Thread: Shihonage Ukemi
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Old 08-03-2010, 01:14 AM   #12
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
Re: Shihonage Ukemi

Why does ukemi always lead to falling down?
Why fall down at all?
Is there a reason...not to stay standing up?
Why allow the elbow to be drawn out from the body at all?
Why allow the arm to be placed across Ukes body line at all?
Can someone explain that?

Why not teach people to do aiki to neutralize aikido?
Neutralize the nage's defense...then you can do whatever you like as uke; including standing up, and staring them in the face. I have taught people to stop Shihan in Daito ryu and aikido by just being them. Without even lifting a finger to defend themselves, the technical waza of both arts were neutralized by the core skill in both arts; their one true brilliance...aiki.

What was the origin of practicing these somewhat marginal locks? As Kevin, Don, Ellis, George...myself and an ever increasing number of others continue to point out; stand up locks really are not that effective in the first place. I have confidence that the older, more experienced, Judo and koryu guys who were the original deshi needed no advice from us.
They got what we get...going in.
Shiho nage in particular is very marginal. As Tomiki pointed out in AJ "Shiho nage is a very unusual lock. Just look at it and study its form. You can't get Judo men to bend their arm that way." So why did they get "bought in" to these marginal locks? Didn't Mochizuki, the one time potential inheritor of aikido, and a true powerhouse, state that "The locks were meant to condition the body?" That alone makes more sense out of their unusual nature played against a culture immersed in Koryu jujutsu. So how did these men who saw what we saw, get so bought in? By the old mans aiki, that's how. I believe that the smart ones spent the rest of their time trying to get what he practicing them for conditioning, and not by learning yet another way to bend an arm. Hence Tomiki's ki trick demonstrations of holding out an arm and saying.."Try to lock me!"
So Rab...maybe there are other things you need to be considering.

By using aiki to condition the body...on both sides of the equation uke/nage, both parties can be learning very powerful things; learning to put on ever more powerful locks and throws as their partner is learning to cancel out their best efforts. The training then builds and builds and people get shihan level power as Mudansha. And its a hell of a lot of fun without so much wear and tear on the body.

If we can agree that kyu ranked people can learn to stop these sorts of locks applied by Shihans, then can we not see that percentagewise we only need to occasionally fall down to let nage learn to complete, but that for the larger portions of practice uke can be learning to neutralize and save their bodies from needing to take falls, and that Nage can indeed learn to apply more powerful locks. This is the sort of thing I am increasingly doing with Aikido teachers and it appears to be received well.

While it may sound unusual as an approach, once again it appears those old guys had nothing on us. I have heard that Yamaguchi used to also engage in that kind of practice with his own private group, away from prying eyes, as well. I couple that with my being told by someone who got their nidan from Ueshiba Morihei himself that they used to practice pushing on each other and cancelling out things...right up into the 60's, but it was not done in general practice.

Last edited by DH : 08-03-2010 at 01:27 AM.
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