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Shocked
07-03-2005, 03:16 AM
Recently we were doing kokyu-ho (suwari-waza), and my uke was a yudansha. I'm only 4th kyu. When I would grab for his wrists, he would start executing the move. I thought, "That's fine. He's anticipating my 'attack.' Maybe that's a yudansha thing to do."

I couldn't get a good grip on his wrists because he wouldn't let me. While I was trying, he did some sort of pseudo-judo move and threw me on my back! Then, when he was doing ukemi for me, he was pushing me backward with all his strength in what appeared to be a macho wrestling technique.

I didn't want to be bullied around, even if he was a yudansha, and so I strong-armed him onto his back. I was embarrassed because I'm generally reserved and courteous on the mat. I feel like I was forced into reacting that way, though.

Looking back on it, maybe I should have just stopped and said, "No. You're not allowing me to practice this move properly. It isn't helping my training in kokyu-ho."

I've NEVER seen an aikidoka (not to mention a yudansha) deviate from being a good, humble uke. I did nothing offensive to him, nor did I act in an aggressive manner to rile him up.

This really bothers me because I don't want to engage in macho bull**** behavior with people just because they are having a bad day or whatever.

Any advice on this situation? It would be most helpful. Thank you.

James Davis
07-05-2005, 10:36 AM
Was this just a one-time training opportunity, or does he do this all the time? :)

Chuck.Gordon
07-05-2005, 10:51 AM
Maybe he likes you and just can't express his true feelings verbally?

Try asking him what you ought to be doing ...

And, trust me, I've seen plenty of aikido yudansha playing power games, posturing and engaging in all sorts of macho BS. AIkido ...

It your responsibility to control what it turns into. Never mind the rank, unless he's the teacher, he's just another student. Yudansha, schmudansha.

cg

mj
07-05-2005, 10:55 AM
This happened to me when I was about 2 years into Aikido - a shodan kicked me in the back when I was on the ground because he was in a temper. :(

It isn't pleasant at all, I was absolutely furious as I recall. (ooh that rhymes).

I had to change clubs as it was never fixed to my satisfaction. ie the aggressive behaviour showed no signs of stopping from this person with any lower grades and the sensei wasn't interested.

Good luck.

aikigirl10
07-05-2005, 12:10 PM
Dont take any crap .We have a guy thats like that at our dojo and he just started taking aikido a few months ago. Hes extremely disrespectful and cocky. Hes always trying to correct me and the other higher ranks, and he does every technique w/ intensity and brutality. And he better bet that if he pulls any crap w/me , hes gonna get the same back. Aikido is a peaceful art , but with people like this guy and the yudansha u speak of , not so much.

cconstantine
07-05-2005, 12:58 PM
I couldn't get a good grip on his wrists because he wouldn't let me. While I was trying, he did some sort of pseudo-judo move and threw me on my back! Then, when he was doing ukemi for me, he was pushing me backward with all his strength in what appeared to be a macho wrestling technique.


Others have posted several possibilities with which I agree; I'll just add that some people are simply poor teachers -- this person may have believed they were helping you by trying to press your training to a harder level. I've worked with many senior people who, even when they're simply training in a class, went a long way towards helping me learn just by how they practiced with me. And I've met others who *want* to help but ended up just coming across like macho-BS aikido.

Anyway, only you (or your sensei, or others in your actual dojo) can determine if this person is the macho-BS-variety, or misguided (albeit well-intentioned).

Arianah
07-05-2005, 01:11 PM
I didn't want to be bullied around, even if he was a yudansha, and so I strong-armed him onto his back. I was embarrassed because I'm generally reserved and courteous on the mat. I feel like I was forced into reacting that way, though.

Question: What was his reaction to your strong-arm? Did he get angry/upset? Did he seem not to react at all? Did he seem like he was enjoying himself?

Some people just like to practice differently than others, so some like to play a little rougher. It might not be a domination thing, it might be that he wanted to see if you'd play the way he wanted to. I also agree with Craig that it might have been an attempt to teach you something.

Or he might be a jerk. Only you can know. But try to see where he was coming from when he did it.

Sarah

Janet Rosen
07-05-2005, 02:05 PM
If someone is pushing me backwards with all his might, well, clearly he knows where he is going. My kokyudosa would take the form of maintaining extension, exhaling, and pivoting back out of the way so he can land on his face :-)

giriasis
07-05-2005, 03:11 PM
I know it's really hard to get past that initial gut reaction that they are fighting with you -- I'm going thorugh that A LOT right now. (And I'm a 1st kyu with 6 years under my belt). It can be down right frustrating working with people like that. Usually when I'm working with someone senior than me if I find they are resisting a lot, I initially want to think that they want to show I can't do the technique to them, but to check my own insecurities and I ask what they are trying to show me. Usually, they are trying to make a point and it's a good point. It's rare that they are actually trying to prove thier dominance over me, although those kind of jerks do exist. (I haven't found a constructive way of dealing with these kinds yet.) Some people come from schools that are less talky than others and "teach through their ukemi". However, that can be really frustrating if you don't understand what they are trying to teach your "through their ukemi". Usually it's best just to ask, "what are you trying to show me."

Kevin Leavitt
07-05-2005, 04:33 PM
ahh the old bullying during kokyu ho routine.

One thing I find interesting about this simple exercise is the emotions it can sometimes bring out in people. Amazing when you strip away all the other stuff and practice such a simple exercise...you can learn alot about yourself and your partner. Both good and bad.

It is easy to give advice...and hard to follow your own advice...as is my issue with myself!

Try not and have your feelings hurt so bad. it is his issue and not yours. Try and be humble and train around it if you can. Embrace the conflict that the situation presents and try and figure out how to find the "soft point" in his flaws. It may take you a day...it may take you a year. (gotta love that mushy, aiki fruity stuff!)

Patience and persistences are wonderful things to learn and to test!

sutemaker17
07-05-2005, 05:24 PM
Dear Shocked,
I have had a few situations like this arise during my practice also. I have also tried a few different solutions and I can tell you that retaliation is not the one you want to use. I have been severely chewed on once, specifically, for forcing a technique I had clearly achieved tskuri for and was repeatedly sandbagged so I used my superior position to slam the guy. That was a bad day. :( I have also asked my partner to wait a second while I ask sensei for some help. This was a good day! :D My advice would be next time it happens ask your instructor for help.

I would also like to add that avoiding this guy is not the thing to do. In fact you should seek him out. Many times, you will have the most improvement working with those "undesirables" because they push your buttons and you have to deal with it. Force yourself to face those things.

Jason

jon
07-05-2005, 08:11 PM
I first learned to fish from a small boat moving slowly up and down the river, it was called trolling.

Arianah
07-05-2005, 08:18 PM
I first learned to fish from a small boat moving slowly up and down the river, it was called trolling.

Jon, I didn't think the original post came off as trolling. I think it came off as venting and asking for some feedback. *shrug* Maybe I just read it differently.

Sarah

jon
07-05-2005, 08:36 PM
What do people do when they face people they don't like say at work? Is the place of employment then assumed to be full of bullies and egomaniacs running loose? Is it then assumed it the company on the whole is a horrible place? Do then riot?

If people haven't learn to deal to some degree with themselves and others they come into conflict with in society by the time they get into Aikido, Aikido isn't going to help them.

Yes, it seems for some that Aikido bullies and egomaniacs lurk everywhere and to infiltrate overwhelmingly in high numbers ever dojo to chase off the pure, chaste, and innocent. Where oh... where is that promised utopia called Aikido...all there is, bullies, egomaniacs, and sexual predators? If you missed the sarcasm let me assure you it is there.

I surprised that there haven't been more comments suggesting Shocked has the attitude and is misinterpreting the whole situation. Maybe, Shock pushes the buttons of his seniors and everyone else in the dojo and they are just fed up with the whole thing. Why must we assume those who cry wolf have no agenda.

No where in life where people gather there isn't some type or form of rank and file, superior or dominance, competition or conflict. Fortunately, for Aikido and by its nature if it taught and followed earnestly and correctly harmony is found. But as all things it takes work and doesn't happen over night. And realistically sometimes that harmony may simply be not fighting with each other, respecting each others space, or just avoiding all contact. I am always reminded that we are humans, doing a thing called Aikido, and what is the purpose for doing it.

This is for Shocked and those alike, here lays your answer, you live with it and not try to control your environment to make it the way you think it should be or in the way it makes you comfortable. Aikido training in the dojo is only a fraction of your life. We sleep more, eat more, work more, stand in line more, then we train.

Its a dead thread. Someday someone will post with a truely sincere and honest issue that will warrent people's experience and advice. I am not holding my breath.

jon
07-05-2005, 08:43 PM
Someday someone will post with a truely sincere and honest issue that will warrent people's experience and advice. I am not holding my breath.

That is anonymously post. There are many fine examples of good and honest concerns that don't use anonymity.

NagaBaba
07-05-2005, 09:10 PM
Any advice on this situation? It would be most helpful. Thank you.
Have you been hurt by this yudansha? No? So what exactly is your problem? :D Your ego got hurt? .............hmhmhmh,,,,,, :p

You are practicing Budo, not some kind of abstract aerobic exercises. Aikido practice is about conflict, how to deal with. Uke is attacking you to create artificially a conflict, without that one can't learn aikido. It is absolutely normal behavior. He did his job perfectly. In fact you must be thankful and bow him very deep to show your respect. Buying a good beer will be good idea.

Also, this is excellent opportunity to practice REAL kokyu ho. When uke is not tanking, tori must use his body and mind in right way otherwise will collapse as you did. It is extremely important to use a structure and mechanic of body in most efficient way, particularly paying attention how to harmonize skeleton and flexible muscles with breathing.

When uke is pushing with all his will and power, tori can work out not only as Janet nicely wrote, how to redirect such difficult attack, but what is more important, how to create power under extreme pressure. Iíll give you some nice tips: think about your big toe as a source of power. If your body is flexible, all joins will transmit this power to the hips and to your hands. You will not be worried anymore about "wild" attack LOL.

Janet Rosen
07-05-2005, 11:29 PM
Its a dead thread. Someday someone will post with a truely sincere and honest issue that will warrent people's experience and advice. I am not holding my breath.
No, but you are using a lot of it to protest about the person who posted and the way the rest of us have chosen to respond. To quote Scoop Nisker, "if you don't like the news, go out and make some of your own."

ruthmc
07-06-2005, 02:49 AM
If someone is pushing me backwards with all his might, well, clearly he knows where he is going. My kokyudosa would take the form of maintaining extension, exhaling, and pivoting back out of the way so he can land on his face :-)
Could I also use this as uke, if tori is pushing me straight over backwards? This seems to happen to me a lot :( as I am flexible in the knees, hips and back, so I can lean backwards in seiza until my back is on the floor. Sometimes tori's direction just pushes me over that way, unless I stop extending in my attack and allow my arms to collapse (which I have been told not to do)!

Ruth (trying to get this thread back ON-topic) :D

David Yap
07-06-2005, 05:42 AM
No, but you are using a lot of it to protest about the person who posted and the way the rest of us have chosen to respond. To quote Scoop Nisker, "if you don't like the news, go out and make some of your own."

If you have not noticed, he has already done numerously in this Anonymous section. Behind the anonymity, he has the cheeks to accuse others of trolling. What a joke?

Happy training

David Y

giriasis
07-06-2005, 05:49 AM
I actually consider that "jon" is the one trolling. If "jon" doesn't like the anonymous board or the purpose behind it, I believe he should take that issue up with Jun and leave the rest of us alone and stop hijacking threads when people have issues to discuss. Jun can trace him if he really wanted to with his IP address.

Kyudos
07-06-2005, 05:59 AM
In kokyo ho, why not just direct uke force into the ground and wait? If he's really pushing hard, he'll get tired way before you do, at which point you can perform the technique as you wish.

Even when uke isn't being an a**hole, it is sometimes fun to play the psychological game of trying to catch each other out. It is just like looking for your opening in any other technique.

jon
07-06-2005, 06:32 AM
I actually consider that "jon" is the one trolling. If "jon" doesn't like the anonymous board or the purpose behind it, I believe he should take that issue up with Jun and leave the rest of us alone and stop hijacking threads when people have issues to discuss. Jun can trace him if he really wanted to with his IP address.


I am sorry you feel that way. Your wrong. I express my opinion on those who I feel are baiting others. I am sorry if your not comfortable with that. I feel you are defending trolls by posting with what you said above. I feel it is your right to voice your opinion, therefore, I will not contact Jun and complain in an attempt to have your opinion not appear in this forum.

I haven't forgotten what the purpose of this forum is, have you?

IF you notice there are two types of posts here, those who are complaining about me, and those who have picked up on a very good point and are discussing it. Then there is me, the whistle blower. :)

mj
07-06-2005, 08:50 AM
I would like to remind people that the Anonymous forum is not intended for people who don't want to register but want to post -- it is intended for "delicate" subject matters for which people want to keep their identities from being revealed. I encourage people to keep this in mind before posting on the Anonymous forum as that purpose is not what this forum was created for.

Jun wrote that.

The only people who should be posting anonymously are those who are in a 'delicate' position. Not those who are merely commenting.

Jon is merely abusing the anonymous forum by constantly posting anonymously.

Ron Tisdale
07-06-2005, 09:03 AM
Hmmph, I wish someone *would* blow the whistle....

I think the answer to shocked's problem lies in the training. The situation he/she describes is indeed part of it. Some days I can handle that part, some days I can't. Usually because my ego gets in the way. The co-operative nature of most of our training lends itself to these kinds of issues. How much do I resist, when do I resist, in what way do I resist...each dojo has its on culture and assumptions...and from partner to partner, practice to practice, these can vary as well.

Its one of the things I hate about aikido, and one of the things I love about aikido. For technical solutions, I like Mr. S's post. For political solutions, talk to your seniors and/or your instructor. For personal solutions, let go...follow shite's lead when uke, and even when you are shite if uke is senior. Sometimes by paying close attention to what the senior partner is doing, you can encourage them to share. There's a forth dan I train with occationally who doesn't ever speak to me when we train. It goes like this:

First pair of waza, he is shite, he just throws me, bam!

2nd pair of waza I am shite, I try to do what he just did, just how he did it.

3rd pair of waza he is shite, he slows down A LOT on the portions I had problems with. He seems to concentrate on performing excruciatingly correct body movement (this often requires a certain amount of hanging tough on my part, espcially on controls like 4th control [he is one of the few that make me really want to quit when he applies 4th control]).

4th pair of waza I am shite, I slow down A LOT at the same places, and do my best to do what he did, really focusing in on that same correct movement.

This continues until he finds another hole for me to work on.

He is not the only one who teaches me this way...quite a few people do. I try this myself now when working with jr. people. If that fails, then just ask the questions you need to ask...but I prefer to train when training, not to talk.

Best,
Ron

akiy
07-06-2005, 09:06 AM
Hi folks,

Let's try to stay on the subject of the original topic starter's subject rather than discussing the merits or lack thereof of anonymous posting here in this thread. If you wish to discuss that subject, please post in the Feedback section of the Forums.

Personally, I think it's OK to question the original poster's situation as to provide context and/or clarification of what happened.

However, calling them a "troll" and questioning the intent of their posting is not welcome as it does not provide any sort of positive contribution to the thread. Continuing to do so, in my mind, is paramount to discouraging further anonymous discussions on this website. Please refrain from doing so.

Once again, if anyone wishes to discuss this sort of thing, please post in the Feedback section. The Anonymous forums is not the place for this discussion.

Back on subject!

Thanks,

-- Jun

happysod
07-06-2005, 09:10 AM
ack! must be feeling ill as I agree with NagaAny advice on this situation? ask them if there's a particular reason for the heavy attack if it bothers you, but I didn't really read anything other than perhaps over enthusiasm or a misreading of your skill level.

Jorge Garcia
07-06-2005, 09:57 AM
While it sounds like the Yudansha mentioned was overdoing it a bit, I do something similar to that but a bit lighter. If we are doing suwariwaza kokyu ho and nage has his arms and hands low and relaxed, I just grab the wrists and push them (moderately) into his center. That will lock his hands there and he falls backward or to the left or right. That keeps us from talking, it keeps things real, and continues the original attack. I have never had a person I did that to repeat the problem. The next time, they extend and make sure I don't do that again and I cooperate as uke also by taking the ukemi. If I am uke and as I am coming in, nage is moving too slowly not matching my approach, I continue the attack by proceeding to grab ryo kata tori and I do the kokyu ho to him that way. I see that as continuing the original attack and providing honesty and realism to the training. Otherwise, we have to start talking. I think when they look at my expression and see that I'm not trying to do anything different, most see it as for what it is. A way of saying, "look at this." I don't think I've ever had anyone take it wrong. If the uke though has a competitive spirit or is expressing dominance or arrogance, that is inappropriate. When I was a while belt, I was training with a yudansha in a seminar, I did something wrong and he just turned it into a ju ju nage and flipped me right over. It happened so fast, I hardly knew what happened and his expression never changed and he never said anything. I just knew I had made a mistake to be open enough for him to do that. It made me respect him.
Best,

Pauliina Lievonen
07-06-2005, 10:00 AM
When uke is pushing with all his will and power, tori can work out not only as Janet nicely wrote, how to redirect such difficult attack, but what is more important, how to create power under extreme pressure. I'll give you some nice tips: think about your big toe as a source of power. If your body is flexible, all joins will transmit this power to the hips and to your hands. You will not be worried anymore about "wild" attack LOL.

I might have put it more mildly, but I also agree with what Szczepan wrote in the beginning of his post... :)

If uke is able to push tori back then tori was too late IMO. The trick is to extend into uke when they grab so that you have that connection from your big toe all the way into uke.

Sure a 4th kyu might not have figured this out yet, and maybe the senior in question didn't have the best possible pedagogical approach, but it still could have been a learning experience. It's ok for learning to be frustrating, too.

kvaak
Pauliina

Ron Tisdale
07-06-2005, 10:16 AM
It's ok for learning to be frustrating, too

I find it often is...but then I'm a bit slow....so....

Ron :)

Jeff Sodeman
07-06-2005, 02:39 PM
While I have my own opinions about the specific situation, I would say that your sensei is the one you should ask about this. He knows both of you and is in the best situation to both understand what happened, explain it, and/or deal with it.

Not to get sidetracked, but I'm amazed at the questions I see online that should be addressed to people's teachers. On some things of course it's good to get multiple perspectives - and I'm not talking about those questions, but you should trust your teacher enough to give him the option of dealing with the problems that come up in the dojo before looking elsewhere.

Speaking as a dojo cho I feel like part of my job is dealing with things like this, and if I were to find a thread from one of my students I'd feel like there was a lack of trust or respect.

As to what happened, I can think of times when the yudansha's behaviour is appropriate, and times when it wouldn't be.

Janet Rosen
07-06-2005, 03:12 PM
Jeff, your perspective as dojocho is really appreciated. As somebody who has been on aikido-l since I was a newbie, before these forums existed, and used them for "reality testing" a whole lot, I'd say that there are a number of possible things in play:
1. some instructors are by design or by default difficult to approach, period
2. especially if a student is newer, lower ranked, shy, or
3. in a dojo where Rank and Hierarchy are strict, and
4. a student percieves his issue as being "minor" or "too insignificant" or
5. dojo politics keep one from wanting to make waves and
6. sometimes it is more comfortable -- kind of like a 13 yr old who want to find out from a large group of 13 to 18 yr olds how they deal/t with acne, rather than asking his 40 yr old dad what he did....sensible or not, all these things do occur in humans, and typically mean not a lack of respect in the instructor, but perhaps OVER respect or a perception of a gulf.
my 2 cents, which may be worth quite a bit less.

Jeff Sodeman
07-06-2005, 07:39 PM
Janet, I completely agree that those are the likely reasons people don't approach their instructor with a question or problem. In fact I wouldn't ask my teacher something I thought could be answered without bothering him, and I'd start with a contemporary.

In that sense I do think there's a "chain of command" which can be used. As many times as I tell the students I'm open to any questions I rarely get them.Generally they ask a fellow student, who asks a senior student, who approaches me, etc. And in fact this is how I do know most of what goes on for better or worse in the dojo too - and some things I leave alone and other I guide in as subtle a way as I can.

As I think most people would agree training in aikido is more than learning technique, it's learning to deal with people and conflict. I personally just don't like using the web to deal with these kinds of issues if other options are available.

At the least I would ask questions on here like the poster did along the lines of "this and that happened the other day in class, is that unusual and should i talk with someone at my dojo about it?" Everything other than the first part of my last post was a general rant and not about this specific thread.

Janet Rosen
07-06-2005, 11:56 PM
Everything other than the first part of my last post was a general rant and not about this specific thread.
(smile) yep, and you did express it well--didn't really feel like rant mode.

Lorien Lowe
07-08-2005, 10:50 PM
Could I also use this as uke, if tori is pushing me straight over backwards?

If Nage is off balance when they're pushing you, then theoretically you could; one of my sempai is very good at it. I can't do it yet, though. On my knees, I'm not quick enough to move out of the way of the energy before nage (or uke, from the other side) redirects and recovers.

Don_Modesto
07-09-2005, 01:51 PM
The co-operative nature of most of our training lends itself to these kinds of issues. How much do I resist, when do I resist, in what way do I resist...each dojo has its on culture and assumptions...and from partner to partner, practice to practice, these can vary as well.

Its one of the things I hate about aikido, and one of the things I love about aikido. For technical solutions...For political solutions...For personal solutions....There's a forth dan I train with occationally who doesn't ever speak to me when we train. It goes like this:

First pair of waza, he is shite, he just throws me, bam!

2nd pair of waza I am shite, I try to do what he just did, just how he did it.

3rd pair of waza he is shite, he slows down A LOT on the portions I had problems with.....

Really nice post, Ron.

Zach Sarver
07-11-2005, 10:22 AM
Maybe your Uke thought you could handle the stength he was useing. I mean in my dojo uke resist as much as they think the person can handle. So again maybe he thought you could handle that amount of strength.

Robert Rumpf
07-11-2005, 11:48 AM
Recently we were doing kokyu-ho (suwari-waza), and my uke was a yudansha. I'm only 4th kyu. When I would grab for his wrists, he would start executing the move. I thought, "That's fine. He's anticipating my 'attack.' Maybe that's a yudansha thing to do."

I couldn't get a good grip on his wrists because he wouldn't let me. While I was trying, he did some sort of pseudo-judo move and threw me on my back! Then, when he was doing ukemi for me, he was pushing me backward with all his strength in what appeared to be a macho wrestling technique.

I didn't want to be bullied around, even if he was a yudansha, and so I strong-armed him onto his back. I was embarrassed because I'm generally reserved and courteous on the mat. I feel like I was forced into reacting that way, though.

Looking back on it, maybe I should have just stopped and said, "No. You're not allowing me to practice this move properly. It isn't helping my training in kokyu-ho."

I've NEVER seen an aikidoka (not to mention a yudansha) deviate from being a good, humble uke. I did nothing offensive to him, nor did I act in an aggressive manner to rile him up.

This really bothers me because I don't want to engage in macho bull**** behavior with people just because they are having a bad day or whatever.

Any advice on this situation? It would be most helpful. Thank you.

Your original post leaves out many important details. First of all, what was his reaction to you pushing him over? Secondly, what was his general disposition when he pushed you over? Those things (and others) matter, because they help to indicate what that person was thinking and their potential motivation and goals.

I'd follow this sequence, though, given what you said.. When you were first pushed around,

1) I'd talk to the guy and ask him what he's doing and why in the most neutral way possible.

2) If his answer was not complete enough, or if I wasn't interested in doing what he wanted to do, I'd do one of the following:
a) Stop training with him immediately.
b) Ask the instructor (or that student) for their opinion on what the correct reaction is to the behavior exhibited by that student.
c) If I feel endangered and overwhelmed, ask him to train slower and more gently because you're injured (make some injury up if necessary).

As for (1), maybe he was trying to tell you something non-verbally, or he was deliberately working on something different and/or wrong. Perhaps he was just being an ass to see if he could get away with it that one time, and wouldn't do it again. Maybe it was a momentary lapse of reason. Maybe the guy is an asshole in general. However, he owes you an explanation so that training can continue normally without you seeing him as an enemy.

As a word of warning, none of the options under (2) are likely to endear you to that uke if you're not careful about the way you execute them. This could cause future problems, since you'll probably encounter them again. It is easy to build long-term resentment.

Examples of questions for (b) include "I don't feel like I can give a good attack when you move before I grab." or "How would you avoid getting bowled over?" or "How do I do this without feeling like I'm muscling you, which I obviously couldn't do if I was much weaker?" A perceptive instructor can pick up the implications behind these questions and do what is needed.

I think that when you've gotten to the point where you're shoving back at your partner, and not trying to sort things out, its too late. This is especially true if your skills and strength are widely out of alignment with theirs (in either direction). Some other reaction needs to come before the shoving if this situation is to continue to be a class and not a confrontation.

The decision as to whether I would do (a) or (b) would depend on how diplomatically I could talk with my instructor, and what my expectation of their response and interest would be. Some instructors can instantly evaluate problematic people and ukemi, while others are completely oblivious. Others don't care, as they take what I can only describe as the hands-off approach.

I would do (c) only if I thought they would respect my wishes when expressed, and if I was willing to give them another chance.

My willingness to step off the mat would also reflect how much I felt like I was in danger of getting hurt or of hurting them. These days I tend to step off the mat whenever I get really upset, so that I don't go through the rest of class fuming. I also step off the mat when I can't think of any good, quick, response, and don't want to have a full out argument or fight in the middle of a class.

I don't see this as the ideal solution, because in life we can't always withdraw from problems. However, one step at a time.

A polite way to step off the mat is to (if it is allowed) say that you would like sit out because some joint is acting up, or perhaps even excuse yourself for some water.

If you find someone who is consistently an asshole to you, avoid them for a while until they change or your responses improve. When you have confidence in a partner's abilities, many of the above reactions can be non-verbal and happen through the uke-nage relationship.

To generalize further.. and make a related point.

I don't think it is wise to tell someone much senior to you that they're doing it "wrong" unless it was the type of situation where they didn't pay attention to the instruction and so were doing a completely different technique (the "honest mistake" situation). It is possible to presume too much in terms of the good nature of your training partners.

At the point when I am willing to speak up to try to change a senior's technique, the most I would say would be to point out that they are doing something different than what the instructor is saying to do. I'd want to be really sure I was observing the difference correctly to even speak up this much (having eaten crow many times when it turned out that I was the one mistaken).

If they acknowledge that they are choosing to do it differently, and I don't feel endangered, and they were willing to take ukemi for how I choose to do it, than I wouldn't complain. Its not the place of either party to force a point of view on the other.

My two cents,
Rob

MattRice
07-11-2005, 01:43 PM
If I'm doing seated kokyu-ho with Sensei, he does this to me every time. (pushes me back over my heels) I finally figured out he was trying to illustrate that I was letting my arms collapse towards my center. As soon as he feels that happening, he just follows it in: bang, nice thigh stretch.

If I can extend through my arms a split second before he gloms on, I can get passed that bit, beating him to the 'punch' sort of. Once he's extending into my center, it's too late. I had to move sooner.

matt

Nick Simpson
07-13-2005, 09:15 AM
Your not alone, this situation happens to nearly everyone at least once during their training, If Uke's got a good point to make then thats all fine and dandy. If not, then their being a prick. Not so nice eh? Hard to deal with, yes, I tend to fume about things like this. Wish I didnt, but thats just me, im getting better I think, but those evil thoughts always crop up when meeting people like this. I've heard the whole thing about training to eliminate the ego: Argh, thats never going to happen but I spose its something worth striving for. And that quote I believe Ledyard sensei has above his dojo door:

'Aikido is a series of frustrations.'

Too true. I know this stuff (or at least I think I do), but sometimes it all seems like a waste of time. I've already passed a load of frustrations, does one more matter? Wouldnt it be better to just quit? Ah, what a wonderful thing this Aikido is...

DustinAcuff
07-13-2005, 01:53 PM
Some of our senior students are still a bit overzealous at times and just love to throw suprises from time to time. I've almost had my hand broken while being uke for a kukyo before. And once instead of doing a right punch uke threw a hard left jab. To my credit I didn't get hit but this unsettled me so badly that I thought my technique was insecure and would have snapped uke's arm if he hadn't had the presence of mind to drop me at that instant. It was a humbling experience for both of us.

Senior students are people too and rank and good technique do not mean that they are soft yet.

Depending on the particular situation, individual and school, you both could have been well within your "rights" or you could both have been out of line.

I am a bit confused by some posters comments along the line of if uke moves nage (push maybe?) that nage has already lost it and cannot do anything. I may be misreading, but if this is what was said then I am confused and would like some clarification as to why.

Shocked
07-19-2005, 06:10 PM
Thank you for your comments and suggestions, everyone. I really do appreciate them.

Just to clarify things, the uke in this situation was a rather small middle-aged man. I happened to be bigger and stronger. This is what I think: the yudansha felt insecure because I was a "lowly" white belt and was doing the technique effectively. Maybe he wanted to "stir things up" a bit. Even if he was helping me in my training (like someone mentioned), I didn't appreciate it because I felt he was reacting in an immature manner.

When I strong-armed him onto his back, he just accepted it. The instructor walked by and laughed. I guess he was entertained.

Shocked
07-19-2005, 06:30 PM
And some of your comments about executing the move before uke has a chance to push me back really helped. It's just that it was a beginner's class, and we're not accustomed to random yudansha coming in and making it "real."

But if that was my baptism by fire, then so be it. I'll be more ready for that guy next time I'm paired with him.

Nick Simpson
07-20-2005, 06:28 AM
Good attitude mate, Good luck with your training :)

Ellis Amdur
07-20-2005, 01:43 PM
I just noticed this thread - a few random thoughts. This is not the kind of situation that I, as a teacher, would appreciate a student coming up to me to complain about. There was no injury, no danger - and I think I experienced more kokyu-ho in Japan done that way than the "proper" way - including some prominent shihan at the Aikikai. For many people, part of the experience of kokyu-ho is sumo on the knees. This is good body-building training. It's not, I agree, "kokyu-ho," but it presents an interesting and honest technical dilemma. You can't beat it with "softness." It's frustrating. So if you consult with a senior on how to counter such a push, using proper alignment/leverage/tai-sabaki/kokyu, more power to you (Pun intended). But I don't see anything to complain about. You are learning ukemi by being dumped, you are learning the rudiments of dealing with "brute force," and you are, hopefully learning the rudiments of maintaining your composure and your temper when faced with what is guaranteed in the dojo and in life. Irritating people.

best

Ellis Amdur

eyrie
07-20-2005, 07:54 PM
There's more than 1 way to do kokyu-ho. In fact, there are 10 general directions in which kokyu can be directed. If you know how to use kokyu, it doesn't matter if uke has a vice like grip of death, they will still be thrown. Being in seiza makes it all the more easier, since the ground force has a much shorter path and you have a much larger (triangular) base to work from.

Anon
07-21-2005, 09:10 AM
You should never loose your temper on the mat. I was just practising with a guy the other day, doing shomen kotegaishi, and I grazed the side of his face. I keep my fingernails short and never wear any jewelry, but he felt it necessary to execute a rather punishing kotegaishi. What I did was an accident, what he did was intentional. Needless to say, I will avoid this guy like the plague for a while. Perhaps that was his intent. Point being, talk, withdraw, collect yourself, don't just react and fight.

dyffcult
07-30-2005, 06:42 PM
Ron, you expressed my sentiments almost exactly!

I tend to learn better by watching the visual rather than hearing the instruction. So if my partner slows down to teach me something, I pay attention.

I have had a number of higher (even lesser) ranking students exert great power in resisting my flawed technique. Of course, the better ones then showed me my mistakes and guided me towards understanding. The lesser ones just resisted until I figured it out for myself or sensei helped me.

I have also had a number of lower students resist my technique. Mainly because I had a period of about a year were I trained only irregularly and they had no idea of my rank. I always enjoyed the resistance, as it made me practice with technique rather than strength. Nothing like the face of an uke overcome regardless of resistance....

So, when I encounter resistance, I look to the level of my partner. Are they someone who can show me where I am failing. Or are they simply resisting a technique that may have become sloppy? Either way, I learn and earn...

Brenda

Jeanne Shepard
07-30-2005, 10:03 PM
Ron, you expressed my sentiments almost exactly!

I tend to learn better by watching the visual rather than hearing the instruction. So if my partner slows down to teach me something, I pay attention.

I have had a number of higher (even lesser) ranking students exert great power in resisting my flawed technique. Of course, the better ones then showed me my mistakes and guided me towards understanding. The lesser ones just resisted until I figured it out for myself or sensei helped me.

I have also had a number of lower students resist my technique. Mainly because I had a period of about a year were I trained only irregularly and they had no idea of my rank. I always enjoyed the resistance, as it made me practice with technique rather than strength. Nothing like the face of an uke overcome regardless of resistance....

So, when I encounter resistance, I look to the level of my partner. Are they someone who can show me where I am failing. Or are they simply resisting a technique that may have become sloppy? Either way, I learn and earn...

Brenda

I've learned more from my sempai slowing down and doing the technique slowly and carefull (especially where I was scewing up) the I ever learned from them beating me up. I'm grateful.

JEanne

dyffcult
07-31-2005, 01:03 AM
Hi Jeanne!

I too, have learned a great deal from my sempai, and luckily, only a few have tried to beat me up. Most have slowed down technique to show me where I am failing. However, I do find that training with those of lessor rank, especially when uke is using a great deal of strength to resist technique, can teach me a great deal about where I am failing in my own technique.

While I am a firm believer in the philosophy that one trains to the level of one's opponents, we have no opponents in aikido <wicked grin>. Then again, one cannot teach what one does not know....

Brenda

Lyle Bogin
08-02-2005, 09:21 AM
This kind of kokyu training is the one bit of aikido training during which I never feel cheated by a very resistant uke. I had a "match" like this with Imaizumi Sensei. I couldn't move him as he exhaled into my technique, and he said to one of my seniors "young guy so he's getting strong fast", and I thought "ha, not strong enough to move an older guy I outweigh." Then he did a double yonkyo and threw me gently onto my back.

I am a talker though, and I do prefer direct explaination of the expectations of uke to the old "no, no, no, no, yes!" (Mel Brooks joke intended) method of resistance. A quick explaination shortens the process and gets us moving together again faster. After all, it's often not something you are doing wrong, but rather something you are doing differently than the image in uke's mind. I like to provide uke with a problem and a solution at the beginning.

Sometimes resisting someone can really raise their beast, and I like to spend some time earning uke's trust. After all, a beginner in aikido is often an expert in another martial art. I feel that not resisting too much sometimes falls into the "protect yourself at all times" category.

All of that being said, I still appreciate the opportunity to work with some resistant uke's. I am just not really one myself.