George S. Ledyard wrote:
Frankly, many practitioners completely misunderstand the role of the uke in the training interaction. People seem to fall into two categories... either they attack with the intention to take a fall, thereby never actually delivering a good attack, or they attack thinking that the "martial" way to be a good uke is to stop the partner's technique. This is just as bad from a martial a standpoint as it creates huge openings. No real attacker has the intention to stop your technique, he has intention to do something to you. This is quite different energetically.
This does not mean that the uke colludes... he merely executes the attack called for with strong intention. The fact that, with an unskilled partner that might result in the failure to execute the called for technique is the result in the lack of skill in the nage rather than the intention to stop his technique on the part of uke. Uke simply delivers the energy in as clear and strong a fashion as possible....
YES! This is it! The whole package right there! Thank you.
Now, (if others could follow suit) it would be cool if we all could talk about how this as an underlying substructure of our Aikido seems to subvert our supposed efforts at spiritual cultivation. My own idea is: The deeper aspects of Aikido are not open to 20th century understandings of Japanese hierarchy (both inside and outside of Japan).
Somewhere in there, having a social system that is vertically based and that is connected to degrees of intimacy and insult, etc., is going to hugely get in the way of reconciling the world (whether that be on an individual level or on a global level). This means that Rank Aikido is a problem not just for the folks that are doing Aikido for martial reasons. This is right up there as well for those folks that make a distinction between the martial side of Aikido and the spiritual side of Aikido. I do not want to suggest that commonly held views of Japanese hierarchy do not have their way of generating certain human virtues that are important socially. However, for example, I do suggest that at a certain point the humility that comes from submitting oneself to the will, guidance, and tutelage of another, etc., is not exactly the same humility that comes from a reconciliation of the world in Oneness.
Deconstructing Rank Aikido is one way of beginning to grasp this difference - in my opinion.
Again - thanks George, great post.