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Old 09-04-2006, 07:24 AM   #16
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
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Re: No touch throw - again? OMG!!!

Hello,

Before you guys crucify Watanabe Sensei here, please remember that his demonstrations in May are usually quite different from his regular classes at the Hombu. I have taken his classes at the Hombu and they are quite 'normal', with strong attacks expected and no 'no-touch' techniques.

As for O Sensei, well, I cannot comment. But I suggest those who believe that the ukes were tanking for O Sensei talk to his deshi: Tamura, Yamada and especially Chiba, before reaching any conclusions.

I think Watanabe Sensei plays to the gallery at these All-Japan demonstrations, as did Mr Seagal a few years ago. In all cases the ukes are usually students or deshi of the shihan. In no cases are they persons who have never trained with the shihan. So they know what the techniques are likely to be. For example, Isoyama Sensei never does a demonstration in May unless he has an uke who is accustomed to his kata-guruma techniques. If not, it woild be too dangerous. So, what would be the purpose of such a demonstration? I leave you to decide.

In addition, students in aikido clubs at Japanese pride themselves on being able to take 'perfect' ukemi. In some sense, being a student at a Japanese university aikido club is an exploration of the limitations of one's own body, in relation to the 'Platonic' ukemi form. Thus , the ukes for ALL the shihans are their own close students, who are chosen because they can do the ukemi expected by their shihan very well.

Finally, I have seen one situation where a shihan at a demonstration used an uke with whom he had never trained before: the uke was injured.

I think demonstrations are very special and should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
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