Thread: Systema "Ukemi"
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:56 AM   #2
Ellis Amdur
Location: Seattle
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 815
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Re: Koshi Nage - Open Stance or Feet Together

Mark - I've only seen it from afar, so to speak. It looks very intelligent. I've seen guys roll - really mold their bodies - over projecting surfaces, for example. Systema (and other related Russian arts) brings to my mind moving like an octopus - an alive connection throughout the body without a focus on hara at all. I think if one regards ukemi as primarily falling, Systema style is better and safer than aikido. If ukemi, however, is "receiving body," and includes kaeshiwaza, and the use of one's own physical organization to dominate the other (turning tori into uke), there may be some divergences in goal and effect.

My question would be this: (and for me, it would bring the question into internal strength/aiki questions, where, too much digression should start another thread). Ukemi is "of a piece" with the rest of a martial art. If one takes ukemi like they do in systema (and ukemi, of course, not merely being falling), what would that do to a) aikido waza b) would that contribute to training a the particular type of "inter-connections" to move and execute the aiki/kokyu ryoku that O-sensei exhibited, and some others are looking for?

This is not a criticism of Systema - rather, to my eyes, they are developing their bodies in a different way. At "lower" levels, this is not an issue - adding some whip and flexibility to one's body in aikido would only be a plus. However, I think that when one gets to an expert level, it is possible that it would be the equivalent to trying to run your computer simultaneously on two operating systems.

Just my opinion - I've only taken a one week Systema training.

Best
Ellis

Last edited by Ellis Amdur : 01-27-2012 at 10:59 AM.

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