Originally posted by Sarah
(cconstantine wrote: )
I think its important to believe that uke and nage practice together. Aikido is blending.
Sarah asks: In your opinion, why does uke blend?
My uke waza has two conscious purposes. (It may have other side effects, but I'm not intentionally aiming for those.) These are things which, if I find my conscious mind insists on interupting, I will then think about.
1. my training in aikido. Blending with energy met, wether positive or negative, with a relaxed, steadfast and open mind, body and spirit. In this aspect, my uke waza is the same as my nage waza. I try to practice this aspect at all times (and not just on the matt.)
2. helping others train at aikido. This means (when I'm uke) fostering an environment in which others can grow. To this end all of my items in '1.' are important, but I may have to blend with a junior nage. A senior student or an instructor will blend just fine without assistance. These aikidoka (senior to me -- not "senior" in rank, but senior in a particular moment) are best helped by my focusing and extending ki. A junior nage may be just on the verge of grasping or loosing one point, and if I "stay nearby" (physically, mentally, and in terms of blending) I create a spacial (physically) and mental environment where they can learn to blend and to keep one point.
I focus my uke waza depending on my nage. (I was going to say "adapt", but really, I think it's all the same uke waza.) With a senior or "peer" nage I can focus on "my aikido training". With a junior nage, I must also focus on how my "being" relates to their training.
aside: I'm ikkyu. Our instructors (mostly nidan) teach a good number of "no-kyu" students as well as low kyu belts. So I'm frequently practicing uke waza with juniors.
I think this (uke waza with junior nage) is a VERY important and beneficial aspect of my training. But it is (in my opinion) clearly a different flavor of uke waza compared to, say, uke waza with my sensei (a 4th dan).