Thread: Following?
View Single Post
Old 02-01-2012, 08:44 PM   #7
Stephen Nichol
Dojo: Aikilife, Canberra
Location: Canberra, ACT
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 90
Re: Following?

If I understand Marks original post correctly, (and I would like to think that I do) Mark is saying that he uses 'following' more as a tool to understand what is wrong with Nage's technique and to help them correct it.

The 'following' (done with proper Uke responsibility of being sincere in intent, not over commiting balance however in this case, not taking advantage of the 'flaw' when found.) is a method that can be used to both find where the flaws in Nage's technique exist as well as to show someone who is Uke what the technique 'feels' like when done without error.

Mark Freeman wrote:
What terms do you use to describe this practice (if you do)?
In our dojo this is basic training. We start like this at the earliest stage, with sincere, centred attacks, resistance holds etc.. and Uke 'stops' themself (as mentioned in another thread) if they feel they are not able to 'follow' as they are not being 'lead'. Once the connection is lost, Nage knows and does not continue on for the sake of continuing on.

Sensei and Sempai's alike will ask that Nage 'try again' and then follow along until they find the point where the connection breaks, the technique fails and then 'co-operate' to correct it and continue to try again until Nage understands and can progress further along in the technique with less and less disconnections.

The only exception I can think of to Uke 'going along' with it even though the connection is lost that I am aware of is when they have a physical condition that prevents them from following 'normally'. So, bad knees in suwariwaza, sore shoulder/elbow etc... so they 'go through the motions' in those cases and those only.

Equally, Nage may adapt the technique as to allow Uke to follow completely. For example, one student in our dojo has a really stiff, damaged shoulder that we are keenly aware of. He also is very keen on training so... for Shihonage on that side, I go slowly, and a little lower on entry then down to my knee on the turn and 'if' I have over compensated for his shoulder in doing this and his centre is not taken (or worse, I gave it back to him) I stop. If I still have his centre, I continue with the 'cut' however very very slowly and finish the technique.

In this, 'following' works for both people as long as they aware of it and give feedback for it.

Last edited by Stephen Nichol : 02-01-2012 at 08:47 PM.
  Reply With Quote