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Qatana
06-23-2005, 11:43 PM
I'm having a little trouble with my ukemi for iriminage. I've always had extremely good balance, I'm quite physically centered. So none of my kohai are really able to complete a decent technique with me, we end up spinning around on the mat until I just kinda stroll out of it.
The same thing happened the other day with Sensei- he's a foot taller than me and instead of completing the throw I ended up walking under his arm and right into a sweet little yonko (which he says was as unintentional as me walking out of techinque) which made me see I really have a problem here.
Most of my sempai have no trouble completing iriminage with me, so I asked one of the yudansha and he says I definitly have trouble letting myself get off balance, I can't give my center it seems, my body won't let me. It can be taken but I won't give it up, especially to "beginners"-even though one of them should be able to get me as he has several years of aikijustsu as well other arts.and is also considerably larger.
I don't even know what I'm asking for here. I can't really learn techinical stuff by reading, I gotta feel technique to understand it, ukemi the same.
I just mentioned privately to Janet that I was writing this and she mentions it may have something to do with blending. Which is absolutely my weakest area in aikido, I mean, interaction in general!

However, speaking of ukemi, I think my rolls evolved a bit tonite...

mj
06-24-2005, 04:59 AM
If they can't throw you they can't throw you. Unless I am misreading this you seem to be saying that you find it hard to throw yourself or allow yourself to be thrown. Why would you?

I know I come from a different school of Aikido from you (Shodokan with dynamically resistant randori, no-one gives their centre to anyone) and perhaps this is colouring my judgement of what you're saying but to me you sound like someone who doesn't really have a problem. :)

happysod
06-24-2005, 06:05 AM
Shodokan with dynamically resistant randori, no-one gives their centre to anyone Peter, Larry & Yann, you have a lot to answer for that this type of blanket statement can be typed in cold blood... damn fine marketing job :D

Jo, question for you. When people claim to be able to twirl out of a technique, it's often because the other person is attempting to be "too nice" and just not extending their uke to the necessary extent where there isn't any slack. Could they be underestimating either your flexibility and/or resistance to discomfort?

Kyudos
06-24-2005, 06:44 AM
I agree with Ian, if you are able to turn out of the technique it's a poor technique. Just tell you partners to make sure it does work. Tell them to MAKE it work, not just assume you'll 'be a good uke' and fall down on the floor for them - that doesn't do any good for the aikido of either of you...

rob_liberti
06-24-2005, 06:57 AM
As uke in iriminage, I don't give my balance to anyone either. I try to maintain it by remaining in basic hanmi with my arms out in front of my center line in the typical wrists down and fingers up fashion. If I can walk out (limbo style) from iriminage - maintaining as much of that hanmi as possible, I do it everytime. I typically continue my forward progress and have to fall in almost a log roll type of way from the arm that isn't keeping connection (which I use to kind of make sort of a waggon wheel shape that extends across the back of my shoulders as my legs continue forward).

If you are coming out of it really balanced, and not having to fall my guess would be that they are losing you from the beginning. If the nage just can't find the place where everything goes to zero (where no pushing or pulling is required), I suggest standing there in complete balance, and let them kind of hook you with their lead arm (resting between your shoulder and elbow) and have them just maintain that "hook" (kind of like chambering a punch only done by moving the rest of your body instead of pulling your elbow back) as they walk behind you towads your other shoulder - in a dosy-do type fashion (or is that swing your partner, I don't know about square dancing really!). That should give them the idea of how to use one of your natural pivot points to try to disturb your balance. From there, they just have to extend your neck out and up with that (rotating around their thumb and making sure to keep the blade of their hand attached to the base of your neck), and then bend their legs when they start feeling you depend on them for balance. I only use that as a plan "b", but at least it will get them started.

Good luck, I hope it helps. - Rob

Adman
06-24-2005, 08:56 AM
I might be way off base here, but how about this angle? Perhaps, what some of your classmates are asking is to give up yourself? You know, commit your entire body to the intent of the attack (but bring your center along for the ride)?

You did say this happens mostly with kohai, correct? Is this still after they understand the shape of the technique?

Sorry, I have more questions than suggestions. So many things could be happening. However, I'd say your dojo is lucky to have you and your solid center. :D

Qatana
06-24-2005, 09:19 AM
If we practiced resistance aikido I wouldn't be complaining, I'd be bragging!
It feels to me that everybody is doing the technique correctly, and I generally cannot verbalise to them exactly what needs to be done.Sometimes they can get me to the point just before the throw and I'll just stand there,once I was able to tell nage "just point your finger over my shoulder" and down I went, but these days I'm just twirling right out of the circle.
Rob, I appreciate your input but unfortunately my learning is almost completely kinesthetic and I cannot verbalise to nage, especially the "least talented" ones, what you describe because I cannot visualise it! "Watch & feel" is how I learn technique.
Maybe I can ask a sempai to try to approximate what my ukemi feels like, the same way they show me what my technique feels like. I know that when someone really has me, I usually get into a pretty deep backbend before I go over, none of them can do this but I don't think that the moment of the throw is as immportant as getting me into the right alignment for it.
And my attack Is committed.One of the nidans regularly tests my committment by not getting off the line...and he gets slugged, every time. I may hold back a tiny bit with the one person in the dojo who is smaller than me, but that is mostly because I know her ukemi is still rather stiff and unreceptive, I have no other experience of working with a smaller partner ,and our dojo emphasises taking care of uke rather than smashing them into the mat. Unless we ask for it, of course!

Mike Sigman
06-24-2005, 09:21 AM
Tell them to MAKE it work, not just assume you'll 'be a good uke' and fall down on the floor for them - that doesn't do any good for the aikido of either of you...This is the tricky, tricky area where so much Aikido seems to go astray. You have to be a little cooperative with the people who need help with their understanding and technique, yet you have to give a somewhat realistic resistance to an advanced person. Unspoken protocols develop differently in different dojo's because of the uncertainty of the area. I always tended to adjust my ukemi to what I thought were the person's abilities... the better he/she was, the more I tried to make the attack realistic instead of cooperative training. Naturally, I could have walked out of many techniques or just stalled nage where he was, but I realized that Aikido was about more than just me. ;)

Mike

Qatana
06-24-2005, 09:25 AM
Thank you Mike, thats exactly my issue. I'll resist my sempai when I think I can take the ukemi, but how will the juniors know what the techinque _should_ feel like if I don't let them Do it!

Mike Sigman
06-24-2005, 09:36 AM
Thank you Mike, thats exactly my issue. I'll resist my sempai when I think I can take the ukemi, but how will the juniors know what the techinque _should_ feel like if I don't let them Do it! Frustrating, isn't it? I usually wound up working out mainly with 4 or 5 like-minded hard-chargers and avoided worrying about all the other feelings and repercussions in the dojo. It's a morass that can distract someone from focusing on the art. ;)

Mike

rob_liberti
06-24-2005, 10:00 AM
Jo,

I think it's a good idea to get the juniors who can't throw you to try infront of some sempai who can, and then let the sempai show the juniors what they do compared to the failed technique. I love to compare and contrast after class. I think the important point here is that the resistance is done with the spirit of being helpful. If you can feel where someone else is struggling, that's part of the study too.

Rob

Quanping
06-24-2005, 10:08 AM
I had this problem in a Ki Society class. There was one technique where they took your attention up with their hand, then motioned it back down at your face - and you were supposed to fall over. I got the feeling it was meant to be taking your 'energy' up then pushing you down with it.

Of course, I just stood there bemused. After a while and seeing other people do it I figured I was meant to fall over so just played along.

Strange.I think co-operating is ok to some degree, but this just seemed silly.

Ron Tisdale
06-24-2005, 10:27 AM
Thank you Mike, thats exactly my issue. I'll resist my sempai when I think I can take the ukemi, but how will the juniors know what the techinque _should_ feel like if I don't let them Do it!

This is a recurring problem in aikido. The paradigm can be so subtle (as to when to resist, how much, etc) that it is very difficult to determine what level I should be at at any given time. And then ego gets involved (mine and others). I've been in dojo where the protocol is pretty much just give the attack with good energy and take the ukemi. Some dislike that model because then the line between working waza and not working waza becomes so blurred. But there are rarely injuries in that environment, and somehow people still learn how to make technique work (in the majority of my experience, but of course its easy to see how this can cause problems).

My position lately is to take the ukemi unless otherwise agreed upon. Too many times I have done technique slow, soft, and then thrown...only to find an uke surprised that they were thrown and basically unprepared for the fall. I ask them 'you knew I was going to throw you...what happened?' I often get a blank stare. The problem is that this kind of thing can result in injuries. Often their resistence just adds to the power of the throw. Lately, I often just stop at the 'tsukuri' stage, and let uke decide what they want to do. I have no wish to keep repeating accidents.

I really don't know what the best model is in general. In small, intimate groups where everyone knows each other this type of thing is easy...in strange dojo, or even familiar large dojo its gets tricky.

Best,
Ron

Mike Sigman
06-24-2005, 10:28 AM
I remember one lady that did a tenkan as I shomenuchi'ed and she pointed at the ground. I had no idea what to do. Then she started yelling at me for not doing what I supposed to do. Finally I took a couple of faked falls for her "leading my ki", but I felt like I'd become something of a prostitute. ;) When "cooperating" becomes "faking it so everyone is happy with the role-playing level" it's time to leave.

Mike

Ron Tisdale
06-24-2005, 10:40 AM
Agreed. Even when trying to find the best, some things just get too far out of hand. I wasn't refering to 'no touch throws'. :)

Best,
Ron (anything can be taken to rediculous levels, I guess)

happysod
06-24-2005, 11:03 AM
very difficult to determine what level I should be at at any given time [fruity hat on] it's this reason that we specify shape and resistance each time we practice. As for the leading part, even at the most basic/cooperative stage uke should only be moving into a position which is more comfortable and/or defensive for them, anything else makes no sense whatsoever.

L. Camejo
06-24-2005, 12:21 PM
Hi Jo,

Congratulations on having a strong and flexible control of your centre. Imo one can be very cooperative, relaxed, blending and connected without "giving away" one's centre and "faking" as indicated by others. It is important that Tori/Nage executes correct technique based on the principles and structures of correct waza, not a "semblance of it" that can only exist within a protected culture where one's partner takes a dive even when there is no need to. As someone said above, it does not help the Aikido of either one of you imo.

It feels to me that everybody is doing the technique correctly, and I generally cannot verbalise to them exactly what needs to be done.Sometimes they can get me to the point just before the throw and I'll just stand there,once I was able to tell nage "just point your finger over my shoulder" and down I went, but these days I'm just twirling right out of the circle.
From what you said above it sounds to me that you are not actually resisting at all. I think you are trying to keep your partner honest in their execution of waza, based on your natural abilities.

What it sounds like to me is that you are very flexible and have a strong sense of balance and is able to have your upper body moved to a considerable degree past vertical without losing lower body structural integrity and as a result, you don't lose balance and fall. What this means is that it will take more precise execution of technique to get you to fall than it would to get someone who is not as flexible in the spine and who does not have as sound a "feel" for keeping one's balance.

The example you gave above of having your partner point their finger over your shoulder and throwing you guides me to this idea. It appears that your partners begin taking your balance and then lose control of your body and movement just as they are about to throw you, simply because you require your upper body to be moved very precisely in the direction of your weak line of balance moreso than the average person.

In our dojo we have come across this a few times and at first some sempai were totally confounded as to why the waza did not work on these types. One that comes to mind was a Tai Chi Chuan guy who had impeccable flexibility and balance control. One had to be precise in every aspect of the technique during cooperative practice (especially the kuzushi and redirection of movement aspects) to get some techniques to work. Another scenario involved one of our female sempai who has an impeccable sense of balance, so much so that when I do resistance randori with her I need to compensate for her lower centre of gravity (as she is shorter) and her instinctive ability to relax and sink her weight while keeping her back straight to prevent the kuzushi from occurring, thereby nullifying the rest of the technique.

So I think you are a gift to your Sensei and your dojo. If a person's technique does not follow precise geometry, based on the principles of a throw like Irimi Nage, where one's upper body structures are guided to the weak line at the back corner to throw, then you will not be thrown. The reason I think you tend to twirl or walk out of the technique after a bit is because it is difficult to maintain that limbo-like posture for an extended period while Nage tries to figure out why things are not working as they should. At the point in the throw when your back is bent and you are still standing, they need to basically move your head/shoulder in an almost direct line downward towards the weak line at the back between your feet while moving their own body forward across your weak line (i.e. stepping through behind you).

Many many people tend to do irimi nage to throw someone along a horizontal plane or a plane that arches slightly downward. In your case the direction may need to be more directly downwards than sideways, allowing the energy of the throw to move through your spine to the point where it can bend no more and you have no choice but to fall as the legs become locked and your centre of gravity moves outward behind you via your weak line of balance.

So in the end it comes down to more precise technique on their part. The other way will be to attempt to stand straight at the point where the throw is going to be done, which will result in their needing less downward energy to throw you. But imho the second option does not challenge the integrity of their waza, which is what we should be working on during cooperative practice, getting the form correct. Another option is to let someone considerably shorter than you, who knows the technique try it and see how you respond.

Just my thoughts. I reserve the right to be totally wrong.:)
LC:ai::ki:

Janet Rosen
06-24-2005, 12:23 PM
I am SO curious now to get back on the mat with you and play with iriminage!

In general, there is a short window during an attack where you are in motion/process, and nage should be able to take your balance. If nage misses that window of opportunity, maybe gets off the line and does something, but doesn't actually take your balance, uke should be able to complete the attack and be stable again.
In some dojos, in that situation, uke will pretty much stay stable and rooted, game over unless nage either resorts to atemi or tries for an imposition of technique. In other dojos, uke will recenter on nage and attack again; that energy and movement of uke will give nage a new window of opportunity.

In terms of what happens when you are uke for your sempai and instructor, my best guess is they are underestimating your flexibility and stability, and simply not blending/drawing out/otherwise really going for balance-taking with you for some reason.
But yeah I really wanna check it out on the mat!

Ron Tisdale
06-24-2005, 12:26 PM
Very nice post Larry! I like the way you shodothugs break down and describe the kuzushi for a technique.

Best,
Ron

L. Camejo
06-24-2005, 12:30 PM
Very nice post Larry! I like the way you shodothugs break down and describe the kuzushi for a technique.

Thanks Ron.

Without deep knowledge of kuzushi, Shodothug life is a hard life.:)

Happy training.
LC:ai::ki:

Drew Scott
06-24-2005, 12:52 PM
If you'll forgive a newbie's opinion...

I also am a very "grounded" individual. It's hard to take my balance, and once it's taken, I tend to regain it quickly. This means that I, too, can often maintain position in the face of technique which doesn't either a) manipulate my joints directly b) appear as though it will cause damage if I don't move c) does not maintain my state of unbalance once it is achieved.

I keep my "center" as much as possible all the time, but I also try not to *unrealistically* resist any technique which involves a strong, solid object (such as the shoulder/forearm/fist of nage) impacting with delicate parts of my body (such as my face, throat, solar plexus, floating rib, etc). If you train to resist this, you are training your body to ignore the potential for damage in the same technique from a committed partner/opponent, and most likely you are also allowing yourself to stand there in a vulnerable position, knowing that nage is limited by the waza to continuing with the technique of the moment. It's important to know what's realistic resistance when someone means you harm.

I'm not saying you should take a dive for nage, but if you're not training at a sufficiently high level of skill, and in an open enough context where you can take unpredictable ukemi and your partner is allowed to improvise, you might be better off identifying what the technique would be doing to your body with speed and intention and training to take the "proper ukemi" for it, in anticipation that some day it will be applied full-force and that standing there like a brick wall will get your head taken off.

I'm not saying you're standing there being a blockhead, by the way, just suggesting that analyzing your own methods of "resistance" for possible consequences is worthwhile. My experiences with iriminage in particular have been that resistance I can apply successfully to a beginner gets my spine readjusted in exciting ways if I do it with my sempai.

Note: I reserve the right to laugh at my own naive foolishness if I happen to read this post in 30 years.

Regards,
Drew

Ron Tisdale
06-24-2005, 01:41 PM
Actually, I thought that was a pretty good post....beginner or not.

Best,
Ron

L. Camejo
06-24-2005, 01:56 PM
I keep my "center" as much as possible all the time, but I also try not to *unrealistically* resist any technique which involves a strong, solid object (such as the shoulder/forearm/fist of nage) impacting with delicate parts of my body (such as my face, throat, solar plexus, floating rib, etc). If you train to resist this, you are training your body to ignore the potential for damage in the same technique from a committed partner/opponent, and most likely you are also allowing yourself to stand there in a vulnerable position, knowing that nage is limited by the waza to continuing with the technique of the moment. It's important to know what's realistic resistance when someone means you harm.
Of course if someone seriously means you harm, taking a fall for that person should be the least of your worries.;) Avoiding that situation may be wiser, which is what I think Jo is doing. She is not "trying" to resist but merely slipping through a hole in her partner's waza imho, which, following your own example above leaves Nage vulnerable to a range of attacks also. If there is no hole, then she goes down.

I'm not saying you should take a dive for nage, but if you're not training at a sufficiently high level of skill, and in an open enough context where you can take unpredictable ukemi and your partner is allowed to improvise, you might be better off identifying what the technique would be doing to your body with speed and intention and training to take the "proper ukemi" for it, in anticipation that some day it will be applied full-force and that standing there like a brick wall will get your head taken off.
The above has some truth to it. But poor improvised, fast technique with intention still boils down to poor technique, in which case Nage may find different types of holes in his/her waza that someone like Jo can slip through because he/she thinks that doing it faster or with a certain intent changes the mechanics of correct technique when it doesn't really.

A flaw in one's technique may actually be evidence of a more systemic flaw in how one executes many different techniques (i.e. a flaw exists in one's fundamentals of Aikido). The inability to maintain kuzushi and connection with one's partner in Irimi Nage (as in Jo's situation) may be evident of an overall problem the Nage may have in maintaining these elements of technique in many other waza. The result is that by faking the fall even though you are not thrown you are helping to perpetuate poor technique and poor understanding of technique, which as you indicated above also shows itself very glaringly when one encounters serious intent or serious resistance. So I think if the waza is not working on Jo it is good for her to reveal that fact and aid in understanding why this is the case. In the end it will be to the benefit of both parties, since the Nage will be able to execute better waza and Jo will learn not to rely on her flexibility alone as a means of "resistance".

Again it comes down to training at the highest and most honest level possible for you at the point in time. If Jo dives for a poor technique, then it means that Nage requires someone acting within a false cultural construct for his/her waza to work, this breeds delusion. If Jo consistently works with poor technique and at some point tells herself that via spinal flexibility alone she will be able to avoid/resist technique, then the success of her resistance also requires someone else to be acting within a false cultural construct that allows for her resistance to work. This also breeds delusion on her part. In the end it is best to be as truthful as possible whether Nage or Uke imho.

Just some thoughts.
Gambatte.
LC:ai::ki:

Drew Scott
06-24-2005, 02:43 PM
Well put, LC, thank you. From my reading of the initial few posts, I was picturing a sort of "bend me over backwards as far as you want, but I still won't fall down" sort of thing, which could be very dangerous as a habitual sort of response. Rereading Jo's posts a few times, I realize that's not what's going on here.

My apologies, Jo, for making assumptions.

Regards,
Drew

Adman
06-24-2005, 05:35 PM
Sometimes they can get me to the point just before the throw and I'll just stand there...
I'm not sure if this means how you wrote it, but do you mean you've stopped your attack? Are you waiting for something to be done to you? I guess it depends on the training and expectations in one's dojo. Perhaps this is part of what Janet was saying.

But then again ... :D
If there is no hole, then she goes down.
On a side note:
I had this problem in a Ki Society class. There was one technique where they took your attention up with their hand, then motioned it back down at your face - and you were supposed to fall over. I got the feeling it was meant to be taking your 'energy' up then pushing you down with it.
Well, you had it right in the first place. It's meant to take your attention up. But that's just one part of it. Your momentum, from attempting to regain your balance, plus your attention being directed upwards (this should actually be involuntary by uke, since at this point their head is controlled by nage), combined with nage's other hand on your neck/shoulder (providing a pivot point) -- throws you onto your back.
Of course, I just stood there bemused. After a while and seeing other people do it I figured I was meant to fall over so just played along.
When done correctly, you don't have to play along. Was it a beginner's class you were in? :confused:

Janet Rosen
06-24-2005, 06:48 PM
Just a note to say I really appreciated Larry's long analysis that got posted while I was writing mine. Lots of good stuff in there to chew on!

L. Camejo
06-24-2005, 07:51 PM
Thanks Janet.

Hope it helps.

Next time I'll try to keep it shorter.:)

Drew: Absolutely correct about the "bend over backwards'" part of your last post.

Gambatte.
LC:ai::ki:

Qatana
06-24-2005, 08:30 PM
Larry, you've almost got it. But I almost never get to the backbend part of the technique, I can wander out before nage can get me into that position. I come up in the spiral and when I am vertical, I Stay vertical, which is why sometimes I end up just standing there. Sometimes I end up very gently just sitting down on the mat instead of falling, because there is no Need to fall, but most often I seem to be just spinning on my polar axis until nage gets tired.
And for the others- I Do Not Resist. We do not resist our juniors, and if our ukemi is weak, we certainly do not resist our sempai (unless that IS the weakness in our ukemi-one kohai still freezes up on me after two years, and I don't have the skill yet to "make her fall where I want her to". Which is kinda sad since she is the only person I train with who is smaller than me. And I will not take a fall for incorrect technique.

Janet Rosen
06-24-2005, 08:50 PM
I come up in the spiral and when I am vertical, I Stay vertical, which is why sometimes I end up just standing there..
So if I'm reading correctly: your balance is possibly taken for the initial forward/down (does it feel to YOU like it is?) but then you regain it somehow, when the goal of nage is to continue his blend up and back in a continual leading of your broken balance. Is that *where* the problem feels like it is, or does it feel like it starts with the nage's initial spiral forward/down?

Peter Goldsbury
06-24-2005, 09:06 PM
Larry, you've almost got it. But I almost never get to the backbend part of the technique, I can wander out before nage can get me into that position. I come up in the spiral and when I am vertical, I Stay vertical, which is why sometimes I end up just standing there. Sometimes I end up very gently just sitting down on the mat instead of falling, because there is no Need to fall, but most often I seem to be just spinning on my polar axis until nage gets tired.
And for the others- I Do Not Resist. We do not resist our juniors, and if our ukemi is weak, we certainly do not resist our sempai (unless that IS the weakness in our ukemi-one kohai still freezes up on me after two years, and I don't have the skill yet to "make her fall where I want her to". Which is kinda sad since she is the only person I train with who is smaller than me. And I will not take a fall for incorrect technique.

I think people are mesmerized by the taisabaki because it looks dynamic and cool to see uke spinning around and then end up horizontal. The present Doshu always does it this way in his demonstrations.

In your dojo do you practise irimi-nage without the tai-sabaki? If not, I suggest you try. I suggest starting from a strong katate-dori grip in gyaku-hanmi. Tori then has all the essential problems which we know and love about aikido: to unbalance uke and maintain this unbalance right through the technique, such that uke falls without being thrown; to maintain uke's body alignment with tori right through the technique. Uke's head and shoulders are crucial here.

The taisabaki adds an extra dimension, icing on the cake, so to speak, and you can do it at 90 degrees, 180 degrees and 270 degrees. However, the taisabaki is not an essential part of irimi-nage.

Best regards,

Qatana
06-24-2005, 09:17 PM
When this came up a couple of weeks ago with a nage twice my size, Sensei said it looked as though nage never Got my center, but yeah, sometimes they can get me down & forward but when I come up I get it back,and since then I've been "losing it" less and less. I asked my nearest sempai, a second kyu, and she argreed, she never felt like she had me to begin with. But she could get me to fall. The black belts and big strong 1st kyu can make me fall but not all of them can get me into that backbend.
Peter, I'm sorry but I cannot visualise aikido technique from the written word!

Peter Goldsbury
06-24-2005, 09:36 PM
When this came up a couple of weeks ago with a nage twice my size, Sensei said it looked as though nage never Got my center, but yeah, sometimes they can get me down & forward but when I come up I get it back,and since then I've been "losing it" less and less. I asked my nearest sempai, a second kyu, and she argreed, she never felt like she had me to begin with. But she could get me to fall. The black belts and big strong 1st kyu can make me fall but not all of them can get me into that backbend.
Peter, I'm sorry but I cannot visualise aikido technique from the written word!

Perhaps not, but you yourself are using the written word to try and get us to visualize what you are doing, or not doing correctly. Hence this thread.

senshincenter
06-24-2005, 09:44 PM
A line here that probably has to be understood better is the one where training culture and actual physical affects blur and meet. It may very well be the case that one is not having his/her balance taken within the tactical architecture - that the training culture is assuming Uke will provide such a thing. To really figure out what is going on, and thus what one might want to do or should do, perhaps some video would do a lot here. Jo, can you provide some video of your version of Irimi Nage, and/or a taped version of someone else on the web (e.g. a shihan, sensei, etc.) that does a version just like yours or very similar to it???

Qatana
06-24-2005, 10:08 PM
Perhaps not, but you yourself are using the written word to try and get us to visualize what you are doing, or not doing correctly. Hence this thread.

True. Because while I communiucate verbally I learn physical technique kinesthetically- Its hard for me to learn new aikido technique without first feeling the ukemi, and then being talked through nagewaza a few times.
Now that I"ve been training a couple of years I have learned how to sight read aikido as I used to be able to do in dance, I have a visual vocabulary that I can now translate into physical language.
But while I can describe what I am feeling,or something Ialready know how to do I don't seem to be able to understand technique or technical language through reading. Not often anyway, and am always surprised when something Does make sense,so I imagine I am beginning to build a more cognitive understanding, but only beginning.
I did realise when I started this thread that I would get a lot of information I wouldn't be able to assimilate, and actually,my eyes only crossed a few times. It may just be that we do not use a great deal of Japanese terminology other than the names of the techniques, which made yours difficult for me, but there's a lot of purely physical technical language I can get by hearing/seeing and not by reading.
When my Japanese friend visits me at Renaissance Faire my character speaks "Japanese" to her. She says something like "Tuna fall down fish eggs punch in stomach cut off head" and she politely nods and smiles behind her fan and answers me in Real Japanese and we have these "conversations". Language is fun.

Am I rambling?

L. Camejo
06-24-2005, 10:48 PM
Larry, you've almost got it. But I almost never get to the backbend part of the technique, I can wander out before nage can get me into that position. I come up in the spiral and when I am vertical, I Stay vertical, which is why sometimes I end up just standing there. Sometimes I end up very gently just sitting down on the mat instead of falling, because there is no Need to fall, but most often I seem to be just spinning on my polar axis until nage gets tired.
Hi Jo,

Very interesting post. It would be nice to see how Irimi Nage is typically done in your dojo I guess. It sounds to me that the technique relies more on momentum and proper cooperative movement (following) of Uke rather than Nage taking control by obtaining the initial kuzushi (control of Uke's head is important here), maintaining the kuzushi while drawing Uke into the spiral and then finishing with a strong entering step while the throwing arm goes across the shoulders/head/chin etc. and projects the Uke in a downward spiral or arc towards the mat.

The fact that you keep spinning until Nage gets tired also has me wondering whether this is being attempted as a "no touch" throw or not, since the final irimi towards your weak line of balance would solve that problem imho. This entry can be seen on the Aigamae Ate animation on this link from my site. (http://www.ttac.0catch.com/atemi.htm)

But maybe I'm still missing something. If you can stand straight before the throw comes or wander out of it, then Nage at least is not in control of your balance and by extension, the technique imho.

Just a few thoughts.
Happy training.
LC:ai::ki:

Qatana
06-24-2005, 11:46 PM
One of my teachers uses the "head into your shoulder" style, I've only walked out on him once. Sensei has his hand on the back of uke's neck,but then, Sensei is 6'3 and 5th dan and can control all of us with one hand! I'm sure my juniors have no clue about doing a "no-touch throw". While they sometimes happen by accident it is not something any of us seem to be actively looking for. The technique you describe sounds like what we do, but either the initial kuzushi is unsuccessful or I retain my balance on the way up.
I still wonder if Janet had it at the beginning when she thought it was "blend" related.That I somehow just won't allow myself to just let go and open myself up to someone else's perspective....or maybe my twenty year technique is the ukemi for iriminage. My least favorite technique, I expect I'm going to be Asking for it regularly now!

Peter Goldsbury
06-25-2005, 12:43 AM
True. Because while I communiucate verbally I learn physical technique kinesthetically- Its hard for me to learn new aikido technique without first feeling the ukemi, and then being talked through nagewaza a few times.
Now that I"ve been training a couple of years I have learned how to sight read aikido as I used to be able to do in dance, I have a visual vocabulary that I can now translate into physical language.
But while I can describe what I am feeling,or something Ialready know how to do I don't seem to be able to understand technique or technical language through reading. Not often anyway, and am always surprised when something Does make sense,so I imagine I am beginning to build a more cognitive understanding, but only beginning.
I did realise when I started this thread that I would get a lot of information I wouldn't be able to assimilate, and actually,my eyes only crossed a few times. It may just be that we do not use a great deal of Japanese terminology other than the names of the techniques, which made yours difficult for me, but there's a lot of purely physical technical language I can get by hearing/seeing and not by reading.
When my Japanese friend visits me at Renaissance Faire my character speaks "Japanese" to her. She says something like "Tuna fall down fish eggs punch in stomach cut off head" and she politely nods and smiles behind her fan and answers me in Real Japanese and we have these "conversations". Language is fun.

Am I rambling?

I do not fully understand your post, but I believe that most people learn aikido techniques kinesthetically, by doing them and taking ukemi from them. So it is hard to visualize from a verbal description and other posters have asked for a video of how you regularly practise irimi-nage. The way I do the technique, I cannot conceive of uke either going round in circles or walking out of it and I can only conclude that your partner is doing something fundamentally wrong. If this happens, I think it it is a good plan to pare the technique down to its basic elements, so that you can more easily distinguish the 'training culture', to use David V's phrase, from the actual structure of the technique.

The technique I described earlier is irimi nage pared down to its very basic elements and this was the way I practised the technique with Chiba Sensei in his own house, when he lived in Japan. It is done from a wrist grab and there is no circular movement. You enter your partner's space and throw, in a straight linear movement. The 'centre' of the joint production made by you and your partner is your hand on the back of uke's neck and your control of uke's head with your other arm, as you throw downwards.

Best regards,

Mark Uttech
06-25-2005, 06:52 AM
Excuse me. This is kind of a ridiculous discussion. All of this talk about: "Oh, I'm really good about keeping my center and my balance." Is hardly worth anything. To quote O Sensei: "To stand and acknowledge your fear of death is the real way to cover your openings." In Iriminage for example,
can I give my balance up and practice ukemi? I have to trust nage then, don't I?. I also have to appreciate nage's effort. This might be how you keep the balance "true".

cguzik
06-25-2005, 07:51 AM
Jo,

It may help if you can figure out what it is that your sempai do that is resulting in your being thrown when working with them. There are several different ways of affecting the final throw in irimi nage, one of which is to the control the head, neck, and spine as described above to achieve the throw through structural control of uke. Another structural thing some people will do is to use the inside hand to provide forward pressure against uke's lower back and/or hips from behind, encouraging them to walk through.

Placement of the body behind uke as they come up can really make a difference. If your nage is more beside you when you come up, it is easy to end up walking around each other with uke fully on balance. Maybe your juniors are not properly behind you when you come up, with their body/arm already taking the space you would need to occupy to regain your balance. Or, they are being nice and giving you that space as you come up instead of keeping it and making you adjust to keep you off balance. In other words, they may be stopping and waiting for you to come up, rather than continuing their entering motion behind you to take your space as you rise.

One other question, how concerned are you as uke about walking into the arm or getting clotheslined/atemi in the face from nage as you come up? If you believe they are not going to take your head off as you come up, it definitely can change your ukemi. Perhaps you have a different feeling about what your sempai will do to you in this situation than your juniors.

Chris

L. Camejo
06-25-2005, 07:52 AM
Hi Jo,

This sounds more and more like poor waza on the part of Nage imho and not so much of an Uke or blending problem. Even if it is a blending problem, then it still returns to the movement and structure signals given off by Nage as regards how he/she attempts to execute the technique. The thing is, you may be receiving a signal at a point in the waza that says to you "okay stand up now" or "twirl out now". Another example where twirling out can happen a lot is with a poor Shi ho Nage. If the elements of the technique are such that you are given the choice of regaining balance or doing anything other than what Nage intends to do with the technique, then something is lacking imho.

However, imho it is better to be seeking a solution (as you are doing) than to give away your balance and centre to mediocre technique and delude both yourself and your partner as to what is really going on. In this situation, no one learns anything useful except how to "play act".

Just a few thoughts.
LC:ai::ki:

Qatana
06-25-2005, 10:08 AM
Chris has something I think. Because my biggest problem in Doing iriminage is staying in that alignment. Its still hard to get the concept of "leading from behind".We do use the hand on the lower back sometimes in the way you described. I'll see if I can play with that Monday night. And I get clotheslined all the time, its not like I stop when I see/feel the arm. Its the arm there that generally convinces me to fall.
Peter, we do several variations on the technique you described but our test technique clearly has nage directing uke in an orbit around a center.Sometimes there are several orbits, sometimes only half a turn, but there is definitly a circle being inscribed on the mat.If nage is turning in too small a radius they can end up going backward, this is a common problem with beginnners but its one I can feel and help them correct. I wouldn't begin to know where to look to find a video of this technique in our style, don't have the resources to actually make and post one! It would be helpful though to have one that looks like its supposed to and one that shows "the problem" for a visual comparison,but it ain't gonna happen this week!

Maybe we can do a sort of reverse throw line, where instead of one nage throwing several uke in sequence, I can try having everybody throw me starting with our "best" technician so I can feel what its supposed to feel like and down through the ranks in sequence so we can track where & how this thing happens. There's not usually more than five or six people on the mat, it shouldn't be too strenuous!
Unfortunately staying after class & playing isn't really an option.
While I may not quite comprehend some of the the responses here I really appreciate you all taking the time to help me try to figure it out.

Mike Sigman
06-25-2005, 10:48 AM
The technique I described earlier is irimi nage pared down to its very basic elements and this was the way I practised the technique with Chiba Sensei in his own house, when he lived in Japan. It is done from a wrist grab and there is no circular movement. You enter your partner's space and throw, in a straight linear movement. The 'centre' of the joint production made by you and your partner is your hand on the back of uke's neck and your control of uke's head with your other arm, as you throw downwards.I pretty much agree that the basic throw should be looked at. Peter's description is pretty basic and it's correct, but it can be hard for a beginner to understand the subtlety of even a basic throw sometimes. Perhaps if you look at the basic combat usage of iriminage and then gradually bring it back to what you are looking at in class, the relationship will clear up the problem?

In the basic combat usage you deflect the opponent's attack (or avoid it, if you're good enough), step to the side/back of the opponent (as per normal) while bringing his off-balanced head-torso firmly to your shoulder as the outside "spin" begins. The important point is where you have brought your opponent's balance and that should be outside of his knee and slightly to the back. Only enough spin is needed for his body mass to slightly start in that direection before you "shake" (power derives from your outside foot hitting the ground) suddenly in the opposite direction. The opponents inertia against your shake while you are holding his head in position (he is still off-balance to the back-outside of his knee) will cause the torso momentum to snap his neck. The whole thing happens extremely fast... one to 1.5 seconds. The key is that your move to the outside-back of the opponents brings his center of balance to the outside of his knee... as long you keep his balance in that direction, he cannot recover. If your opponent has not been keeping your center in that correct off-balance direction, then of course you can recover. My 2 cents.

Mike

senshincenter
06-25-2005, 11:21 AM
Jo,

Perhaps you can let us know who your Sensei is and/or who maybe his/her teacher is/was - and assuming that such folks are still doing the same version - maybe we all can find a video reference done by them for what you are talking about. Or, as an alternative, if you go to Aikidojournal.com, you might be able to find a version of Irimi Nage that is similar to what is being prescribed in your dojo - letting us know which one it is, such that we can all have a common point of reference.

Qatana
06-25-2005, 06:28 PM
My sensei is Bob Noha , he is senior student of Robert Nadeau ,Shihan. Which makes it easy for me & Janet to get together & play with this, which we will probably do on Tuesday.
I'm afraid I have no idea how to find a particular technique at AJ! I don't see a search feature for the video page.
I'm thinking my sempai have enough experience and sensitivity to not allow me to get to vertical, but the beginners may just be afraid to force me into as much of a backbend as I need so may be hesitating just long enough for me to recover. But somehow I still think there's something I'm not doing correctly. And I think the only way we're gonna figure this out is Live & In Person.
I was just kind of hoping there might be someone out there who has had this same problem, who could tell me how they fixed it.

Janet Rosen
06-25-2005, 07:45 PM
It's not forcing you into a backbend, Jo. Not at all. No backbend should be necessary by any uke. more a matter of nage keeping you offbalance and allowing your HIPS to come past centerline and "through th e door". As I'm reading it, It's that in the transitional middle stage of our larger turning version, your stability is being given back to you. We'll play Tuesday for sure.

Qatana
06-25-2005, 08:21 PM
On me, its a backbend! The hips just keep going forward...and yes, thats where it happens. If nage can get my hips in front of my head, they got me.

batemanb
06-26-2005, 02:24 AM
But somehow I still think there's something I'm not doing correctly. And I think the only way we're gonna figure this out is Live & In Person.

The only thing you need to do correctly is give a good honest attack, the rest is down to tori. If you give an honest attack and they can't execute a technique, it's because they are not doing it correctly, not because you are not moving correctly, or haven't given up your centre.

Don't get wrapped up in the "backbend", Janet's right, it is not necessary, regardless of uke's size or stature, it may just feel like it to you. It really is all about where and how your bodies interact from the initial attack, the location of your centre's being the driving force in both parties.

But it doesn't matter what we say on here, practice is the only way to work this out, with assistance from your sensei.


Regards

Bryan

Dan Rubin
06-26-2005, 04:50 PM
The whole point of this thread is that Jo, on some level, believes that the problem lies within the way she is presently performing ukemi, not just in the way nage is throwing her. Therefore, I assume that she's correct.


However, imho it is better to be seeking a solution (as you are doing) than to give away your balance and centre to mediocre technique and delude both yourself and your partner as to what is really going on. In this situation, no one learns anything useful except how to "play act".

I respectfully disagree.

Jo, I suggest that you DO take "dives" for iriminage. First, figure out in what direction and shape your body must move in order to lose its balance in iriminage, and then move your body that way every time. Now, it will be nage who will be learning the proper technique from uke. Nage will be blending with you as you move and fall, and learning kinesthetically what must be done to put you in the necessary posture. Once nage learns that, they should be able to place you in that posture without your help.

Dan

senshincenter
06-26-2005, 05:00 PM
I think this is a tough call to make without seeing the version in question. It may very well be that Jo is training in a culture where she is expected to offer up her center (for any number of reasons), but it may also very well be that Jo is experiencing a discrepancy between what she is expecting to do and what is expected to happen to her. Some folks practice Irimi Nage while being totally dependent on Uke to provide much of what is supposed to be happening (for both good and bad reasons - which I am opting not to decide or judge). Other folks practice it in such a way that Uke is only responsible for the attack and for much of their own safety - little to nothing else. Jo needs to figure out which culture is supporting her Irimi Nage at her dojo - then, well, "when in Rome..."

If we could see the version in question somehow, we'd be able to advise her on what "Romans" do, but without seeing what is going on, we can only really advise her (I feel) with telling her to do what is expected of her in her dojo.

mj
06-26-2005, 05:28 PM
Jo, I suggest that you DO take "dives" for iriminage.

And this helps nage how?

Deluded and lied to, is how nage is being treated.

There are times of course when going over, or going over more easily than normal, can be justified - to magnify which parts are being done correctly and so on.

If someone cannot do a technique and you trick them into thinking that they can, and you are in the same class - you do them a dis-service.

Qatana
06-26-2005, 08:00 PM
If I could do what the black belts do in order to guide beginners into proper techinique, I don' think I would have had to ask for input! But guiding nage and taking a dive are entirely different things. As far as I can tell, they Are performing the technique correctly.

happysod
06-27-2005, 06:27 AM
Jo, have to disagree with you here in that if they were performing the technique correctly, you should be being thrown - caveat: unless it's a very basic technique done at slow speed, some of which do have gaps where you (as uke) can prevent through foreknowledge if these gaps aren't covered by either atemi, speed (yuck) or even changing the technique to one which works with your resistance.

For my money you have two basic options. The best to my mind is work with your sensei, explaining the problem and seeing what they have to say. Sometimes a persons increased flexibility can mean that greater than normal movement and/or different angles of attack are needed. Otherwise, you can try modifying your own posture when they're trying the technique on you, tense up a bit more and give some direct stubbornness to your uke, this will mean that you have to trust your ukemi somewhat and accept any accompanying discomfort if the throw is put on quickly.

raul rodrigo
06-27-2005, 08:35 AM
I have to agree with many of the others on this thread. I can't imagine how anyone, no matter how good her balance, can get away from a proper irimi nage. Peter G. mentions Chiba's irimi nage, which is so constricting that there is simply no way that one can just spin out or walk away. (The current Doshu's irimi nage is "looser" in that sense, so that it is conceivable that an uke might slip away if it were done slow enough.) I don't think this is about your balance being good, or conversely, your sensei's size allows him to throw you.

rob_liberti
06-27-2005, 08:50 AM
It's always a good thing for a dojo if someone comes in and a basic techniqe just doesn't naturally work on that person. It should get everyone to reconsider and re-evaluate what neesds to change. I used to love to get to work with a guy that had steel rods in his wrists - and was like a foot taller and 100+ pounds heavier - it was so much fun trying to work out techniques on someone like that!

As far as the current Doshu, that's not really _his_ fault. Think about it, who wants to be the guy that challenges Waka sensei's technique while he was coming up through the ranks? Anyone? Anyone? Maybe some crazy gaijin, but no one else was going to do that - and I'd say his technique is nice and as strong as it ever needs to be - given that he will probably never be tested.

Rob

raul rodrigo
06-27-2005, 09:13 AM
I didn't mean to sound as if I was casting aspersion on Moriteru. Just making an observation. Though of course, my own preferences for technique go in a different direction (Chiba, Yamaguchi, Endo, and so on).

I'd also like to say that the "backbend" that Jo talks about is not any part of my sensei or my shihan's irimi nage. Whether or not my spine or neck actually bend backward, I am going to go down. So if she's waiting for them to bend her backward, maybe she's waiting for the wrong thing.