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Old 09-02-2009, 12:37 PM   #16
Ellis Amdur
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Location: Seattle
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 837
Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" - ukemi as a training tool

Hi Mark -
n regards to #2. Do you think that Sagawa and Ueshiba could have been talking about ukemi as more of a progression-type of training? Working internal skills requires taking ukemi. And so, as one gets better, the internal ukemi get better (as noted in your #3). But, to get better, you still have to take ukemi of some sort.
My guess is that Sagawa is more likely to have explicitly had this in mind. If Ueshiba did, it would have been early in his career, because even in the 1930's, what we read of his teaching is already getting pretty cryptic. As for the second part of your question, makes sense, doesn't it? To be sure, most internal training doesn't focus on an ukemi/falling model. Which suggests, if all this speculation is on the mark, that such training might produce a particular "flavor" of skill, which would be the DR/aiki paradigm.

Another thing that I wonder -- if the Daito ryu model was to, generally, bring uke to the feet for break/kill and Ueshiba's model was, generally, to cast away ... If we look at Ueshiba's model in a bit more detail, then do you think that rather than work within the specific model of taking uke to the feet, he was, instead, working with "following" and "changing" the energy? In other words, he was working on ways of dealing with not only regular martial artists, but also with those who had "aiki"?
I have no idea on this one. On page 191, I mention on Doshu's statement about irimi-isoku, followed by enten-no-ri. Essentially, to be successful at the "cast away," one has to master the DR entering first, something D. Harden cited is the exemplar of Ueshiba's "turn" to morality. Disengaging when one doesn't have total control of someone powerful or armed is logical enough - but I have no idea if this principle was explicitly in Ueshiba's mind. I would guess that his moral/religious preoccupations were probably paramount - but I don't think the two ideas conflict either.
Ellis Amdur

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