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-   -   Who "decides?" (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=89)

AikiTom 07-04-2000 08:56 AM

Let me throw this one out! I was replying to another thread here when I wrote:
"We had a short discussion where I contended that in higher practice nage doesn't pick the technique used on uke, rather uke does, because the attack of the moment really gives you the technique to do if you watch and sense the direction the energy is going. He said he thought you could determine the technique. I don't like that, because I think you then have to physically, artificially move uke into position to do "your" technique. But, I could be wrong. :)"
Sorry to quote myself, but the "copy" and "paste" thing was easier to do as I have to hit the road in a few minutes.
Please muse over this, and let me know, esp. Chuck, George, Jun, et al.
Thanks, have a good 4th, and I'll check in tonight! :)

Chuck Clark 07-04-2000 09:53 AM

I agree with you about uke giving you the info which "should" decide what technique "fits" that spot in space and time and demonstrates the universal riai of the instant.

However, if the skill levels are different enough that the defender can "overwhelm" the attacker or the uke in practice is not taught to challenge/and or counter his partner when possible, the tori can force techniques to fit.

Of course, the real problem with forcing the situation is: You have to make a decision about what to do. I don't know anyone who makes the "right decisions" all the time. If we follow principle properly, the dynamic forces at work in the action tell us what to do. If we (as you suggest) listen and just "take part" in rather than "control" the event, it'll always be intuitively creative and fit what needs to happen.

Whew, long sentences, eh?

Kata is meant to teach us principle which gives us the ability to make those intuitive, creative decisions which show true riai. There's a saying that what happens in kata never happens in a real combative situation but kata gives us the "tools" to survive the reality.

akiy 07-04-2000 10:45 AM

Sheesh -- I don't deserve to be placed in the same sentence as Chuck and George unless we're playing "Which one doesn't belong?" Of course, that doesn't preclude me from putting my mouth forward (perhaps with the chance of my foot being put into it).

I think it depends. In a "perfect" situation (in other words, in one that pretty much never occurs), the concept that I take "takemusu" to be occurs. The technique becomes born right then and there without preconception.

This, of course, is difficult. As Chuck says, you're going to have to listen. And whether you take the approach of practicing preset forms (kata) to get there or by learning about the flow and creativity, I think it's up to the individual practitioner to realize what makes "it" work for him or her.

I'm not that good, of course. Heck, I sometimes feel like I can only throw people if I manage to trip on my hakama in such a way to accidentally take uke's balance. Maybe that's why I tend to wear such long hakama...

-- Jun

AikiTom 07-04-2000 02:16 PM

Both great replies!
I agree, Chuck, that this type of interaction is not for regular classwork, and in my mind would be more for "a-couple-of-guys-messing-around-on-the-mat-after-class" practice where you've got someone of comparable or better quality to work with.
And, no, the writing isn't too long. I thinked you framed it better than I expressed it!

Keith 07-04-2000 09:13 PM

My experience, and one of my favorite "real world" stories. But before I tell it, I just want to say that for every story I have like this where things went just breathtakingly perfectly, I have about 20 where I twisted and forced and muscled. Just a little humility-covering. On with the story:

I used to work on an acute care psychiatric unit, and part of my job description was to deal with potentially violent situations. We had a patient who had acted out on the morning shift and been locked in a seclusion room. I was on evening shift, and we had to bring him his dinner. It was me, followed by a guy withthe patient's dinner, and then another guy behind him. We approached the door, and when I put in the key I looked through the little window and made eye contact with the patient. At that moment the technique was over, and everything that followed was just follow through that I watched. I said to the guy with the dinner tray "get out from behind me, his feet are about to be in the air there," and opened the door. The patient charge me and I stepped in with a direct iriminage. just before I touched him, his face jerked back and his feet went flying out from under him. He landed on the mattress, as I knew he would (even though I couldn't see the mattress through the window). I held an arm over him and pinned him against my shin while my coworker put his dinner tray down and got out of the room. I backed out of the room and locked the door. The whole time I felt like a spectator watching something occur. It didn't occur to me until later that I hadn't even touched him until after he landed. The rest of the evening I kept thinking "How do I get my students to fall that well?" :)

So you tell me who decided that technique.

Erik 07-05-2000 02:32 AM

Quote:

AikiTom wrote:
"We had a short discussion where I contended that in higher practice nage doesn't pick the technique used on uke, rather uke does, because the attack of the moment really gives you the technique to do if you watch and sense the direction the energy is going. He said he thought you could determine the technique. I don't like that, because I think you then have to physically, artificially move uke into position to do "your" technique. But, I could be wrong. :)"
Think about what happens when someone tells you something then think about what happens when someone listens to you. You are probably much more inclined to resist being told, right? It doesn't feel good and it only works with superior firepower or the like. Listening seems to be the preferred choice.

Just to make it more unclean however, there is atemi which is an artificial induction technique if ever there was one but something drilled into me from day one at my first dojo. Did I mention that I've been known to punch? Wait a second, I'm not into that martial stuff. Oops! So it seems that a core part of the art is actually somewhat manipulative.

But then if you listen you might hear that you should manipulate your partner and then you shouldn't and then you should sommersault and ah hell.... See why I don't understand Aikido? Your beautiful assertion aside it ain't that simple.

Quote:

I agree, Chuck, that this type of interaction is not for regular classwork, and in my mind would be more for "a-couple-of-guys-messing-around-on-the-mat-after-class" practice where you've got someone of comparable or better quality to work with.
It absolutely belongs in regular classwork and in fact where I spend my evenings these days it's virtually all we do. Two hours of free form listening and checking out what happens. We do it with beginners, we do it with advanced folks and everyone in between. I think since I started hanging out there 5 months ago we've had exactly 4 nights where technique was taught. It's a paradigm based on listening and it seems to work.

By the way, what's fries the mind is that beginners start doing technique. It takes them longer to get it but it shows up. Turn the process almost completely upside down and dammit if don't seem to be working. Once again, see why I'm confused these days.

andrew 07-05-2000 08:51 AM

Keith write: "So you tell me who decided that technique."

You did. If any real situation, Uke gets hurt when they don't follow Tore. You chose the technique, he chose to protect himself. If you want to teach your students to fall that well, smack them in the mouth during a tenchinage or something. (Obviously not hard enough to injure etc..) I learned quickly when I was confronted with that one.
Besides, they need to learn to fall at the moment of _impact_. If they fall before contact a time will eventually come, on the mats or on the street, where contact is made, and they'll probably lock up and fall badly.
andrew


AikiTom 07-08-2000 12:58 PM

Quote:

Keith wrote:

So you tell me who decided that technique.

Keith, thanks for sharing - it's neat to hear stories like this. I knew a lady who worked with troubled teens in a residential facility and she was learning aikido for use similar to what you did.
To elaborate a little on my belief of uke picking the technique, in a real over-simplified way I mean if you sense energy flowing to the right we don't do something taking them to the left, but follow the flow - I guess that's what I was saying. For instance, to me a kokyu-ho, kokyu-dosa exercise teaches sensitivity to nage as to where energy's going, to where an attacked is "vulnerable" in the sense of where we can help them go - up,down, sideway, backwards, forward, etc.
I'd say the guy charging you picked it. Given the space constraints, it was probably the only option, though, open to you, absent taking him forward into a person or wall. Yours definitely did two things: ended agression, and did it with compassion!


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