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Old 11-18-2005, 10:20 AM   #80
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
Re: Rank-Aikido (pun intended)

So I am at the Aikido dojo, taking one of my first classes. I don't know anything, and I certainly don't know what to do. At this place they all line up and have the nage throw everyone in the line before they go to the end. It is my turn to be thrown, only I have no idea what to do. I wasn't trying to resist anything, I just was ignorant of what all was going on. The person being nage was an upper-intermediate student. He could not move me at all, let alone thrown me, but rather than offering me some direction, he just got really angry at me for messing him up or for not cooperating or something. I took that as a bad sign."
This is a very good example of the problem. So the question becomes, how do I teach the new person their role in the technique? Do we teach them the ukemi, the same way we teach nage/shite the waza? I have seen and done this...teach the ukemi and explain the reasons for that role right from the outset. Do styles where the ukemi is highly defined (go down on your back knee / block the nikkajo by bracing with your head / switch knees / sliding breakfall ) answer this quandry? Partially? Fully?

I find that sometimes it is not enough, as in a case I recently mentioned in another thread. A 300 pound newbie (male), was pushing around a 128 pound intermediate student (female), and not following the ukemi. With me, he followed the ukemi. But not with her. Finally, she just floored him. It ended the issue. From then on, he took the ukemi.

Now, I had no problems with her doing that. He had been taught the ukemi, and the reasons for it. He was, in fact, in the superior position physically. Yet he chose to step outside the model. Are you suggesting there should be no consequences for that?

Another instance...recently, someone relatively new asked me what we did about a roundhouse kick. His partner, not quite as new (and reasonable ukemi for his level), was also interested. Unfortunately, the ukemi required for techniques against certain kicks is sometimes a bit tricky. I forgot about this, and he pretty much got dumped (thankfully without injury). I've thought about this a bit...and regret showing that technique. I'm not sure if I should have just answered without demonstration, or gotten another senior student to demonstrate on me, or whatever. But I certainly should have found another method.


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