View Full Version : my soapbox...

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Paula Lydon
12-29-2002, 09:52 AM
~~Hi everyone, hope you're all having a wonderful and safe holiday season!
~~I'm in the middle of our Winter Training seminar and had the misfortune of having to take ukemi for a certain student the other night and was injured (yet again) by him. He's built like a brick, has trained for humongo amount of years and outweighs me by about 80 lbs. I did my best to reamin supple, fluid and connected to him but still pulled a muscle somewhere in there and now must sit out the remainder of the seminar.
~~This got me to thinking about another thread of mine: 'Heart of the matter'. What makes Aikido AI-KI-DO? I've had years of jujitsu training and so many of the techniques used in both arts are nearly identicle to me that I need another way in which to differenciate these arts. To me, it's where we, as Aikidoka, are coming from internally, what we're trying to accomplish with our training.
~~I pursue sensitivity, subtlty, connectedness, the greatest effect with the least effort: How to disuade an elephant from charging with a look, or simply what your presence presents, and have it return to peaceful grazing. Obviously not there yet (judging from my injury), but that is my INTENT. I can still train hard, but with this underyling focus. This is my understanding of Ai-ki. I don't want these attributes so that I can smash you better--as indeed would be an option--but so that I can be part of creating a better world, a better me.
~~By my reckoning I would call this man an awesome Jujitska but not an Aikidoka, having demonstrated nothing that I understand as aiki. Yanking, heaving and smashing I don't consider aiki. Routinly leaving crumpled people in your wake I don't consider aiki.
~~Guess I'm more interested in why someone does what they're doing than in simply what they're doing.
~~Whew, that's a long one. I'll shut up for a while now :D Take care all!

Bruce Baker
12-29-2002, 11:31 AM
Wasn't that long, and it was pretty good.

Sorry about your injury, I only wish more physically endowed practitioners would spend more time in the sensitivity of manipulations rather than the force of being muscled, or using a lot more force than needed. I guess it is part of the stigma of football, and our American culture of being big tough and unbreakable? Only we aren't unbreakable, are we. We break quite regularly in both body and spirit, only to rebuild again.

I did a class yesterday, although I would rather not because I tend to lose my train of thought with this damn meniere's syndrome, and stand there blanked out depending on someone else to continue .. but anyway.

I tried to initiate some recentering of energy from the shoulders to the hips by using an Obi/ extra belt to hold elbows next to body, while leaving the forearms free. Lowering the center of effort, I gave the practitioners a chance to use the energy found in the lower part of the body, and we also worked on not pushing, but letting the natural movement of hips extend energy through two people.

It is an old trick of extending energy by mentally picturing where it must go and sending it there. Pretty neat when you learn how to not use parts of your muscles to move people, but relax and move two or three people who feel energy moving through them to the second or third person in line.

What you need Paula is an industial sized Cattle prod so when force is used we can reprogram the gorilla tendencys of you mongo partner.

Bad Gorilla!

Maybe some chocolates when he good ...

Good Gorilla!

I hope you feel better.

I would suggest you either speak up rather loudly when too much force is applied with a screech or a yelp, somewhat dramatically at first, then tone it down later.

You need to communicate your physical limitations of training with Gorilla's.

When you get that much muscle mass from weightlifting, or body building, you tend to forget that what was a normal grasp in your lessor body is not an injury threatening grasp. It has taken me a long time to get to that point where grabbing, I mean for real grabbing not pretend grabbing, will hurt someone of leave a nasty black and blue mark.

Don't shut up, speak up. Get it settled, or at least begin to set the issue off in the right direction.

12-29-2002, 02:47 PM
What makes aikido - Aikido? You can find my answer here (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=36904#post36904). But you've probably heard this answer before. Sometimes I feel like the AFLAC duck, waddling around with my answers, being ignored by the world.

Sorry to hear about your injury. Since you have to sit out the rest of the Winter Training Seminar, you should bill the cost to your training partner. I think you should charge him the class rate of $15 or the daily rate of $30, rather than pro-rate it from the seminar rate of $75. Or does this idea belong in the Humor Section?

Kevin Wilbanks
12-29-2002, 03:27 PM
If I was injured by someone like that more than once, I would be inclined to refuse to train with him any more. Period. Especially if he has enough experience to know better. It's your body. We offer the use of our body to our partners with the implicit agreement that they will use it for training purposes. If they violate this agreement carelessly, then I don't see willing, supple ukemi as an appropriate response to their physical engagement. If you know someone is going to hurt you, why put deliberately put yourself in weak, disadvantaged positions with them for their benefit? If negotiation doesn't work, then I'd opt for polite refusal to train with them. Fortunately, I think most Aikido dojo and sensei are nice enough to make option number 3 (or 4) unnecessary.

01-01-2003, 05:46 PM
I've met such people as well. When I was younger it was quite easy for a rough uke to drag me down into harsh practise, turning me into something no better. So I made the point to stay away from them, or at least practise the more benign techniques with them in order to focus on those who can help me increase my abilities rather than either decrease them.

I think that there will always be those who should be in jujutsu because they are only interested in the "who's toughest?" aspect of our art. If they do it consciously I suspect it is because in general they can abuse ukes in aikido with less danger than if they were facing their 'own kind' in a jujutsu class. But some are just slow learners and I always hope that the penny will drop for them sometime.

In the meantime focus on your ukemi. Except for such things as pins where you cannot escape someone who wants to hurt you, in general by being faster, softer, more attentive to nage's technique you can learn to protect yourself from them.