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Old 10-31-2007, 11:00 AM   #23
R.A. Robertson
Dojo: Still Point Aikido Center
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 345
Re: VOE: Active Resistance

Anytime we try to do something to someone that they don't want done to them, it's normal for them to resist. We train as tori not to resist attacks, but to flow with them. If we do the same with uke, then we have efficient training for both partners, but we may lose the chance to encounter the normal human response of resistance.

Any time we do ikkyo, shihonage, koshinage, or some such to our partner, it's natural for them to resist or counter or try to escape. After all, why should it be fair for tori to evade but not uke? As our "technique" improves, we may get to the point where we overwhelm uke with an "irresistible force." Maybe we take the initiative and uke never gets it back. Whatever, in this case uke never had a chance, even though we are doing something to them that a normal human being would prevent if they could. This is what commonly passes for good aikido.

On the other hand, we could study how to move with uke no matter what they do, and never offer resistance. If we do nothing to oppose uke or counter them, they have nothing to resist. In my opinion, tori is the component in the system that is responsible for keeping resistance out of the system.

This is most easily explored in jyu situations, but by no means is it inappropriate for kihon and kata waza. In kata, we do have to accept that to work on a specific form, uke must now supply the kind of attack and continuation that will allow for the natural reversal of energy in the system that results from tori moving in accord with the flow.

For example, if uke grabs kosa dori, tori does nothing until uke pushes or pulls or twists. If ikkyo is prescribed, uke is instructed to supinate tori's arm, as if to begin shihonage (shihonage being a legitimate attack form). If tori moves *properly* with this gesture, keeping posture and containment, uke will be unable to complete the shihonage and so withdraws and recovers. If tori now moves into the open spaces allowed by this recovery, ikkyo happens. But note that it happened because in order to supinate tori's arm, uke had to pronate their own arm. Uke did ikkyo to herself..

In this paradigm, joint locks, kuzushi, and ukemi may happen, but these are not the objective, nor even the metrics of success. Instead, we aim for the elimination of resistance through matching of movement, and the preservation of equilibrium and flow for the whole system.

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