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Old 11-10-2005, 07:40 AM   #50
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
Re: Rank-Aikido (pun intended)

Pauliina Lievonen wrote:
I guess Shioda really is a bad example in this discussion... because I understand he didn't go out of his way to protect his ukes anyway, right?
Well, I don't believe that is totaly true. None of his uke died... and from what I can see at least, he was more than capable of ensuring you landed badly. So it comes down to the **level** of protection. From what I understand, he had one way of protecting uke in a public demonstration using uchi / soto deshi, one way of protecting yudansha at seminars, one way of protecting mudansha at seminars, etc. But I never had the pleasure of being there in person, so I don't really know for sure. This is martial art. If you step up to take ukemi at a public demonstration, when you are on track to be an instructor in his name, you've signed on for the serious stuff.

So it's not just a question of rank, it's also a question of is it physically safe.
This is a very sensitive area for many people (me too). There is that thin red line that Mr. S spoke of. And it is VERY important to have an intimate relationship (in David's words) established on some level BEFORE you get to that line...just in case you cross it, which you surely will sometime if you are really pushing. More about that later.

That said... I've trained with some people where all I did was keep myself safe while taking ukemi, because they were stronger than me, and had enough experience over me that they could have hurt me if I tried anything but go along, even if they did make mistakes...and I don't think that was good practice.
Hmm, well, for me it was good practice, but practice of a different sort. Learning to receive the power, speed, intensity without getting hurt has enabled me to push the barrier in other cases, at other times. Both of the forth dans in the dojo where I train are stronger, one is younger, both are vastly better at aikido, one is 6'1'', one is 6'5'' get the idea. I'm pretty much outclassed. Neither has ever hurt me (in any serious way outside of REALLY f'ing hard ukemi). Both have incouraged me to attack hard, to try my best as uke, even when demonstrating waza in front of the class.

But there is a line. With one, it came during normal training when I thought he was resisting and asking for more power from me when I was shite (why I would ever think more raw physical power would be good as shite is another matter). So I gave it, and caused quite a bit of pain to my uke in the process. During hitori geiko later, when he threw me, I could swear it sounded and felt like a rocket ship being launched. I took some of the best ukemi in my life. Good thing too. But his point was, there is a line, and it's not wise to cross it. Our seniors feel pain too, they get injured too, they have egos too. They don't like being roughed up any more than we do. Taking advantage of the shite/uke training is wrong...and it can be very difficult in some cases to know when you are and when you aren't. This same person is someone who does encourage me to keep finding the edge of that red line. And it's HIS body he's putting on the line when we do that.

Really, it's just another manifestation of the same - don't show a higher rank their mistakes, and the consequences in this case aren't social, but physical injury. I don't know that that isn't even worse.
hmmm...well...this is martial art. If you physically step up your attack, shite will physically step up their response. All I can say is you have to accept the consequences if you anti up. And I'm not talking about cheap shots...just good strong technique on the edge. Even when in heavy correction mode, I've never seen my teacher intentionally hurt someone. But bad falls can happen's more likely when you push the edge.

But I asked, if he made a mistake, and you didn't need to fall? Would you still fall?
I'll let you know when I feel it happen.

Maybe just from the shock?
Yeah, shock, that's it. My black eye is from shock....

You have to constantly determine what is happening in the moment. I've felt my teacher frustrated with me when I've given the wrong attack when it should have been obvious, I've felt him wonder where my head is at when he is trying to illustrate a point while teaching and I act like we are in a public demonstration...I think you get the idea. Situational awareness is key. Understand, even this post is taking a chance and walking that line. If I mis-represent, mis-characterise, mistakenly malign the people I train with, there are consequences (and should be). I don't even mean physical ones...

Ron (my thanks and utmost respect to my sempai and teachers)

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 11-10-2005 at 07:42 AM.

Ron Tisdale
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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