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Old 05-08-2012, 11:43 AM   #15
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,139
Re: Two Hundred and Fourteen

Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Uke can only be either in motion or stationary. If uke is in motion there's no need for me to move him. If uke is stationary, again, there's no need for me to move him.

Uke can only attack while he's moving. Since he's moving there's no need for me to move him.

Uke attacks and stops, remaining motionless. Since he's not moving he's not attacking and there's no need for me to move him.

(Original blog post may be found here.)
First, if someone chooses to use their attack to remain motionless, that is a poor attack, but they wish to affect me. Likewise, our modern ukewaza, which centers around the free-giving of her balance, is an attack; a poor one, but an attack. In any other martial art if uke were to attack as we do, you would practically hear nage squeal with joy. Second, theoretically we are practicing aikido as either uke or nage, Aikido happens on both sides, so we necessarily need to align our principles as they may be applied as both uke and nage.

For me, theses two points create some issues with Ron's statements. Not that his statements are wrong, but that they assume 1. uke is either in motion or not. 2. Nage is doing something different than uke. 3. nage can do something to uke.

The whole concept of hanmi is to present a stable structure that offers no suki. There are plenty of people with whom I train who may stand in hanmi and simply dominate the space between us. While not attacking, they offer no suki and present a real threat of retaliation if I invade the space they dominate. Sundadomari sensei is one of the best aikido people who simply own the space around them. If you have not seen Kenji Ushiro sensei back someone off a mat, he also owns his space.

Now that I am looking for it, I see a lot of parity in the relationship between uke and nage, often even their stances and body movements are in parallel, excepting the grafting of uke's center onto nage's. Ron's rhetoric is more dependent on "doing" something to uke and uke acting in a fashion to allow nage to "do" something to her. I try to look for answers that involve uke and nage both practicing aikido, not uke being the "bad guy" and nage being the "aikido guy".

For me, I think rather than saying, "If uke is in motion there's no need for me to move him. If uke is stationary, again, there's no need for me to move him." I would say, "My movement is my own and not subject to affect by another."
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