C.E. Clark (Chuck Clark) wrote:
In reality, all he would be learning is to lock joints and/or throw people down. He really isn't learning that properly as he is only learning one side of the coin.
Aikido is so much more than doing a few physical techniques good enough to make people give up or fall down.
Chuck, I agree with your last statement but I don't believe that the role of uke constitutes the content of Aikido beyond techniques that make someone give up or fall down. If you are saying that role of nage is nothing more than locking joints and throwing people, then it follows that the role of uke is nothing more than safely falling when someone locks your joints or throws you. By that definition, it certainly couldn't be deemed essential to learning Aikido.
Alan Drysdale wrote:
From a technical viewpoint, I would bet that the hypothetical Mr Smith would have difficulty with kaeshi and henka waza.
Alan, that is an interesting point. Kaeshiwaza would be impossible since it involves changing roles during the middle of the technique and hence violates our assumption. I don't see how henkawaza would pose a problem, though.
You post suggests another idea which I beleive furthers my case. It is often said that at a sufficiently advanced level Aikido becomes the same thing in both of the roles of uke and nage. That is to say that the attitude and feeling of receiving the technique (ukemi) is exactly the same thing as the feeling of executing the technique. Kaeshiwaza, and to a lesser extent, henkawaza, are good examples of forms of practice that demonstrate this. If both roles ultimately embody the same principles, it is obviously possible to reach an understanding of those principles by studying only one role.