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Old 09-01-2011, 03:50 PM   #86
Ken McGrew
Dojo: Aikido at UAB
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 202
Re: Effective udekimenage against resistance

Rueben, if possible it would be much easier to make suggestions if we could see a video of you applying the technique.

Because the technique is not working for you in a given situation does not mean that the technique cannot work. There are mutliple ways of approaching Udekimenage, with some working better in a given situation than others. Even the videos you posted as evidence that the technique doesn't work are not conclusive evidence. We would need to feel the way those instructors applied the technique. There is often more than meets the eye in Aikido. Hiroshi Ikeda Shihan is a good example of this. He often says "looks fake" but I assure you it is not fake. It is internal connection breaking Uke's balance.

Udekimenage works when it fits the situation. If it stops "working" at some point then Nage can simply adjust and change. This is the meaning of Takemuso Aiki. Thinking of Aikido in mostly technical terms is the real problem, it seems, and the problem I have with this entire thread. Aikido is not about forcing a given technique. Aikido, as O'Sensei said, is the art of "absolute non-resistance."

When something isn't working in a given situation the response advocated is often that we should go back to the roots of aikijutsu Etc. Several responders in this thread, for example, have advocated threatening the elbow more to get the technique to work. I generally don't attack the elbow at all as it elicits resistance. Rather I try to capture Uke's momentum, move my arm under the arm pit, and shape Uke's trajectory off his or her original line. Udekimenage is in the breath throw family of techniques after all.

Threatening the elbow is one response and it might work. Or it might not in a particular context with a particular attacker. Changing to a different technique when something stops working might be a better approach. It is also possible to change the way you are approaching udekimenage on the fly in the middle of the technique (dropping your weight, moving through Uke with your body, Etc.).

Whether changing between techniques or changing within the same technique it will be necessary to feel what is happening between Uke and Nage in order to respond appropriately. This is why there can be no accurate description of how to do a given technique that "will work." When O'Sensei or senior instructors in Aikido seem to always be able to do a given technique and it always seems to work, even if it looks the same on the surface, it is always different on the inside. You can't step in the same stream twice. This is very important to understand. Aikido is not a collection of techniques.
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