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Old 11-25-2006, 04:48 PM   #29
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Location: Elgin, IL
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 165
Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

Mark Murray wrote:
I've taken more falls on concrete, rocks, ground, and hard surfaces than I ever have taken in a fight. I've had my legs go out from under me at a bowling alley when I accidentally went past the line, I've tripped and rolled over/onto rocks, I've fallen on an iced concrete parking lot, etc. So, there can be a lot of times where one gets to that type of condition. It doesn't necessarily mean that quite a few things have gone Kapooy.

Exactly...but something did go Kapooy because you lost your center. Look...we all have these stories. Gozo Shioda sensei has written about his accounts of using "Aikido" when he was almost struck by a car. Kiyoyuki Terada sensei [Yoshinkan] talks of using his "Aikido" when he was riding his bicycle and was thrown off. I have millions of quaint little antidotes of falling and slipping and tripping and using my "Aikido" both in the dojo, on the street --- really, whatever.

To focus on the slap is to miss everything else and is the only reason I offered up my rebuttal to statements that are automatically dismissive of pretty much the complete history and development of ukemi skills and what they are for and what they develop.

...The trouble is, once this initial exercise is conditioned into the student, it is hard to break them of it. Then they take it on the streets with them. Falling on mats and falling on pavement or rocks are very different matters. Why not teach people correctly from the start...
Maybe ukemi training doesn't stop at these lower level skill sets. Maybe there is more to learn.

...It's just staggering that, surrounded by good data on physics, body mechanics and physiological data derived from good scientific method, so many people in Western post-industrial society still buy into pseudoscience. But, the papers still run astrology columns, so that's a good barometer for the state of public knowledge.

Just because a system has been taught a certain way for a while, doesn't mean it's right. Tradition sometimes is BAD tradition.
Are you suggesting that the ukemi skill sets of Judo - Jujitsu - Aikijujitsu are incorrect? I cannot speak for any other methods other than the Yoshinkan system which is basically derivative of the before mentioned forms and what I am talking about.

Either way, IMO there is more to ukemi then just protecting yourself from falling. Precisely because of this, I was hoping that this part of the conversation wasn't going to be split from the rest of the thread on Aikido: The learning of natural movement because I see this being very much in tune with some of the debate found there [as well as in some of the other threads involving ki and kokyu].

Mark Murray started to touch on this as well. There is much more to ukemi then just learning to fall correctly. This directly ties into statements made by Dan Harden about the only way his students will be able to throw him is if he is the one that brakes his posture [I'm assuming this means if they have not developed the skill level to do it themselves] which brings us right around to things Ellis Amdur has written about concerning what he views as the backwardness of how much of [if not all] Aikido in the world is taught compared to schools of the koryu. This of course refers to the defined roles of Uke and Nage and how techniques are taught.

The truth of the matter is that there really is no Ukemi to take when many of the techniques are applied to there full potential. Many of the techniques are so devastating on multiple levels that the only way for Uke to be able to receive the technique is if Nage allows them to retain some semblance of center so that they can take the fall safely.

At any rate, for me ukemi training is right up there in importance as aiki taiso is for others. I don't see a difference in what they teach and what they strengthen.



Charles Burmeister
Aikido Yoshinkan Yoseikai

"Calmness is trust in action"
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