Re: Rank-Aikido (pun intended)
Well if we want to call it polite when we practice Rank Aikido for our seniors, what do we call it when we practice Rank Aikido with our juniors - when we resist their technique, opting not to be "polite" for them like we were for our seniors? Is it really just a matter of helping them out for their own good? To me it smells so much of power games and ego trips. In our dojo, we try to have the inverse relationship to what one normally sees in Rank Aikido. That is to say, we have it clearly taught, stated, and expected that senpai uke NEVER resist (or "show kohai their openings through resistance) a kohai nage; and that kohai uke should never be "polite" to senpai nage. We deal with the instructing of kohai's nage's form through instruction demonstration, verbal explanation, and the cultivation of discipline and commitment that is necessary to mimic the ideal architecture being presented. We don't try to say "you see, you are doing it wrong" by resisting their technique (since it can be resisted at all times). We just say, "you are doing it wrong - it goes like this." Later, we use spontaneous training environments to help those more "resistant" to gaining the ideal architecture understand why a technique is done one way and maybe not anyway. As for the learning curves of a kohai uke, while they are cultivated to not take dives for senpai nage, senpai nage is further restricted to the accuracy of his/her technique by not thrashing uke - by not going beyond their ukemi skill level. This means a senpai nage is going to learn more about his/her technique because he/she has the dual poles of not having an uke that will take a dive and being able to maintain control of his/her uke without risking injury to them beyond their skill at ukemi to contend with. We leave the "pushing" beyond one's limits to the instructor and to each other's peers. We leave the contracted intimacy to spontaneous training environments.