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Suru
10-08-2002, 07:25 PM
Almost every time I train with a beginner, they spin just before I can throw them in shihonage. I expect a real attacker to most probably act like an aikido beginner, so I'm a bit concerned about using this technique on the street. Shihonage is one of the cornerstones of aikido, so I know there must be a way to keep uke from spinning. Does anyone have advice for me?

Drew

jaxonbrown
10-08-2002, 07:57 PM
i always had that problem too

you must stay low and crank that arm enough so the other arm stays away from you

here's an example:

http://www.xs4all.nl/%7Equid/Aiki/Movies/Aikimovs/SimonDeering/Shiho.mov

daedalus
10-08-2002, 08:00 PM
I'm going to preface what I'm going to say with "ask sensei." That being said....

Make sure uke doesn't have his/her balance when applying the technique.

Or...Use atemi full force. Cause horrible elbow pain. Don't be afraid to dislocate the elbow in the throw. Don't be afraid to bounce uke's head on the mat hard, causing a brain hemmorage. Plow your shoulder into his/her face when throwing.

Second paragraph sound a bit extreme? This is why ukes cooperate. Try and keep uke's arm overextended. If beginners don't cooperate, ask your teacher or explain to them yourself why cooperation is a good idea.

When I was a beginner, I always turned out of the standing kotegaeshi pin. Nage asked sensei about it, and he...demonstrated why turning over was a good idea. Worked for me, and it might work for them.

Peter Goldsbury
10-08-2002, 08:45 PM
i always had that problem too

you must stay low and crank that arm enough so the other arm stays away from you

here's an example:

http://www.xs4all.nl/%7Equid/Aiki/Movies/Aikimovs/SimonDeering/Shiho.mov
Yes. Notice how Simon turns sharply after spining his uke and throws him in the reverse direction (with hands no higher than forehead). The turn is actually optional. It is much more severe on uke, but you could continue in a straight line.

Oh and with beginners, ukemi from shihonage is somnething you actually have to teach, usually by doing it yourself as instructor. It is not something they should be left to pick up for themselves after having learned ushiro ukemi.

Best regards,

Greg Jennings
10-08-2002, 09:23 PM
The mistake that I see most often is nage giving nage his center back during the pivot.

My instructor has a couple of things that he does incredibly well. Shihonage is one of them.

If we really get in a rut, he has us lay the back of our inside wrist across our forehead and the back of the outside wrist across the pulse area of the inside wrist. The wrists should be "cupped" around your forehead.

It's a crutch, but when my shihonage gets to really sucking, I retreat to it till I get the groove back.

Best Regards,

opherdonchin
10-08-2002, 10:32 PM
I've sort of seen two schools of thought on this that are almost entirely opposite.

The first holds that before you even begin doing the shihonage you should have uke's elbow and wrist cranked enough so that their hips are thrust forward and they are up on their toes. Make sure they stay like this as you pass under the arm and, trust me, they won't be going anywhere. I see that a lot in ASU and AiKiKai dojos.

The other version (more 'seidokan') is best understood by letting uke grab your finger instead of your wrist. Now try to do shihonage without ripping your own finger off. You'll find that to do it you must find a path that brings uke's hand to their shoulder without giving them a lot of excuses to pull on your finger or twist around. This involves a very light touch.

Of course, one would hope that when you practice shihonage with beginners you go quite slowly, giving them ample time to think about their options and do all kinds of crazy things. "On the street" (wherever that is), one suspects that both you and your 'partner' will be moving at a more realistic pace.

PhilJ
10-08-2002, 11:02 PM
I've seen exactly what Opher mentioned above. In Seidokan, the tendency is to let the arm go where it wants to; this way, uke doesn't feel any chances to resist. This is my favorite manner to do shiho.

When nage "must" grab uke, the only words I say are "keep the slack out of uke's arm".

Creature_of_the_id
10-09-2002, 02:09 AM
get low and make sure it is not comfortable for your partner. make sure you can see your own hands at all times :)

oh.. and ask your sensei to show you the ukemi from it. Learning how to cooperate in techniques like this means that no one gets hurt and the technique can be practiced as if done at full energy.

erikmenzel
10-09-2002, 02:52 AM
Yes. Notice how Simon turns sharply after spining his uke and throws him in the reverse direction (with hands no higher than forehead). The turn is actually optional. It is much more severe on uke, but you could continue in a straight line.
Well,

most obvious to me is how Simon is janking his uke into the right position.Would not want to try that with an uke that is realy alive and awake.

Genex
10-09-2002, 04:09 AM
Extention, extention, extention.

If you've got your Uke extended with your elbow up under his how is he going anywhere?

then step through (omote) or tenkan (ura) and cut down, instant mat splat. beleive it or not shihonage is really hard to get out of when done properly.

as for Iriminage. OY! dont get me started. its so damn hard!

still i can do it but man its damn akward.

hehehe

otama shimini!

pete

Peter Goldsbury
10-09-2002, 06:08 AM
Well,

most obvious to me is how Simon is janking his uke into the right position.Would not want to try that with an uke that is realy alive and awake.
Well, to each his / her own. 'Janking' would not be the word I would use to describe Simon's movement, but perhaps I am biassed: years ago we trained in the UK under the same teacher (who now teaches in San Diego,). And if it's the uke I think it is, he is usually neither dead or asleep during practice, at least when he takes ukemi for me.

I think Kevin Price's advice is very sound. Beginners really need to be taught how to take correct ukemi from shihonage, which, actually, can be a lethal technique. If you look at an article written by Fumio Shishida, published a few years ago in Aikido Journal when it was still Aiki News, most of the fatal accidents in aikido have been caused from shiho nage.

So, if a beginner 'escapes' from shihonage by turning out of the technique, it is no big deal. I think uke and tori need to be taught to cooperate with each other to the absolute maximum, at least in the early stages.

Best regards,

andrew
10-09-2002, 06:37 AM
Shihonage is one of the cornerstones of aikido, so I know there must be a way to keep uke from spinning. Does anyone have advice for me?

Drew
Shihonage is considered one of the cornerstones of aikido because there's so much involved in doing it properly. There is a way to stop uke from spinning, and you'll eventually find it in training. There's no magic formula- it's complex enough that a verbal explanation just won't cut it for you.

The thing you can do at this stage, though, is ask these guys spinning out to just take the ukemi. Eventually you'll have it figured out to the point that when they try spinning out, they'll be unable to. I hope.

Anyhow, I wouldn't think shihonage should be one of the first techniques you consider using "on the street."

andrew

L. Camejo
10-09-2002, 07:00 AM
Extention, extention, extention.

If you've got your Uke extended with your elbow up under his how is he going anywhere?

then step through (omote) or tenkan (ura) and cut down, instant mat splat. beleive it or not shihonage is really hard to get out of when done properly.
This is how we tend to do shi o nage (tenkai kotegaeshi) in our dojo. As long as tori keeps uke's arm and shoulder directly on top of his own shoulder and visualises a pivoting sword cut to someone behind, it is very hard to escape.

If done properly, attempting to turn out will actually be more painful, as your own shoulder traps uke's shoulder, locking it in the midst of the turn. While training in Aikikai, I learnt that if tori keeps his outer elbow as low as possible it allows for even more control of the technique.

Alternatively, application of yonkyo throughout the shi ho nage makes it almost effortless and irresistible. Of course, if uke still turns out it only places him/her in the perfect position for an easy kotegaeshi :)

My 2 cents.

L.C.:ai::ki:

MikeE
10-09-2002, 08:39 AM
In our dojos we stress taking uke's balance from the first movement and keeping it throughout the entire waza. An uke that has no balance can't spin out of anything.

Bruce Baker
10-09-2002, 10:14 AM
All right then ... if ain't comfortable get comfortable.

You cannot do shihonage without taking balance and causeing your uke to move.

If just use your hands, it might work in practice but not against a resistant partner. If you use your body, it might work, but if you leave slack in your partners arm, it will provide opportunity to escape.

So maybe it is time to pick up your bokken and try that once again. If you do not have a bokken, an overhead stike with both hands will be sufficient. Now, raise those hands, take a short step in as you bring them down. That is the opposite of what you will do in raising your partners arm in shihonage.

The detail raising is to take their balance in moving forward in the step as you raise your hands, learn to meet forearm to forearm so your body does the work and not your hands or arms, and to learn how to get the twist motion that creates the pain to make the uke complient enough to follow you while their own absorbtion of your technique allow them to feel minimum pain.

With very supple loose ukes I use the old hair pull twist to take out the slack at the beginning of the technique.

What is the hair pull technique?

It is something that is practiced in Wally Jay Jujitsu as a wrist warm up. Most Aikido teachers use it to deflect a bokken strike, or use it for jo practice to roll off a jo strike. The wrist simply allow the hand to bend downward as if you had a hand full of hair, then you roll the wrist upwards as if you were tearing out a handfull of hair. Not a very pretty picture or thought, but it does stick out in my mind as a realistic point of reference.

Anyway, this rolling of the hand and wrist with forearm to forearm is one of the key locking movements that make the rest of shihonage a valid technique.

Whether you let your partner walk into shihonage, or take the balance from a static position, you have to use "Extension, Extension, extension," as Peter Lovatt puts it ... but encourage your uke by taking out all the slack to harmonize with your next movement, which will produce pain, as you "raise the bokken" and take out the slack. If you have left slack, or not encourage uke to follow you, then you might as well start over.

So, you have taken the balance with extension by virtue of your step forward, and you have learned to use the hair pull twist as you raise the bokken with forearm to forearm causing extentsion using your body instead of your upper body strength or arm strength, now what?

Time to send the energy in the direction you need to go. Uke should be dancing on his or her toes with no real striking options, and any kick will result in severe pain, but you aren't waiting for that chance to happen, you are secure with the bokken at your forehead as you turn back into the uke and redirect the force.

But how far back into the uke did you turn? Did turn so far that you are pulling the uke towards you, or maybe you didn't turn enough and you have let your hand slip over your shoulder to relieve the pressure? In either case, even if you are doing it wrong, you will eventually get it with practice.

Pay attention, there is a two way motion coming up for the throw. Yep, it is not just the wrist being twisted into the arm to apply submission as it is brought down, but you should be stepping forward to affect the use of body movement in the same way you first practiced the first strike with the small step.

We have begun with the bokken being raised, and being lowered in the same manner as first saburi, only with a pivot added as we raise to the front as we step in, pivot, and strike to the rear. Too simple?

It is always simple in the if you pay attention to the details that take out the slack, make use of motion, and apply your practice to application.

Take a few minutes to find out what I mean about the three wrist warmup exercises Professor Wally Jay uses. He admits that he has taken movements from other arts, including aikido, that work, and these three warmups are found in your weapons practice also, if you are paying attention, that is.

Paul Smith
10-09-2002, 10:46 AM
Toyoda Sensei's emphasis was on maintaining the extension of uke's arm, primarily by ensuring uke's arm "scraped" across nage's back on the way through the "pivot cut" to bring uke's hand into position at their shoulder. It "scrapes across the back" if nage bows, and maintains this bow, after entering through (for omote) or after beginning soto-pivot (for ura). Analogy: "look at the penny on the floor" as you pivot.

Bruce Baker
10-09-2002, 11:39 AM
I know there are some typo's in my previous post, but my van finally got the new engine in it, so I ran off.

Yeah, the coin rolling past is a good one, but remember to not raise your hands above your forehead, or out to the side as you pivot to the outside, rubbing your forehead above the eyebrows is a good reference for where you want to be.

What I wanted to get into was that I had modified my practice to a kneeling submission, because of my illness, and it brought to mind how many people could refrain from using weapons, punching and kicking to detain perpetrators by a simple shihonage to their knees?

I must modify my practice, but in doing so, I find ever more validity for the variations of techniques, the use of joint locks for restraint, and little to no reason to affect the types of striking weapons most law enforcement employs ... batons, sticks, and the like.

Play dumb, if you are having a hard time doing a technique, until enough of the details are exposed so that your mind is clear on what parameters must be met to do a technique properly. Once you have the knowledge, even if it takes a life time to master it, at least you will know how to help yourself, or others should they ask?

Good practice to you.

Aristeia
10-09-2002, 03:15 PM
Shihonage is considered one of the cornerstones of aikido because there's so much involved in doing it properly. There is a way to stop uke from spinning, and you'll eventually find it in training. There's no magic formula- it's complex enough that a verbal explanation just won't cut it for you.

The thing you can do at this stage, though, is ask these guys spinning out to just take the ukemi. Eventually you'll have it figured out to the point that when they try spinning out, they'll be unable to. I hope.

andrew
I'm gonna have to disagree with that. I firmly believe you should NEVER tell uke to "just take the ukemi". Uke is never wrong, they have two simple jobs, attack, and recover. Sure you can tell them to just take the ukemi for now and eventually it will seem like you have got the technique sussed to stop them spinning out. But more likely rather than having trained yourself to do the technique correctly, you've trained uke to just fall.

Beginners offer a great opportunity to train with people that have no preconceived notion of how they should be moving. They're not "playing the role". Which is great. Having said that many beginners also don't move in a way I would describe as natural. It all boils down to this - never tell uke "just fall like this" without explaining to them (or showing them) why that is the best and safest thing to do. If you can't figure out how to do that, then you need to be dealing with whatever movement they're giving you. As people advance in experience this is invaluable to get a better insight into techniques and how to adapt them when things don't go as expected. For juniors, as someone else said, they need to call their sensei over to explain to both partners a)how to stop uke moving like that and b) why uke probably doesn't want to move like that.
Anyhow, I wouldn't think shihonage should be one of the first techniques you consider using "on the street."

andrew
Why on earth not. It had better be. Ikkyo, irimi nage, shiho nage. These are the first techniques we learn. They are the cornerstone most of us fall back on in those moments when we're no longer thinking about technique but just acting. Watch anyone start jiyu waza and more often than not their first response to shomen is irimi nage, their first response to yokomen is shiho (or variation thereof).

The point being that these are the techniques many people are most likely to default to in an actual combat situation. It won't be a matter of which technique you are considering, it will be a matter of which technique you find yourself in the middle of. So they'd better be useful. I think shiho is good in this instance because a) It is so easy to make it so much nastier than it is in the dojo (e.g. breaking the arm over the shoulder), b)it's easy to flow from shiho into other techniques if uke isn't moving as you'd hoped (irimi, juji, repo....)

Roy Dean
10-09-2002, 04:46 PM
Spinning out of Shihonage is a common and intuitive reversal. Yield to their resistance by moving into another technique. All techniques can be reversed, so use their beginner's intuition to hone your own spontaneity and flow.

Roy Dean

Adman
10-10-2002, 09:37 AM
Hello everyone! My first post here, I think.

Hmmm... I'll just stick to some key points to prevent the "spin out" part.

Okay, let's just get to the position of the technique just before nage raises their hands up. Nage and uke are, in effect ,"mirror" images of each other, with arms extended out in front. At this point, nage moves forward, towards uke's hand as it's being raised (Mr. Baker's post mentions this, but I thought I'd repeat it). *Then* pivots to complete the throw. Uke doesn't spin out because nage moves forward while keeping uke's hand/arm in the same relative position... that is ... extended. It doesn't occur to uke that they could spin out, because they can't.

Uke is able to spin out when nage stays "mirrored" and pivots to complete the throw without moving forward. Since uke is still a "reflection" of nage, they will naturally pivot in the same manner, especially when nage insists on putting uke's elbow in a vulnerable position.

Yep, it's common. But it can be remedied without reversing the technique, yanking (ouch! don't yank!), moving faster, cutting harder, etc.

Adam

Don_Modesto
10-10-2002, 09:59 AM
1) The turn is actually optional. It is much more severe on uke, but you could continue in a straight line.

2) Oh and with beginners, ukemi from shihonage is somnething you actually have to teach, usually by doing it yourself as instructor. It is not something they should be left to pick up for themselves after having learned ushiro ukemi.

Best regards,
____________________

1) Nasty, that. I think that's what Shioda describes in his book as "a variation", ie, cranking the arm on the shoulder and ripping 1-3 major joints.

2) Yes. But before teaching them, they are so useful to the more advanced as reminders that often, modesty is but honesty.

I've been working pretty intesively with a couple of beginners of late, and it's remarkable how quickly they pick up on how to make NAGE look good. One moment they confound your technique and the next they make you look golden. Of course, one attempts to apply the technique under these rarified conditions ideally, that is, without recourse to the catalogue of options offered so insightfull--and ironically--by Mr. Lapins.

daedalus
10-10-2002, 10:34 AM
*MR.* Lapins? Wow! I feel like a respectable citizen again! Either that or I'm back in high school and the dean has me in his office...<shudder>

Tuesday night, a beginner in class didn't believe that she was really "doing" the technique because it was so easy. I agreed to attack hard with resistance if she would throw hard and quickly. What resulted was her doing a beautiful shionage that didn't quite get to my shoulder (uh oh!), and me doing a last-minute shionage breakfall. She said that I had just fallen for her to make her look good. I corrected her, letting her know that I fell for my elbow. It REALLY wanted me to go over. ;^)

The goal is to be able to do a throw with no extra help from extreme pain or fear of joint dislocation, and we should always strive for this. But if we haven't reached that point, don't be discouraged. It will still "work," it just makes uke's fall more...interesting.

G DiPierro
10-10-2002, 03:32 PM
I agree with Michael Fooks about not telling beginners to change their ukemi when a technique isn't working. Usually, I find that it is a much better to work on changing my own technique to adapt to the difficulty. In fact, not too long ago I had a beginner spinning out of shihonage, and after trying several changes to my technique, I finally figured out the key to preventing it. However, this was an isolated case, and if Drew is having this problem "almost every time" he practices with beginners then I suspect there is a deeper problem that he needs to work on in his technique.

OTOH, there are aspects of ukemi specific to techniques that should be taught, and for shihonage the principle of keeping the hand close to one's shoulder is often one that comes up for newer students. However, this point is solely for the uke's own protection and not to cover up deficiencies in nage's technique.

Aristeia
10-10-2002, 04:44 PM
OTOH, there are aspects of ukemi specific to techniques that should be taught, and for shihonage the principle of keeping the hand close to one's shoulder is often one that comes up for newer students. However, this point is solely for the uke's own protection and not to cover up deficiencies in nage's technique.
Exactly. There's nothing wrong with telling uke to move a specific way, so long as you've got a good compelling reason why it is in *their interests* to move that way, not yours (in this case avoiding a shoulder dislocation)

opherdonchin
10-10-2002, 04:47 PM
I try to separate the two processes. First, I try to concentrate on my own technique and figure out a way to execute what the instructor demonstrated in a way that feels both effective and safe. IF I manage to suceed in that, then it may be an appropriate time to correct a beginners uke. Still, that may just because I'm selfish.

MattFu
10-14-2002, 07:57 PM
A much seen beginner trick! I remember when I used to do this all the time :)

As I see it...it leaves you open to counters etc etc.

*First post, figured I would post on somthing like this....brings back the the beginner days!*

Aristeia
10-14-2002, 10:59 PM
Actually we were playing with this again the other day and I think I've found another reason why beginners are the main culprit. It seems to be a result of moving nervously, trying to "fit in" and avoid being hurt. I was spinning out of peoples shiho nage when I was taking a very passive dance like approach as uke. As soon as I changed my mindset and kept my intent and focus on attacking uke (even without a physical follow up attack), no more spinning out.

andrew
10-15-2002, 04:39 AM
I'm gonna have to disagree with that. I firmly believe you should NEVER tell uke to "just take the ukemi". Uke is never wrong, they have two simple jobs, attack, and recover.

It all boils down to this - never tell uke "just fall like this" without explaining to them (or showing them) why that is the best and safest thing to do. If you can't figure out how to do that, then you need to be dealing with whatever movement they're giving you.

Why on earth not. It had better be. Ikkyo, irimi nage, shiho nage. These are the first techniques we learn.

The point being that these are the techniques many people are most likely to default to in an actual combat situation. It won't be a matter of which technique you are considering, it will be a matter of which technique you find yourself in the middle of. So they'd better be useful. I think shiho is good in this instance because a) It is so easy to make it so much nastier than it is in the dojo (e.g. breaking the arm over the shoulder), b)it's easy to flow from shiho into other techniques if uke isn't moving as you'd hoped (irimi, juji, repo....)
Sorry to cut up your post a bit: firstly, Ukemi is about protecting yourself. Frankly, if a beginner spins out in a way that gives you the choice of letting them go or injuring them, you're going to have to let them go and neither of you gains anything.

Secondly, it's the responsibility of the teacher to explain how to take the ukemi to beginners and to show it to them. Uke is quite often wrong- when they pull against you in such a way that can lead to their injury. Idealistically, the most you should instruct a beginner yourself is to follow the technique.

Thirdly, Shihonage is a potentially lethal technique if it works well. If it does not, then you may well be caught out with your back to your attacker mid turn. They're both good reasons to prefer Ikkyo. Also, if you've developed good technique you don't need to "make it so much nastier than it is in the dojo" and if that's your focus you're going to end up with technique that's deficient where it matters, i.e. in actually taking an attackers balance.

andrew

Bruce Baker
10-15-2002, 04:57 AM
If none of these suggestions work, sankyo always seems to make uke complient and put the fear of pain into them.

Works best if you kneel and twist enough to get out the slack, the rest of it is pain induced by the uke doing their normal twist out of shihonage.

Just remember to let go when they start to dance, as most wise 'en heimers start to scream in pain and forget to slap.

It may not be kind, but it is a good lesson in Aiki.

Genex
10-15-2002, 05:03 AM
in september i went to a seminar, and we were practicing shihonage, now when i was paired off with one student we were going fine getting the extention on and doing good shihonage, nice cuts down the spine but we were taking it slowly so as not to kill anyone. then my turn to be uke so i attack and i'm wrenched out he twists quick and cuts down my arm was no where near my spine i had to throw myself backwards to stop my arm being ripped off i could have turned out of it but to be honest before this post i've never done it, i pulled a ligament in my shoulder and had to miss some Jo shihonage's which were really kewl and then i had to go easy on my shoulder for the rest of the afternoon mostly lefty attacks.

in retrospect his shihonage wasnt all that bad (he was 5th kyu) but when he turned he let off all the extention so my arm instinctively bent this helped with the pain when he cut and although i tried to pull it in to my neck it was too late he was already forcing me down so i went like a sack of spuds.

one thing our sensei teaches is to keep the hand in front of your face as you turn thus keeping the extention on.

otamashimini!

pete

G DiPierro
10-15-2002, 07:17 AM
Sorry to cut up your post a bit:Even though you are responding to Micheal's post, I'm going to jump in here and address some of your comments since I also posted agreeing with much of Micheal's post.firstly, Ukemi is about protecting yourself. Frankly, if a beginner spins out in a way that gives you the choice of letting them go or injuring them, you're going to have to let them go and neither of you gains anything.Yes, everyone agrees that ukemi is protecting yourself. The problem is that beginners do not understand all subtleties of correctly doing so. Even advanced students often don't understand this. I feel that you have to teach what the person is capable of understanding. A lot of times, I let beginners, and also more advanced people, take incorrect ukemi that leaves them vulnerable even though it makes my job as nage more difficult. Why?

First, it is often better for people to learn on their own rather than to be taught. This same principle applies to nagewaza, where I will let people make mistakes without correcting them. It's a fine line to judge when to correct people and when to let them find something out on their own, and I, like many Westerners, tend to err on the side of overcorrecting. Thus, I often make an active effort to counterbalance this.

Second, if I explained correct ukemi but they didn't understand why it is correct, then I think they would be following me for the wrong reasons. They would only be doing it because someone told them to do it, and I think that it is more important to learn the principles of why correct Aikido is correct than to simply learn to mimic someone else without truly understanding.

Third, the challenge of dealing with an unconventional uke often rewards nage with rather unique insights into a technique. Because of these insights, nage is able to do a safe, effective Aikido technique even when uke's ukemiwaza is poor. In a real situation, this allows nage the flexibility of not hurting an attacker who does not take "correct" ukemi but leaves himself open to injury. If one only knows to injure in this case, but not safely perform the technique, then that limits one's options.
Secondly, it's the responsibility of the teacher to explain how to take the ukemi to beginners and to show it to them. Uke is quite often wrong- when they pull against you in such a way that can lead to their injury. Idealistically, the most you should instruct a beginner yourself is to follow the technique.I addressed all of this above. I'm not going to reply to your third point because it was in response to a section of Micheal's post upon which I never commented.

MattRice
10-15-2002, 09:52 AM
I was in class the other night, and sure enough had a new guy and sure enough again he spun right out of shihonage every time. I realized that I could stop him as he was spinning, but that put his elbow in great peril and he didn't know how to protect himself yet, nor did he realize how dangerous it was. As Uke, I'm also being chided to keep my arm retracted during shiho, that is keep my wrist close to my own shoulder, and my head to my shoulder to protect myslef. When the new guy would spin out, his arm was extended out and I would just have to let him go or break the elbow. Not good for class! Clued him in once I was done gently experimenting with his elbow ;-)

MattRice
10-15-2002, 09:54 AM
OK, after reading through the above posts I see that my points have been made already, my bad. Still it was interesting to play with it with discussion here fresh in my mind.

opherdonchin
10-15-2002, 10:12 AM
The one point about shihonage ukemi that I feel fairly comfortable pointing out to beginners is the safety that comes from connecting the head, wrist and shoulder. I find this point is relatively easy to understand, easy for them to implement, and will tend to cut down on spinning. I also feel that it is worth pointing out because even a good and caring nage can accidentally injure an uke. Similarly, I tend to encourage beginners to bend their elbow when we practice nikyo. It's less about making the technique comfortable for me or learning not to leave themselves open. It's more about a simple thing to do that will help prevent accidental injury.

Kevin Wilbanks
10-15-2002, 10:30 AM
What injury is prevented by bending the elbow during nikkyo? For the most part, keeping the elbow stiff seems to actually protect the wrist, unless nage resorts to doing that up and back trick at high speed. It exposes the elbow to injury, but nage has to switch to an arm bar to exploit it. As far as openings go, bending the elbow exposes uke to being immobilized in a crouching position and wide open to a face punch or knee to the face - locking the elbow exposes one to a face kick and the possibility of nage taking one's back. To me it all seems to balance out. Unless nage's technique is weak or slow enough to admit a reversal, you're pretty much whether you extend your elbow or not.

akiy
10-15-2002, 10:41 AM
To me, at least, keeping the elbow straight as uke during nikyo cuts down on my mobility in my body as well as opens me up for a technique like wakigatame (which Kevin pointed out).

There are ways of receiving nikyo as uke with a bent elbow that does not force uke to go into a crouching position. One is to "shoot" my legs through to nage's side so that my non-nikyo'ed hand/arm is on the ground along with the side of my body. This prevents the "crouch" that Kevin alludes to and allows uke to retain mobility and abilty to counter nikyo while not opening him/herself up to wakigatame.

As far as having uke turn out in practicing shihonage in the dojo, I think it's up to both nage to effectively gain control of uke's body (eg kuzushi, taking the slack out, extending, etc) as well as uke learning safe ukemi. With someone who doesn't have such ukemi skills (ie someone off the street, perhaps), it's up to nage to make shihonage into an effective technique; the "protecting the attacker" comes in, I believe, after having gained the ability to be effective. Although the option of using henkawaza to change the technique if shihonage fails is a valid option, I think there's a lot to be said about working to have an effective shihonage (or whatever technique) as well.

-- Jun

opherdonchin
10-15-2002, 10:43 AM
I'm not thinking martial strategy for a moment, I'm thinking inadvertant injury. If nage is pretty focused on applying the nikyo and the beginner is relatively inexperienced in taking ukemi, my experience says that a lot more force develops at the wrist before uke really realizes it when uke has his arm locked. I'm not sure exactly why that is: increased lever arm with the extended arm, maybe, or just extension of the arm preventing flexion of the knees. I don't know, but that's my experience.

As far as martial strategy goes, my understanding of how 'fights' work is very limited due to a (blessed) lack of any real experience. What I was told, though, is that a straight arm when your wrist is even partially controlled is an opening for nage to break your elbow.

Alfonso
10-15-2002, 10:45 AM
Well for one, the elbow is pretty tempting as a target as you just mentioned. You're still held by the wrist and the elbow (stiff) is right in front. In any case, an Irimi nikkyo is still quite possible with the stiff arm.

Bending the elbow allows you to get in closer. If nage is applying torque into himself (sensei points this out) you can go into his groin with an uppercut, or blend with that motion.

So I see that ukemi as a better alternative to the one where I end up exposing my ribs because of the stiff elbow.

Don_Modesto
10-15-2002, 11:38 AM
1)--if a beginner spins out in a way that gives you the choice of letting them go or injuring them, you're going to have to let them go and neither of you gains anything.

2)--Shihonage is a potentially lethal technique if it works well. If it does not, then you may well be caught out with your back to your attacker mid turn. They're both good reasons to prefer Ikkyo.

3)--Also, if you've developed good technique you don't need to "make it so much nastier than it is in the dojo"
_____________________

1--Excellent point and I agree with a caveat: As often noted here and elsewhere, training can become fetishistic, i.e., divorced from real actions/reactions through convention ("A real attacker would do such and such" as opposed to the person in front of you...) Beginners, through ignorance, dispense with these distractions (e.g., "good" UKEMI) and give you a chance to practice against something more natural, if unsophisticated. Obviously, care must be taken not to hurt them while using their untutored reactions, as Mr. Rice says, "Clued him in once I was done gently experimenting with his elbow ;-)"

2--For most of my aikido training, I've avoided SHIHO NAGE as it struck me as being so dangerous (I'm taller than most of my UKE). I was always changing into HIJI NAGE or IRIMI NAGE. I'm now working through the difficulties of the technique, but I still find that I need lots of ATEMI to get UKE properly aligned for it.

(In my scheme of things, aikido obtains on a continuum with lots of pounding on one end, and "no touch" technique on the other. Thus, I remain unsatisfied with need to batter UKE into position rather than use motion, KUZUSHI, and angles to do it.)

3--Have you personal experience/anecdotes in this regard?

Thanks.

Aristeia
10-15-2002, 12:21 PM
Sorry to cut up your post a bit: firstly, Ukemi is about protecting yourself. Frankly, if a beginner spins out in a way that gives you the choice of letting them go or injuring them, you're going to have to let them go and neither of you gains anything.
Sure, but my point is that rather than telling them "just fall" you should at least be explaining to them *why* they should fall. Or if you can't getting a senior to do it. Remember uke is a beginner, likely a very new one. So far we've shown them a technique that has failed miserably on them, and followed it up by winking at them and saying "come on mate, just fall down would you". Doesn't inspire confidence in the art if you know what I mean, which is important at that stage. So instead you say "if you keep moving like that this is likely to happen to you, so here's how you avoid it..."
Secondly, it's the responsibility of the teacher to explain how to take the ukemi to beginners and to show it to them. Uke is quite often wrong- when they pull against you in such a way that can lead to their injury. Idealistically, the most you should instruct a beginner yourself is to follow the technique.
Again, gonna have disagree. You cannot leave all instruction up to the teacher, not unless it's a very small class. If I'd only ever learnt stuff from whoever was sensei at any given session I'd still be 6th kyu. Beginners should be encouraged to train with seniors and seniors should be encouraged to instruct where necessary. It's part of their learning process as well. Granted it's tricky to learn how much instruction should be given, but an explanation of why you're insisting uke move the way you want them to is a good start.

Uke is not so much wrong as in danger. There's a subtle difference. They should be told how to take themselves out of danger, otherwise they are not learning, and worse, nage's not learning. Having uke move unconventionally and then puzzling out whether that's because your technique is lacking or they're leaving themselves open for something is a big part of training. If you've been dealing with it by saying "just fall" you may find yourself struggling against an actual agressor who's moving unusually and ignoring your request.
Thirdly, Shihonage is a potentially lethal technique if it works well. If it does not, then you may well be caught out with your back to your attacker mid turn. They're both good reasons to prefer Ikkyo. Also, if you've developed good technique you don't need to "make it so much nastier than it is in the dojo" and if that's your focus you're going to end up with technique that's deficient where it matters, i.e. in actually taking an attackers balance.

andrew
Lethal? Sure there's opportunity for broken elbows, dislocated shoulders etc but not sure about lethal, unless uke hits their head the right way in the fall.

Regardless, the point stands that because of the way we train from day 1, it is highly likely that, especially a less experienced person, will find themselves all ready doing shiho.

Ikkyo is likely from a shomen style attack, shiho from a yokomen style. Which do you think people are more likely to face on The Street (tm).

And yes, for the less experienced aikidoka, the nastier versions are a good option on the street. Their chances of pulling off pefect waza against a committed aggressive opponenet are slim. You don't have to focus on it in the dojo to the detriment of waza, just mention "when you're jamming like that, here's how you fix it" And usually there's two fixes

1)here's a henka waza, or a nasty variation that will get you out of trouble from the position you're in. File it for future use.

2)Here's what you did wrong to get in that position in the first place.

It doesn't take much for people to realise that if you don't do a full turn and then cut the arm over the shoulder, you'll take the elbow out. Alot of people figure it out by themselves. And once they realise it they can call on it very quickly, it doesn't take alot of training. But it could make all the difference. It's the same for alot of our techniques. The point remaains, in an actual confrontation, a student is going to try shiho nage, so they'd better be able to make it work one way or the other.