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-   -   Poll: If you didn't train at all as uke, would you still be training aikido? (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9177)

AikiWeb System 10-30-2005 12:30 AM

Poll: If you didn't train at all as uke, would you still be training aikido?
 
AikiWeb Poll for the week of October 30, 2005:

If you didn't train at all as uke, would you still be training aikido?
  • I don't do aikido
  • Yes
  • No
Here are the current results.

Rolf Granlund 10-30-2005 02:26 AM

Re: Poll: If you didn't train at all as uke, would you still be training aikido?
 
For myself I feel that I can "learn" a technique moreso through taking ukemi than performing it. I don't know exactly how to explain it.

Also I look at Aikido as a means of learning how to give and receive. Take away one of those and it becomes something else. At least in my eyes.

bhutchy23 10-30-2005 07:10 AM

Re: Poll: If you didn't train at all as uke, would you still be training aikido?
 
I know what Rolf Granlund is talking about. Often when learning a new technique I realize I'm doing something wrong, but I can't pin it down. Sometimes just having sensei perform the technique on me helps me figure it out.

Aikido is also an art of self defense. Anyone who really believes that they are always ready for anything is a fool. We can all be caught off-guard. Learning to roll and breakfall without thinking or planning can save you greater injury. Only years of training as uke can make falling so natural.

SeiserL 10-30-2005 08:48 AM

Re: Poll: If you didn't train at all as uke, would you still be training aikido?
 
Quote:

AikiWeb System wrote:
If you didn't train at all as uke, would you still be training aikido?

IMHO, no.

markwalsh 10-30-2005 09:12 AM

Re: Poll: If you didn't train at all as uke, would you still be training aikido?
 
There are two ways of reading this question (to my mixed up Brit mind):

- Would it be aikido if one were only doing nage waza?
- Would you still be going to class if you could only do nage waza?

To me the heart of aikido is its reciprocal nature, though I appreciate for the elderly how ukemi can become difficult. Personally, I'd rather drop the nage than the ukemi given a choice.

Good question either way,

Mark

Paul Kerr 10-30-2005 10:03 AM

Re: Poll: If you didn't train at all as uke, would you still be training aikido?
 
Quote:

If you didn't train at all as uke, would you still be training aikido?
No.

Chef CJ 10-30-2005 10:40 AM

Re: Poll: If you didn't train at all as uke, would you still be training aikido?
 
It seems that the spirit of Aikido training incorporates both aspects to be complete. In the teachings of O Sensei as well as doka written by O Sensei there are many mentions of the male/ female, water/ fire and giving / receiving aspects in relation to Aiki and Aikido. It would lead one to beleive( at least a simple mind such as my own) that attempting to train in Aikido as only Nage would be incomplete at best or not really Aikido at all.

Could you imagine how much longer it might take a person to learn a technique from only the Nage's perspective. I will gladly continue to be Uke at just the thought of that alone.

Thanks for the time,

CJ

Joshua Livingston 10-30-2005 08:47 PM

Re: Poll: If you didn't train at all as uke, would you still be training aikido?
 
Quote:

Mark Walsh wrote:
There are two ways of reading this question (to my mixed up Brit mind):

- Would it be aikido if one were only doing nage waza?
- Would you still be going to class if you could only do nage waza?

To me the heart of aikido is its reciprocal nature, though I appreciate for the elderly how ukemi can become difficult. Personally, I'd rather drop the nage than the ukemi given a choice.

Good question either way,

Mark

The same for this mixed up American mind as well.

When I was answering the pole, which I didn't take too long to think about, I read it as, would you still be going to class, which of course I responded yes to.

Though even if I had read it the other way, at first I thought I would say no as that seems to be the natural answer as all the Aikido greats tout the importance of Ukemi and I of course agree with them. However, as I thought about it I would have to say yes in any case.

Even if a bunch of Judo guys came in to constantly take the Ukemi from Nage's techniques, I do believe you would still be training Aikido. As you are still learning how to blend with Uke and use his force to neutralize the attack. You are still embodying the principles of the Triangle, Circle, and Square; maintaining your center point, using Mushin and Zanshin; establishing proper Maai; working with Kuzushi, exploring Kokyu, and extending Ki.

Of course the learning process would be severely dampened by not taking Ukemi and it likely that the Judo guys taking the Uekmi could learn Aikido quicker than Nage, but you would still essentially be training Aikido.

You must also take into consideration those who are impaired in various ways; those in wheel chairs, those with no legs or arms, or those who are simply too beat up by life to take proper Ukemi. Sure they may not gain the full benefits, but I would argue that they are just as capable of training in Aikido. In fact many of the senior ranks promote that what you do with Aikido off the mat is 1000 times more important than that which you do on it. Thus, though I wouldn't recommend it, I would argue that you could train in Aikido without ever stepping on the mat in the first place, as long as you gain an understanding of the basic principles and apply them to your every day life.

There are many practices that unify mind and body and these could be used in place of the Aikido mat training. May not be the traditional view of what Aikido training is, but I believe this would be training in Aikido nonetheless.

akiy 10-30-2005 09:08 PM

Re: Poll: If you didn't train at all as uke, would you still be training aikido?
 
Quote:

Mark Walsh wrote:
There are two ways of reading this question (to my mixed up Brit mind):

- Would it be aikido if one were only doing nage waza?
- Would you still be going to class if you could only do nage waza?

Sorry for the mix-up. I was more intending it to be the former, but the latter is an interesting interpretation, too!

-- Jun

Clayton Drescher 10-30-2005 11:40 PM

Re: Poll: If you didn't train at all as uke, would you still be training aikido?
 
I have little trouble picking up the proper ukemi for most techniques....its the actual doing of the techniques as nage that throws me sometimes.....so, yes, I think ( to the survey question), because I personally learn more by being nage (or watching a nage do the technique properly) than by being uke.

mathewjgano 10-31-2005 12:01 AM

Re: Poll: If you didn't train at all as uke, would you still be training aikido?
 
I had to think real hard about this one and had to read other people's thoughts before coming to a conclusion of "no". The response that made me think the way i did was regarding Aikido being about give and take. I'm getting a little metaphysical, but in my understanding, you can't have the yin without the yang and vice versa. In the same sense, I don't think an individual's training can have the nage aspect without some uke aspect too, and vice versa.
Tough question though and I don't feel I can answer with authority given my current level of training.
Take care,
Matt

Dirk Hanss 10-31-2005 02:02 AM

Re: Poll: If you didn't train at all as uke, would you still be training aikido?
 
I am really curious, what that could mean.
A dojo where they have professional uke to speed up nage waza training?
A dojo where both partners do nage waza and they never perform a technique as that would force the partner to take ukemi?
An eternal gaeshi waza, until one stops the "kata" standing? Could be an idea, but it wouldn't be so much fun. Maybe I would implement such aikido, if I would work with people, who cannot or my not go down, e.g. handicapped people. I know there are some aikido instructors, who work with handicapped people. Do you have some classes without uke? NeedN#t be handicapped, but other people of unhealthy constitution or eldery beginners.

I do not vote this time.

Dirk

bogglefreak20 10-31-2005 02:49 AM

Re: Poll: If you didn't train at all as uke, would you still be training aikido?
 
Perhaps, but it wouldn't be any fun anymore. :D

No, honestly, IMO ukemi is an integral part of Aikido so without it...eh...don't even wanna think 'bout it.

BTW, nice halloween kanji. ;)

markwalsh 10-31-2005 09:07 AM

Re: Poll: If you didn't train at all as uke, would you still be training aikido?
 
From the point of view of personal growth/change within aikido - it's my view that taking both roles is essential.

Don_Modesto 10-31-2005 09:50 AM

Re: Poll: If you didn't train at all as uke, would you still be training aikido?
 
Quote:

Jun Akiyama wrote:
Sorry for the mix-up. I was more intending it to be the former, but the latter is an interesting interpretation, too!

Methinks, cynically, Jun, it doesn't even matter. Unless I miss my guess, your intention with these often unfocused, shotgun questions is to stir thought and discussion. A finely-honed question might answer itself.

At the end of Blink!, a book by Malcom Caldwell on how we make decisions, he relates how a world-class symphony held blind auditions for the first time for a wind instrument position. They'd never hired a woman for that part before because everyone KNOWS that women and physically incapable of bearing up under the stress of such a demanding instrument. You've already guessed the result--by unanimous consent, they chose a woman, much to their own astonishment. All these generations, some of the finest trained ears ever to appear on earth were overruled by vulgar preconceptions.

How much of our reasoning is much different? Some SHIHAN's offhanded comment become scripture and we interpret results according to that. Received wisdom is that you learn to throw by...falling?! Arguments could be made very well for learning to throw better by concentrating on...throwing! Hark! A revelation!

Why do we learn to throw by falling? Do we learn to play chess by cleaning tables?! (Yes, I have read Ledyard's very compelling remarks on the subject; I make the argument as Devil's Advocate.)

So many of our conclusions are based not on evidence but on expectations. Conventional wisdom here is that we learn to be better NAGEs by being regular UKEs.

Ya think?

Mark Gibbons 10-31-2005 12:09 PM

Re: Poll: If you didn't train at all as uke, would you still be training aikido?
 
I voted yes on the assumption that being uke was impossible for whatever reason, with the main thought being of some physical restriction. It would not be a preferred choice, it might be slow way to learn, but would be better than nothing. So how about at the extreme, no nage, no uke, strictly watching?


Mark

MaryKaye 10-31-2005 12:13 PM

Re: Poll: If you didn't train at all as uke, would you still be training aikido?
 
I read the question the other way--would I still go to class? I don't think I would; it would be too frustrating, and I'd probably take up tai chi instead.

Due to weird mixes of students in some classes I have had brief experiences of nage-only and uke-only training, and I can't say I would thrive on either one, but given my choice I'd be uke.

It would still be aikido, I just wouldn't be getting as much out of it if I were only nage.

Mary Kaye

NagaBaba 10-31-2005 04:01 PM

Re: Poll: If you didn't train at all as uke, would you still be training aikido?
 
We must be careful not to mix
1.learning techniques & conditioning body
with
2. spontaneous creating response to an attack (Takemusu Aiki).

What we do in daily training is point number 1.
What O sensei and shihans do all their life is number 2.

So my answer is YES, of course. One doesn’t need to take ukemi to do Aikido.

Jeanne Shepard 10-31-2005 09:16 PM

Re: Poll: If you didn't train at all as uke, would you still be training aikido?
 
Never!

Ukemi is the FUN part!

Jeanne :p

Dan Herak 11-01-2005 09:06 AM

Re: Poll: If you didn't train at all as uke, would you still be training aikido?
 
To properly interpret the question, I think it is important to remember that aikido is not something practiced solely within the dojo. Nor is it simply a self-defense martial art to be applied if you find yourself in a tough situation. Rather, aikido is something that you take with you outside of the dojo and hopefully make you more aware of your surroundings. From that perspective, then knowing how to take ukemi is of course necessary for an aikidoka for the simple reason that one is more likely to trip on the sidewalk and fall flat on one's face than one is to be jumped by a bunch of thugs and flipped over in a manner similar to an aikido throw. Taking proper ukemi under such circumstances is most definitely "self-defense" even if it is not the way we normally think of that term. Anyone so unaware of ukemi as to be unable to protect himself in such a manner would not have the awareness of one's surroundings that one would expect for a person practiced in aikido.

bhutchy23 11-01-2005 12:25 PM

Re: Poll: If you didn't train at all as uke, would you still be training aikido?
 
In "The Principles of Aikido" Saotome Sensei says:
Quote:

"Good ukemi training will allow you to see the future truly because your vision will be based on observation and intuition, rather than an arbitrary decision made in advance of the evidence. Good ukemi represents the same wisdom as that of the fisherman who through long experience can sense what the coming weather will be."
Training without ukemi is of course possible, but you aren't training in Aikido. You are simply practicing techniques used in Aikido. Aikido is much more than just a series of techniques.

I don't think that anyone trained solely as nage would be able to use Aikido in a real setting, nor be able to progress to the level of shodan. It would be interesting to see though.


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