Thread: Following?
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Old 02-01-2012, 12:34 PM   #2
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,316
Re: Following?

I think it's invaluable, but I think it's also where a lot of aikido practice goes off the rails.

It's essential that uke be sensitive enough to feel where nage is and what nage is doing. In the beginning, that manifests as simply learning to "follow."

Where things go wrong is when uke is told to follow, no matter what. Even if nage tenses up and yanks his hand away, even if nage turns his back, even if nage tries to simply shove uke off balance, uke must "follow." No matter how badly nage does the technique, it is uke's responsibility to "follow."

For that reason, I prefer phrases like "take nage's center" or "continue to attack" over "follow." At higher levels, it must be possible for uke to "win" if nage commits a sufficiently large error. Otherwise, nage will never learn where his errors are.

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