View Full Version : mistaken uke attacks

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09-30-2003, 02:02 PM
I heard from a friend of mine that in his 5th kyu test he was asked to execute shomen uchi iriminage but the uke went in with a tsuki....he said he got panicked as he was not sure whether to execute a tsuki iriminage or to just back down and wait for a resolution....
He actually did the tsuki iriminage but he was utterly critiscized by his sensei and didnīt go on to 4th kyu (of course that this episode in his exam wasnīt totally responsible for not having passed..)....
So, do any of you know if the correct thing to do in this situation is to back down and wait for something?
I thank the replies

Ron Tisdale
09-30-2003, 02:45 PM
I think it depends on the instructor. My immediate instructor would want me to do the closest technique to the one asked for, but would probably ask for the technique again, focusing on making sure uke gave the correct attack. If uke is testing as well, and not a senior just providing ukemi, that person would be more likely to fail. Not that everything in the test has to be perfect.

I remember one test I had (1st kyu) where there were two similar suwari waza kokyuho techniques...I did the incorrect one for what was called on the right side, but the correct one on the left. Sensei asked "why two different techniques?" I responded, "because one was wrong." Sensei says "do again". I still passed...whew! :)

I don't think he would want me to "back off"...forward mind is real important in the yoshinkan. At least do a forward evasion and then reset from that, would be my preference. As opposed to backing off, and uke follows you striking, or standing there and getting hit...:)


Clayton Drescher
09-30-2003, 03:23 PM
I haven't been in a testing situation, but whenever I mess up a technique or balk, my partners and senseis almost always say "Just continue the technique, any technique, and we'll get it right next time." The tests I've observed have been pretty relaxed "try it again" kind of atmospheres.

I guess hesitating in practice would lead to hesitation in tests and real-life situations as well. That's one of the things I do alot, and need to work on a lot--not balking when an attack catches me by surprise.

Peter Goldsbury
09-30-2003, 05:06 PM
Well, all my students are Japanese and complete beginners. To my surprise, they are just as bad at remembering the names of aikido techniques as non-Japanese and they tend to panic during tests.

So the rule here is: If you did not hear the technique, ask the examiner/instructor. If you do not understand the technique, do not stop. Do what you think is the technique. You might be lucky but if you are wrong, you will be corrected.

This is for 5th kyu and 4th kyu. The tests are expected to become more difficult and in any case students need to be taught how to practise in stressful situations.

Best regards,

Jesse Lee
09-30-2003, 05:45 PM
I was surprised to read that the Sensei chastised the student for executing a related technique off of the wrong attack. My only experience has been in schools that emphasize meeting the attack and dealing with it somehow, even via a wrong technique. It helps develop the "forward mind" mentioned earlier (cool term!) and avoid deer-in-the-headlights response to unexpected conditions. You are building habits either way, right? Better to build the habit of forward mind.

10-01-2003, 03:56 AM
I was always taught do something even if it was totally different. Aikido should surely be a response to the situation not a coreographed series of movements.

Just to illustrate the point on my 1st Kyu grading I spent a few minutes performing Koshinage instead of Kokyunage having misheard the instruction several times. Still passed the test but was severly reprimanded for not understanding Chiba Senseis Japanese!

10-01-2003, 08:29 AM
I'd agree with Phil,

the whole point of aikido is to develop instinctive movements. If you're attacked you shouldn't be thinking 'what technique?'. The only reason techniques are asked for are to see if the student knows the technique. Actually responding effectively is far more important. Are you sure that this is the real reason for him not getting promoted? Maybe the techniques were just not good enough. Anyway, whether he passed or failed he is still the same; failure just tends to make you work harder!


10-01-2003, 11:32 AM

That is truly interesting. The Japanese students have a hard time remembering the names... I never would have expected that. Any ideas why? Not common words, like me saying, "Taco Bell's gorditas are irrefragably delicious." :)


10-01-2003, 11:41 AM
It depends :rolleyes:

In the beginning kyu's I believe Sensei is trying to get the students to understand that it is THEIR test and they need to actively control what they can. In this case nage would probably be expected to stop uke as soon as nage realized it was going to be the wrong attack and tell him to correct it. Of course if he went through with a technique that would be okay too ;) Later, in the higher kyu/dan tests it would be more likely that nage would complete a technique and tell uke it was the wrong attack while uke was laying on the ground :D

It's sometimes quite difficult to determine what the examiner is looking for. Over time I've discerned that what my sensei is looking for isn't so much a certain technique (especially from the dan tests) but more of an intent of purpose. He's more interested in seeing if you do whatever you're going to do with full intent and focus. Hence, if I did the correct technique but with hesitation or trepidation it would be seen less favorably than an incorrect technique that was done with focus and mind/body/spirit working as one...I think :confused:


10-01-2003, 11:45 AM
That is truly interesting. The Japanese students have a hard time remembering the names... I never would have expected that. Any ideas why?
I'm not Peter, but I'll say that although the technique names may be in Japanese, they don't really tell you too much. Just as "four directional throw," "rotational throw," and "third teaching" doesn't really help someone remember the techniques in English, "shihonage," "kaitennage," and "sankyo" probably won't help the average Japanese person remember the technique, either.

I'd love to hear what Peter thinks, though.

-- Jun