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Old 08-14-2002, 01:30 PM   #25
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
Location: Barnegaat, NJ
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 893
To easy, too hard

A couple of weeks ago, we had a visit from our friend, Butch, sometimes known as Sensei Butch Chernofski who is know to travel about with Sensei Y. Yamada of NYC. Over the last four years of his visits I have been learning to not use my physical strength, which can grab most 200 pound partners by the shoulders and lift them off the ground ... no matter what technique they are doing.

The case of the too pliable uke is one of tactical blending to overcome the opposite of to stiff an uke who remains like a rock or a tree necessitating exagerated movements to cause movement.

In the case of using mechanics with extension, the same movements of normal practice felt like I was holding absolutely nothing while my training partners were unable to balance themselves.

Normally, I allow most partners to maintain a 20%-30% balance so they don't feel like I am going to rip off their arms or crack open their heads with ukemi. Sensei Butch has been visiting long enough to get me to become relaxed without being pliable, yet in that relaxation I have become even stronger than when I use the strength of a blind rage. Relaxed strength I can understand.

Pliable ukes present a training problem as far as creating a danger to themselves and others because they try to stay very far ahead of a technique. When they are locked into an unescapable hold, they pannick. I can name at least four occasions when I have had to work with very loose wirery ukes and when I locked them up they did absolutely the wrong thing to ease the pain. They did, in fact, increase pain and damage to themselves by not training properly in using ukemi to "go with the flow."

If you get a chance, to get a teacher who has been around, who will take a couple of classes to give you a few of the basic mechanics of Aikido that your practice lacks, get to class and take in any and all advice.

As for the pliable uke ...

Either learn enough to cause the proper lockups before rushing to the throw, pin, or completion of a technique, or sit down and watch just what the pliable uke is doing to thwart your techniques in practice.

When you discover why your practice is not working on the dancing, non resistent uke, then you will have learned another lesson from varied partners practicing together.

Either that, or you will learn a few more pain distractions that help uke to move where you want them to be ... not always Aikido like, but realistic for the real world.

Sometimes we make opportunity, sometimes we take the opportunities that are given to us.
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