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Old 05-04-2006, 02:43 AM   #109
Josh Reyer
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Location: Aichi-ken, Nagoya-shi
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 644
Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Ken McGrew wrote:
No, this is not simply a difference in language. Many of the people posting in this discussion talk about forcing Uke. Even your language here about Nage taking Uke's structural integrity reflects a different understanding of Ukemi and the relationship between Uke and Nage than what I have been taught. We don't force Uke or take from Uke. We don't impose, generally speaking, but lead, follow, and shape. In fact, we don't think in terms of Kata but Katache (sp?), a distinction made by Ikeda Sensei.
Katachi*. I know what katachi is, and it changes nothing that I'm saying. It is by the resistance (to continue to use an imprecise concept) that nage learns and perfects the katachi.

Uke's structural integrity is compromised by the act of attacking, both spiritually and physically.
Oh, if only that were true.

To truly attack is to become vulnerable, at least momentarilly. To attack someone you must go to them, and this intention can be used to lead the attacker outside of his balance.
Ah, I say "take uke's structural integrity", you say "lead the attacker outside his balance". We are talking about the same thing.

Once unbalanced, if the motion is continued, there is no opportunity to resist.
"Once unbalanced".

If resistance is encountered or if something doesn't go as intended, it is always possible to change (either inside the technique or to a different technique, or no technique). I think too often it is the lack of a true attack that gives Uke the opportunity to live in the egotistic delusion of resistance.
The resistance we are talking about is simply not egotistical. Nor is it a delusion. If nage tries to apply a technique without leading me outside my balance, the technique won't work. I won't fall. I'm not not-falling because it makes me feel better about myself; I actually want my partner to feel good because he's doing aikido. I'm not falling because nage has not created the proper katachi.

Likewise, when I do a katatori, moretetori, ryotetori etc. technique, I grasp strongly, with strong balance and structure. I don't do this because it makes me feel powerful. Standing around in a mini tug-of-war, pushing and pulling with all my strength? How boring! How tiring! I grasp strongly because (among other things), nage then knows exactly where my strength is, and exactly where my weakness is. I lead him to lead me off balance. And thus, as nage, I "listen" to what uke's body is telling me, and let him lead me to where I can lead him off balance.

Sounds terribly collusive, doesn't it? But it's all using "resisitance"!

*Linguisitic explanation.

Kata 型 - A standard model form of movements in sports, martial arts, and dance. In different contexts, often written with the kanji 形.

Katachi 形 - A shape or form. Hence, a kata as a whole has a certain katachi, but of course there are smaller katachi inside the kata, e.g., shape of the hands, footwork.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
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