John Matsushima wrote:
It really irritates me when someone equates intense training with throwing someone hard. As an uke, we all know that we could do other things besides grab someones wrist, or throw just one punch at someones midsection. But instead we attack in a predetermined manner so that the nage may practice a predetermined technique. I have been slammed by people really hard and nearly had my arms broken and the person's response was "I like to train hard" What a bunch of crap. I am practically handing myself to you for you to practice and you throwing me hard doesn't show squat about your technical ability or physical strength, except that I was stupid enough to let you do it.....once.
So now let's look at the other end of the spectrum. Sure, there are people who say that intense training is when uke attacks really hard. I can even appreciate a good hard attack, but how beneficial is this training, after all? Does it make you feel better because you were able to pull off a kote gaeshi on someone when you knew exactly when and where the punch was coming from, even though it was "hard"??? To tell you the truth, I have found that a hard, fast attack is actually easier to deal with sometimes. So much for intensity.
Intensity has far more to do with one's training than with the speed and power of uke and nage. Training for long hours in the middle of the night, in the hottest heat of summer without air conditioning, in the coldest nights of winter without heat; doing shikko until your knees bleed, doing shomen cuts until your arms feel like they are going to fall off; constantly pushing yourself when you don't think you can go anymore, and training everyday of your life are some examples of intense training.
I think the reason people want to practice hard and fast in the dojo is because they think it prepares them better for reality. However, there is no such thing as reality training because the future is unknown. You have no way of knowing how, where or when the person will attack, or who it may be. Intention on the part of uke can never be replicated in the dojo because the person who will try to kill you for real will have a fire in his eyes, a dragon in his heart, and whose stomach will thirst for your blood. Hard and fast attacks don't amount to squat.
Intention on the part of nage doesn't either. The saying goes "The road to hell is paved with good intentions". I don't care if you meant to hurt me or not because either way I trusted myself to you and you hurt me.
Can you imagine if the US Navy trained this way? Uke ship fires a REAL missile at nage ship, and nage ship responds by blowing up uke ship, who also happens to be on the same side. Doesn't make sense.
I hope this wasn't too intense for anyone's reading.
LOL! I love that last line!
I think, in the dojo, nage MUST protect his partner. All of us have strengths and weaknesses and it's up to nage to feel those out before ripping someone's arms off. On the other hand, the more experience uke has, the more uke needs to be prepared to encounter someone who will try to rip his arms off. Assumption is the mother of all...well, you know, and this goes for both sides. I've heard of systems where some brag that people get their wrists broken from time to time because they're "intense" and that is
All that said, i do think it's important for both "sides" to realize intensity is a relative thing, and to assume the other automatically understands this, is, well, not Aikido...per my understanding at least.