Kevin Leavitt wrote:
...I figure it takes quite a while to learn how to be a good uke.
I try to teach them by being a good uke for them. As Senior students and Yudansha, you have an obligation to work with them as best you can.
But most of all, I try and set a good example at all times by taking proper ukemi for them and others.
My thoughts exactly Mr Leavitt.
Daniel Linden wrote:
...Often those ukes which we find to be problamatic...turn out over the years to have helped us learn some of the hardest lessons.
...Every single person on the mat can teach you something. Every one. You really have to look outside the box, sometimes, but it will be there.
As for too soft ukes, I think it is a great way to train for feeling intent. ...If we learn to seek out subtle intentions and movement we become more able to deal with these things. ...
Thank you for your comments Mr Linden. I think you make some interesting and pertinent observations.
As for my personal experiences (for what they are worth), I've found that learning to be Uke seems to be more challenging than being tori. No only do you have to provide the energy for a "sincere" attack but you also have to be sensitive to nage's technique, understand the subtleties of the technique being performed, provide honest feedback to nage, sense nage's intent and direction and then do the breakfall.
My sensei and I were talking about this over tea one day after two wonderful hours of kaishi(sp?)waza and henkawaza. He said that being a "good" Uke can be more technically, mentally and spiritually demanding than being nage.
IMHO, Mr Andrew Clark's uke is on a challenging and rewarding journey of discovery. I think the characteristics of a "good" uke will come with practice and time.
Happy training all