actually changing up the direction and intent of the attack to turn it into a yonkyo if he doesn't react in time to the incoming energy. That's a lot of incoming energy and I would say that's probably not the problem the instructor is wanting nage to solve.

Trouble is, turning the attack into something like a yonkyo is probably the appropriate thing for the attacker to be doing in this situation. What else would they do? Freeze there and wait for you to sock them with your other hand?

So I'm sympathetic to an uke who's trying to make his attack realistic. The trouble is that you have two people trying to practice above their pay grade--an uke who (so far as we know) doesn't really know if his attack is realistic or not, and the OP who admits he can't handle that attack with his current skills.

And Szczpcz to the contrary, you're not likely to learn anything useful in this situation. The OP is more likely to learn to muscle through the technique than anything else, and the uke isn't learning how his attack has left him open (if it is).

But, given that people are jerks and you mostly have to deal with them as they are, my strategy is to take them as a challenge--how can I deal with them without muscling up? Has their attack left them open? Can I take advantage of that with a little atemi? How does atemi (gently, bloodstains are a pain to get out of the mat) change the situation? If the attack prevents moving the way I thought, how can I move? How can I unbalance them?

The result may not look a whole lot like the technique we're supposed to practice, but at least it's useful to me, which trying to power through it would not be.

NagaBaba
11-05-2012, 09:44 AM
I don't think this is necessarily accurate. There's a great piece somewhere by George Ledyard (I'll see if I can find it) in which he writes that he can throw a yokomenuchi that even O-Sensei couldn't shihonage. Anyone can, if they know what technique is coming and set out to thwart it. That's not being realistic or difficult; that's creating a situation built on the premise that the attacker can read the defender's mind and the defender can't alter his course of action. Obviously, there's not much use to training for that scenario.

I myself used to work with an uke who, knowing that a kotegaeshi was coming, would stop his tsuki short and plant like a statue to deprive me of any momentum to work with. He would smirk at this as if he had beaten me, but the truth is that he had just performed an incomplete attack that (a) gave me no reason to defend myself and (b) left him open to all manner of attacks.

There is absolutely such a thing as a bad uke. Just like nage, uke has a job to do, and if he does it wrong, there can be no technique.

Anyone can dream he surpassed O sensei; there is nothing wrong with this. It is excellent motivation to continue training, and in reality we will never know if it is true or not.

I didn’t talk about ‘reality’ of attack.

Any attack is simply an attack – categorization (good/bad, competent/incompetent etc) has no sense, it reinforces the false duality in our mind and prevents efficiently reaching the goal of aikido training…

Yes I strongly believe it is quite possible to do efficiently a technique even if attacker knows what technique is coming. In aikido context is very easy because attacker is not countering your technique. And even in judo (with active countering) it is very common.
That is why I think it is a cheap excuse.

NagaBaba
11-05-2012, 09:48 AM
And Szczpcz to the contrary, you're not likely to learn anything useful in this situation. The OP is more likely to learn to muscle through the technique than anything else, and the uke isn't learning how his attack has left him open (if it is).
.

If it is true, the sparring as a training tool in combat sports would be inefficient. However anybody knows that without sparring you can't learn how to fight efficiently...
So I believe the facts plays against your believes :D

Marc Abrams
11-05-2012, 10:12 AM
So Janet, what exactly did you learn with 90% of success? After all these long years of training, can you face with confidence stronger, violent, full of hate, possible with weapon, attacker on the street?

Szczepan:

I respectfully disagree with your position on this. A thorough review in the area of Psychology of Learning might open your mind to some other possibilities. If I am trying to "rewire" the person to respond appropriately to stimuli, I seek to keep the person on the border of success and failure with a gross majority of the time, burning in successful movements. That means that the uke really shoulders a lot of responsibility in the role of the teacher. Asking somebody to "muscle through" something simply interferes with proper, effective movements in our art.

The larger issue at hand,is to address the purpose and goals of the uke. If it is not clearly designed to help the nage improve, then the uke is simply acting like the rear-end of a mule.

Marc Abrams

jonreading
11-05-2012, 01:34 PM
Learning technique (kata), training technique (kata) and practicing aikido (waza) are different interactions.

First, I think we need to be careful about placing restrictions on uke. As a common-sense answer to the basic fight, we attack because we think it will get us somewhere - in fact, for good fighters it will get them somewhere. To attack someone who is guarded without the desire to defeat the guard makes no sense. In kata, we forgo this preamble to speed up our interaction, but we need to remember that uke's job is not to stick out something for us to grab, but to control our center. If someone can grab you, hunker down, and control your center...

For kata, work with your partner. Learn the movements (both uke and nage). Feel free to say, "slow down", or "not so hard". You're figuring out what's going on and you cannot progress until you know what to do. Uke is a partner in this education.

For waza, have at it. Your partner should be able to work within the parameters of the interaction; you can to. He throws atemi... Turnabout is fair play. He prevents the natural development of technique...Henka waza and practice something else. This is where things usually get tricky because accidents can happen. You need to be vocal with your partner about expectations, "You can stop and hold me, but that makes me feel like I should step into your teeth with my unguarded foot. Try moving to regain your balance and posture so you can push my center. "Or, "When you step there that naturally defends my inside movement. If you deliberately step inside to prevent me from stepping inside, I will just step outside and do something else. Sensei wants us practicing inside step, so let's stay within the movement."

Also, role playing sometimes give us bad habits. It is a natural state for us to be balanced and stable. To require uke to hold an unbalanced, undefended state while we crank their wrist is BS. Uke should want to righten themselves, get back their balance and continue the pressure. Eventually it doesn't matter.

To George sensei's point, I have read several articles of the old deshi who implied they would attack O Sensei and have him dead to rights, right up until he closed his suki. Attacking makes sense; otherwise, don't attack.

hughrbeyer
11-05-2012, 02:27 PM
If it is true, the sparring as a training tool in combat sports would be inefficient. However anybody knows that without sparring you can't learn how to fight efficiently...
So I believe the facts plays against your believes :D

Sparring in a combat sport is a totally different situation. In the OP's case, he's asked to practice a specific defense; in sparring, you defend (and attack) to exploit whatever situation arises, using whatever you think will work.

NagaBaba
11-05-2012, 07:13 PM
Sparring in a combat sport is a totally different situation. In the OP's case, he's asked to practice a specific defense; in sparring, you defend (and attack) to exploit whatever situation arises, using whatever you think will work.
We are talking here about LEARNING, so no, situation is not different...
There are many kinds of sparring, one of them is to do predefined technique against countering opponent - can ppl doing such sparring learn something even if they can't do a technique at all?
It is kind of intermediary step between learning technique in a static situation(typical for aikido training) and dynamic application any technique against any attack....

NagaBaba
11-05-2012, 07:30 PM
Szczepan:

I respectfully disagree with your position on this. A thorough review in the area of Psychology of Learning might open your mind to some other possibilities. If I am trying to "rewire" the person to respond appropriately to stimuli, I seek to keep the person on the border of success and failure with a gross majority of the time, burning in successful movements. That means that the uke really shoulders a lot of responsibility in the role of the teacher. Asking somebody to "muscle through" something simply interferes with proper, effective movements in our art.

The larger issue at hand,is to address the purpose and goals of the uke. If it is not clearly designed to help the nage improve, then the uke is simply acting like the rear-end of a mule.

Marc Abrams
Hi Marc,
I'm not psychologist so I can't comment. I personally don't want to "rewire" anybody, this is a role (if necessary) of the techniques not mine.
The situation is that nage MUST do everything, even "muscle through", to be sure, that whatever he does, his technique is inefficient. He must be convinced by himself, by his own experience not by somebody 'external' - like i.e. instructor. He must repeat this experience many times, to be without any doubt. He has to hit a wall.
Only then, a jump on higher level is possible.

Marc Abrams
11-06-2012, 07:54 AM
Hi Marc,
I'm not psychologist so I can't comment. I personally don't want to "rewire" anybody, this is a role (if necessary) of the techniques not mine.
The situation is that nage MUST do everything, even "muscle through", to be sure, that whatever he does, his technique is inefficient. He must be convinced by himself, by his own experience not by somebody 'external' - like i.e. instructor. He must repeat this experience many times, to be without any doubt. He has to hit a wall.
Only then, a jump on higher level is possible.

Szczepan:

I am a psychologist so we obviously come from different places. I do want the person to be rewired and have that expressed through technique. The repeating a mistake many times position is not only inefficient, but it hard-wires in bad response sets. I literally ask a student to walk into the cement-block walls of my dojo and ask the student how many times they want to do that. I also "tap" the person with strikes as a means of allowing their bodies to experience "the wall" in a safe manner so that the reprogramming happens early in the cycle of learning.

Regards,

marc abrams