Andrew O Byrne (andrew) wrote:
Sorry to cut up your post a bit: 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.
Sure, but my point is that rather than telling them "just fall" you should at least be explaining to them *why* they should fall. Or if you can't getting a senior to do it. Remember uke is a beginner, likely a very new one. So far we've shown them a technique that has failed miserably on them, and followed it up by winking at them and saying "come on mate, just fall down would you". Doesn't inspire confidence in the art if you know what I mean, which is important at that stage. So instead you say "if you keep moving like that this is likely to happen to you, so here's how you avoid it..."
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.
Again, gonna have disagree. You cannot leave all instruction up to the teacher, not unless it's a very small class. If I'd only ever learnt stuff from whoever was sensei at any given session I'd still be 6th kyu. Beginners should be encouraged to train with seniors and seniors should be encouraged to instruct where necessary. It's part of their learning process as well. Granted it's tricky to learn how much instruction should be given, but an explanation of why you're insisting uke move the way you want them to is a good start.
Uke is not so much wrong as in danger. There's a subtle difference. They should be told how to take themselves out of danger, otherwise they are not learning, and worse, nage's not learning. Having uke move unconventionally and then puzzling out whether that's because your technique is lacking or they're leaving themselves open for something is a big part of training. If you've been dealing with it by saying "just fall" you may find yourself struggling against an actual agressor who's moving unusually and ignoring your request.
Thirdly, Shihonage is a potentially lethal technique if it works well. If it does not, then you may well be caught out with your back to your attacker mid turn. They're both good reasons to prefer Ikkyo. Also, if you've developed good technique you don't need to "make it so much nastier than it is in the dojo" and if that's your focus you're going to end up with technique that's deficient where it matters, i.e. in actually taking an attackers balance.
Lethal? Sure there's opportunity for broken elbows, dislocated shoulders etc but not sure about lethal, unless uke hits their head the right way in the fall.
Regardless, the point stands that because of the way we train from day 1, it is highly likely that, especially a less experienced person, will find themselves all ready doing shiho.
Ikkyo is likely from a shomen style attack, shiho from a yokomen style. Which do you think people are more likely to face on The Street (tm).
And yes, for the less experienced aikidoka, the nastier versions are a good option on the street. Their chances of pulling off pefect waza against a committed aggressive opponenet are slim. You don't have to focus on it in the dojo to the detriment of waza, just mention "when you're jamming like that, here's how you fix it" And usually there's two fixes
1)here's a henka waza, or a nasty variation that will get you out of trouble from the position you're in. File it for future use.
2)Here's what you did wrong to get in that position in the first place.
It doesn't take much for people to realise that if you don't do a full turn and then cut the arm over the shoulder, you'll take the elbow out. Alot of people figure it out by themselves. And once they realise it they can call on it very quickly, it doesn't take alot of training. But it could make all the difference. It's the same for alot of our techniques. The point remaains, in an actual confrontation, a student is going to try shiho nage, so they'd better be able to make it work one way or the other.