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aikigirl10
07-11-2005, 10:20 PM
Well , tonight i had a bad practice at the dojo.

Theres this dumb a** that thinks hes the fighting king of the universe , and hes never done any martial art other than aikido and hes only been in it about a year.

But anyway tonight we were partnered up for a short time. We were doing kokyu nage. Every time he was uke, he would grab my wrist so tight that i couldnt even begin to do the technique. So, finally i threw his wrist off of mine and asked sensei to come over and watch us. Surprisingly he still strangled my wrist. So i continued to do the technique (the best i could) and then when sensei put in his criticism , i got all the blame!

So from then on , i grabbed HIS wrist as tight as i could. And then he looked me in the eye and said to me, in a low whisper, with a wicked grin on his face (exact words) "You know when you grab my wrist so tight .. that stuff doesnt work with me , because i'm stronger than you"

I felt like kicking him right in his balls. Strength really doesnt matter when you've trained in multiple martial arts for your entire life. I could've put him on teh floor in tears, but of course i didnt want to make a scene. What puzzled me was that no matter what uke is doing , it seems like nage gets all the blame. I was just trying to learn the technique better , i wasnt trying to compete with him or put up with him squeezing my wrist so hard.

I thought aikido was about cooperation and learning and peace. Its guys like this that make me want to walk out of the dojo and never turn back. I never did one thing to him.

Im sorry i rambled on , i just really needed to get this off my chest. Please post with your thoughts on this or similar stories.

-paige

Mashu
07-11-2005, 10:36 PM
That wasn't a bad practice. He gave you several things to think about and now you can see if you can sort them out.

Felicitas

senshincenter
07-11-2005, 10:48 PM
I mean this in a constructive way: How about just asking him to not grab your wrist so hard so that you can get more reps in just doing the movement? Did you ask him that? If not, maybe you could also try and ask your own person, "Why not?"

At our dojo, while training is often intense, but most especially because training is often intense, both nage and uke can ask their partner to lighten up any time and for any reason. It's not only acceptable, its demanded that no deshi train beyond their safe level and/or whatever level that they are personally comfortable with (all the while accounting for other guidelines). This way, one takes responsibility for their own training - which is not an easy thing to do. I say it is not an easy thing to do because in taking responsibility for our own training we not only have to learn to become independent from someone or some thing else, we also have to learn how to reconcile our habitual ways of responding to things, people, and ideas - such that we can act according to the infinity of choices that are always before us and not fall victim to doing "the only thing we could do."

In my experience, which may be totally different from yours, folks often do not want to ask their partners to lighten up because they feel it to be a sign of weakness. For this reason, not asking folks to lighten up is often connected to making the Other a villain. In blaming some thing on someone else, we hide our own ego attachment to our own will to power. For this reason, it is often quite liberating, at very deep levels of our being, to practice asking folks to lighten up when necessary and/or when wanted (for whatever reason).

On this side of that request, such a thing seems totally impossible and/or unfounded, but once we reconcile enough of our ego to be able to ask such a thing of our training partner we will wonder why we ever had such a hard time making such a request in the first place. In time, we'll also wonder why were ever attaching issues of power and pride to form's training - which is only about a proximity to an ideal and not a measuring of our martial prowess.

Sure, you may ask such a thing of your current partner, and he may see it as a sign that you want to do "fake Aikido" or that you are "weak." However, as he hopelessly struggles to find a way of measuring his power in the utterly false and constructed reality of forms, you will go on practicing the movement more and more, and thus getting closer and closer to the ideal. In the end, you will find both the power of humility and the humility of power. He will find nothing. In fact, most likely, he will just quit when the realization that forms are nothing actually hits him like a ton of bricks.

The key here is to find a way of reconciling our habitual responses to such situations - things that are grounded in our pride, in our fears, and in our ignorance. If we can do that, such "uke" will not only be the person that we can use to refine our technique, such that strong grabs only make our technique more powerful, such "uke" will also come to teach us a whole lot more about ourselves and about our world as we are experiencing (i.e. constructing) it.

Hang in there - we've all passed through this "uke." Actually, we've all passed through lots of them. You can do it too. :)

Amassus
07-11-2005, 10:53 PM
So from then on , i grabbed HIS wrist as tight as i could.

This is where you lost control. You played his game, his way. Did you try and ask the guy to go easy initially or did this situation grow worse in silent frustration?

I agree with Matthew, that this training partner has much to teach you about yourself. The partners that really cheese you off, are the ones that will challenge all the aikido ideals.

For a more practical answer, can you approach the guy and ask that he just ease off a little so you can enjoy your training a little more? Perhaps stay clear of the guy until you think you are in the right mindset to tackle the challenges he presents.

My thoughts.

Amassus
07-11-2005, 10:56 PM
I posted at the same time as David. He says the same thing as I, only better.

Zach Sarver
07-11-2005, 10:58 PM
That is kinda of mean for the guy to do that, but also it was a great learning experience. If you can do a move on a guy who is hold tightly then it will be easier to do it on the street. If you couldn't do the move you should have asked the guy to loosen his grip and if he didn't tell your sensei, cause that is just disrespectful.

senshincenter
07-11-2005, 10:58 PM
Not better Dean - just different.

Plus, I left out this great point that you made: "This is where you lost control. You played his game."

Well said,
dmv

DustinAcuff
07-11-2005, 11:01 PM
I've had this problem a couple times with the overzealous uke. Here was my solution. Breath in, turn ki on, relax, close your eyes, do your technique as if uke was not even there, but add a good forceful kiai at the end. After a couple hard falls from you calling his bluff he will probably go back to normal. By grabbing your wrist tightly he is imposing that he is stronger. Our techniques dont give a darn if he is a 400 lbs. line man from the NFL, relax, guide, move in a circle and do the tech like he is not there and he will still go. if he tries to stop the technique then go the opposite directon in the way he is pulling and dump him. He has missed the point of both the art and of being a good uke and deserves to be made uke for a bit for enlightenment.

aikigirl10
07-11-2005, 11:03 PM
I did actually ask the guy to lighten up , and his response was " i'm just trying to hold on'' . I continually shook my wrist several times in order to get him to loosen his grip and he would for a second but then he would go right back to strangling it. Only then , did i do the same to him.

I hate feeling this way. Im a person who gets along w/everybody. I'm the one in the family and out of my friends who is always trying to make peace if there is an argument. Now i feel like a person with bottled up hatred for people, and that is not me at all. I just want to cry.

Aikido to me used to be a place where, after school i could go to the dojo and after practice, be relieved of all my stress. Not anymore. Now i go and i come out w/more stress then i started with. These kinds of things have been going on for a while not just one night.

And my sensei is such a great person. Unfortunately all of these things usually happen behind his back. I hate it. I probably should try talking to him, but im afraid it would come off as complaining.

I dont know what to do.

maikerus
07-11-2005, 11:05 PM
Hi Paige,

I can understand your obvious frustration. I also think that it is good that you vocalized it here. Just to let you know, we all have been there (trite, but true) and part of the process is learning that it is okay to ask your partner to lighten up, or not grip as hard, or to go with the technique. Its also okay to ask them to resist and try to get up when pinned, etc...

I would suggest saying something like "I have no idea how to do this yet, can you help me by moving your body in the direction that you remember the instructor doing it to you" and get the instructor over to show you how to do it so he can feel it. You will probably want to take uke as well to feel it and work with that.

On the other hand, the "You know when you grab my wrist so tight .. that stuff doesnt work with me , because i'm stronger than you" would be infuriating and I can see wanting to drop him crying to the mat. In my opinion the better way is to keep your cool and whenever he throws you get up effortlessly and without a hint of noticing that he had thrown you. Also a little bit childish, but there you go...another way of making the point.

Really...better just to agree with him and then get back to the technique. <wry grin>

Which brings up the "nage getting all the blame" point...everything that happens to uke happens because of something shite (or nage, if you will) does. If they push when they are supposed to pull...or pull when they are supposed to push or don't do anything at all shite still has to work with what is given to do the technique. I will often tell uke to move with it for a couple of times to help shite out to see what is supposed to happen, but there is no way you can say that uke "did something wrong". Shite's role is to deal with uke and put them where they are supposed to be. End of story. Finished. That's it. It's one of the reasons we train with multiple partners...so we can learn how to move various people.

If this guy bugs you I recognize that it might be counter-productive to train with him. On the other hand, if you can use it as an opportunity it just might make your Aikido better. It certainly won't be as much fun as training with someone you respect...but if you can get something out of every time you move on the mat and with anyone you train with then your Aikido will improve everytime you are on the mat. And that is a good thing...Something else to think about ;)

Just my few yen,

--Michael

-

Kristian Miller-Karlsen
07-11-2005, 11:15 PM
Hello Paige,

I agree with Matthew. This guy at your dojo represents a chance to sort things out. Maybe a chance to subdue your fighting/competitive/reactive mind (something we all have). My Sensei says that "uke is never wrong". He also says that if you can't do it , or if you make a mistake, that you just have to "cop it sweet".

Having said that. I believe that you are well within your rights to request, under the banner of harmonious training practices, to have your wrist held less tightly. At least in the beginning, until you can get the technique happening. Then you can start to take up the slack.

Training is a form of forging right?! When a sword is forged the metal is heated and hit with a hammer. At the dojo we should experience a bit of "heat" and get hit with a "hammer" every now and then. If we don't experience hardship sometimes then training has become too easy. If it were easy then every man and his dog would be doing it!

Good fortunes to you.

Roy
07-11-2005, 11:23 PM
I can relate to your thread, I absolutely hate that kind of crap!! It can create alot of negative static, which can result in injury. I am not your typical Aikidoka, for one thing I weight 340 pounds, and I'm about 6'4". I am by no means delicate. But, even-thought I'm fairly robust, I still constantly get very sore wrists from people both grabbing or torquing them so f#!*% hard!! Lately I have been asserting myself a little more by insisting that uke lighten-up, and I only had one member ignore my request. As soon as I seen that this particular member was not complying with my request I stopped, and told him I no longer trusted him, and because of that mistrust, I told him, "I don't ever want to work with you again." The instructor heard this and walked over, and pulled me aside and ask what happened. The bottom line for me is this, our bodies are much to fragile a thing to leave into the hands of a disrespectful uke. And if the instructor disagrees with that, then kick him in the balls also!! Roy

maikerus
07-11-2005, 11:33 PM
And my sensei is such a great person. Unfortunately all of these things usually happen behind his back. I hate it. I probably should try talking to him, but im afraid it would come off as complaining.

I dont know what to do.

Ah...that's a different problem. If you can't handle it yourself and you find your self wanting to quit then you do have to talk to someone. Really.

If the thoughts and comments in this thread don't help, then I would suggest talking to a senior student and explaining what's happening and getting their thoughts and comments. (You might do this anyway). If that still doesn't help then ask them to go to the instructor with you to outline the problem.

I really hope no one will see it as whining/complaining. Instructors generally want people in their dojos to get along and when something needs to be clarified to make the dojo better they actually want you to bring it up.

My thoughts,

--Michael

aikigirl10
07-11-2005, 11:33 PM
Thank u roy , this is how i want to handle the situation but i dont think i have the guts to do so like you did. I just hate making a scene. Besides that im a 15 year old girl who tends to get quite emotional.

aikigirl10
07-11-2005, 11:36 PM
Michael i also like your second post

PeterR
07-11-2005, 11:42 PM
Thank u roy , this is how i want to handle the situation but i dont think i have the guts to do so like you did. I just hate making a scene. Besides that im a 15 year old girl who tends to get quite emotional.
OK Paige;

Others are going to say this but - as a 15 year old girl you have to talk to your sensei. He or she will not hold it against you and might explain why your partner was right or wrong and what you should do about it. Some people have not so nice ideas, some just don't know they are being difficult. Making a scene is not the best way to go in these circumstances as the end result may have you looking like the unstable one with no one wanting to get near you.

If the problem persists you have to ask yourself do you need the grief.

sisley
07-12-2005, 12:22 AM
Paige,

You've had a lot of useful advice, but there are two things you mention that I particularly would like to comment on. First, you seemed upset that your teacher did not say anything to uke when you called him over. Perhaps your teacher understood and was helping you through the situation. Certainly, if I call a teacher over, I hope he/she will comment on my technique, not on what uke is doing. Second, and perhaps more importantly, I think it's a mistake to think of Aikido as a way to just go and take it easy after classes. Aikido is going to challenge you, for better or for worse, throughout its many stages. Most of the time, you'll be able to enjoy classes, especially as you advance in years, but along the way, there will be some headaches. Generally, this is when you are learning some aspect of Aikido or yourself (how do you separate them?).

Hang in there. We have all been where you are at, and we still meet situations like this from time to time. How you handle it next time is what's important.

--jimbo

Chris Li
07-12-2005, 01:00 AM
Unless I'm specifically trying to teach someone how to do a certain kind of thing I try not to comment on how they are attacking. People grab as they like, and I can do it or not do it depending upon the situation. If you stick with it then the times that you can do it should increase gradually. As for the other times, well, it can be frustrating, but learning to deal with that frustration, and with difficult people, is part of the process. After all, if you can always do the technique then there's really no reason to go to class, right? Anyone can be peaceful and harmonious when surrounded with pleasant people - learning to be so when surrounded by the other ones, well, that takes training.

Best,

Chris

xuzen
07-12-2005, 01:46 AM
...<snip>... Anyone can be peaceful and harmonious when surrounded with pleasant people - learning to be so when surrounded by the other ones, well, that takes training.
Best,
Chris
Chris,

Wow... very well said. It is lessons that sometimes I forget. Thank you for a good reminder.

Boon.

batemanb
07-12-2005, 01:59 AM
Unless I'm specifically trying to teach someone how to do a certain kind of thing I try not to comment on how they are attacking. People grab as they like, and I can do it or not do it depending upon the situation. If you stick with it then the times that you can do it should increase gradually. As for the other times, well, it can be frustrating, but learning to deal with that frustration, and with difficult people, is part of the process. ......


Couldn't have put it better :)

rgds

Bryan

Roy
07-12-2005, 02:15 AM
Hello!! people!! Just because someone is a sensei, does not automatically make them a righteous person full of wisdom, and a key to life. How does crushing a 15 year old girls wrists, equate to a lesson in life; via martial arts? Sounds like uke is an a#%hole, and if i where her father, I would find another club, one where the head instructor is concerned about the welfare of the members. Because lets face it folks, letting someone abuse you, because you don't want to look weak and/or like a complainer is simply not kosher.

PeterR
07-12-2005, 02:21 AM
Sorry Roy but the sensei wasn't overdoing it another student was. The sensei is in charge and there are any number of ways of dealing with a situation which may or may not be malicious. She was advised to talk about it.

Did he crush the wrist or just hold too tight for her to do the technique? She didn't use the word crush.

Chris Li
07-12-2005, 02:23 AM
Hello!! people!! Just because someone is a sensei, does not automatically make them a righteous person full of wisdom, and a key to life. How does crushing a 15 year old girls wrists, equate to a lesson in life; via martial arts? Sounds like uke is an a#%hole, and if i where her father, I would find another club, one where the head instructor is concerned about the welfare of the members. Because lets face it folks, letting someone abuse you, because you don't want to look weak and/or like a complainer is simply not kosher.

I wasn't there, of course, but it hardly sounded like abuse to me. At most there were some hurt feelings, but no more than that - certainly no "crushing" as in injury or physical hurt from the story as I read it. Check out any organized sport with 15 year olds - plenty more pressure than that.

Or maybe it would just be better if everybody just took pretty falls so that people could feel good about their technique (never mind whether or not they learn anything).

Best,

Chris

Bridge
07-12-2005, 02:43 AM
Hi Paige,

I get a similar issue though the guys explain it very gently to me at my club. I've also done other martial arts before (so I know I could just smack 'em if I wanted), plus I do a little weights training so I'm quite strong. It can be quite frustrating at times when you're doing a technique OK, then they crank on the grip that bit more to test your technique out and it all goes wrong (or not at all).

I also get the "You're strong, but I'm stronger than you" stuff too. But I've learnt it's because the correct technique should work regardless of strength, so perhaps we're missing something. Now being a girl, perhaps you can play the humour card and ask as nice as possible for the answer?

Seems to work for me!

Mats Alritzson
07-12-2005, 03:07 AM
Paige,

I think you should train with this guy until you lose your frustrations. When you train with an uncooperative uke he doesn't learn anything but you can learn a lot. You win, he lose. :D

I think that generally it's a good idea to train kihon in go-tai and when you train awaze to do it in ju-tai. That is, uke loosen up as you focus more on timeing and flow, and resist when you're focusing on form. But what do I know, I'm only 3rd kyu.

Also I believe your sensei thought you wanted help with *your* technique when you called for him. Everytime I can't do a technique on a resisting uke I call on the instructor and ask what *I'm* doing wrong. If I'm lucky he shows me a different variant or an applied form of the same technique.

Good luck with your training.

raul rodrigo
07-12-2005, 03:31 AM
When uke holds on so tight that I can barely move into kokyunage, I consider that a gift. How else do I know if I've got it right or not? I learn quite a bit from these incidents. It would be different if uke was trying to crush my wrist or actively moving and adjusting to stymie a technique he knows is coming (and in these cases, there are ways to adjust his attitude). But an honest strong hold is a gift that nage can and should learn from--even if it means in the short term a helluva lot of frustration.

Zato Ichi
07-12-2005, 03:55 AM
Strength really doesnt matter when you've trained in multiple martial arts for your entire life. I could've put him on teh floor in tears, but of course i didnt want to make a scene.


While I completely sympathise with your situation and understand your frustration, I have to say you're deluding yourself if you think size and physical strength are of no consequence.

Next he does it, I would kick him in the balls, or at least give him a good scare. Instant kazushi, and as we all know, kazushi is one of the things at the center of good aikido.. :)

Amir Krause
07-12-2005, 05:15 AM
I would like to disagree with the above comment "uke is never wrong". I believe this comment is only right under specific circumstances, and given the description Paige gave, it was not hers.

When performing a Kata, both Uke and Tori (Shidachi) have their roles to perform. These roles include not only the general action, but also the intent, the directions of pressure and often even the responses to the technique. If Uke is changing the Kata, Tori (Shidachi) will often have to change the Kata as well. This is true to most paired Kata, including the practice of a single technique.

Hence, Uke has a role to play and he can get it wrong. If we look at the Koryu Kata, we will find that the role of Uke is often done by the sensei, due to the overwhelming importance of this role in the practice of kata as a base for M.A.

In Gendai Budo (and Aikido is Gendai no doubt), most practice in larger groups, and the role of Uke is delegated to multiple students at the same time. Sensei must observe them and insure they act according to his wishes, or the progress of the students will be affected.



Paige

I believe you should talk with your Sensei. In my opinion he did make a mistake in not correcting your Uke. Then again, It is possible that he has assumed you have asked for the extra burden (having assisted my sensei, I have seen lots of such cases, mostly from the younger and newer students and there are times one decides to let them be). By letting your sensei know, you will assist not only yourself and him, but the whole group, since it would probably hint Sensei to become more aware of the behavior of Uke and will monitor it.

As for the approach to deal with the person himself. I am afraid I don't have anything to add. The previous post were great eye openers with regard to the challenge this person is placing, and the great benefit from facing such a challenge.

I hope you find the strength to continue the practice and face the challenge in you

Amir

Mel Barker
07-12-2005, 06:24 AM
Im a person who gets along w/everybody.
No you are not. You didn't get along with him. This is probably a good time to learn this lesson. (And beat me by a couple of decades.) There isn't always some perfect thing to do to get others to like and agree with us. Keeping your center is a higher goal and will serve you well though out your life. You will get to practice it frequently in the dojo.

Best of Luck

Mel

ruthmc
07-12-2005, 06:28 AM
Hi Paige,

Sometimes you just have to go through a few frustrating classes until you learn to do things differently. It's a good sign - it means that a lesson is ready and waiting for you to accept :)

It's tough enough being 15 without having to deal with issues in the dojo that older folk struggle with also. However, you can choose how you wish to be treated - if you do not want anybody to grip your wrists tightly just say so to your sensei.

At my dojo there are two 16 year olds ( a girl and a boy) who I train with frequently. Because of their ages and the fact that their bones are still growing, I am careful not to allow them to come to any harm and I would never grip their wrists as hard as I would one of the senior adults. However, this means that they may learn to throw incorrectly if they are never challenged, so I sometimes increase the strength of my attack to make sure that they 'get it'. It is done with sensitivity and if it's too much I lessen the strength of my attack again.

Your BS partner hasn't been training long enough to have learned this sensitivity, and obviously isn't mature enough to be able to help you in your training, so avoidance may be the best policy until you learn how to handle very strong attacks in an Aiki way.

Don't quit and don't die!
(And it's ok to be emotional :) )

Love and peace,

Ruth

aikigirl10
07-12-2005, 06:42 AM
Normally i do get along w/everybody

aikigirl10
07-12-2005, 06:44 AM
As far as the crushing of the wrist goes, It was borderline for 'crushing' . I could barely move my hand in any direction, and i honestly think he did it to prove his strength to me , not to help me out by any means. hes a 5th kyu and i'm 4th kyu getting ready for 3rd.

PeterR
07-12-2005, 06:48 AM
Now I possibly understand why your sensei said nothing. If there was no particular danger YOU should learn to deal with kohei. Part of the process.

aikigirl10
07-12-2005, 06:50 AM
Also , i have had experiences w/uke like this in the past and have always been able to work something out even if i had to do another technique. But this guy was seriously over doing it. And kokyu nage? Its so hard to do this technique w/force because in this technique you dont really take their momentum very much, you pretty much just move and throw, and it really doesnt take uke's balance either. This i think really does rely on strength and if force is applied it just depends on who is stonger. Had it been sankyo ....

Jorge Garcia
07-12-2005, 06:56 AM
In our dojos, we say that (unless the person is a brown or black belt) when you hold someone, do so moderately and not in such a way so as to stop their technique.Let them practice the motion so they can work with that aspect. We say that a person can hold as hard as they can IF they know the person well and have the kind of training relationship that would allow that. If you go around trying to stop the techniques of someone who doesn't know you, then they could misunderstand your intent. Also, there are such things as egomaniacs that like frustrating beginners. I agree that in a situation like this, it's relatively simple to turn the lemon into lemonade by reacting in a positive way and seeing it as an opportunity to train. Usually, we insist on holding hard in our training but we explain the parameters of the training and those boundaries are the training relationship itself that must be developed. Without that relationship, the proper trust doesn't exist between uke and nage for nage to be able to know if the uke means well.That's the standard for lower ranked people. Higher ranks just take it and train. There is a fine line between good training and a form of abuse at worst or ego boosting at best. Sometimes, higher ranked people take it on themselves to become a teacher to everyone through this method. There is only one Sensei on the mat and if the person is giving help that's not being asked for, that can be inappropriate unless there is a friendly training relationship between the partners. It can become the equivalent of the Boy Scout dragging the grandmother across a street she didn't want to cross.
The other day, I explained this to one of our groups and then we had a session where we all held our nage as hard as we could. I gave the nages several options on each technique as to what they could do. I also explained that the danger in this kind of training is to let it become a contest or to get into that kind of frame of mind. The nature of our training wasn't intended by the Founder to be competitive. It can be hard, even severe at times but its not a competition and when ego comes in, then it becomes about being the winner.
In a worst case scenario Paige, you can say excuse me and quietly bow out and just sit and wait for the next technique or if you have a 'gorilla like' dojo member that is a friend, tell your uke to wait just a moment, go get that person and have them grab your uke as hard as they can and say, "When you held me hard, I couldn't do it, could you show me how to do it when this person is holding you so I can watch? :straightf
Best,

aikigirl10
07-12-2005, 06:57 AM
and the only reason i didnt do another technique w/this guy is because sensei wanted us to focus on kokyu nage.

Dirk Hanss
07-12-2005, 08:14 AM
Paige,
I do not know, if there is a real aspect, but maybe it is just said in other words.

You're right. Especially a kokyu nage can be hard if uke strongly grab your wrist. Even as I am a 170 pound 44 years old man. I am not very strong and have some pain with our 250 pound Judo yudansha. :yuck: And also with a young boy, who nearly behaves like the guy you are talking about. :eek:

I guess, he (my co-student) just tries to find the truth, while it is quite early for a 6th kyu.
Sometimes I just tell him: " We are both students, and I like to learn the move. So if you do not let me I cannot learn it, but just fight."
Sometimes - not with most forms of kokyu nage - I can show him that his strength will lead to his pain. But he is young and he enjoys it obviously.
And if you do not get along with your technique. Yes you should try to improve it, move better, move earlier, what ever you can. You have some experience. Some seven years if I recall right. That is why your sensei was focusing on your technique. I do not think he ever wanted to blame you. He wanted to help you to improve
If that does not help, change the technique. Add atemi. You can tell him then, that he is strong enough to block your kokyu nage, but there is always a way to get along.

And we all train for pleasure. If it is not fun doing the exercises with him, bow out, like you were told before. But talk to your sensei afterwards. He should know about all the problems in the dojo. His advice could be better than all of ours.


HTH Dirk :)

Ian Upstone
07-12-2005, 08:36 AM
Here's quite a good (and hopefully relevant) article on Aikido Journal:

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=175

MattRice
07-12-2005, 08:43 AM
Try not letting him grab so hard. Move first, make him chase your wrist. I'm a big strong guy, but there are other bigger, stronger guys at my dojo. If I wait until they get a good hold on me, I'm sunk from the start. Now if sensei is having you start from a static grab, then this doesn't apply: you have to deal. I would be interested to hear what your teacher's criticisms were after you called him over.

I have to second Zato Ichi (above) on the strength issue. Sometimes strength is not appropriate in aikdio, but some things just ain't gonna work on someone stronger than you.

rob_liberti
07-12-2005, 09:00 AM
Can you ask the person to post here on aikiweb? We'll ask the person to cooperate in a more level appropriate way. Otherwise, how about: wipe you nose on the back of your wrist before he grabs you.

Rob

Yann Golanski
07-12-2005, 09:04 AM
Kusushi: break balence. This is the secret of Aikido and you cannot do it without. Does not matter how hard/strong/resistent uke is, you as tori have to find a kusushi that works. Otherwise, you are not doing Aikido.

Sure, it's hard on someone taller and stronger than you. It's hard to do some techniques on small people. Doing gedan ate to someone who is 5 feet is hard for me since I am 6 feet tall.

Of course, in kata practice, you can always ask uke to grab less hard since you want to learn exactly what sensei teaches and not some variation. Randori is where you can practice whatever works for you.

akiy
07-12-2005, 10:32 AM
Hi Paige,

To me, at least, this all just seems a part of practice that you're going to need to get through. There is much to be learned by coming up against what you can't do. Isn't that the whole point of going to the dojo -- to find the boundaries of your abilities and then further learn from them? Simply staying where you're comfortable and working on what you already "can" doesn't provide much room for growth, after all.

The fact that your instructor watched what was happening and gave you feedback (rather than "blaming" your partner) speaks volumes. I've trained with your intructor before and found him a warm individual and a more than capable instructor. As such, I'd trust his feedback and work on what he offered, rather than spending a lot of energy finding blame in my partner. If you can't trust his feedback, then there's no need to continue this discussion; better to find yourself a teacher whose thoughts you can trust. There's much to be learned, I believe, in ceasing to continue putting the blame on your partner and starting to work on yourself.

As far as your partner's saying that relying on your strength to overcome his goes, I'd say he's absolutely right. If you could just use your strength as uke to hold him down, then you'd be able to do the same to overcome his strength when you're nage -- something I doubt you'd want to try to practice. Hence, why practice something as uke that you wouldn't want to practice as nage? Also, of course you could have done something different in that situation; but, if you threw out the context of practicing in kokyunage, then he could have done the same as well -- an endless, and hence, useless argument.

On the topic of coming up against someone stronger than you, isn't that the point of martial arts? As my instructor sometimes says, martial arts is for the smaller person; large, strong people have other tools (ie their physical strength) that they can use to overpower the smaller, weaker person. Martial arts gives us smaller, weaker people the ability to overcome such physical power. It takes a lot of practice, of course, but that should be fine for someone who is in the art for the long run.

In any case, you called what you experienced a "bad practice." I'd consider it a part of the learning process, one that we all go through -- regardless of how many years of martial arts, rank, or whatnot we have behind us. After all, as my instructor also sometimes says, an attacker isn't going to say, "Oh, you have a black belt! I better fall down for you!" Better to realize that regardless of your experience (and the inexperience of your partner), you're going to run into situations where you can't just point to the color of your belt to make the other person fall down.

Rather, the process of coming up against something that's difficult to do is, in my mind, the point of practice. How can I go around my partner's strength? How can I use my partner's strength against him? How can I use kuzushi to undermine his structure? And so on. Instead of shying away from it, better to approach it with curiosity and interest.

I feel sympathetic for you in your situation, as I'm sure we've all been through it. I sure have. Yet, I also think it's just a part of practice...

Keep training.

-- Jun

AikiSean!
07-12-2005, 10:36 AM
Is this the first time this has occured? Also, if you know hes going to grab you hard, react to uke quicker then he can increase his grip, strip him of his balance so quickly that grabbing you hard is the last thing on his mind! As stated, its good practice. Blok Shihan at his last seminar had a very nice way of putting this sort of thing, everything is a gift, accept the gift and use it.

Roy
07-12-2005, 10:48 AM
What a great thread! There are many, really-good perspectives. Although we may not all agreen with everything, we do seem to agree on this; Paige don't give-up! ; But at the same time don't fight back, instead get smart!!. For me at least, I think Matt Rice's idea or tactic is cool, really cool !! As my sensei always says," match uke's strength." So, if uke challenges you, why not challenge him back?

Charlie
07-12-2005, 11:28 AM
Hey Paige! Ask your Sensei when they are going to teach atemi as part of the technique (if they are not doing so right now).

My point is, sounds like you are practicing the technique from a static start. If this is so AND uke is grabbing in a manner to hinder your movement (strong grip), your not going to win that battle! However, if you surprise him by letting go with a kiai emanating from the bowels of mother earth herself...AT THE BEGINNING OF THE TECHNIQUE...you may be able to "steal his mind" causing him to forget about his grip. Kiai is not just for the end of a technique!

I would normally suggest utilizing a good atemi at the beginning of a technique but if you are practicing a kokyu nage it may not call for an atemi.

senshincenter
07-12-2005, 11:49 AM
Yes, I agree with Roy - a lot of great advice here!

Another stream running through this is that everyone is saying that such occurrences are part of the learning process - that they are not signs that we should quit our training or that we should question the reason of our training, etc. Rather, folks are rightly suggesting that they are the directions toward which we should keep going.

Folks are saying we have the most to learn when we are emotionally encouraged to wrongly see something as "Yeah, but not that much" "Yeah, but not like that." When we can come to say, "Yeah, for that much too" or "Yeah, for like that too" we will have come to the source of our Self and thus of our training - the place from where true Aikido can spring forth. We know this is accurate advice because there is not one of us that has not trained for an extended period and that has not had to pass through this lesson and this level of self-reconciliation many many times. So much is this part of training, in fact, that if we do not find a way through it, we are either not really training and/or we soon will not be.

It is always easiest to go outside ourselves for what is happening to us. However, the path of the Way is a path that should always travel inwardly. This it should do even under great suffering and great tragedy - how much more so for some frustration and some anger? The dojo offers a microcosm of the living world. It is not supposed to be a greenhouse or a vacuum - something outside of the living world. Yet, because the dojo is partially a constructed reality we can control the level of intensity involved concerning its social aspects (for example). Thus, what could have been an act of abuse, what could have been a lethal attack, turned out only being a really tight wrist grab that worked to mismatch the energy print of the technique being practiced. In short, compared with a fully spontaneous environment, nothing every REALLY gets that bad in a dojo – it being a controlled space for the most part. Hence, the dojo is the place we should look to for having a chance to reconcile these aspects of our self. It is a place of experimentation – a relatively safe place where we can try new ways of responding to others and study how we come to function in the social world without paying huge consequences for what may not go as planned, etc. To do this, no matter how much “pressure” we may have to look outwardly, we must opt to look inwardly. If we cannot look inwardly under these idealized conditions, then chances are we will only be able to act thusly under fair-weather conditions – and what good is that?

It would be nice if our dojo always understood the nature of forms, how both uke and nage have clear and distinct roles to fulfill the energy print being studied. It would be nice if our partners would follow our requests politely and happily. It would be nice if our dojo gave equal time to spontaneous training – such that forms would not be the measuring stick most egos attach themselves to. It would be nice if we could always be allowed or be able to work on the technique prescribed. However, sometimes, because the dojo remains a living space, sometimes we have to learn to work with what needs work on. In that sense, what does learning something about Kokyu Nage mean in comparison to learning how not to have yourself open up to frustration and anger, and with learning how to travel inwardly when all habitual pressure is having you travel outwardly?

Paige, for your age, and even for your duration of training, your level of insight and your level of introspection is quite amazing – quite out of the ordinary. Obviously, looking inwardly is a skill you have already had for quite some time. Now all you have to do is take that skill to the next level – to the level where you can look inwardly even when every emotion in your body is telling you to look outwardly. In the end, this event will be both a small part of your overall training and a huge part of that training. It will be a small part that one uke, one time, back when you were fifteen (with so much time left to train!), mismatched the energy print for Kokyu Nage. It will be a huge part because it will be the catalyst that took your training to an even deeper level of introspection – one where come what may you remain steadfast in your following of the Way.

What to do? Who to become? Both questions need to be asked, in my opinion. You do not sound like an aikidoka that wants to become a person that would quit their training simply because one kohai grabbed you tightly so as to mismatch the energy print of a Kokyu Nage. So, do not become one. Do what it takes to become a person that walks away from such things learning more and more about themselves. You can do this.

Note: Kohai always grab hard to mismatch energy prints – men and women. They often do this for two reasons: They do not know the energy print because they cannot feel the energy print; and they are often very scared – scared of being hurt and/or scared of being in a (pseudo) confrontation. Working with Kohai can thus be frustrating. However, because it is frustrating, working with Kohai can be enlightening. When it comes to Kohai, we should relate to them like we relate to the Sun. We should not complain over the fact that the Sun is a burning fire of poisonous energy and gas. We should learn to harness that energy to bring new things into existence – to bring new things to light and thus to life. With the Sun, we can plant beautiful gardens. Without the Sun, we can only imagine them. It is like this with Kohai – through Kohai we learn very real ways of bringing beautiful flowers (i.e. virtues) out of our imagination and into the real world.

Again, hang in there.

Qatana
07-12-2005, 11:52 AM
You outrank him and he is bigger and stronger. How well I know this. We have a fifth kyu who also grabbed way too hard. Now, I outrank him but he's been training longer than me so it was a very sticky situation, until sensei saw that Robin, a nidan, was having the same trouble with him that I and my kohai had, and told the guy to lighten up in general.
OTOH, my very best friend has been training for about a year, on & off, and she still truly believes that she is supposed to resist with all her might, has gotten injured because of this, and Still has the same belief.
And OTOOH, my sempai are now giving me much more resistance....because at nearly 3rd kyu I ought to be able to get underneath it at least half the time...

Charlie
07-12-2005, 12:12 PM
So what are you saying Jo?

Jack Simpson
07-12-2005, 12:24 PM
Paige,

If your dojo is the Aikido of Ashland I'm thinking of, I know your Sensei, and know him to be a very understanding individual and an outstanding aikidoka. Talk to him, about this problem or any other. That's what he's there for.

As far as the current dilemma, you could use this to work through, as others have stated, but I'm reminded of advice given to me by one of my seniors: "In aikido you can choose your partner". I'd simply choose not to train with this guy for awhile. I've done that many times. And some people have done that to me, and that was a real lesson. Life is too short to be miserable while pursuing your passion.

Cheers,
Jack :ai:

Janet Rosen
07-12-2005, 12:39 PM
Paige, you've gotten lots of good feedback here already. I'm going to add the perspective of one who has had to work through from exactly your starting point.
I hated it when big guys (yes, it is almost always big guys who DO it, though of course the majority of big guys DON'T) clamp on hard to both wrists and stand there staring at me. Actually, to be honest, at the moment, I hated them and wanted to inflict bodily harm on them.
I had all the same arguements I've read here: if I cannot move at all, how can I learn? If the technique we are practicing calls for uke's energy to be, say, incoming, then how can I learn the demonstrated technique if the attack is not actually incoming?
Many people senior to me, who are not "clampers" themselves, were very clear in telling me that there IS value in this training, and that if reality IS a clamper who is pushing some buttons, well then that IS the training.
And frankly it took a few years for me to get to a place where I could see the truth in that assertion. The way I look at it now is: being grabbed and held obviously pushes a lot more buttons for me than being attacked. I can accept attacks as they come. The clamp immediately brings me up out of my center into struggle and discomfort and, if allowed, fury. So my training when clamped has nothing to do with technique. It has to do with standing my ground, settling into my center, breathing, extending, allowing eye contact and simply BEING THERE. If I do nothing more than this, well, ok. If I am able to start feeling some movement in the connection between us that allows us to get out of static, better.
Recently somebody I hadn't trained w/ in a couple yrs was at the same class as me. The last time, he clamped down, and we got into an arguement. This time, I looked for partnering with him, knowing he would clamp down. He did. I did my practice, which is all I can be responsible for. A couple of times I was able to affect his balance. When we were done, I thanked him very warmly and sincerely.
I'm a 50 yr old "old fart" and I doubt I'd have been able to do this as a teenager. I applaud you for bringing this issue up and for being willing to keep discussing it in the face of varied and mixed replies you've elicited.

Chris Li
07-12-2005, 12:53 PM
Paige,

I think you should train with this guy until you lose your frustrations. When you train with an uncooperative uke he doesn't learn anything but you can learn a lot. You win, he lose. :D

I would say that you can learn quite a lot by being uncooperative as an uke.

Best,

Chris

Janet Rosen
07-12-2005, 12:56 PM
I would say that you can learn quite a lot by being uncooperative as an uke.

Chris, I'm so glad I wasn't drinking a mug o tea; it would have been a keyboard lost.....
thank you!

Qatana
07-12-2005, 01:07 PM
So what are you saying Jo?

What are you asking, Charles?

BC
07-12-2005, 01:22 PM
A few more options for you:

1. Start your technique BEFORE he gets a chance to really grab onto your wrist. This way you can practice being able to respond to an attack the moment you sense it.

2. If he is able to grab onto you, execute a different technique than the one he expects. Henka waza is an excellent practice.

3. Begin the technique with an atemi to break his balance and concentration.

Karen Wolek
07-12-2005, 02:02 PM
Paige,

All I can say is BTDT. I'm very small. As my 6 year old likes to say, "You're very small for a mom." :) So I'm smaller and/or weaker than everyone in the dojo. I have to deal with clampers and non-movers, too. Last night a really big guy (same rank as I am) decided to just stand there as I attempted the technique. Sensei was watching the whole exchange and trying to help me. At one point, I pretty much smashed into uke, since he wouldn't move...and I said, "It's like crashing into a freakin mountain!" I was frustrated and annoyed.

My sensei has told me that I need to hit these kinds of guys.....just once would probably do it, I'll bet, LOL. But I have trouble hitting people on purpose.

I think the frustration comes from the fact that I CAN'T do the same thing to them. Of course they can stop me...they are much bigger and much stronger and they know what's coming! They don't see that, though. The GOOD thing is....I've been told that I will learn much faster because I can't just push anyone over.

I'm a lot better with dealing with these kinds of situations than I have been in the past. Sometimes I just remind uke that our dojo motto is: Shut up and take ukemi. <grin>

Hang in there. You're getting a ton of good advice. Just relax and try not to try to move uke....just try to move yourself. That's what I've been working on.

John Boswell
07-12-2005, 02:19 PM
ATEMI!

Relax... Relax... Wait a minute... Relax...

Just as the uke's grip starts to let up... WHAM! Atemi and enter in on him.

He'll learn.

But don't lose your cool. And the hard he holds on, the longer you wait and relax...

Good luck!

Charlie
07-12-2005, 03:22 PM
You outrank him and he is bigger and stronger. How well I know this. We have a fifth kyu who also grabbed way too hard. Now, I outrank him but he's been training longer than me so it was a very sticky situation, until sensei saw that Robin, a nidan, was having the same trouble with him that I and my kohai had, and told the guy to lighten up in general.
OTOH, my very best friend has been training for about a year, on & off, and she still truly believes that she is supposed to resist with all her might, has gotten injured because of this, and Still has the same belief.
And OTOOH, my sempai are now giving me much more resistance....because at nearly 3rd kyu I ought to be able to get underneath it at least half the time...


I, personally, could not follow what you where trying to say?

You've encountered a presumably similar scenario twice...Once by a stronger, lower ranked male and once by a best friend female. Additionally, it has become part of your current training due to your achieved ranking...

And in conclusion?

Qatana
07-12-2005, 04:23 PM
Is one not allowed to share similar experiences without having to draw a conclusion? I was merely telling Paige that she is not alone in this problem; and that different people have different interpretations of what ukemi is supposed to be.

James Davis
07-12-2005, 04:44 PM
Everytime I can't do a technique on a resisting uke I call on the instructor and ask what *I'm* doing wrong. If I'm lucky he shows me a different variant or an applied form of the same technique

That's a good idea. Also, try "tenderizing" him with a completely different technique and finishing up with what your sensei asked you to do. It's easy for people to "block" technique when they know what's coming, but surprise is a valuable weapon. :D

senshincenter
07-12-2005, 05:11 PM
As for "solutions" - I am not one for using atemi here to "fix" this. For me, that is on the same side of letting this person dominate the situation. It's not that I'm against atemi, it's that atemi as a solution here is all part of looking outwardly when it comes to interpreting this situation (i.e. the other guy is still messing me up). Ideally, one's instructor should simply tell uke to provide the right energy feed - end of story. Outside of that, if that can't happen where you train, let go of practicing the prescribed waza and go with finding another lesson to be learned (e.g. observing one's emotional content and/or reflecting upon one's deeper-seated habitual responses, etc.). Primacy though should be given to embodying the prescribed ideal - not with doing the throw. The closer you get to the ideal, the more skillful you become, the more in the future you will be able to find the technique even against mis-matched energy feeds.

Dirk Hanss
07-12-2005, 05:22 PM
Primacy though should be given to embodying the prescribed ideal - not with doing the throw. The closer you get to the ideal, the more skillful you become, the more in the future you will be able to find the technique even against mis-matched energy feeds.

You're absolutely right, but I thought having that potential you should go for 3rd Dan (at least) not for 3rd Kyu.

But Paige, David is right. That is what you should aim to. But please, you should not be frustrated if that does not work either at the moment.

Cheers Dirk

Charlie
07-12-2005, 05:51 PM
Is one not allowed to share similar experiences without having to draw a conclusion? I was merely telling Paige that she is not alone in this problem; and that different people have different interpretations of what ukemi is supposed to be.

One is allowed to do what ever they please within the parameters that are dictated, including to ask "what" when one doesn't understand.

Precisely because of the fact that you left your post open and ambiguous to the reader, I opted to ask "what" instead of responding to an incorrect assumption on my part.

Cheers,

RebeccaM
07-12-2005, 06:06 PM
There's two things you can do if your uke decides to clamp and hold. One, you can try to figure out where he/she is pushing or pulling you and follow that. Once you get them moving, you can do the technique. Two, you can use atemi. Most people will move when there's a hand coming at their face, and once they're moving, you can throw them. And if he blocks you can do a technique off the block (we practicfe this quite a bit at my dojo). If he doesn't move or block, well, he deserved the blow. The last thing you ever want to do is turn it into a wrestling match.

cguzik
07-12-2005, 06:08 PM
Paige,

You didn't really say whether your instructor was expecting you to practice this from a "static" grab or not. If you have the leeway to start moving before he has completed the grab, as has been suggested above, that can be a good way to prevent him from getting a stranglehold on your wrist. Even if you are practicing from a "static" grab, though, there are things that you can do to change your partner's posture right at the moment of the grab... and it does not take a big dynamic movement to do it. Pay attention when you grab your seniors whether they make small adjustments just as you grab that cause you to change your posture. Play with dropping your center and your elbow just as your partner comes to grab, and see what affect this has on their posture and strength. Change the angle to better blend/lead just as the grab occurs. Don't let him grab you on his terms.

Chris

Tubig
07-12-2005, 06:27 PM
Paige, the beauty of aikido is we do techniques in turns. What one can do, may be done by the other. I am not saying it will be done, I am saying it may be done. In your case you had this guy giving you a hard time, you can do that as well. The question is... would you stoop the same level? There are a lot of ukes and toris that you will encounter in your aikido life that will frustrate and irritate you. The best thing is get used to them, identify them, asses them, analyse them, then do somthing about it. Do not succumb to their rules, that is what victims of bullies do. Remove yourself out of their rule, be equal, be strong and be assertive.

And if he still give you the S*#ts, youre a girl, you can get away with it, just kick that punk ass in the nuts, let's see if he really is stronger than you. hehehe!!!!

evileyes

JAHsattva
07-12-2005, 06:42 PM
i hope you find my post out of all this good advise!

"As soon as you concern yourself with the "good" and "bad" of your fellows, you create an opening in your heart for maliciousness to enter. Testing, competing with, and criticizing others weaken and defeat you. " -Ueshiba Morehi-

the enemy will stew in his own juices if you let him.

is he wasting his time and energy on you? probably not.
so, what makes him so worthy of yours?

good luck and keep training!
:ai:

maikerus
07-12-2005, 10:33 PM
As for "solutions" - I am not one for using atemi here to "fix" this. For me, that is on the same side of letting this person dominate the situation. It's not that I'm against atemi, it's that atemi as a solution here is all part of looking outwardly when it comes to interpreting this situation (i.e. the other guy is still messing me up).

FWIW...I'm with David on this one. There are other ways to affect balance than atemi and we should practice those as well.

--Michael

Bronson
07-13-2005, 02:48 AM
If he grabs on and has no directional energy or movement intent in his attack, then the grip alone was the attack. Escape from the grip, rinse, repeat and bow him in as nage. Alternately you could just stand there and smile at him. When he asks if you are going to do the technique tell him you will as soon as he gives the proper attack for what you're practicing.

Bronson

raul rodrigo
07-13-2005, 03:23 AM
I'm with David and Peter; an atemi in this situation would be a cheap and not really beneficial fix. the technique is kokyu nage from a wrist grab, so nage should be able to blend and take uke's balance purely by one's own movement (taisabaki, kozushi, etc) acting on uke's grabbing hand. The grab is our friend. If you get fixated on the atemi, it makes your own aggression rule your mind. You have to do the movement and perfect the movement (tenkan or tentai), have faith in it. It will work if you really try to understand it.

Pauliina Lievonen
07-13-2005, 03:24 AM
FWIW...I'm with David on this one. There are other ways to affect balance than atemi and we should practice those as well.

--Michael

Me three.

kvaak
Pauliina

ruthmc
07-13-2005, 04:52 AM
I forgot to add that a good way of dealing with a strong grip is to open your hand and extend through your fingers. This enables you to start to feel for other options. Allowing your hand to flop or trying to resist with strength will only make things worse.

I often used to practise just opening my hand when being gripped strongly until it became automatic - now my wrist can't be crushed becasue I don't allow it. :)

Ruth

Jorx
07-13-2005, 07:46 AM
Dear Paige. I had many similar experiences during the beginning period of my aikido career. And similar MENTAL experiences throughout the career.

However I've never seen anything like that happen in any friendly combat-SPORT enviroment. Sure, also in sport there are also ego-motivated-dumb*sses BUT somehow it seems to me that these are a rare species compared to their numbers in ANY traditional martial art (such as Aikido).

There seems to be something about the moment of competition that actually makes people humble not vice versa as claimed by very many non-sport-oriented martial artists.

"Everything I know about human morale and sense of duty, I owe to sports" (not-very-exact-quote of Albert Camus)

You seem young enough to try (combat) sports. I did and that's one of the best decisions in my life.

Janet Rosen
07-13-2005, 12:01 PM
FWIW...I'm with David on this one.
I also feel that, in this specific situation, atemi is redefining the "problem" rather than accepting and dealing with it. It assumes "getting out of the grip" or "teaching him a lesson" is the issue at hand. I don't think it is.

guest89893
07-13-2005, 12:58 PM
There seems to be something about the moment of competition that actually makes people humble not vice versa as claimed by very many non-sport-oriented martial artists.
You played on different streets than I. Weather it was a sports oriented MA or other sports, I would say some people were as you described and others not so...

"Everything I know about human morale and sense of duty, I owe to sports" (not-very-exact-quote of Albert Camus)
Everything meant everything both good and bad, don't you think.

You seem young enough to try (combat) sports. I did and that's one of the best decisions in my life.
It is a path for some, she might like it. However, I wonder if this issue that Paige experienced may be more prejudicial than competitive? I am glad though Paige that your Sensei came and made suggestions to improve your technique as nage and not just admonish the UKE. It is better for you to improve the technique, and through that your AIKIDO. -fwiw-

Gene

Pauliina Lievonen
07-13-2005, 01:45 PM
I hated it when big guys (yes, it is almost always big guys who DO it, though of course the majority of big guys DON'T) clamp on hard to both wrists and stand there staring at me.
I was going to comment on this one...I wonder if it's true though that it's more often big guys who do this. IME which of course is just mine everybody does this, especially in the beginning, but it gets really noticeable if it's someone who is big enough and strong enough to stop me. The others just feel tense, lol. Maybe some big guys go on longer doing this because they can...

kvaak
the puddle of sweat formerly known as Pauliina
(day 1 of summer camp) :D

guest89893
07-13-2005, 02:50 PM
You played on different streets than I. Weather it was a sports oriented MA or other sports, I would say some people were as you described and others not so...


Everything meant everything both good and bad, don't you think.


It is a path for some, she might like it. However, I wonder if this issue that Paige experienced may be more prejudicial than competitive? I am glad though Paige that your Sensei came and made suggestions to improve your technique as nage and not just admonish the UKE. It is better for you to improve the technique, and through that your AIKIDO. -fwiw-

Gene
These were responses in part to what Jorgen wrote. Besides AIKIDO guess I can't post right either! :o :)

Steven Gubkin
07-13-2005, 04:53 PM
A few observations:
On one hand, this is a great opprotunity for you. I love it whenever someone really resists a technique, because it gives me a chance to try and outsmart the other person. Sometimes this requires suprising them with a technique other than the one you are supposed to be practising.

OTOH uke CAN be wrong sometimes. If you are practising katate-dori shihon-nage, and Uke enters with shomen-uchi, then Uke is wrong. If the technique you are preforming calls for a dynamic attack, and Uke is just holding you statically then Uke is wrong. You need to talk to him about this.

Another point of conversation is what Ukemi is all about. IMHO the reason Aikido Ukemi looks so passive all the time is because it is in preparation for Kaeshi-waza. What is the point of learning about relaxation and blending all the time, if we are not going to act that way while attacking as well? The reason that Uke blends with Nages motion is to put Uke in a good position for reversing the technique.
It seems like your Uke does not realize this. By resisting your motion, he is not putting himself in a good position for an Aiki defense against your technique. Even if you are not practising the Kaeshi-waza, he should still be aware of it, and look for openings in your technique. Also by looking for openings as the technique is occuring, both of you can discuss closing these gaps.

The most important thing to do is to talk to this Uke and to talk to your sensei about it, and try to find some kind of resolution.

ad_adrian
07-13-2005, 08:52 PM
yes unfortunately there are a few very few but people who do that. I look to it now as a challenge. to be able to go fast to cope with this aggressiveness
at my dojo there was this guy that joined at the same time i did, and every time i was with him he'd do such hard techniques. I’d struggle to cope with it, and I’d ask him why do you go so hard and fast and he’s like because that’s how it would be in a street fight, he’d really hurt me because I didn’t know what I was doing and he didn’t either,
one time after class he came up to me and goes “don’t go using your powers for the dark side” and im like eh? And then he goes “don’t you think this is just like starwars ” and I ask him why is that and he goes well you learn all these dangerous techniques and your supposed to use them for good not for bad “
I was greatly confused by his mental attitude

Anyhow…after the introductory course
He only comes occasionally now …once maybe twice a week
Compared to me who comes like 5 times a week I have become much more advanced and now when he practices with me he really doesn’t know what to do…he still tries to go hard but it doesn’t work any more. After my first grading…where he didn’t come
He was like “wow you’re a machine”

As you can imagine that made me feel really good J

djalley
07-14-2005, 07:06 AM
I liked the response about ATEMI. Basically, if he's clamped so hard that you can't move, then atemi must become part of the technique. We are often told to use atemi to distract Uke from our true purpose. A well placed punch to the face will get Uke's mind off his wrist in kotegaishi and onto his blocking the move.

I would talk to your sensei about it, and make sure he/she understands why you would be adding atemi to your technique with him. If your school has a martial application perspective, sensei should be understanding, and encouraging.

The atemi should make him think less of his grip and more of defending himself. Be VERY ready to launch into the technique as soon as you feel his grip slip slightly. Now, I'm not a pillar of Wisdom by any means, but I'd take the opportunity to really work Uke over in the technique. Do it hard, do it fast, and provide him with the chance to gain some humility. And while you have him pinned, give him an evil little grin and say "You may be stronger, but I'm faster and smarter". :) Of course, do this on the last repitition of the move for the evening.

Don

Mike Sigman
07-14-2005, 10:52 AM
I liked the response about ATEMI. Basically, if he's clamped so hard that you can't move, then atemi must become part of the technique. We are often told to use atemi to distract Uke from our true purpose. A well placed punch to the face will get Uke's mind off his wrist in kotegaishi and onto his blocking the move. Well, Paige considered kicking uke in the balls, so maybe she had the right idea to start with.

Without knowing Paige's relative size/mass to uke, I don't have a lot to say except that there's usually a way to effect some sort of technique, but if Paige (or some other practitioner) is limited to the technique that the instructor was showing and uke is deliberately blocking her limited options to follow that precise path, the instructor should have said something to uke about knocking off the BS, IMO.

On the other hand, I also think that instead of just running through variations of a technique like this, most dojo's would do well to slowly pick apart the mechanics of how to respond against such a grip, etc. The admonitions to "just relax", "lead his ki", "find his center" are all kewl, but some analysis of uke's center, how to affect it, how to transfer your power to your wrist, etc., would probably help a lot, IMO.

FWIW

Mike

senshincenter
07-14-2005, 12:02 PM
I agree with Mike here. I think it was Chris Guzik that also talked about using one's elbow and/or lowering one's center as a way to respond to such a grab -- a similar point.

When it comes to "solutions," for me, this approach is a lot more effective in the grand scheme of things than "just do atemi." For me, it is also more martial (in reference to someone earlier trying to make such a contrast). In my opinion, Katate-dori is not a grab attack but the presentation of a particular set of angles and energies. While certain energies may not be present or as prescribed because Uke does something strange, etc., those angles particular to Katate-dori are remain nevertheless. As a result, those aspects of one's tactical architecture that are meant to address the angles of Katate-dori are still viable. Having the prescribed energies of Katate-dori go missing only means that we have to be that much better in those aspects of our tactical architectures that are meant to address the geometry of the wrist grab. Without such insight, we often become over-dependent upon the presence of the prescribed energies and as a result we often come to lose the relevant geometries that are vital to our tactic's overall martial effectiveness. Tactically, this is what I am guessing is happening to Paige. This then is a prime moment to reflect greatly upon the angles of one's tactical architecture (e.g. how to bring power to one's wrist, how to use one's elbow, how to lower one's center, etc.). Attempting to generate the energies we are most likely are over-dependent upon through atemi is us wasting such a prime moment.

Dan Herak
07-14-2005, 01:13 PM
no matter what uke is doing , it seems like nage gets all the blame

-paige

This would not be a problem at my dojo. The rules are simple: if I am uke, then it is always uke's fault; if I am nage, then it is always nage's fault. Simple enough, no?

I only glanced at all the replies so I apologize if I am repeating something here. One thing that is useful is to shift your perspective. If you ask him to loosen his grip and he does not, then indicate that you are going to stand there until he does. This is not petulant or immature at all if done with the proper attitude. Aikido is about conflict resolution and you are resolving the conflict by removing yourself from it. Of course it is not a physical removal of yourself from the situation as your wrist is still being grabbed, perhaps quite harshly, but a mental attitude that you are removing yourself from his shenanigans.

It might also be beneficial to point out, pleasantly of course, that his perspective that he is grabbing your wrist is one-sided. The correct interpretation is that he is holding your wrist but you are controlling his hand simply by standing there, i.e. he can only grab your left wrist with his right hand by continually keeping his right hand occupied. Given his mentality, he will probably cede first. This reminds me of an anecdote from when I was younger and dumber. Some jerk pushed past me in a revolving door and I said something about him being a jerk. After he made it through and I was between the egress and ingress, he blocked the doors to prevent me from leaving. I stated through the glass "You don't have me trapped. You have us both trapped and I probably have more time." He looked startled and moved on.

This attitude has helped in the dojo. One training partner tried upping the resistance in opening exercises well past the appropriate point. I asked him to ease up and he asked what I would do in an actual situation. I replied that I would punch him very hard in the face and do ikkyo by slamming into his elbow. He eased up.

Another person at my dojo was even worse but in the opposite direction. My sensei wanted us to work on smoothness rather than power. Yet this woman played Ms. Passive-Aggressive with all of us - not taking ukemi but rather just stumbling back. Acting all "I am not sure what to do," like it is all that hard to take ukemi. It was pretty clear to all of us that she was acting for sensei - The rest of us could not quite get it right but, of course, we all cooperated with her as the rest of us do not pull such stuff. Could I have taken her down? Oh yeah! But power was not what the instructor wanted. He specifically wanted us to work on smoothness with the implicit understanding that there would be some cooperation between people to work through things. Also, as I am far more advanced that she, I would have been scolded for being too rough on her (see my statement at the top of this post). Everyone was having serious personality problems with her and at the bar after practice (which she never goes to) the discussion was dominated by our problems and really bad feelings towards her.

One night after this had gone on way too long, I was doing a kokyu-nage on her and she, of course, just stumbled back playing her games. Sensei started to instruct me and I said, again very politely, that this was just the game this student plays with us, that those were her problems not mine and I was not going to allow them to become mine. It was a gamble and I expected to be chastised. But sensei let it play out. Things did not improve all at once but they did gradually when this woman realized that her antics were getting more than tiresome and that someone was not going to put up with it. I am sure it also helped that, via my statement, the focus shifted from my technique to her lack of cooperation in sensei's eyes. Several months later things are much improved.

I hope this demonstrates my initial point. A change of focus is very helpful. Other's problems are not yours and once you realize that you do not have to make them yours, this helps tremendously. This is especially so as, once that mental refocus occurs, it becomes more and more clear that the issue really is on the other person and others start seeing that as well.

Hope this helps.
-Dan

sullivanw
07-14-2005, 04:06 PM
Just my two cents here... In my very limited Aikido experience, I have found that inexperience, strength, and ego can at once be a dangerous combination, a frustrating obstacle, and a valuable tool for learning. I try to draw the line (ask uke/nage to chill out) when I feel that there is more than the usual risk of injury, and allow the instructor to address all else of his own accord. One of the biggest challenges I have faced (and still face, to be sure!) is to let go of everything else and just train.

BWells
07-14-2005, 04:30 PM
Well this brings back memories, except I was the big ex weight lifter glomming on hard. That was what I thought I was suppose to do, sigh.

My thought is that this is a perfect opportunity to ask your sensei how to move someone bigger and stronger when your doing static work. I'd approach it from the perspective that this is an interesting problem, my uke is really strong and I'm a bit lost. That way there is no blame to anyone and you might get some really good information.

Bruce Wells

Rod Yabut
07-14-2005, 05:35 PM
Great thread, great advice(s). I personally have a formula on dealing with not-so cooperative ukes. Some have been mentioned already, but if you do this, you get a feel if their intent is malicious or actually useful practice.

1) Ask them to lighten hold (or slow the attack) the first few turns until you get used to the movement.
2) If they keep doing it, tell them this is movement practice (expecially for kokyunage), and not strength practice.
**At this point, if they haven't honored your requests. Then you should be suspicious of motives. I can't imagine someone at my dojo (or anywhere else) not responding to it.
3) ATEMI is a very good motivator. Even a heel on the top of his foot will bring him slightly forward for a good leading movement for kokyu.
4) If he complains that that's not what you are doing...your response "we werent doing clamp holds either"

But seriously, there are a lot of good points here and one of them is - to learn from this experience. Think about what techniques, points of atemi, etc. you could do when encountered with this problem again.

Chris Li
07-14-2005, 07:16 PM
Great thread, great advice(s). I personally have a formula on dealing with not-so cooperative ukes. Some have been mentioned already, but if you do this, you get a feel if their intent is malicious or actually useful practice.

Isn't dealing with malicious intent "actually useful practice"? Or is it only "actually useful practice" to deal with a partner who cooperates with you?

2) If they keep doing it, tell them this is movement practice (expecially for kokyunage), and not strength practice.

Shouldn't you be able to do kokyunage against a strong attack? One of the softest instructors I know always asked me to grab him as strongly as I could for kokyunage.

3) ATEMI is a very good motivator. Even a heel on the top of his foot will bring him slightly forward for a good leading movement for kokyu.

No offense, but that sounds like another version of "I can't do the technique correctly, so I better try to use some kind of a trick". Why not just keep a blackjack in your dogi so that you can just smack them over the head when your techniques don't work?

4) If he complains that that's not what you are doing...your response "we werent doing clamp holds either"

Tit for tat? That leaves you nowhere - just another form of complaining that you can't apply a technique because your partner isn't attacking you "correctly", IMO.

Best ,

Chris

maikerus
07-14-2005, 07:52 PM
Shouldn't you be able to do kokyunage against a strong attack? One of the softest instructors I know always asked me to grab him as strongly as I could for kokyunage.


Actually...doesn't it work best against a strong attack? Good point...I hate people who don't really grab! It makes the technique so much harder to do when they aren't giving it everything they've got :-)

Chris...I agree with/like the rest of your points, too.

cheers,

--Michael

Mike Sigman
07-14-2005, 07:57 PM
Why not just keep a blackjack in your dogi so that you can just smack them over the head when your techniques don't work? Hmmmmmm. <<makes note to self>>

Zato Ichi
07-14-2005, 08:20 PM
No offense, but that sounds like another version of "I can't do the technique correctly, so I better try to use some kind of a trick".
From one perspective, that's what aikido (and martial arts in general) is: a bunch of tricks. Stomping on someone's foot might not be the correct trick, but tori has to get kuzushi somehow.

From my understanding of Paige's initial descrption, uke wasn't giving giving her any movement to work with, so it was purely muscle vs. muscle. Tori needs to get uke to move somehow so they have some inertia to work with otherwise it just becomes a shoving contest. Atemi is a very good wayto get someone to move.
Why not just keep a blackjack in your dogi so that you can just smack them over the head when your techniques don't work?
I've considered that... :D

senshincenter
07-14-2005, 08:24 PM
I wonder about this idea of “atemi as motivator.” To be clear, I am not sure which Kokyu Nage is being practiced here, but if it’s the generic “tenkan and throw” one, I would think that an atemi would either move Uke in the opposite direction (giving less energy to the throw) and/or cause him to lose his grip – both things in the end subverting the throw. If this is the case, “atemi as motivator” would probably be motivating Uke to provide even less of the prescribed energy print – making it even “harder” to do the throw.

senshincenter
07-14-2005, 08:53 PM
As for “muscle vs. muscle,” I think there are some other options here. Mike ended up elaborating upon certain issues that I would say are about bringing more correct and thus more efficient muscle groups to bear. This in my mind is about establishing a mechanical advantage through conditioning and harmonizing tai-sabaki, ashi-sabaki, and te-sabaki. It’s about establishing Body Fusion, Directional Harmony, Body Alignment, Back-up Mass, etc., throughout the application of our tactical architecture so as to be able to do more work. However, this is only one half of how we can and should establish a mechanical advantage (i.e. opt out of a paradigm of muscle vs. muscle).

In my opinion, a mechanical advantage can also be established by finding ways of doing less work. In my mind, this is a geometrical issue related to matters of leverage (i.e. having us use more powerful levers and restricting uke to less powerful levers). If we can bring a mechanical advantage to our tactical architecture through Body Fusion, Directional Harmony, Body Alignment, Back-up Mass (i.e. a harmony of tai-sabaki, ashi-sabaki, and te-sabaki) and through our chosen geometries regarding leverage, we do not need to relegate ourselves to a paradigm of muscle vs. muscle. Moreover, particularly in Kihon Waza training, we do require the “necessary” energy that most likely we have been using to hide our lack of a true mechanical advantage.

I am reminded of something that happened to me when I was training in Japan. That was when I first started working for Tozando. As it happened, no one there had ever trained in Aikido. It turned out that one summer they hired on a new fellow who was back from school (university in England). He was Japanese. He trained in Aikido so the VP made a point of introducing us. Through our conversation, I asked him if he wanted to come to train at our dojo while he was home. He just laughed and said, “No way!” Thinking I would be insulted, he went on to explain. “Aikido is too fake here now. People just go flying here for no reason and no one cares. It is not worth it to train here. I’ll just train when I go back to school at the end of summer.” I said, “I know what you mean, but when it’s all you got access to, you make the best of it.” I told him of a small group of like-minded folks that I trained with on a regular basis – doing the Kansai circuit. He was skeptical so he asked if he could grab my wrist. There we are in a crowded office with new shipment making things even less spacious, and, CRUNCH! He just busts the meanest Morote-dori I had ever felt (still have ever felt). He says, “Do Kokyu-ho.” So, having to go slow, and having no forward energy from him, I just preceded with the proper geometry (gaining the necessary mechanical advantage) and proceed to take him into a backward stretch against his attempts at resistance. He lets go at that point, saying, “Okay, you’re for real.” I mention this story not to uplift myself, because as Charles said, this is supposed to be normal stuff. I tell this story because if someone can actually use the presence or absence of a mechanical advantage to determine what is real and what is not then we should probably wonder whether we have this mechanical advantage or not – at least before someone comes in and grabs us for all their worth and we find ourselves lacking.

For me, relying on atemi in this case is probably one very likely way that we are hiding our lack of mechanical advantage from ourselves.

Rupert Atkinson
07-14-2005, 09:13 PM
A: From one perspective, that's what aikido (and martial arts in general) is: a bunch of tricks. Stomping on someone's foot might not be the correct trick, but tori has to get kuzushi somehow.

B: From my understanding of Paige's initial descrption, uke wasn't giving giving her any movement to work with, so it was purely muscle vs. muscle. Tori needs to get uke to move somehow so they have some inertia to work with otherwise it just becomes a shoving contest. Atemi is a very good wayto get someone to move.



I agree with A above. And you are right about B, especially for beginners. But, I believe it is quite possible to do Aikido on people who use muscle - I have experienced it against me many times -- where I used muscle in a static stance and got thrown with little 'perceived' effort. And now, I am developing a measure of it for myself. 1. I know it's possible. 2. I have been experimenting this and that movement for a long time. 3. I am getting somewhere = it is possible. What have I found? Well, it goes along with what you say: Tori needs to get uke to move somehow so they have some inertia to work but the trick is in that somehow. ;)

Mike Sigman
07-14-2005, 09:32 PM
Mike ended up elaborating upon certain issues that I would say are about bringing more correct and thus more efficient muscle groups to bear. This in my mind is about establishing a mechanical advantage through conditioning and harmonizing tai-sabaki, ashi-sabaki, and te-sabaki. It's about establishing Body Fusion, Directional Harmony, Body Alignment, Back-up Mass, etc., throughout the application of our tactical architecture so as to be able to do more work. Good heavens, I don't do all of that. I often don't even move and just let them throw themselves. ;)

Mike

eyrie
07-14-2005, 09:41 PM
LOL! To the casual observer, it must either seem like A. magic or B. a "ki" trick or C. a too cooperative uke.

Mike Sigman
07-14-2005, 10:03 PM
LOL! To the casual observer, it must either seem like A. magic or B. a "ki" trick or C. a too cooperative uke. It's just like a magic trick... looks unreal, but once it's explained the magic goes out of it and some very clever physical skills stand exposed. However, if that particular type of skill was all that was needed for all opponents, that's all you'd have to practice. And obviously you practice more than that.... telling you right away that good martial arts is a combination of all levels of techniques, not just the cute ones. ;)

Mike

akiy
07-14-2005, 11:45 PM
4) If he complains that that's not what you are doing...your response "we werent doing clamp holds either"
Since I wasn't there, I personally would be a bit hard pressed to offer that as advice. After all, Paige's instructor came over and, according to her, saw her uke doing exactly what he was doing earlier. As he did not see it necessary to correct uke, I would think her uke's actions should be considered OK for what they were practicing at the time.

Personally, I agree with what Chris, David, Rupert, and others have said. If I can't do something after my partner has clamped down on me, then I need to keep practicing so I can figure things out from there. Of course, atemi is always there, but as I usually take such situations (of being clamped down) as a problem-solving exercise. Sure, I could probably reach over and pluck their eyeball out, but, then again, I'm pretty darned sure that if my partner was able to clamp down on me, then can probably also have used the grab as an attack (a la yonkyo, sumiotoshi, etc), too, and have taken me down to the ground. Better, I think, to work on things such as sending oscillations through their body, cycling their footstep, or other methods of using their strength against them. (Of course, such things only seem to work once in a blue moon, but it's something I'm content to work on.)

-- Jun, still a bit sweaty from training

Chris Li
07-15-2005, 12:57 AM
From one perspective, that's what aikido (and martial arts in general) is: a bunch of tricks. Stomping on someone's foot might not be the correct trick, but tori has to get kuzushi somehow.

From my understanding of Paige's initial descrption, uke wasn't giving giving her any movement to work with, so it was purely muscle vs. muscle. Tori needs to get uke to move somehow so they have some inertia to work with otherwise it just becomes a shoving contest. Atemi is a very good wayto get someone to move.

I've considered that... :D

Of course, there are many ways to get someone to move - the blackjack method among them :), if the goal is to put your partner down regardless of the method employed. Further, if you can stomp on someone's foot or apply atemi then they would be able to do the same to you as well (and justified in doing so, I would imagine).

OTOH, it is entirely possible, IMO, to apply kokyu-nage when someone clamps down on you strongly. Even if they give you no movement to work with you have the tension of the grab itself to work with. Why would you apply atemi if what you are trying to study is kokyu-nage?

Best,

Chris

Rupert Atkinson
07-15-2005, 01:14 AM
Why would you apply atemi if what you are trying to study is kokyu-nage?
Chris

The misunderstanding of that, is probably the crux behind the original post - not knowing the purpose of why we isolate and train certain things. But, the initial poster could have been on the ball - there's no point clamping on so hard that tori can't move. It's a process of development.

batemanb
07-15-2005, 02:04 AM
Once again I find myself in agreement with Chris Li's posts.

It looks to me that a lot of focus here is on the grab. It really doesn't matter how hard uke grabs and holds you in katatedori, that is the only part of your body he has, unless you get fixated on it too. The reason that you can't move is that you are fighting against him, and strength always wins here. Forget your wrist, a strong katatedori does not hold the whole body. Move your body leaving the wrist pretty much where it is, once you have moved your body so that you are working with his body instead of against it, things will improve.

As has been said a few times above, this is a good opportunity for you to learn from. Drop the thoughts of atemi (I'm not saying that there's no place for atemi in this technique) or kicking him in the nads, work on your body movement, and work with him as much as possible until you get it right. And ask your instructor for help when it doesn't work, as many times as you like

Keep up te practice

rgds

Bryan

aikigirl10
07-15-2005, 12:42 PM
Everyone i am in mexico right now, i will post about all of your questions when i return on tuesday or wednesday. Thank you for all the advice!

Paige

aikigirl10
07-15-2005, 12:44 PM
Bryan -morotetori

wendyrowe
07-15-2005, 01:22 PM
.. At one point, I pretty much smashed into uke, since he wouldn't move...and I said, "It's like crashing into a freakin mountain!"
I spend a lot of time crashing in to freakin mountains, it's just something us small folks get used to. And I keep remembering that this is supposed to help improve my technique. Meanwhile, when I'm outside I practice my technique on real trees with about as much success.

The hardest part of Paige's situation is that when your uke's got your wrists in a death grip for a static start and you just can't move, you can't do the technique Sensei wants you to do. If you were "really" using your Aikido, you would never keep trying the same technique when it would clearly fail -- you'd switch to a second and maybe third, trying different things until one worked. But if the lesson plan is to use one particular technique, there has to be enough cooperation to make that possible -- and the Vice of Death clamped immovably onto your wrists is NOT cooperative.

Paige, I agree with everyone who says you need to talk to your Sensei. First, though, try to figure out what it is you're hoping he will do or tell you and plan what you're going to say with that in mind since what you say will surely affect what he tells you. Depending on what you say/ask, he might tell your uke to let up a bit, or might tell you move before he clamps on, or might give you some good advice on how to use atemi or better kuzushi, or might say something completely unexpected that will help.

I'm glad to say that although I've worked with people like that, none of them are in our dojo at the moment. There are few things worse than feeling powerless -- but feeling like you're powerless but shouldn't be and knowing your teacher's watching you is definitely worse! Talk to Sensei, take care of yourself, keep training, and you really will learn a lot from this. I hope it gets fun again soon.

batemanb
07-15-2005, 01:42 PM
Bryan -morotetori

Paige,

my mistake, but the principle is the same, your body needs to do the work and he's not holding that :).

rgds

Bryan

Mike Sigman
07-15-2005, 02:25 PM
my mistake, but the principle is the same, your body needs to do the work and he's not holding that :). He's not holding the foot part of her body and she considered kicking him in the balls, which is pretty focused atemi and kuzushi all rolled into one, IMO. Maybe she had it right to start with. ;)

Mike

Chris Li
07-15-2005, 02:48 PM
But if the lesson plan is to use one particular technique, there has to be enough cooperation to make that possible -- and the Vice of Death clamped immovably onto your wrists is NOT cooperative.

So your're saying that it is impossible to execute one particular technique on a non-cooperative partner?

I think that it is certainly very difficult, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the solution is to give up on it and do something else in a training situation.

It's very difficult (for me) to speak French, so when speaking to a French person I might well try using English in order to communicate. But if I did that in a French class whenever I had trouble saying something then the point of taking the class would more or less vanish.

Best,

Chris

wendyrowe
07-15-2005, 06:20 PM
So your're saying that it is impossible to execute one particular technique on a non-cooperative partner?

Well, I can say it's impossible in certain situations for me, and apparently also for Paige -- so although it might not be true for everyone, it's definitely true in some cases.

Specifically, I'm saying that when you're at a particular level and your uke is sufficiently stronger than you are, yes at that moment it could be impossible to do that particular technique from that position on that person. You might be able to do it if you get advice that helps you improve your technique, and you might be able to do it if you start earlier or are able to position yourself differently; but yes I am saying that it can be impossible for a particular person with a particular amount of training to execute a particular technique on a particular uke who is using superior strength to keep nage from moving.

Notice I'm not saying no-one could do it. For instance, as my technique improves working cooperatively against more and more resistance, eventually I can execute techniques against stronger resistance than before I practiced. But unless you're REALLY good, you'd be naive to think there isn't SOMEONE out there who's so much stronger than you that he can prevent your success if you start from a prescribed static position and are told to apply a particular technique in a certain way.

Mike Sigman
07-15-2005, 06:32 PM
Specifically, I'm saying that when you're at a particular level and your uke is sufficiently stronger than you are, yes at that moment it could be impossible to do that particular technique from that position on that person. You might be able to do it if you get advice that helps you improve your technique, and you might be able to do it if you start earlier or are able to position yourself differently; but yes I am saying that it can be impossible for a particular person with a particular amount of training to execute a particular technique on a particular uke who is using superior strength to keep nage from moving.

Notice I'm not saying no-one could do it. For instance, as my technique improves working cooperatively against more and more resistance, eventually I can execute techniques against stronger resistance than before I practiced. But unless you're REALLY good, you'd be naive to think there isn't SOMEONE out there who's so much stronger than you that he can prevent your success if you start from a prescribed static position and are told to apply a particular technique in a certain way. I totally agree. It's very easy for larger people to counsel smaller people on how something is "possible", but until you've been that size you haven't paid your dues. I'm 225 pounds and I have to constantly remind myself that *always* as a part of anything I do, there is a contribution of my mass and strength, regardless of how skilled I may think I am.

Although a smaller person's "technique" is very important, until a smaller person's ki, kokyu, and ability to manipulate kokyu are good, they won't have enough of an edge to beat larger people consistently, IMO. I guess I could argue that those things are a necessary part of really "good technique".

FWIW

Mike

Chris Li
07-15-2005, 06:55 PM
I totally agree. It's very easy for larger people to counsel smaller people on how something is "possible", but until you've been that size you haven't paid your dues. I'm 225 pounds and I have to constantly remind myself that *always* as a part of anything I do, there is a contribution of my mass and strength, regardless of how skilled I may think I am.

Well, I weigh in at around 125 pounds, so my dues are paid up :). Anyway, my point was that if it's possible then you should be working towards it. That's why it's training.

Best,

Chris

Zato Ichi
07-15-2005, 06:59 PM
But unless you're REALLY good, you'd be naive to think there isn't SOMEONE out there who's so much stronger than you that he can prevent your success if you start from a prescribed static position and are told to apply a particular technique in a certain way.
Wendy, you've hit the nail on the head. Some techniques simply are not suitable to use on someone where there is a signifigant size/muscle difference.

For example, I am stronger and have a big mass advantage on others in my dojo... more on the gorilla side of things. If I wanted to shut down someone when we're practicing, in about 95% of the cases, it wouldn't be an issue - I could do as Paige's "uke" (and I use the term in his case in the loosest possible sense) and just become a rock - a 45kg gokyu vs a 115kg shodan is not a winning proposition for the former in this situation. Substitute a 45kg rokudan for the 45kg gokyu and the dynamic changes completely, but then there is a huge skill differential and a lifetime of little tricks which come into play.

The thing is, I honestly can't understand why someone would do this - it doesn't help anyone's training, tori's or uke's. It just seems like an excuse for the muscle man to be a jerk.

Side note: I still remember the first time the rokudan in question told me to grab his wrist with as much resistance as I could and he sent me flying... it was like something out of the movies. Little oriental man sends a much younger, bigger guy to the ground without seemingly trying too hard. Spectacular! :)

Mike Sigman
07-15-2005, 07:06 PM
Well, I weigh in at around 125 pounds, so my dues are paid up :). Anyway, my point was that if it's possible then you should be working towards it. That's why it's training. I agree with you, Chris. What I would add to the equation is some skills with kokyu, kokyu manipulation, and the difficult-to-express relationship of "ki" training that O-Sensei and others used but kept close to their chests.

Mike

Chris Li
07-15-2005, 07:07 PM
The thing is, I honestly can't understand why someone would do this - it doesn't help anyone's training, tori's or uke's. It just seems like an excuse for the muscle man to be a jerk.

Yukiyoshi Sagawa makes a pretty good case for this kind of thing in "Tomei na Chikara" - fun reading if you can read Japanese, and widely available in Japan.

Best,

Chris

wendyrowe
07-15-2005, 07:20 PM
Although a smaller person's "technique" is very important, until a smaller person's ki, kokyu, and ability to manipulate kokyu are good, they won't have enough of an edge to beat larger people consistently, IMO. I guess I could argue that those things are a necessary part of really "good technique"
I was thinking about the "highest level aikido" thread as I was replying, unsurprisingly. And I was going to say that one of the things I do when I go from not being able to execute a technique to being able to do it is use kokyu -- but then I realized I couldn't explain it, so I left it out.

Mike Sigman
07-15-2005, 07:31 PM
I was thinking about the "highest level aikido" thread as I was replying, unsurprisingly. And I was going to say that one of the things I do when I go from not being able to execute a technique to being able to do it is use kokyu -- but then I realized I couldn't explain it, so I left it out. So give it a try. You can at least get your foot in the door. My experience is that by talking you have to think, as you think you begin to sort out the logic, as you sort out the logic you begin to see which way is the optimal approach to what you want to do.

FWIW

Mike

Kevin Masters
07-16-2005, 07:36 AM
I don't know if anybody's already said this. Sorry if it's redundant.
Here goes.

My sensei teaches us that when your wrist is clamped down on your first instinct is to "look" at it or give it your attention. That's where uke has you focusing on your wrist instead of your center. You're captured. It's good training to force yourself to relax and just move yourself.

I'm sorry that it sounds like (and probably feels like) you're being bullied. I hope you continue with your training and get past this with a smile soon.

Smiling.

Kevin.

crbateman
07-16-2005, 06:17 PM
Paige,

Have you tried to do some other technique that IS effective, rather than forcing something you know won't work? Part of Aikido is adaptive, and to turn the tables on an overly enthusiastic uke is both physically and mentally unbalancing to him. Use his aggression to your advantage. Once he gets tired of ending up on his face, he'll get the message. Another thing is to meet the attack earlier, rather than just standing there and letting him get a grip. Some would say that insisting that uke lighten up is unrealistic, because that won't happen in the real world. This is very true, but the real world wouldn't give advance notice of the technique you're going to counter with, either. Uke should learn to expect the unexpected.

aikigirl10
07-17-2005, 06:17 PM
All of you have ALOT of good points. I cant argue with any of you because all of you are right in some way. When i started this thread , it was right after practice and i was pretty upset. I've chilled out some since then.

I think i've come to a way to handle this situation thanks to most of your posts and advice. But i encourage that you keep posting if you want to because i'm still anxious to hear anymore that you guys can tell me. Thank you all!!!!


-paige

aikigirl10
07-17-2005, 06:28 PM
Paige,

If your dojo is the Aikido of Ashland I'm thinking of, I know your Sensei, and know him to be a very understanding individual and an outstanding aikidoka. Talk to him, about this problem or any other. That's what he's there for.

As far as the current dilemma, you could use this to work through, as others have stated, but I'm reminded of advice given to me by one of my seniors: "In aikido you can choose your partner". I'd simply choose not to train with this guy for awhile. I've done that many times. And some people have done that to me, and that was a real lesson. Life is too short to be miserable while pursuing your passion.

Cheers,
Jack :ai:


Jack, If you do know my sensei I would appreciate if you kept this thread confidential. I feel like i can confide in this website for advice on aikido situations from people i dont know. If people at my dojo find out i wont have that anymore.

If you want to know who my sensei is you can ask me in a private message and i will tell you if it is who you are thinking of.

Steven
07-17-2005, 09:07 PM
Jack, If you do know my sensei I would appreciate if you kept this thread confidential. I feel like i can confide in this website for advice on aikido situations from people i dont know. If people at my dojo find out i wont have that anymore.

If you want to know who my sensei is you can ask me in a private message and i will tell you if it is who you are thinking of.

... are you 100% sure that your sensei and/or members of your dojo don't visit this website? I wonder how said training partner would feel knowing he's the center of a conversation on an open forum.

Mike Sigman
07-17-2005, 09:38 PM
... are you 100% sure that your sensei and/or members of your dojo don't visit this website? I wonder how said training partner would feel knowing he's the center of a conversation on an open forum. I can't resist saying that if Paige thinks no one in her dojo has already passed these conversations on to her sensei, she don't know jack......

Sorry. I'm addicted to wordplay.

Mike

Roy
07-17-2005, 11:04 PM
Dear Paige,
I think that you and Wendy Rowe are dealing with the same sort of challenge. Perhaps you should pair up and try different tactics and come up with solutions, whatever they may be.

Dear Wendy,
I have worked with smaller people, and at times I can be stubborn and not move. I usually do this because I feel that if I did, it would be a complete exaggeration. I especial don't give in when they try and use there strength. But one thing I always noticed is that once their unbendable arm is locked and/or connected to their navel for power, their effectiveness is greatly increased.

maikerus
07-17-2005, 11:06 PM
... are you 100% sure that your sensei and/or members of your dojo don't visit this website? I wonder how said training partner would feel knowing he's the center of a conversation on an open forum.

Maybe he does...and has already replied with what he *expected* her to do ;)

Oh...the irony... :D

--Michael :cool: (sorry Paige...couldna resist :) )

sutemaker17
07-18-2005, 12:16 AM
Thanks Roy,
I haven't heard a belly button called a navel in a long, long time. I got a good belly laugh! :D

Jason

Zato Ichi
07-18-2005, 09:24 AM
Yukiyoshi Sagawa makes a pretty good case for this kind of thing in "Tomei na Chikara" - fun reading if you can read Japanese, and widely available in Japan.

I don't suppose there's an English translation? As bad as my spoken Japanese is, my reading skills are... uh... well I guess I'm functionally illiterate :D

giriasis
07-18-2005, 11:13 AM
Bryan -morotetori

If the attack was moroteroi, I have to say that this is one of the hardest attacks that one can get out of. If your partner has a "vice grip of death" it is POSSIBLE to perform the technique, but you have to be very precise as to your angles as you enter. Yes, it's frustrating as heck to not to be able to perform the called for technique and it's even more frustrating when your partner doesn't seem to know the answer (or isn't willing to help you). There is a way "out", but it would be really hard to describe over the internet.

I've trained many a times with a "vice-grip-of-death" partner. 99.9% of the time their intentions are good and most of them know how you can get out. The key is to ask them "what do I need to do?" If they don't know, then ask your sensei what you need to do when they grab that strongly. If sensei is busy then ask them to ease up and let your practice a different aspect of the technique. If they don't, then bow out and find another group to train with.

Chris Li
07-18-2005, 11:37 AM
I don't suppose there's an English translation? As bad as my spoken Japanese is, my reading skills are... uh... well I guess I'm functionally illiterate :D

No such luck. The upside is that the Japanese is quite clear and straightforward (as opposed to something like "Take Musu Aiki").

Best,

Chris

senshincenter
07-18-2005, 01:05 PM
If the attack was moroteroi, I have to say that this is one of the hardest attacks that one can get out of. If your partner has a "vice grip of death" it is POSSIBLE to perform the technique, but you have to be very precise as to your angles as you enter. Yes, it's frustrating as heck to not to be able to perform the called for technique and it's even more frustrating when your partner doesn't seem to know the answer (or isn't willing to help you). There is a way "out", but it would be really hard to describe over the internet.

I've trained many a times with a "vice-grip-of-death" partner. 99.9% of the time their intentions are good and most of them know how you can get out. The key is to ask them "what do I need to do?" If they don't know, then ask your sensei what you need to do when they grab that strongly. If sensei is busy then ask them to ease up and let your practice a different aspect of the technique. If they don't, then bow out and find another group to train with.

As great a piece of advice as one is ever going to get.

thanks,
dmv

wendyrowe
07-18-2005, 07:59 PM
Dear Paige,
I think that you and Wendy Rowe are dealing with the same sort of challenge. Perhaps you should pair up and try different tactics and come up with solutions, whatever they may be.
It would be a lot easier for Paige and I to work together if we weren't nearly 1000 miles apart!
Dear Wendy,
I have worked with smaller people, and at times I can be stubborn and not move. I usually do this because I feel that if I did, it would be a complete exaggeration. I especial don't give in when they try and use there strength. But one thing I always noticed is that once their unbendable arm is locked and/or connected to their navel for power, their effectiveness is greatly increased.
I'm still working on it; heck, I'm still working on everything. I haven't yet mastered my mind sufficiently to harmonize it best with my body, let alone my uke's. But that's OK, I've got a whole lifetime ahead of me to work on this stuff.

I've trained many a times with a "vice-grip-of-death" partner. 99.9% of the time their intentions are good and most of them know how you can get out. The key is to ask them "what do I need to do?" If they don't know, then ask your sensei what you need to do when they grab that strongly. If sensei is busy then ask them to ease up and let your practice a different aspect of the technique. If they don't, then bow out and find another group to train with.

I like working with a lot of resistance, once I've learned the basic moves of the technique (so like I've said, we increase resistance as we train). The one thing that I get completely stuck on is when we're starting from a static double wrist grab if my Uke is lots stronger than me and won't let up at all. If he's got me strongly enough, I am unable to turn or separate my arms or drop or succeed at anything I'm trying to take his balance. If he is willing to let up slightly I can practice things and get them to work, but there's a point where I just can't do it yet from a static start. I agree with Anne Marie that that's an excellent time to ask your partner or your Sensei what to do -- actually, the people who have done this to me have all been strong beginners so they don't have any advice for me. But I'm glad to see that Anne Marie also says that there's a time to bow out and find another partner.

I could be wrong, but I'm thinking this is more of a problem for women than for small men. The people I've had this problem with were all male, new to our school, strong, and large, and I believe they enjoyed the idea of being able to hold me helpless. When it got bad enough, I gave up on the technique we were supposed to be practicing and got out using other technique, and I avoided partnering with him. And like I said, none of the people who did that to me lasted at our school; so I'm pretty sure I have some evidence here at least that they were not good-spirited people who just wanted to help me train harder.

That's why although I agree with people giving Paige technique suggestions and telling her to ask for advice, I also think it is particularly important for a 15-year-old girl to talk to her Sensei about the issue to make sure the uke is observed by someone who can consider his intent and adjust him as needed.

Brett Charvat
07-18-2005, 08:36 PM
Wendy Rowe said: "...I also think it is particularly important for a 15-year-old girl to talk to her Sensei about the issue to make sure the uke is observed by someone who can consider his intent and adjust him as needed."

--I hope I'm not the only one who feels that Paige's uke doesn't need any adjusting whatsoever. He clamped down hard. Isn't that his job? I'm not sure where this idea about aikido being "cooperative" comes from. I've always been taught that uke's job is to attack in a prescribed manner, period. If Paige is unable to perform the specified technique, I would hardly lay the blame at her uke's feet. Struggling to perform a technique against a strong, large opponent is what studying aikido is all about, in my opinion. Aikido is not step aerobics. We're not trying to just mimic the movement that our sensei demonstrates over and over until it's time to stop. Studying aikido is about learning why a technique works or doesn't work, and most of the time this learning takes place while NOT doing a technique; while trying and failing to do one. For the past three years I've lived and studied aikido in Japan, and both of the dojo I train at are chock full of large, strong ukes who never give less than 100% of themselves in their attacks. Most of the time, I try and fail to do techniques against them, just like they often try and fail to do techniques against my attacks when I'm the uke. Are we therefore unable to learn? I certainly don't think so. Our high-level students and our instructors have very little trouble applying their techniques regardless of the size or strength of the uke, and I don't think they got to that level by training with cooperative ukes. I guess I'm confused why so many on this thread seem quick to want to adjust the uke because the tori (nage) was struggling and frustrated. Struggling and frustrated; isn't that what we all are while training?

wendyrowe
07-18-2005, 08:54 PM
...I hope I'm not the only one who feels that Paige's uke doesn't need any adjusting whatsoever...Struggling and frustrated; isn't that what we all are while training?
I'd love to hear everyone here answer both of those questions.

"Struggling and frustrated" is not at all how I'd describe my feelings as I train, although I have been frustrated at times with my inability to pick up a technique as quickly as I think I should. And where I train, we're not over-cooperative -- we don't fall down because we think we should, we fall down when nage takes us down. But I don't believe someone can do a technique if when s/he first starts learning uke resists 100%. We train cooperatively and give increasingly more resistance as nage gets better at the technique.

Again, remember what we're talking about here is practice of a specific technique, from a static start it sounds like. That is already two strikes against nage (in terms of good Aikido rather than just good Aikido technique practice) -- if they were doing randori, nage wouldn't let uke reach a static position and certainly wouldn't keep trying just one technique that uke is expecting. Once you're in an unnatural situation set up to optimize technique practice, why wouldn't you adjust your resistance to match what nage needs to learn the technique properly?

maikerus
07-18-2005, 09:12 PM
I like working with a lot of resistance, once I've learned the basic moves of the technique (so like I've said, we increase resistance as we train). The one thing that I get completely stuck on is when we're starting from a static double wrist grab if my Uke is lots stronger than me and won't let up at all. If he's got me strongly enough, I am unable to turn or separate my arms or drop or succeed at anything I'm trying to take his balance.

Here's a thought on a training method. Ask your uke to release your wrists and instead grab one finger or two fingers. Then try and do the technique...

The advantage of this is that it is really easy as shite to notice when you aren't going in the right directions because your fingers start to hurt. Unlike the wrists which don't bend so easily.

It's also good because uke can't grip quite as strong and also feels bad for almost breaking your fingers. This is assuming uke isn't being malicious in his/her intent.

Try it with other techniques as well...anything katate or ryote should be fine. Just a thought.

maikerus
07-18-2005, 09:23 PM
--I hope I'm not the only one who feels that Paige's uke doesn't need any adjusting whatsoever. He clamped down hard. Isn't that his job? I'm not sure where this idea about aikido being "cooperative" comes from. I've always been taught that uke's job is to attack in a prescribed manner, period. If Paige is unable to perform the specified technique, I would hardly lay the blame at her uke's feet. Struggling to perform a technique against a strong, large opponent is what studying aikido is all about, in my opinion.

Hi Brett...I think you have a good point. I don't think you can blame uke or adjust uke unless their intent is malicious. If they are just attacking the very best that they can and shite can't deal with it then shite needs to get better. I also believe that it always shite's responsibility to put uke where they want them...not uke to move themselves.

However, I do think that Paige (or anyone else in this situation) is within their rights to say something like "Okay. I can't do this with you being that strong. Can you perhaps hold me at 75% power or 50% while I try and do my best from that grip.

The idea in a dojo is to train and if someone holding as hard as they can intereferes with your training - because you can't move and don't know how to start - and with their own training - because they can't learn breakfalls or to learn what the movement should feel like. Interfering with training is bad.

There are definately times to train at full resistance. There are also times to train at no resistance. I prefer the 50 - 75% resistance or resisting to the point where you can feel the direction is right and then move before you actually get injured.

There are times for all kinds of resistance and speeds. If your instructor doesn't set the pace then you and your partner have to decide which kind of training you are going to do right then. It can't be one person wanting to resist strongly while shite wants to figure out where that circle is without any resistance.

Communication between partners is important and that failed in Paige's case. Most of the advice here is how to re-engage that communication.

FWIW...

--Michael

Mike Sigman
07-18-2005, 09:40 PM
--I hope I'm not the only one who feels that Paige's uke doesn't need any adjusting whatsoever. He clamped down hard. Isn't that his job? I'm not sure where this idea about aikido being "cooperative" comes from. I've always been taught that uke's job is to attack in a prescribed manner, period. Well in that case, maybe her sensei should throw Paige as hard as he does his better students since it's up to her to figure out ukemi and that's what it's all about.

I don't see your logic, Brett. When someone is learning, it's probably best to go through a progression that represents where they are, at a given time... not give them the hardest thing possible and let them try to figure it out. They might wind up just as strong and muscular and techniquey as the really strong guys, but I'm not sure they'll wind up "relaxed". But that's just my opinion.

FWIW

Mike

Brett Charvat
07-18-2005, 10:24 PM
Mr. Sigman, I'm confused as to how you extrapolated an uke giving 100% to their attack into an instructor intentionally injuring their kohai. It didn't seem to me from Paige's original post that she was in immediate danger from her uke's strong attack; merely that she was unable to perform the technique. I certainly did not intend to imply that at our dojo we greet newcomers with a handshake that leads into a vicious ude gatame and if they don't know enough to tap then too bad for their elbow. I merely meant to convey that our ukes do not make a habit of cooperation with their nage/tori/shite. If a student is unable to perform the technique effectively four times, then they attempt it four times instead and the roles switch. Usually this only occurs a few times before either the instructor or a nearby senior student steps in and instructs through demonstration, and then it's back to struggling and frustration. I guess it just seems to me that either a person's technique works or it does not, and whether it does or not cannot be blamed on their uke. But of course I must include the caveat that this is merely my opinion, and Paige should do what she feels is best for herself.

Mike Sigman
07-18-2005, 10:49 PM
Mr. Sigman, I'm confused as to how you extrapolated an uke giving 100% to their attack into an instructor intentionally injuring their kohai. It didn't seem to me from Paige's original post that she was in immediate danger from her uke's strong attack; merely that she was unable to perform the technique. Hi Brett: We've all had jerks for uke's at one time or another. From the description she gave, I'm a little confused at how anyone would confuse the kid with a well-intentioned uke. The question from Paige seemed to be more "what do you do when you get a jerk for an uke" than anything else. If she had been wondering what to do when a powerful uke has her in morote-tori, I would probably have answered completely differently or not at all. ;) I certainly did not intend to imply that at our dojo we greet newcomers with a handshake that leads into a vicious ude gatame and if they don't know enough to tap then too bad for their elbow. I merely meant to convey that our ukes do not make a habit of cooperation with their nage/tori/shite. If a student is unable to perform the technique effectively four times, then they attempt it four times instead and the roles switch. Usually this only occurs a few times before either the instructor or a nearby senior student steps in and instructs through demonstration, and then it's back to struggling and frustration. That sounds pretty good. Maybe that's what Paige's sensei needs to do in a "jerk uke" situation (assuming the original description was accurate). I guess it just seems to me that either a person's technique works or it does not, and whether it does or not cannot be blamed on their uke. But of course I must include the caveat that this is merely my opinion, and Paige should do what she feels is best for herself. I got out on the mat with an instructor, just playing around once, and the morote-tori grab was one of the things we tried. I'm fairly large at 225 and strong and fairly hard to move if I don't want to be moved. He tried to break my grip with turns of his forearms powered by his body, since he couldn't move me. Every time he committed in the direction to effect the grip-break I took him down. He never got the upper hand, so to speak. The problem was that he, like Paige, *offered* his two forearms to me in a static situation... I'd have never gotten his two wrists easily in a dynamic situation. It's easy to screw with someone if you know how and/or you're strong enough. I would have never played that sort of game in a classroom setting because it's needlessly embarrassing, just as Paige's scenario was.

Probably the most important thing nage is working on is angles and forces in morote-tori, but the static lock-em-down situation never seems to be all that productive for nage, IMO. I think a moderate grasp so she can explore a number of answers is the answer, rather than just one that maybe works sometimes, in addition to the needless humiliation. But that's just my opinion. :)


FWIW

Mike

Brett Charvat
07-18-2005, 11:41 PM
Mr. Sigman, you used the terms "needlessly embarrassing" and "needless humiliation" in your last post. Do people you train with feel embarrassed when they are not able to perform a technique? That seems to me to be a very strange attitude to have towards training. However, I sense this point may be hijacking the thread a bit, and I apologize. Back to the topic at hand regarding Paige's situation, I still contend that if the only thing "wrong" with her uke's behavior was that he applied his grasp too firmly, he was simply doing an excellent job of what he was asked to do. However, it is both understandable and natural that we should have different opinions as we come from different backgrounds. Despite our differences of opinion, I'm sure that Paige has gotten much sensible advice from the other posters on this thread and I hope this issue has been taken care of satisfactorily for her.

maikerus
07-18-2005, 11:41 PM
Probably the most important thing nage is working on is angles and forces in morote-tori, but the static lock-em-down situation never seems to be all that productive for nage, IMO.

Hmmm...I still think it has value because you get to find out if you've improved or not, for one. There should be feedback from uke to help you know this if you can't physically see the results.

And it has value for uke as well...especially when you do your best as uke to not let shite move...and they throw you two or three tatami. If nothing else, it does give hope for your technique one day :confused:

Which leads me back to my communication comment earlier :)

--Michael

eyrie
07-18-2005, 11:58 PM
When someone is learning, it's probably best to go through a progression that represents where they are, at a given time... not give them the hardest thing possible and let them try to figure it out.


;)

djalley
07-19-2005, 06:57 AM
--I hope I'm not the only one who feels that Paige's uke doesn't need any adjusting whatsoever. He clamped down hard. Isn't that his job?

It depends. In our dojo we learn the technique step-by-step under sensei's instruction, then are left to practice it amongst ourselves while sensei and the assistant instructor observe and help where needed. During this training (please emphasise the word TRAINING), if you can't start the move, you can't learn it, even in step-by-step mode. Uke's job here, is in fact NOT to clamp down so hard that she cannot perform the technique. Aggressive application of the technique comes later.

I'm not sure where this idea about aikido being "cooperative" comes from. I've always been taught that uke's job is to attack in a prescribed manner, period. If Paige is unable to perform the specified technique, I would hardly lay the blame at her uke's feet. Struggling to perform a technique against a strong, large opponent is what studying aikido is all about, in my opinion. Aikido is not step aerobics. We're not trying to just mimic the movement that our sensei demonstrates over and over until it's time to stop.

I do basically agree with this, but there has to be a ramp up from learning the move step by step, then flowingly at a slow pace, then quickly, and finally with full "combat intent". if Uke is uncooperative from the beginning, the practice cannot ramp up.

Studying aikido is about learning why a technique works or doesn't work, and most of the time this learning takes place while NOT doing a technique; while trying and failing to do one. For the past three years I've lived and studied aikido in Japan, and both of the dojo I train at are chock full of large, strong ukes who never give less than 100% of themselves in their attacks. Most of the time, I try and fail to do techniques against them, just like they often try and fail to do techniques against my attacks when I'm the uke. Are we therefore unable to learn? I certainly don't think so.

I don't think you're unable to learn, but I think starting a new technique slowly and ramping up to a level and speed that could be called realistic or "combat intent" is a more proper way to train. Once the move is understood, then it's time to have Uke resist the move, as a person on the street would try to resist. It's not a matter of "we are here to train!", it's a matter of the methods of the training. We're all here to train.

Our high-level students and our instructors have very little trouble applying their techniques regardless of the size or strength of the uke, and I don't think they got to that level by training with cooperative ukes. I guess I'm confused why so many on this thread seem quick to want to adjust the uke because the tori (nage) was struggling and frustrated.

I bet they started out with cooperative Uke's during the move. I've found it very beneficial to go slowly at first, and feel how the move is affecting the melee, both as Shite and Uke. Understanding the basics of the feel of the move will allow you to define what aspects of the move are causing the leverage, pressure, etc, so when practiced under duress, you'll know the technique thoroughly.

Struggling and frustrated; isn't that what we all are while training?

For me it's Attentive, Determined, and Inquisitive.


All this being said, and to relate it to the original poster, she was practicing a move with a Death Grip Uke. If he was doing this in the training stages of the move, he's wrong. We are there to TRAIN, and LEARN. He was not allowing her to learn the indicated move by applying too much force.

If it was later in the training of the move, and they were practicing a more combat application of the move rather thqan a step-by-step introduction of the move, then he's right to do it, because that's just more realistic.

I realize I have countered a lot of points here, but I do inherently agree with you, I just think there is an introductory, or step-by-step stage that should come before practicing the move in a full "combat" manner.

Thank you for your time,
D

Mike Sigman
07-19-2005, 07:38 AM
Mr. Sigman, you used the terms "needlessly embarrassing" and "needless humiliation" in your last post. Do people you train with feel embarrassed when they are not able to perform a technique? I dunno. There's a difference between feeling embarrassed and using the word as an adjective to describe a situation. My impression was that Paige was somewhat upset by the situation, along those lines, though.... you didn't get the same impression? That seems to me to be a very strange attitude to have towards training. I'll pass on the strawman discussions. :)

Regards,

Mike Sigman