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David Yap 09-26-2003 06:11 AM

Injury Avoidance versus Ego
 
In the past when I was uke for my instructors, I left the fate of my well being in their hands. I would lend them the use of my body to demonstrate any aikido techniques and put my trust in them to treat my body with care and with a bit of tenderness. Alas, that was not to be. My right wrist was first injured after my instructor (a 4th dan now) had locked me in nikkyu; and despite my tapping out in pain, he told me that I was bluffing and proceeded to apply more pressure. At that instance, I was tapping the floor like crazy and was hoping that the ground I was kneeling on would open up to relief the pain. The injury on my left wrist was much worst coming off a katate-tori sankyu. After bringing me down with an ikkyu movement, the instructor (known for egoistic and sadistic character in our local aikido community) then twisted my hand for a sankyu grip and the upward thrust of my arm was done with much so strength and speed and couple with the continuing twisting of my hand sent me backward so fast that I had no opportunity to tap/yell out in pain. Luckily for me, the medical report later showed no compressed fracture in wrist but just some torn ligaments that would take a long time to heal (90%-95% healed till only).

A couple of days ago, a 3rd kyu and I were practising kata-tori nikkyu ura and I happened to be his uke. Though I offered my arm to him in a relaxed manner, his nikkyu was not effective and he could not bring me down to my knees. My quick analysis of the situation was (i) his grip on my hand was too tight (almost strangle like) and wrong (my little finger was not even pointing back towards me) (ii) he was not directing his center towards me and neither was he looking at me (his face was turned away from me all the time). While still gripping my hand with one and pressing my elbow with the other arm, he tried again once more -- did not work - and then he tried again but this time with more force and pressure the grips were now on both my hand and wrist and it looked and felt like he was going to twist them apart out of frustration with the earlier attempts. Unconsciously, my arm started to tense up from the shoulder to the fingertips as a response to avoid injury. Later I told him that his grip should be firm but not tight and the approach should be gentle but not manhandling as it would draw stiff resistant from the uke (i.e. me). I then proceeded to show him how the hand should be gripped and he should be looking at the uke to ensure that the direction of his center was right and also show that he cared about the well being of the uke. He should then move in towards the uke to get the "S" bend rather than forcing a "S" bend needed for the technique. Just as I moved in for the "S" bend, he froze up his arm. When I gave him a puzzled look, he looked at me and said, "That's what you did just now" in a tit for tat manner.

I wanted to tell him that the freeze on my part only happened after the two attempts by him and was a natural reaction to his third attempt to avoid injury to myself. But before I could speak, the sensei broke up the practice. When the next technique was called, I decided to partner someone else as I felt that it would be a wasted effort to explain to him -- he was not listening in the first place -- period. I felt he was not ready and hence, the "teacher" in him has yet to arrive.

But it bugs me, as an afterthought, that without an explanation, he would think of me as selfish and arrogant. What do you think? Do I owe him an explanation?

David Y

paw 09-26-2003 06:49 AM

For what it's worth....
Quote:

In the past when I was uke for my instructors, I left the fate of my well being in their hands. I would lend them the use of my body to demonstrate any aikido techniques and put my trust in them to treat my body with care and with a bit of tenderness. Alas, that was not to be.....
At this point, I would leave the dojo. Seriously. If I tap and the reaction of the head instructor is not to honor that, that's it I'm gone. I'd also consider legal action.
Quote:

But it bugs me, as an afterthought, that without an explanation, he would think of me as selfish and arrogant. What do you think? Do I owe him an explanation?
A number of issues here.

Personally (and I think I'm a minority here), I think this is an inherent problem with the common aikido training method. With no dynamic method there are unclear guidelines as to what resistance is acceptable. I don't see how that can be resolved without a clearer framework in which to train.

As for the explaination, it's probably too late now. Could it be that they were just having a rough day and their frustration had nothing to do with aikido, the technique or you? If this is standard behavior for them, have other in the dojo had similar problems with this individual? Have you ever had this experience with anyone else? Has anyone else had this type of experience with you? How "big" a deal is this? Will you be able to train together in the future?

Regards,

Paul

Yann Golanski 09-26-2003 07:57 AM

In my not so humble opinion, if any aikidoka whatever their rank, is inflicting pain on purpose then he should be disciplined by the head of the Dojo. If it is the teaching sensei, I would leave the mat and complain to whatever organisation this persons belongs to. If the pain ends up in actual damage, then I would consider legal action. It is violence and not harmony therefore not ``Aikido''.

Then again, there is this riot police course given by the Yoshinkan Hombu where I am told people do end up with blood on their gi. Generally not only thier own.

It's all a matter of what you signed for. If the dojo state that they are full contact and require hard and painfull training then if you go there don't cry if you are hurt. It is not how I want to train but then again I am not training to become a hard combatant. However, I do train in a pre-war style which are known for being ``harder''. </macho>

As for frustration, we are all guilty of it. I find that having a routine to get onto the mat helps me put a barrier between the world outside and the dojo. It works for me, it may not for you.

Should you (David) talk to your partner? Sure, you should. Talking is the only way missunderstandings are cleared. Try to understand him and make him understand you... It's all to do with harmony I am told ;>

happysod 09-26-2003 08:49 AM

David, was happily with you all the way until this bit "When the next technique was called, I decided to partner someone else as I felt that it would be a wasted effort to explain to him -- he was not listening in the first place -- period. I felt he was not ready and hence, the "teacher" in him has yet to arrive"

You'd already made your choice as regards an "explanation". Also, if this would be an example of how your explanation would be delivered, I'm referring here to your supposition that the 3rd Kyu just wasn't worthy at the time, I don't see what good further talk would do either party.

Paul, for god's sake, say something I can disagree with you about soon, I'm getting bored agreeing with you when I read your posts. On the resistance bit, we do give levels of resistance required, but even then interpretation of these levels can mean a big difference...

PeterR 09-26-2003 09:14 AM

Hi Yann;
Quote:

Yann Golanski wrote:
In my not so humble opinion, if any aikidoka whatever their rank, is inflicting pain on purpose then he should be disciplined by the head of the Dojo. If it is the teaching sensei, I would leave the mat and complain to whatever organisation this persons belongs to. If the pain ends up in actual damage, then I would consider legal action. It is violence and not harmony therefore not ``Aikido''.

Pain is a relative thing. I think a teacher has to be very sensitive (excuse the pun) to uke's pain threshold but should exceed it by a measured amount every now and then. This is not really that difficult since uke's tapping should give you a pretty strong clue that you are close to or past it. This way the pain threshold can be increased.

Actual damage is another question but here again what are we talking about. Stuff happens and by its very nature is deliberate - one man's split lip is anothers litigation opprotunity. I guess it once again comes down to a sensitivity between tori and uke - we are practicing aiki after all.
Quote:

It's all a matter of what you signed for. If the dojo state that they are full contact and require hard and painfull training then if you go there don't cry if you are hurt. It is not how I want to train but then again I am not training to become a hard combatant. However, I do train in a pre-war style which are known for being ``harder''. </macho>
Always a good point. The assumption that everyone must adapt to us is a fallicy. There's enough variety out there for everyone.
Quote:

As for frustration, we are all guilty of it. I find that having a routine to get onto the mat helps me put a barrier between the world outside and the dojo. It works for me, it may not for you.
For me that's what moksu is all about.

Yann Golanski 09-26-2003 09:45 AM

Peter,

I agree strongly with your comment that ``Pain is a relative thing'' and that sometimes accidents do happen. I was not really refering to the bit of pain you get when Shihan puts an sankyo on my poor wirst or when sensei apply yonkyu to my leg! Those are just fun! Yeah, I have been called mad before in case you were wondering. But in all cases, they stoped as soon as I tapped.

Of course, I had my share of accidents, injuries and old pains that come back to haunt me now and then. It's part of what I signed up when I started to do Aikido. It's part of the risk.

As uke is it useful to understand how much pain a technique can inflict and to have a good idea of how much damage tori can do. A brutal shihonage can break your wirst, elbow, shoulder and neck but while I have been shown how to do it, no one has done it on me.

What I was refereing is tori purposfully injuring uke. Inflicting pain in a sadistic way and breaking uke. I do not see the point in that and that's why I do Aikido and not Krav Maga. But I can see how some people who train in Aikido want that kind of hard training. If you are expecting to use Aikido to carry your throw fighting and combat, then it's the only way to train. It's not somehting I want to do, but I am not planing on being involved in combat anytime soon.

Again, it all depends on what you signed for and what you want out of Aikido... Peter, are we suddenly agruing the same point? ;>

As for moksu, yeah, of course it's part of my ritual(tm)... BTW, is it spelled moksu or mokusu or what? I was under the impression that Japanese did not have a `k' sound ouside of `ku, ki, ku, ke, ko'...

akiy 09-26-2003 10:06 AM

Quote:

Yann Golanski wrote:
What I was refereing is tori purposfully injuring uke. Inflicting pain in a sadistic way and breaking uke. I do not see the point in that and that's why I do Aikido and not Krav Maga.

I can't say I've trained in Krav Maga, but I can't see that people who do train in it would break their partners all that often during training. Wouldn't they run out of training partners sooner or later?
Quote:

But I can see how some people who train in Aikido want that kind of hard training.
One interesting thing I saw in the two recent polls asking (1) "Have you ever intentionally injured someone seriously in your aikido training?" and (2) "Has anyone ever injured you seriously and intentionally in your aikido training?" was the disparity in the number between those who say they have intentionally injured someone during training (~4%) versus those who said they themselves were intentionally injured during training (~15%). What this disparity might mean, I'll leave as an exercise to the reader.
Quote:

As for moksu, yeah, of course it's part of my ritual(tm)... BTW, is it spelled moksu or mokusu or what? I was under the impression that Japanese did not have a `k' sound ouside of `ku, ki, ku, ke, ko'...
It's probably more "correctly" transliterated as "mokusou." By the way, Japanese also does have other "k" sounds including "kya," "kyu," and "kyo."

-- Jun

PeterR 09-26-2003 10:11 AM

Hi Yann - we were never arguing, I was just supplementing your opinion with a few thoughts. There is no room for a sadist is a proper training environment.

Mokuso - I think. You caught me in a typo and worse yet I'm still not sure. Damm I hate that.

bob_stra 09-26-2003 02:08 PM

Re: Injury Avoidance versus Ego
 
This is a topic I'm passionate on. To stop me from rehashing and old post, I'll just give you this link -

http://tinyurl.com/osxh

which explains my view point, and a possible source of action.

Clayton Kale 09-26-2003 04:17 PM

My sensei has a saying: "Partner first, technique second."

If the uke yelps in pain before the technique is complete, you let the technique go. When your partner taps, the technique is over.

Some people have come to our dojo expecting to crank on people and inflict pain for pain's sake. It isn't tolerated very well, and those people are asked not to come back.

aikilouis 09-26-2003 06:12 PM

If tori's only possibility of applying a technique is by inflicting excessive pain on uke, he's completely missing the whole point of aikido. The art is supposed to neutralise uke's hostile intention, and reach a situation where tori is in a safe positon and uke has lost said intention.

Example : tori applies ikkyo on uke ; he pins uke's arm on the ground ; the technique is applied successfully when the nervous-muscular tension in uke's arm is released, which means uke's immediate intention has been neutralised. On the contrary, if tori puts all his weight on the arm, for instance, the tension won't disappear, because of the pain. The technique doesn't work.

On the other hand, 'uke' does not mean 'dummy'. He is supposed to 'stay in character' in relation with the exercise and tori's level of skill. When practicing the techniques, we 'pretend' uke is not an aikidoka : he is hostile, tries to strike or grab... So if he wants to be honest all the way, he should continue trying until tori is successful. Tori inflicts useless pain ? As soon as uke breaks free, he is entitled to answer back according to the tactical situation. If it results in a good punch, so be it.

It will always be better than any legal action.

PhilJ 09-26-2003 08:19 PM

Quote:

Louis R Joseph (aikilouis) wrote:
If tori's only possibility of applying a technique is by inflicting excessive pain on uke, he's completely missing the whole point of aikido. The art is supposed to neutralise uke's hostile intention, and reach a situation where tori is in a safe positon and uke has lost said intention.

I agree with the good intentions, and add that aikido is not about being nice, it's about re-establishing equilibrium and harmony to a situation. As Louis suggests, it is also about restoring uke's humanity.

Whatever is beyond that there may be issues the sensei or student has, as previously suggested. These are dangerous people to themselves and their students. "Leave your problems at the door, they'll be waiting for you when class is over, I PROMISE."

*Phil

sanosuke 09-26-2003 11:22 PM

Quote:

On the other hand, 'uke' does not mean 'dummy'. He is supposed to 'stay in character' in relation with the exercise and tori's level of skill. When practicing the techniques, we 'pretend' uke is not an aikidoka : he is hostile, tries to strike or grab... So if he wants to be honest all the way, he should continue trying until tori is successful. Tori inflicts useless pain ? As soon as uke breaks free, he is entitled to answer back according to the tactical situation. If it results in a good punch, so be it.
very true, but we shouldn't forget the purpose of aikido training; to make both uke and nage learn. In order to make both parties learn sincerity is needed by both uke and nage. Uke should prevent nage togo on easily but uke shouldn't have fighting set of mind, so does nage, they shouldn't have dirty set of mind that can cause injury to uke.
Quote:

In the past when I was uke for my instructors, I left the fate of my well being in their hands. I would lend them the use of my body to demonstrate any aikido techniques and put my trust in them to treat my body with care and with a bit of tenderness. Alas, that was not to be. My right wrist was first injured after my instructor (a 4th dan now) had locked me in nikkyu; and despite my tapping out in pain, he told me that I was bluffing and proceeded to apply more pressure. At that instance, I was tapping the floor like crazy and was hoping that the ground I was kneeling on would open up to relief the pain. The injury on my left wrist was much worst coming off a katate-tori sankyu. After bringing me down with an ikkyu movement, the instructor (known for egoistic and sadistic character in our local aikido community) then twisted my hand for a sankyu grip and the upward thrust of my arm was done with much so strength and speed and couple with the continuing twisting of my hand sent me backward so fast that I had no opportunity to tap/yell out in pain.
unfortunately, many instructors only understand aikido in its jujitsu form, that is, only understand technique without positive set of mind (anyway, i think there's quite many of them in malaysia). I don't now how to makethem realize unless they've been taught/shown by the higher dan about their arrogance, but again, usually once they've been shown they tend to avoid it.

David Yap 09-29-2003 05:09 AM

Quote:

Jun Akiyama (akiy) wrote:
<snipped>

One interesting thing I saw in the two recent polls asking (1) "Have you ever intentionally injured someone seriously in your aikido training?" and (2) "Has anyone ever injured you seriously and intentionally in your aikido training?" was the disparity in the number between those who say they have intentionally injured someone during training (~4%) versus those who said they themselves were intentionally injured during training (~15%). What this disparity might mean, I'll leave as an exercise to the reader.

-- Jun

Hi Jun & others,

As for the explanation to the 3rd-Kyu, I agree with Ian - forget it.

The disparity in the polls could be true in the sense that most people have no intention to hurt another. The attitude of caring (humility)is just not there. They just don't care whether their partners could be injured, they are only interested in executing the techniques in the same manner as the sensei/shihan - dynamically. At times they are oblivious to the surroundings, they don't realised/don't care whether the uke is being thrown against the dojo wall or onto someone else trainning next to them.

In my case (with the past instructors), only the first instructor apologised - that was after he had shown the whole technique to the class. He didn't stop the technique half way to check whether I was alright to continue. Some of you may not agree with me, I feel that some instructors (below 4th dan) do have a brutal streak in them to force a technique through even it is against the doctrine of O sensei's aikido. You can tell the difference in techniques - some dynamic but absolutely no grace. Grace come with confidence, experience and humility.

Just my frank thoughts.

Regards

David Y

taras 09-29-2003 05:55 AM

The practice of Aikido is called sincere practice. How can you be sincere with your uke if you want to hurt him? As David said in the original post, you leave yourself in the hands of tori to help them learn a technique, you trust them. Without that trust it's not Aikido, just "human origami" as someone here called it.

I had a practice partner like that once. Fortunately for me he did not inflict any injuries on me, although he did on other people; but he is only young and I hope he will grow out of it.

Not so long ago Kolesnikov sensei did a nikkiyo on me, and it was the most painful nikkiyo I've ever experienced. But he did it for a reason. He proceeded to explain (as my eyes popped out) that such an effective technique comes from softness. He later called that method "an instant satori". And when I got up I was smiling. I think this last thing is very important, it tells you a lot about the quality of your Aikido.

Yann Golanski 09-29-2003 07:01 AM

Mokusou... Peter, me catching ANYONE on spelling and typos is such a rare event that it should go marked somewhere!!! I'm dyslexic and english is my third language so really, it amazes me that people can still understand what I babble about.

Krav Maga is not more damaged prone on uke as anything really. From what I know of it (ie very little) it is a art that has mainly killing and maining techniques and is intendent to harm the attacker in such a way that they never get up again. Then again, I could be wrong. Anyone care to enlighten me?

As for the rate of being hurt to hurting, I think that people foget what it is like to be a beginner and therefore apply locks and techniques too hard. It's difficult to judge your partner sometimes -- read: all the time!

mengsin 09-29-2003 10:46 AM

I am sorry to hear what happened to you. Try not to 'teach' during training and but learn from the instructor's and 3rd kyu mistakes. I think you will be a better uke or nage in future. Happy training.

Cheers

David Yap 09-29-2003 09:07 PM

Thanks, Mr. Ng, for the sound advice.

I always avoid teaching during class. It is disrespectful to the instructor. Hence, in the incident cited above, I forgot to pen that the 3rd-Kyu asked me why his technique didn't work and I took the opportunity of being the nage to explain to him while doing my technique. I assure you that there was no disruption or annoyance to the class.

A wise sage once said, "Humility comes with suffering or pains". I learn it pretty well. Look forward to train with you, my fellow MA (learned from your posts that you do karate & Shaolin). Where do you train?

Regards

David Y

Jesse Lee 09-30-2003 04:14 PM

Another wise sage said, "Pain is nothing more than the release of internal weakness." Probably that sage was a career Marine or something, tho...

I had the precise same katate tori sankyo injury inflicted on my right wrist, but from moroti tori. Not fun. Actually I yelled my head off, but the 3rd-Dan instructor who did this told me that I need to tap-tap, since any other response would probably get ignored.

I could not tap, as morotetori had my other hand tied up in there. I jsut collected my squished wrist, looked at him and went, "Huh."

L. Camejo 10-01-2003 08:08 AM

Quote:

Jesse Lee wrote:
I could not tap, as morotetori had my other hand tied up in there.

In this case one taps with the feet against the mat, or against Tori (in case he's ignoring you) :)

L.C.:ai::ki:

Bronson 10-01-2003 10:58 AM

Quote:

Larry Camejo (L. Camejo) wrote:
In this case one taps with the feet against the mat, or against Tori (in case he's ignoring you) :)

Yeah, tap with your knee against his crotch...

over and over and over (in case he's ignoring you)

Bronson


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