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Old 03-17-2002, 01:42 PM   #18
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
Location: Barnegaat, NJ
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 893
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Afraid of hurting Uke?

Yes, yes, and yes.

I have hurt some of my training partners, and it has taken many years to get the feel of not doing it any more.

Mostly, it was from not giving them any room to squirm, or keep up with the technique as they too slowly responded or tried to force their way around it? Not pretty, and heartbreaking ... because I have been the uke for many a demonstration being torqued to the max to make sensei's demonstation hit home to the onlookers. So, I do have a first hand knowledge of joints and muscles injured to black and blue.

Of course, there are different degrees of fear, so with that in mind, I train to feel the finer degrees of torque that may temporarily create pain, but do not move into injury. In fact, I went to train in a dojo up the road, because my teacher went to the seminar in Boston with Yamada Sensei, so I visited my friend Tim and his group.

Of course, there were beginners who wanted to show how if not properly directed they could get out of my very loose holds, never expecting I would change techniques? Resistence is futile, and very painful when the uke forces themselves into unnatural positions that are not in harmony with the nage? I heard, that's enough... that's enough as I flowed with the uke releasing slowly enough not to knot up the muscles, but not in a quick immediate let go that would Charley Horse the muscles? Been there, done that ... after years of injuries, you never want the muscles to snap back ... it causes worse injury.

Of course,this woman knew how to wiggle out of certain situations, and knew all about fixing injuries,( inject disgust and irony here, please) so I couldn't even offer advice about rubbing her arm, but there was no more than a minor pain that dissappeared after five minutes, or so she claimed at the end of class.

So, Yeah, I am afraid of hurting people ... especially those who always want to show how to slip out of techniques, be superior because they think minor leads are too little and major pain is too much for a technique, or just plain cop an attitude? I know we are not suppose to be like that, but some stranger comes into your dojo, white belt/ no hakama and throws you clumsily at first then across the room when you finally start to ride the wave of throw instead of resisting? You brain says,"Where the hell did that come from?"

Resistence leads to injury, unless you intend to turn the practice around and exchange rolls with uke? Then that is just plain learning to roll with the flow, isn't it?

Sometimes I consider myself the "Secret Shopper" who works for the home office, but really shopping for myself all the same. Practice seems like a distant memory with the ravages of short term memory loss from Meniere's disease, always depending upon long term memory of practices months past? My own problem ... never mind.

We all have our own agenda to practice Aikido, but injury to our partners, our friends ... should not be part of practice.

Fear of injury? Yep. Always there, but not as bad as it was in my youth, before Aikido.
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