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Old 08-13-2007, 06:07 AM   #27
Kevin Wilbanks
Location: Seattle/Southern Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 788
Re: my sensei "video clip"

You are misunderstanding. I am criticizing what appears to be a stylistic or cultural norm with some of Yoshinkan, not impugning the motives of this particular sensei, which I obviously know nothing about. As Mr. Amdur pointed out, and provided a video to demonstrate, apparently not all of Yoshinkan pile drives their ukes into the mat and bounces heads, but there is a well known history of it in the school going back to Shioda himself.

I have similar complaints about brutality being the norm in many Aikikai schools I have gone to in the US, except the problem there is more in the yanking and cranking department, as opposed to slamming. Most of the people in these schools seem friendly and are not doing anything intentionally malicious, it is just that they have bought into a culture and style in which a certain amount of abuse and brutality are the norm. However, sadists who take it even further seem to find a particularly comfortable home in this environment, and become masters of smiling, passive-agressive uke abuse. Usually I encounter one or several at such places.

Since most Aikido training is kata with a designated uke being cooperative to some extent - often a large extent - I think there should be a higher ethical standard of consideration for uke in practice. I have a lot less problem with such roughness in freeform situations where there is less presumption of putting one's safety in someone else's hands. When both parties are free to really free to attack and defend without being able to hide behind a designated role, it seems more fair. Even so, there is still potential for abuse in terms of differing skill levels. For instance, I once almost got my trachea crushed by an instructor of a Judo school on my first (and last) day of training there. He was so much better than me at rolling I was practically helpless, which he of course knew and exploited to his delight. With martial arts, just like in every other aspect of life, there are hordes of people out there ready to take advantage of you for fun and profit.

Last edited by Kevin Wilbanks : 08-13-2007 at 06:15 AM.
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