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Old 07-18-2005, 08:36 PM   #128
Brett Charvat
Location: Pullman, WA
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 64
United_States
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

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?
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