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Old 12-18-2010, 11:10 AM   #7
Keith Larman
Dojo: AIA, Los Angeles, CA
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,603
Re: Form does not equal function aka The Shape of Aikido

Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Hi Greg,

Most everyone, I think, understands the silliness that is the huge "breakfall" or the "air time". It's a cooperative endeavor, for the most part.
Just a gigantic fwiw.

Our late sensei, Rod Kobayashi, removed all the big breakfalls from our training. He felt that they were unnecessary, dangerous for new students, but also a dangerous move for nage for a variety of reasons. He also dramatically shortened our kokyunage. We barely move them at all before dropping and we go more down like a modified hijiotoshi than what one would conventionally understand as a big, fluid, moving kokyunage.

The idea was that in a confrontation either the person is taken down and controlled or ejected. The biggest fall you'll see is on an energetic kotegaeshi if nage is in motion when it is done. And it is still not the big "air time" ukemi. More just a harder "whoomp" into the ground. The focus was always "What are you waiting for? down, down, down!" (I still hear my sensei yelling that at me in my sleep).

And if you watch some of the old footage of Tohei doing jiu-waza you'll often see that techniques get truncated into fewer and fewer big breakfalls unless the uke tries *really* hard to get it. So Tohei in most of those cases (the ones I've seen, at least) look more like Tohei isn't trying to get the big fall, rather he's just letting them do what they want.

The corollary to all this is that we were taught that nage to some extent *allows* uke to take the ukemi for their safety. The same is not necessarily the case outside of a training situation. In other words, as the training partners improve things should get tighter and tighter and tighter and the window of error becomes very small.

Just my understanding... FWIW. We broke off 30 years ago to play by ourselves, so who knows... I'm increasingly finding that experiences vary quite a bit.

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