Ignatius Teo wrote:
Hmmm.... maybe I'm doing it wrong.... usually I get a look of consternation, followed invariably by "WTF! How the @#$% did you do that????"... oh.... and then the "ouch ouch ouch tap tap..."
I wouldn't(and didn't) say you were doing it wrong. What I was commenting on was the earlier post describing Ushiro sensei's kokyu technique. The description sounded similar to what I learn, and the "smiling" reaction from the article makes it sound extremely similar to my training here.
In my opinion, yours may vary, aikido technique encompass a wide range of things. Very wide. I do not believe there is one answer to describe ALL things that happen in aikido. I believe, from my experience, that there is a gradual progression of understanding and ability. Some techniques hurt. Others do not. Some "ways" of doing things hurt and others do not. Some are easier to do and explain, others are not.
Last year, for example, I was home for a few months and practiced at a small dojo. We were doing shiho-nage. I did it using kokyu. The yudansha who was teaching(not the main teacher who has a good understanding of kokyu in my opinion) stopped me and said that I was not "working the joint" so that uke really feels it throughout the technique. I briefly mentioned I was focusing on centers and manipulating uke's balance at that fine edge just before falling. And as if he hadn't heard a word, showed me the "correct" way of doing it. And since it wasn't my regular dojo, I did it his way, the way I learned first ages ago. I could tell it hurt him. He prefers that. I don't. The same thing happened when I tried to show a lower belt a different, softer way to do another technique. The older gentleman, very set in his ways, quite in my face said that is NOT how he learned it. And I said ok, I'll try it your way, and when he got up off the floor, pissed, said I didn't have to rip his arm off. And then I said maybe I should go back to my way of doing things which also put him on the floor, just with a better atittude afterward.
The "smile" is the awareness that something else is happening. It's weird, hard to describe, absolutely nothing I can do to fight it, and yes, it makes me smile and wonder and reassess my way of thinking/doing aikido. And it is what keeps me here. I should also note that not everyone in the dojo can make me smile like that, just the ones on the far side.