Ken McGrew wrote:
Having said this, I can only address the question from my understanding of Ukemi that I obtained from my instructors and from their teacher Saotome Sensei. When I read comments that black belts should be able to make a technique work by forcing it if necessary, or that Uke should resist in order to show Nage what isn't working, then we aren't discussing anything I recognize as Aikido.
As O'Sensei stated, "Aikido is the art of non-resistance."
I'm sure you would recognize it. What we're talking about is not resisting strength-against-strength, but uke maintaining structural integrity until nage takes it.
To make it a linguistic point, Ueshiba never actually said "non-resistance". Being Japanese, he said 無抵抗, muteikou
, which is often translated as "non-resistance", since it's made up of two elements 無 mu
, meaning "none" and 抵抗 teikou
, meaning "resistance".
While we having been using the English term "resistance" in the discussion, the seeming Japanese equivalent would actually not show up in a same discussion in Japanese. My instructor, when instructing in us in how to be proper uke, never says "抵抗しろ！" (Teikou shiro!
) "Resist!" Teikou, in this context, would be the same as when we say "bracing" or "jamming" a technique in English; digging in the feet, pulling back on one's arm and center, denying nage the proper energy he needs to execute the kata. Rather, in my dojo the words used to express the kind of "resistance" we are talking about in this thread are 頑張る ganbaru
, "to hang with it, do one's best" or 粘る nebaru
, "to persevere, to stick with it". Really, the most common phrase is "勝手に落ちるな！" (Katte ni ochiru na!
) "Don't fall on your own!" Katte
has a nuance of doing something selfishly or unilaterally.
So, really, what we have here is something of a blurry line caused by translation. Ideally (in my "resistance" dojo, as well as I'm sure, your dojo), what you have is a connection, each participant knowing themselves and their centers, and that of their partners very well. Uke knows when nage has him, and when he doesn't, and the same goes for nage.