Re: Rank-Aikido (pun intended)
Heay, congrats David! Very important topic.
I believe every aikidoka that practices long enough face this problem and must find his own way to work it out. In my case, I solved it, but it took few years of hard work. For less advanced then me, I don’t punish them (for strong, fast and difficult attack and doing “heavy“ ukemi), by doing very painful technique. In contrary, I’m avoiding as I can whole atemi thing to invite them to attack as hard as they can.
Consequences are there, efficiency of my techniques was almost null in the beginning, when I started this approach, slowly being improved.
With more senior folks, it was much more difficult. I must chose them very carefully and by honest practice prove, that my intend is not to “test” them, but simply to add more difficulty, and to improve a technique.
With mature partners it was very well possible. The results are truly revealing. As a uke, I can now feel directly and live, how senior folks are trying to resolve the difficulties, and this has no price. I’m learning how to close all openings from perspective other then mine. Then with few of them, I’m trying to do the counters whenever it is possible. Of course, they practice with me the same way as a uke. Absolutely amazing.
After such practice, “regular” practice is not only boring, but makes no sense at all……..
But as my instructor told me, I’m walking on the edge very thin red line……