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Old 05-15-2009, 10:59 AM   #15
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Mark, Ron,
Hello Peter. Thank you for the reply. As usual, you brought up some very interesting points.

Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
I have also had the benefit of spending many hours discussion with Ellis Amdur. You might remember his Aikido Journal blogs, which will soon appear, transformed, in his next book. Takeda, Sagawa and Ueshiba all taught their art by means of executing waza, which required their deshi to take ukemi. This method of teaching was a reversal of the standard koryu method. Why?
Ah, well, then, let me play Devil's Advocate.

What if there really wasn't a reversal at all?

Nishioka Tsuneo wrote:
Uchidachi must have the spirit of a nurturing parent. Uchidachi leads shidachi by providing a true attack; this allows shidachi to learn correct body displacement, combative distancing, proper spirit, and the perception of opportunity.
The senior leads the junior to progressively get better. The senior guides and the junior learns.

If we look at Takeda and Ueshiba's model as one of aiki, we find that in the very initial encounter of the training paradigm that they have set up, they are, in fact, uchidachi. They are the "losing" side. With aiki, the encounter is dealt with internally, so the outside physical appearance is not what one would normally see. With that in mind, we have to look at what is going on in the training itself -- the internal aspects. Ueshiba is coming from a "losing" side in that he is being attacked and must deal with the situation. Using aiki, his "ukemi" model is to appropriately match and then for him, change/redirect/alter/whatever that energy. The junior, or "uke" then finds himself in a very different position than one that he started in. Ueshiba guides him along the internal path of aiki.

As with koryu (I'm guessing), the training provides a situation where the junior must progressively get better by the guidance of the senior.

As with Ueshiba (at least in the pre-war training), those juniors such as Shirata, Shioda, etc, were being provided with a situation where they must progressively get better. Aiki, an internal quality, must be built such that the junior changes his "ukemi" model from one of rolling and falling to that of *not* rolling and falling.

Anyway, some thoughts I've been mulling over after being provided some interesting ideas on the matter.

Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
After Szczepan's initial post, I trawled thougth Stan Pranin's Aikido Masters for evidence about Ueshiba's early teaching methods. Junior recruits had to do chores and watch training before being allowed to do anything. I cannot remember the source, but I have read that deshi were also required to spend a lengthy period taking ukemi before being allowed to do any waza themselves.
I seem to remember reading that, but, like you, I can't recall where. Ah, found one of the references. It's from Aikido, The Way of Harmony by Stevens and Shirata. Link to google books is here: