Kevin Leavitt wrote:
I think uke is only responsible for an initial, sound, attack...he does not have to do anything other than offer an honest attack, he doesn't need to follow or anything else. He goes with nage only to continue to improve his position of attack, or to save his ass from getting dumped...it should be very, very tactical.
Speed comes into play as another dynamic. We can slow things down or speed them up. While it does affect the emotion and timing of the attack...theorectically it should not have bearing on the tactical soundness from a principle standpoint.
I think the above post points out a critical aspect of what we are talking about from the Uke perspective. In the beginning stages Uke should be trained in how to "attack properly" (which does not mean attack ineffectively) and also be shown the ideal ways to receive the technique (react properly), i.e. take the fall in a safe manner once their balance is disrupted.
However as soon as this basic ability is achieved and one moves from beginner to intermediate and advanced student one's operation as Uke develops from merely following the movement of Tori in a logical, programmed manner, towards feeling every aspect of Tori's waza to the point where holes and suki are easily discernable and points of reversal are also detected. The intermediate and advanced uke can then use this sensitivity to movement to stop Tori's technique where it becomes tactically unsound or start working on counters to Tori's technique during randori (kaeshiwaza). This is all done in a relaxed manner and does not require muscular resistance yet. As things develop the resistance levels can be increased, allowing "Uke" to move in a more tactical manner where he can now actively press his attack or chain attacks if the waza is poor or attempt reversals of Tori's technique if Tori provides him with an opportunity to do so via poor execution. At the highest level both persons are merely moving in accordance (
) with the energy (
) that is being given by the other. The actual act of breakfalling at this point can really become a matter of saving one's skin since any successfully applied waza at this level only gets through to completion if one totally takes the balance of one's partner and there are no flaws to be exploited (or one's partner is unable to exploit them). This also causes Uke to improve his level of Ukemi.
An Aikikai sensei once told me that good Aikido waza is a product of the raw material you are given (attack by Uke) and the skill level of Tori to use that raw material to reconcile the conflict of the attack. If one trains with poor raw materials at best one will only be able to manifest poor Aikido technique imho. Things can be graduated according to a person's skill level (e.g. use slower attacks, single attacks etc.), but compromise should not be made in the quality of attack given imho.
Just my 2 cents. Good posts Kevin.