Dirk Hanss wrote:
I mostly agree, but to play the devil's advocate:
As I was told no one (living) aikidoka can do a correct (perfect) ikkyo, it seems as if a strong uke would never fall in your dojo, right?
The major reason to take ukemi voluntarily (if the technique is done sufficiently good for the level of nage)is that many novices tend to use force, if the technique does not work, and if they are strong enough, it works, though rather badly. So the next time,they use more force. And thus some create strong techniques, that only work, until uke is stronger.
I think you just made my point.
Yes, if they are strong enough and nage has poor enough technique, uke never goes down. However, the argument for a strong uke is better technique and the higher ranked students, with better technique have never had a student who simply kept them from doing an Ikkyo using only power. That is the very reason we do Ikkyo rather than Hiji-osae. Hiji-osae relies too much on strength versus strength.
Yes, we have had people with whom even some of the senior (Yonkyu) students have had trouble. They get into trouble because the students, when faced with an inordinately strong Uke, try to overcome the situation with increased shoulder power of their own. So, I have to go in re-show correct technique and how to overcome upper body strength with leg strength and gentleness and flowing. I usually don't let the senior students use an Atemi or Harai or Keri to get out of a difficult situation but force them to work at doing the technique until they resolve the problem in other ways. Atemi, Harai, or Keri is just too simple a way to resolve the problem and doesn't force the students into the point of frustration they need to change the way they think (become enlightened).
Frustration and confusion are necessary precursors to true learning (enlightenment). That is why we have Zen Koans. They are there to induce confusion and frustration to help you break down the walls in your mind. Likewise, I am here to induce confusion and frustration in the students so that they will be able to learn their Aikido.
Actually, for the last month, I have had to be going over Shomen-uchi Ikkyo again showing them how to do it using hip power as in Kihon-waza and how to do it using body position (Hanmi) as in higher leve Ikkyo. Usually by the time students are testing for Sankyu, I expect them to be doing Ikkyo using the Hanmi or Ken style of body position rather than the power / jo / Kihon style of body position. I guess this applies to all the techniques that the students demonstrate during their Sankyu test for me.
As for David's comments, David, I am using Kata in it general form of "form" rather than prescribed "Kata" as in Judo or Karate Kata. This fits with the perspective of Kata as the form and Waza as the application (of course, with a few added implications that cannot be fully satisfied using the terms "form" and "application").