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02-01-2004, 01:01 AM
AikiWeb Poll for the week of February 1, 2004:

Is uke ever "wrong" in your aikido training?

I don't do aikido
Yes
No


Here are the current results (http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=205).

wendyrowe
02-01-2004, 10:32 AM
If you're supposed to be learning a particular new technique by practicing it in response to a specific attack, uke needs to do that attack correctly. And,

uke has to attack with real intent.

But if you're already familiar with a technique and are doing randori or adding resistance, uke should be able to improvise and nage should be able to counter without either being considered "wrong."

Chad Sloman
02-01-2004, 11:03 AM
It does help in training if uke is giving honest attacks but I have been often told "uke is never wrong", I'm not sure where this quote comes from but I do buy it. In the real world the enemy doesn't follow our rules so when uke doesn't give an honest, clear attack then in response our technique should change to accomodate this change. Often I find that when we try to get uke to attack a certain way it is so that uke can protect themselves and not get hurt.

I've heard a story related to this...

two aikidoka are training shomenuchi ikkyo. One of the new students is being difficult and making their shomenuchi a straight arm so that their elbow is locked straight, making it difficult for the other student to perform ikkyo. Meanwhile the other student is performing a normal shomenuchi allowing the "bad" student to get the ikkyo every time. The "good" student tries and tries again to no avail while the "bad" student shows his ego by resisting the technique. The "good" student gets the attention of sensei X(not naming names) and asks what he/she are doing wrong that he/she can't perform this ikkyo. Sensei X asks to watch it, and observes a couple of times. Sensei X has instructed the class to leave the elbow bent while performing shomenuchi yet this "bad" student won't do it to try to show a flaw in the technique. Sensei X now asks the "bad" student to shomenuchi him so he can show the ikkyo. Once again the "bad" student tries to foil the ikkyo by making his shomenuchi with a straight arm but as the arm comes down Sensei X drills him in the ribs with a reverse punch. This awesome blow of course knocks down the bad student and breaks his ribs as you can imagine. Sensei X says something like "And that's why you drop the elbow on shomenuchi." And I believe that the "bad" student was hauled off the mat never to return. Now....when the person that told me this story asked Sensei X why he went to that extreme he replied that he knew that this "bad" student had a bad heart and was not suited for study there. I'm sure I butchered that story but that was the gist of it.

Doka
02-01-2004, 11:37 AM
Sounds like Sensei X was an A-hole!!!

Instructors have a duty of care. There are no bad students, only bad teachers. The Sensei should have instructed the "bad" student. A lot of beginners make mistakes, and you should help them learn from these.

The only bad heart belongs to Sensei X who failed!!!

Nacho_mx
02-01-2004, 12:33 PM
I think sensei X should have pointed out first that for the correct learning of aikido technique one requires a cooperative attitude, not a competitive one. Thus before making such an extreme correction the sensei should have instructed the "bad" student to relax and cooperate with itīs partner. BTW a straight arm wonīt stop a correctly performed ikkyo, so if the sensei was any good it should have been able to perform it straight up.

Don_Modesto
02-01-2004, 12:54 PM
I've heard a story related to this...
I was training at Honbu once. A new shodan, I was being frustrated by a strong 5 kyu, a friend who was not trying to be a jerk, during a KOKYU technique. The teacher walked by, I caught his attention, and demonstrated the problem. He hesitated a moment, frowned, did one of those light you're-being-naughty-slaps on UKE's forehead, and walked away.

I'd thought I'd been doing something wrong, but it WAS uke's fault! Hot damn!

ian
02-01-2004, 01:55 PM
I voted 'no'; it's easy to see someone's problem (e.g. resistance, straight arm) and then do some attack; however there is no need to be drawn into uke's violence. Often I am pleased with those in randori who do not do a technique, but end up avoiding the attack. Trying to 'do' a technique is the curse of aikido, and self-defence. However, it does get frustrating if uke repeatedly does not give a committed attack, though I think this is usually just a lack of attack training. Also, I am of the opinion that uke is just a live training dummy, not a competitor.

Ian

shihonage
02-01-2004, 06:44 PM
Neither uke nor nage is always right.

There are uke's who purposely give attacks which look the same on the surface but are only suitable for a technique DIFFERENT from the one you're supposed to practice.

This leads to back-and-forth trickery which can eventually degenerate into a wrestling match.

There are nages who always try to throw uke more energetically than the uke threw them when they were nage, to somehow "justify" the difference in rank.

ikkitosennomusha
02-01-2004, 08:07 PM
Remember, the quesstion is, "Is Uke ever wrong in My Aikido training. The keyword being My. The answer for me is NO!

An ealier response to this post replies with a "yes" to this delima by suggesting that the uke must give the same attack with a real intent in order to practice the technique in question. I find this uncouth to say the least.

How can an attack be real if it is exactly the same attack? O-sensei said it best when he explained that he never does the same technique twice. This means that there is no human way to exactly duplicate the angle, speed, motion, torque, etc., of the technique he performed just prior to attempting the same standardized technique. This came be said for uke! Uke cannot deliver the same speed, motion, etc., etc., in the attack as he did in the attack just before.

What does all this mean? Expext the unexpected! Yes, it is good for a beginners training for uke to mimic the appropriate attack as best as possible for safety among other reasons. However, if uke is slightly skewed in his perception of his attack, this is not a bad thing for my training because I should be able to handle it and it is good for me to see how the world is on the street in an uncontrolled environment. Aikido is about taking the chaos and seizing it with control and grace.

I do believe that if the uke is not attacking apprpriately that it is bad for his training but as far as for me as nage. its great!!!!

I hopes this offers a different view. Either way, there is probably no right or wrong answer to this question because it is all about how this issue is percieved by each individual and the reason behind their logic.

Brad Medling

ikkitosennomusha
02-01-2004, 08:20 PM
There are nages who always try to throw uke more energetically than the uke threw them when they were nage, to somehow "justify" the difference in rank.
This is definately true. I feel you are going to have this anywhere you train to an extent. However with me, I once trained in a dojo where the relationship between sensei and myslef turned because I started throwing him harder than I use to. Why?

I am rather large and through alot of my years of training, I always let people roll gently out of my techniques like a baby playing in a sand box because I know that my sheer strength and powerful techniques are enough to make people not want to train with me. Well, after driving a 2 hour round trip

2-3 times a week for 4 years, I felt like I was getting nothing out of it. So, I was taking all the abuse from everyone else as started to wonder why I was holding back. So, I stepped it up a notch. This turned out to be a long road of resentment by my sensei toward me. He accuse me of trying to show off etc. and treating the mat like a contest arena. This simply just was not true. He just did not like me throwing him around in front of the other students in fear that it might upstage his authority. He also had minors in the adult class that should not have been there. A minor should only be allowed to train in an adult class only if they can compensate and provide the same level of training as another adult.

Brad Medling

shihonage
02-01-2004, 08:23 PM
Remember, the quesstion is, "Is Uke ever wrong in My Aikido training. The keyword being My. The answer for me is NO!

An ealier response to this post replies with a "yes" to this delima by suggesting that the uke must give the same attack with a real intent in order to practice the technique in question. I find this uncouth to say the least.

How can an attack be real if it is exactly the same attack? O-sensei said it best when he explained that he never does the same technique twice. This means that there is no human way to exactly duplicate the angle, speed, motion, torque, etc., of the technique he performed just prior to attempting the same standardized technique. This came be said for uke! Uke cannot deliver the same speed, motion, etc., etc., in the attack as he did in the attack just before.

What does all this mean? Expext the unexpected! Yes, it is good for a beginners training for uke to mimic the appropriate attack as best as possible for safety among other reasons. However, if uke is slightly skewed in his perception of his attack, this is not a bad thing for my training because I should be able to handle it and it is good for me to see how the world is on the street in an uncontrolled environment. Aikido is about taking the chaos and seizing it with control and grace.

I do believe that if the uke is not attacking apprpriately that it is bad for his training but as far as for me as nage. its great!!!!

I hopes this offers a different view. Either way, there is probably no right or wrong answer to this question because it is all about how this issue is percieved by each individual and the reason behind their logic.

Brad Medling
No, actually our views don't differ at all.

The variety of attacks you describe should be encouraged.

Of COURSE uke's never going to give the same exact attack.

However, the "general way" in which the attack is done should be suitable for the "general way" the technique should be done.

Otherwise, if uke is not being honest, and he's giving an attack while already trying to block the technique he KNOWS is coming in ADVANCE, the obvious thing to do is to shift to an entirely different technique, which is more suitable to what's going on NOW, and which uke doesn't prepare themselves for.

Uke's attack should not cross the line which makes you apply an entirely different technique from what you're currently supposed to practice.

For me, this subject is certainly interesting, and I've done things a couple of times, like when a larger uke got used to my kokyo-dosa and learned to resist it, I quickly slipped between us and did suwari-waza shihonage instead.

However that sort of behavior is only suitable for jiya-waza, which I see as the next step.

Without the "set attack-set technique" training under it, jiyu-waza cannot exist.

If you make every regular class into jiya-waza, it does not do anything to strengthen the foundation of individual techniques which will be required in jiya-waza.

It's like trying to start building stairs from mid-air, without first building the lower steps, the foundation.

AsimHanif
02-01-2004, 09:05 PM
Since the question was asked as "...aikido training", I took it personally.

My answer is no. I feel I should be able to deal with anything that uke gives me. Too much or too little energy. It may not come out exactly as demonstrated but hey - that's aikido.

AsimHanif
02-01-2004, 09:06 PM
Sorry about that. The first sentence should have been quoted as "...YOUR aikido training."

justinm
02-02-2004, 06:58 AM
Uke is wrong at least as many times as tori is wrong. They both have their role to play in the kata.

Justin

bogglefreak20
02-02-2004, 07:22 AM
I believe uke is always right. A shomenuchi may come out as yukomenuchi or something like that but nage then has a wonderful opportunity to train his/her ability to adapt to the situation. He may then end up doing another technique but I don't see a problem with that. If sensei sees the situation from beginning to the end he might correct uke or whatever.

IMO uke does as best he/she can - that's uke's responsibility (even if it is done deliberately). How nage responds is nage's responsibility. What sensei does about it is sensei's responsibility. You're bound to train in Aikido long enough to learn all the techniques so an uke who plays the game somewhat differently from time to time is OK. Whatever he/she understands under a certain technique, be it right or wrong, is still Aikido. His/her own version of it. Like I have my own and you have your own.

In our dojo we don't concentrate in real-life Aikido or how it can be used in situations on the street. We see it more as an instrument through which we learn mostly about ourselves and others. We all have problems and we try to solve them in training. If someone in a role of uke does his shomenuchi with a straight arm or too lightly or too fast or whatever is not my responsibility and who am I to judge him/her because of it. If he/she has less experience in training I may advise him/her with a word or two but then let them do as best they know how.

I agree it is sometimes difficult to deal with an attack that is not sincere so to say, but I also know it is difficult for some to attack sincerely. I had this problem when I began training and sometimes it still shows. Resenting violence as I do, it seemed contrary to my beliefs for a while to go try and cut somebody in half with my hand. Now that I got a better idea of what attacks are useful in Aikido training, I lost most of that feeling. Working on it still though.

That's what I mean when I say we all have problems with ourselves. Let's concentrate on resolving those rather than the ones in our uke.

PeterR
02-02-2004, 08:03 AM
Uke is wrong at least as many times as tori is wrong. They both have their role to play in the kata.
Exactly. For everything else there is juwaza and randori.

Amendes
02-02-2004, 09:09 AM
Nobody is ever "Wrong" in Aikido.

Just different.

JMCavazos
02-02-2004, 10:17 AM
How about when uke falls in anticipation of a technique. Nage learns nothing from this. Or uke goes into a roll/drop/etc... in anticipation of nage going in one direction. If nage continues, uke could get hurt - so nage may just let uke go to do his roll. It's cooperation learning..both have to be sincere.

Evza
02-02-2004, 10:24 AM
I voted yes, because I think that while doing the specific technique you were asked to do, you sometimes get problems that would never occur in jiyuwaza simply because the uke knows which technique to expect and can do almost anything to prevent you from doing it, like punching to the left/right instead of punching straight because he/she knows that that's where you're going to move.

I think that on such occasions, uke should be told that that's really not the best idea to continue doing so.

It's really stupid if such a thing happens on an examination, though, (esp. for kyu), as if the uke doesn't want you to perform the given technique you simply can't (if your techniques aren't flawless, of course), you can change it or hurt the uke but that's it.

And anyway, I think aikido is about adjusting the technique according to what uke is doing, so if you're supposed to be doing a given technique the uke's attack should be enable you to do so, at least to some extent

rcoit
02-02-2004, 12:00 PM
What is the most important aspect taught in all techniques? I believe it is energy-flow. My sensei recently said "Uke determines what nage does." The new student (me for example) learns most by focussing on centering, entering, and subtlety of technique. I learn by accommodating uke in all things. And by focussing on being a proper uke, as well. In the end, uke simply determines initial energy and nage must react appropriately, no matter what. This I must learn to be good at this art and for me to apply it in all things. Uke is never "wrong".

Nafis Zahir
02-02-2004, 12:44 PM
Uke is wrong in one instance. When an uke tries to avoid the technique, fight against it, or try to show you what he "could" do, then this is wrong. An uke should receive the technique. I've had students try that with me and I let them go, knowing that I could still do the technique or change it, but then they would get hurt and that is not Aikido! It is one thing for someone the same rank as you or above to point out a suke' in the true spirit of give & take, but for someone to "fight" against you and risk injury because they have something to prove is wrong and dangerous.

indomaresa
02-02-2004, 02:04 PM
heck, people who tried to cancel a technique is everywhere, I find it especially in newbies. but that's because they're not exactly resisting in the capacity of an uke

a good uke is one that attacks realistically, the way an assailant would, but can protect themself (ukemi) when the technique is executed on them.

in order to achieve a realistic attack, ideally an uke must not guess what technique the nage will execute, or in which direction he/she will be thrown. The uke must also attack with a focus; cleave the skull, cut the neck, hit the jaw, stab the abdomen, run them through.... all of them an acceptable visualization for an attack.

instances where the uke set his mind to cancel nage's techniques should be limited to special occasions. or in advanced class.

white belts with this tendency should be warned off this attitude when training with other white belts. I personally encourage them to experiment AFTER the training. With me. :) :)

so basically I vote that uke can't be wrong. But they can be exasperatingly un-cooperative and unbeneficial for the training.

as for ego... well, that didn't have a place in the dojo.

Doka
02-02-2004, 03:56 PM
The only "Wrong" in Aikido is in bad intention!

davoravo
02-02-2004, 04:56 PM
To reiterate Justin and Peter

If you train in such a way that any technique is permissible to Uke's attack then Uke is never wrong.

However, the vast majority of us train kata style with a fixed response to a fixed attack. If Uke delivers the wrong attack then that leaves Nage in a difficult position of either changing the technique or failing the technique.

I mean changing technique completely rather than adjusting the technique as usually Uke is doing something strange like pulling down so all the directions of force are wrong.

So I vote Uke can be wrong

SeiserL
02-02-2004, 05:47 PM
IMHO, being a good Uke (training partner) is very hard. You have to give just enough resistance so your partner can train effectively, but not so much that they can't train. Giving of yourself is sometime very hard.

When I am Tori/Nage, I always look at what I am doing wrong. When I am Uke, I alwasy look at what I am doing wrong to hinder my partners training. And I am wrong a lot.

Janet Rosen
02-02-2004, 06:06 PM
I'm uke half the time, and I KNOW I'm not correct/perfect all the time I'm uke, that in fact my uke-waza sucks about the same as my nage-waza does. That's why I voted that yes, uke can be wrong.

Sometimes I don't give as committed an attack as I should.

Sometimes I don't stay as connected to nage as I should; I bail.

Doka
02-02-2004, 06:16 PM
I'm uke half the time, and I KNOW I'm not correct/perfect all the time I'm uke, that in fact my uke-waza sucks about the same as my nage-waza does. That's why I voted that yes, uke can be wrong.

Sometimes I don't give as committed an attack as I should.

Sometimes I don't stay as connected to nage as I should; I bail.
This is not "wrong"!

As Sh'te/Tori/Nage, we should not expect Uke to be right there where he should be, otherwise we could just do the technique any old way and scratch our nuts at the same time!!! We put our Uke there, we lead him/her there!!! If they are not there then we are wrong!!! If you "Suck" at being Uke, it is not wrong, because then every beginner would be wrong, and they are definitely not!!!

Lets face it, if you cannot do the technique properly, do not blame your Uke! A bad workman blames his tools!!! A bad Sh'te/Tori/Nage blames his Uke!!!

Doka
02-02-2004, 06:21 PM
Additional!!!

To those of you who voted "Yes!"

I hope you never get a "wrong" Uke in the street! I don't want to be reading your epitaph!!!

(no Joke!!!)

Janet Rosen
02-02-2004, 06:43 PM
This is not "wrong"!

As Sh'te/Tori/Nage, we should not expect Uke to be right there where he should be,
First of all, you really don't have to shout at me.

Second of all, I am not a beginner. I have been working for years just as hard on being a proper uke as I have being a proper nage. We are partners working together to learn. There is a difference between me as uke making a decision that my partner can take a particular challenge and between me just plain doing a crappy job of being uke.

PeterR
02-02-2004, 06:44 PM
Thank you Lynn and Janet for reminding me about the other half of my training. I'm embarrased that I looked at the question pretty onesidedly (is that a word?).
If you "Suck" at being Uke, it is not wrong, because then every beginner would be wrong, and they are definitely not!!!
Hi Mark;

I'm going to jump on this one. Forgive me but you are very off-base on this one.

Uke needs to be trained otherwise full power techniques are going to cause serious injury. As with any learned endeavor there is a right way and a wrong way - ergo a beginner can most definately be wrong.

Kata training - which is basically what we do - assums both tori and uke are very much aware of what is happening. Faced with a beginner one has two choices as Tori - either dumb down the technique or train up the beginner.

PeterR
02-02-2004, 06:50 PM
Additional!!!

To those of you who voted "Yes!"

I hope you never get a "wrong" Uke in the street! I don't want to be reading your epitaph!!!

(no Joke!!!)
Uke and Tori exist in the dojo - in The Street there is no such thing as Uke - the point is Moot.

AsimHanif
02-03-2004, 10:54 AM
I think regardless of what uke does it is an opportunity for nage to train. To me a good uke is one that doesn't act like we expect. Even if their ukemi is not good, it is then up to nage to protect them. If they roll away before we "do anything", then why is that? Did nage not invite them in and make uke feel welcome? Many times I notice that nage just wants to do "something", without regard for uke. If uke does not give you the energy you want then nage must deal with that. There are so many people in the dojo with different opportunities to train on many different levels why must everything be about the "throw or lock". I thought it was about harmonizing. Not every technique will look "classical".

Now with all that said - if uke is just being an a&%hole....

egoebel
02-03-2004, 10:55 AM
This is not "wrong"!

As Sh'te/Tori/Nage, we should not expect Uke to be right there where he should be, otherwise we could just do the technique any old way and scratch our nuts at the same time!!! We put our Uke there, we lead him/her there!!! If they are not there then we are wrong!!! If you "Suck" at being Uke, it is not wrong, because then every beginner would be wrong, and they are definitely not!!!
Yes they are. ('They' include me, BTW.)

Ukemi is 50% of training, so it follows that a beginner would have this half wrong too.

Part of ukemi is not getting hurt, maintaining a connection with nage, maintaining balance during the attack....and a whole bunch of things I can't name off the top of my head. Probably why my ukemi is 'wrong' much of the time. :D A proper attack is only a small part.
Lets face it, if you cannot do the technique properly, do not blame your Uke! A bad workman blames his tools!!! A bad Sh'te/Tori/Nage blames his Uke!!!
You seem to be jumping to the conclusion that the people that agree that uke can be wrong are also complaining about it. As a matter of fact you say 'expect Uke to be right'. I don;t expect uke to be right, and I certainly hope (s)he doesn't expect me to be completely right either. We're both practicing.

Should an errant uke ruin the technique for me? No.

Should (s)he ruin my training day? No.

indomaresa
02-03-2004, 11:17 AM
The only "Wrong" in Aikido is in bad intention!
Bingo!

indomaresa
02-03-2004, 11:31 AM
Ukemi is 50% of training, so it follows that a beginner would have this half wrong too.
I've never had any problem with this aspect of being an uke, so I forgot that being an uke also includes doing proper ukemi.

always assumed that being a proper uke is to concentrate on attacking properly.

But when an uke is 'wrong' in this aspect, I don't think it really affect the outcome of the technique. The technique is successfull, it's just that the uke went splat due to their fault (for a lack of better term).

Unless there's an instance where bad ukemi caused a bad technique? Otherwise I still think ukes can't be wrong.

IMO, Ukes should polish their ukemi like hell before their techniques, because everybody's ukemi is their own responsibility.

egoebel
02-03-2004, 11:47 AM
Unless there's an instance where bad ukemi caused a bad technique? Otherwise I still think ukes can't be wrong.

IMO, Ukes should polish their ukemi like hell before their techniques, because everybody's ukemi is their own responsibility.
When does the attack end and the ukemi start?

If uke attacks with a perfect shomen, but freezes (or goes limp) when it "misses", what should you do? Probably not what Sensei showed you, unless his uke did that too. :D

Maybe my use of the term ukemi is too broad? Perhaps uke-waza is what I should have said?

indomaresa
02-03-2004, 11:57 AM
heck, man

then you're referring to attack form and connecting, not the ukemi.

doing ukemi is a natural part of being an uke. How one attacks however, defines whether they are a good uke or not.

Doka
02-03-2004, 02:20 PM
Hi All

Sorry if it looked like I was too hard there. I read it back and I agree it wasn't really forum friendly. Looked more like an email from work - mental note, don't take home a crappy day!!! :)

Let me explain that I don't read "wrong" in the question as simply making a mistake, or not being proficient. I read it as intention. Which why I said earlier:

"The only "Wrong" in Aikido is in bad intention!"
Uke needs to be trained otherwise full power techniques are going to cause serious injury. As with any learned endeavor there is a right way and a wrong way - ergo a beginner can most definately be wrong.
Of course Uke needs to be trained. I think you are being very black and white with this. I think that this is something relative to level/experience. To say something is "wrong" is negative.
Kata training - which is basically what we do - assums both tori and uke are very much aware of what is happening. Faced with a beginner one has two choices as Tori - either dumb down the technique or train up the beginner.
As for "dumb down the technique or train up the beginner", you do neither, you exercise control and execute the technique within the abilities of your Uke.

BTW, Janet, I wasn't shouting, and I too am not a beginner, I have more than 20 years of MA under my obi.

Peace!

giriasis
02-03-2004, 02:45 PM
Attacking is part of being uke. My sensei has been making a point of that recently. The uke has to remember to continue to attack throughout entire technique. The uke needs to also be responsible for protecting their openings. If the uke doesnt' continue the attack, yeah, they are wrong. If they forget to protect their own openings, yeah, they are wrong.

McIver
02-03-2004, 03:38 PM
[QUOTE="Maresa Sumardi (indomaresa)"]But when an uke is 'wrong' in this aspect, I don't think it really affect the outcome of the technique. The technique is successful, it's just that the uke went splat due to their fault (for a lack of better term).

This can actually result in injury. If uke takes a fall inappropriate to the technique being applied, serious wrenching of joints can occur, particularly if nage has in fact applied the technique correctly. In this situation, I would say that uke was wrong.

One might make the argument that nage has the responsibility to alter the technique, and if nage outranks uke I would probably agree. Realistically, I do not know that this is always possible. There was one situation where I (a new student) applied a kotegaeshi, and uke took a break fall. Unfortunately, I had not applied the technique with sufficient force to warrant a break fall, and uke wrenched his shoulder. I felt awful, but in reviewing the technique with a deshi, it seemed there wasn't really anything I could have done differently.

I agree with Maresa, ukemi is extremely important for this reason, never mind all the others. Injuries, in addition to being no fun, interfere with training in ways that make one sad.

stuartjvnorton
02-03-2004, 06:12 PM
Hi all,

1st post & I thought I'd put my 2 bob's worth in. :-D

I wouldn't say uke is "wrong".

I'd also say that shite is "wrong" either, unless they have agressive/malicious intentions.

In the end you have 2 people trying to learn something.

If uke comes in with the old straight arm shomen uchi, they need to learn to give an honest attack & leave their ego at the door.

(Aikido is all about karma & sometimes people have to learn this the hard way. Senior students should be able to see this & take things into hand without things getting heated.)

If shite gets smacked in the head, they need to learn how to avoid the attack... ;-)

If they do a kote gaeshi too fast for their uke & break uke's arm, they need to learn better sensitivity for the uke.

If uke can't handle a _reasonable_ technique delivered by shite, they might need to practise their ukemi.

If uke over-ukes so that they don't feel any pain & shite feels nothing, they might need to learn to overcome some fears.

If uke over-ukes & hurts themself flipping for something that only requires a roll, then they either need to learn better sensitivity to shite, or learn to flip better. ;-)

Cheers,

Stuart.

Ted Marr
02-04-2004, 12:34 PM
Not a simple question by any means. I would have to say that yes, uke is sometimes "wrong" in practice, but that it sets a dangerous precedent to label it as such. I define uke being "wrong" if they act in such a way as to endanger their own safety. Falling incorrectly falls into this category. But then again, in some sense, so does the very act of attacking. As for uke "resisting" a technique, because they know what is coming, that also endangers them. Either because someone will power through a technique and overwhealm their resistance, causing them injury, or because their resistance may result in nage changing techniqes, which, if done unexpectedly, can be pretty devastating.

At the same time, I don't think it is a good idea to tell beginners that their ukemi is wrong. Tell them that they can get hurt falling that way, or resisting that way, but don't tell them that the way they are moving is wrong. There is a lot to be learned from newbies about how your technique will look applied to an unsuspecting and untrained attacker, and telling them that they move wrong and need to shape up is denying yourself an opportunity to learn how to -make-them move correctly.

artsan
02-06-2004, 10:00 PM
I wanted to throw my two cents in here since this issue presents itself every class. Please forgive me if this has been covered as I only read the first ten posts and my eyes started burning. Getting past forty is trickier than redirecting a committed uke!

I have found that many of the people who take Aikido as their first art (unlike many of you who have solid Karatedo, fighting backgrounds as I do) tend to be more passive than the average person who trains in the martial arts. Personally I have been amazed that these people stay in my classes, as I am an old style Aikido instructor. Not quite Saito Sensei style (more straight line than circular) but harder in the fact that my Iaido and Karatedo backgrounds and the bushido mindset seem to find their way into my techinques. I have long considered that learning Ukemi is an art within itself and an essential part of understanding to be an effective uke. Therefore in order for my "newbies" must learn to understand and give an effective attack to be able to be a good training/ rondori partner.

It is an interesting transition for the passive individual to undertake, and seems to be extremely rewarding when they hit Gokyu and things start to come together. Not only do they gain the ability to effectively redirect a strong and committed attack they can deliver one if needed.

Which brings me back to why the Uke can be wrong. Basically it comes down to commitment. As O'Sensei has been quoted in many Aikido publications: "life and death can be defined in a single technique". It took my maturation in Iaido to understand this. Without the uke's intent to harm present in the attack the strength of Aikido cannot be realized. Without the single-minded focus of the uke on the attack the nage can be ill prepared to blend with the technique. Many young Aikido instructors have taken a shomen-uchi on the head or a chudan tsuki in the gut by a strong uke. I am not one to think that the uke should alter his attack just so the instructor saves face. Many think this as disrespectful and they are fully entitled to do so. If one of my students "pulls" and attack out of respect I thank them and then ask them follow through next time.

This commitment can be achieved at the early stages of development by slowing down the speed but not the intensity of the attack. A chudan tsuki at 10% speed won't hurt badly but it should hurt a little. When the nage gains efficiency in their timing the speed increases until a full blast attack is a nage's best friend. Not everyone will attack like that but if a prepared Aikidoka meets a life or death attack the speed and power should resemble just another training session.

That's just my take on it. Hope you enjoyed it.

Artsan

indomaresa
02-07-2004, 12:37 PM
in self-defense, striking attacks can come like a drunken man's flailing, unfocused punches or mike tyson's cannonball straight punches. (just example, boxing fans please don't pounce)

both of them can hurt if we're not prepared for it.

IF our training has any self-defense purpose within ( however small ), then stylized attacks where ukes CAN be wrong is a big mistake.

however, to create order and proper training atmosphere in the dojo, an uke is expected to do what an uke should; attacking with a focus, and do ukemi afterward. I think too much of this can ill prepare practitioners of this art in real life.

but training 100% self-defense aikido isn't good either, so I try to do everything in moderation. Changing focus every once in a while.

Doka
02-07-2004, 06:17 PM
Bravo Maresa,

I repeat (heck, for the 3rd time):

The only "Wrong" in Aikido is in bad intention!"

Peace!