Thread: Shihonage Ukemi
View Single Post
Old 08-03-2010, 12:21 PM   #26
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,225
Re: Shihonage Ukemi

Dan Harden wrote: View Post
To flip that back on ya, what the hell is the point of always falling down or always going with it?
I find it intriguing that my own early instincts about ukemi turns out to have been not only spot on, but a behind the scenes practice method of some of the experts. Made a lot of sense to me twenty years ago when no one else was talking about it...and even more now. It was a more complete picture of doing and having aiki in Aikido to me. Apparently the teachers I train with agree. Makes for some truly profound and powerful aikido
I think it's all about balance-yes pun intented.
In my slight experience I've always found the lessons of kaeshiwaza and "standard" waza to form a more complete picture of what I should be doing at any given time in technique. At sensei Barrish's dojo, when two people who knew each other well trained together, there was often a sense of some free-play attached to the training. That is, when both parties feel comfortable with the basic movement (and each other's ability or desire for training), they often play with whatever opening's they might find...some times more than others. I always found this very helpful though. Shodokan seems to have a more structured form of this, but their graduated approach to resistance seems to fit this aim.
I'm curious if Dan or Ellis know of a good, readily accessible, visual example of the ukemi they'd recommend. I've looked for something that looks like what I recall experiencing, but haven't found anything. At Kannagara dojo we often have a strong arch to the back, but that's partly because nage is driving the wrist/arm through uke's body toward his or her feet, forcing the back-bridge. My sense of taking ukemi was to try and drop the elbow, which included trying to turn into nage with one possible aim of grabbing from behind. I'm not sure if this is quite what Ellis meant, but his description reminded me a bit of it. At Himeji Shodokan the projection was (seemed to be) more straight back and down, creating the "sitting down" backward breakfall. The Shodokan example I remember was more of a throw than a pin though.
...And I may be confusing the waza. I believe it's called tenkai kotegaeshi in that system, but hopefully someone with more experience can chime in and correct me.

  Reply With Quote