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Old 05-03-2006, 06:56 PM   #106
Michael O'Brien
Dojo: Nashville Aikikai
Location: Nashville, Tn
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 288
Re: Instructor got mad because I didn't fall

Martha Kops wrote:
I am new to Aikido, and recently when partnered with a Black belt, she felt I was falling too easily! I accepted her instruction and did my best to stay with the technique. It did not make me feel badly. I was happy for the input. I am intrigued by the black belts I meet who do the technique very slowly to find where your actual balance point (or that is my interpretation) exists. That said, I have also had a practice or two with higher ranked aikidoka who frustrated me because they were not sensitive to my level and worked me faster than I would have liked. The question is how do you blend with this situation and what is YOUR lesson in this? Something to think about. In one of my rough practices mentioned above, I have decided that I will let go next time instead of trying so hard to be a "good" uke. It was mentioned in a seminar I recently attended that that is an option of your attacker. In the other rough situation, I had two practices where I told the person they were going too fast for me. The second time I suggested that I bow out and allow him to practice with a black belt who was in a threesome near by. It was intense! I learned from seeing them work, and my partner finally got that he was too much (quick) for me. He said he would adjust in future. I would appreciate any comments on this.

I would say you handled the situation quite well; Most people develop fairly good ukemi skills relatively quickly and that will allow you to train harder and faster with the more advanced students in your dojo. When you attack give a committed attack at the speed you are comfortable training at; Your partner should meet your attack and blend with it at the same speed and follow through with the technique. It is always good if you are comfortable with the partner you are training with to train just a hair above your comfort level which will enable you to improve even faster. For instance, when I take ukemi for my Sensei I will go anywhere from 75%-90% of an all out attack. I know he can blend with me all out and I know that I can take good ukemi with him throwing me in a manner I don't get hurt. With most other people in our dojo I gear that back down to 60%-80%, and with beginners learning techniques I crank it back to about 25%.

Keep training and before you know it you will have improved quite a bit. Then maybe it will be your turn to take it easy on someone.

Harmony does not mean that there are no conflicts,
for the dynamic spiral of existence embraces both extremes.
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