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Old 10-15-2002, 07:17 AM   #31
G DiPierro
Location: Ohio
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 365
Andrew O Byrne wrote:
Sorry to cut up your post a bit:
Even though you are responding to Micheal's post, I'm going to jump in here and address some of your comments since I also posted agreeing with much of Micheal's post.
firstly, Ukemi is about protecting yourself. Frankly, if a beginner spins out in a way that gives you the choice of letting them go or injuring them, you're going to have to let them go and neither of you gains anything.
Yes, everyone agrees that ukemi is protecting yourself. The problem is that beginners do not understand all subtleties of correctly doing so. Even advanced students often don't understand this. I feel that you have to teach what the person is capable of understanding. A lot of times, I let beginners, and also more advanced people, take incorrect ukemi that leaves them vulnerable even though it makes my job as nage more difficult. Why?

First, it is often better for people to learn on their own rather than to be taught. This same principle applies to nagewaza, where I will let people make mistakes without correcting them. It's a fine line to judge when to correct people and when to let them find something out on their own, and I, like many Westerners, tend to err on the side of overcorrecting. Thus, I often make an active effort to counterbalance this.

Second, if I explained correct ukemi but they didn't understand why it is correct, then I think they would be following me for the wrong reasons. They would only be doing it because someone told them to do it, and I think that it is more important to learn the principles of why correct Aikido is correct than to simply learn to mimic someone else without truly understanding.

Third, the challenge of dealing with an unconventional uke often rewards nage with rather unique insights into a technique. Because of these insights, nage is able to do a safe, effective Aikido technique even when uke's ukemiwaza is poor. In a real situation, this allows nage the flexibility of not hurting an attacker who does not take "correct" ukemi but leaves himself open to injury. If one only knows to injure in this case, but not safely perform the technique, then that limits one's options.
Secondly, it's the responsibility of the teacher to explain how to take the ukemi to beginners and to show it to them. Uke is quite often wrong- when they pull against you in such a way that can lead to their injury. Idealistically, the most you should instruct a beginner yourself is to follow the technique.
I addressed all of this above. I'm not going to reply to your third point because it was in response to a section of Micheal's post upon which I never commented.

Last edited by G DiPierro : 10-15-2002 at 07:20 AM.
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