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-   -   Poll: Is uke ever "wrong" in your aikido training? (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4940)

AikiWeb System 02-01-2004 12:01 AM

AikiWeb Poll for the week of February 1, 2004:

Is uke ever "wrong" in your aikido training?
  • I don't do aikido
  • Yes
  • No
Here are the current results.

wendyrowe 02-01-2004 09:32 AM

If you're supposed to be learning a particular new technique by practicing it in response to a specific attack, uke needs to do that attack correctly. And,

uke has to attack with real intent.

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

Chad Sloman 02-01-2004 10:03 AM

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

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

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

Doka 02-01-2004 10:37 AM

Sounds like Sensei X was an A-hole!!!

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

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

Nacho_mx 02-01-2004 11:33 AM

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

Don_Modesto 02-01-2004 11:54 AM

Quote:

Chad Sloman wrote:
I've heard a story related to this...

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

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

ian 02-01-2004 12:55 PM

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

Ian

shihonage 02-01-2004 05:44 PM

Neither uke nor nage is always right.

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

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

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

ikkitosennomusha 02-01-2004 07:07 PM

Remember, the quesstion is, "Is Uke ever wrong in My Aikido training. The keyword being My. The answer for me is NO!

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

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

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

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

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

Brad Medling

ikkitosennomusha 02-01-2004 07:20 PM

Quote:

Aleksey Sundeyev (shihonage) wrote:
There are nages who always try to throw uke more energetically than the uke threw them when they were nage, to somehow "justify" the difference in rank.

This is definately true. I feel you are going to have this anywhere you train to an extent. However with me, I once trained in a dojo where the relationship between sensei and myslef turned because I started throwing him harder than I use to. Why?

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

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

Brad Medling

shihonage 02-01-2004 07:23 PM

Quote:

Brad Medling (ikkitosennomusha) wrote:
Remember, the quesstion is, "Is Uke ever wrong in My Aikido training. The keyword being My. The answer for me is NO!

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

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

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

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

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

Brad Medling

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

The variety of attacks you describe should be encouraged.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AsimHanif 02-01-2004 08:05 PM

Good question
 
Since the question was asked as "...aikido training", I took it personally.

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

AsimHanif 02-01-2004 08:06 PM

Sorry about that. The first sentence should have been quoted as "...YOUR aikido training."

justinm 02-02-2004 05:58 AM

Uke is wrong at least as many times as tori is wrong. They both have their role to play in the kata.

Justin

bogglefreak20 02-02-2004 06:22 AM

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

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

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

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

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

PeterR 02-02-2004 07:03 AM

Quote:

Justin McCarthy (justinm) wrote:
Uke is wrong at least as many times as tori is wrong. They both have their role to play in the kata.

Exactly. For everything else there is juwaza and randori.

Amendes 02-02-2004 08:09 AM

Wrong?
 
Nobody is ever "Wrong" in Aikido.

Just different.

JMCavazos 02-02-2004 09:17 AM

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

Evza 02-02-2004 09:24 AM

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

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

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

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

rcoit 02-02-2004 11:00 AM

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

Nafis Zahir 02-02-2004 11:44 AM

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

indomaresa 02-02-2004 01:04 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Doka 02-02-2004 02:56 PM

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

davoravo 02-02-2004 03:56 PM

To reiterate Justin and Peter

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

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

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

So I vote Uke can be wrong

SeiserL 02-02-2004 04:47 PM

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

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


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