Re: Article: Taking Ukemi and Being Uke by Peter Boylan
I agree 100%. Many people stop training because of the ridiculous way uke in their local aikido dojo "attack". This "attack" is basically something the uke came up with on his on to make an aikido lock or throw impossible for anybody to perform, by doing this he is opening himslef to be creamed by strikes, but due to a common misconception about aikido philosophy nage will usually never even point that out with even just a feint. What is most infuriating is when a senior practitioner does this to every member in the dojo except the sensei who he takes falls for in order to demonstrate "the technique" to the class. In reality what is being demonstrated is useless cooperativer choreography which resembles an aikido technique to those who don't know any better. What is funny is when a beginner attacks the sensei in the same way this senior attacks his juniors and a newb with 6 months of experience can block anything a sensei with 20 plus years of experience might try, including transitioning into some other lock or throw than the one originally demonstrated! The worst part is that I have witnessed this from 6th dans under Saotome sensei who is known for stressig suki and atemi! Although I have never been a member of any koryu I teach logical, effective attacks in which the uke does not present any openings for strikes or any techniques which could injure him and which allow uke to sense where nage is putting strength into a technique (instead of just letting it happen) so uke can counter. The fact that this was ignored is the reason I disassociated from any large political aikido organization. A perfect example of what I am talking about is shomen uchi empty handed. This is usually practiced as a strike with the edge of the hand to the top of the head. This attack is completely useless in a fight, it is telegraphed, leaves uke wide open to pre-emptive strikes when he delivers it and to counter strikes when it is easily deflected, blocked or avoided, that is why you will never see anybody actually use it in a fight, aikido shihan included, yet most people still practice it that way. First of all, the distance is wrong. It is in reality a simulation of a weapon attack delivered from outside the range of any of nage's natural weapons(empty handed strikes and kicks), practiced empty handed for the safety of a beginner nage who might be practicing with an uke with poor control. This should not be forgotten and the proper maai maintained, this way it is impossible for anyone to resist or counter nage's properly executed technique.