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Old 11-05-2012, 12:34 PM   #36
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,062
Re: Difficult uke or bad technique?

Learning technique (kata), training technique (kata) and practicing aikido (waza) are different interactions.

First, I think we need to be careful about placing restrictions on uke. As a common-sense answer to the basic fight, we attack because we think it will get us somewhere - in fact, for good fighters it will get them somewhere. To attack someone who is guarded without the desire to defeat the guard makes no sense. In kata, we forgo this preamble to speed up our interaction, but we need to remember that uke's job is not to stick out something for us to grab, but to control our center. If someone can grab you, hunker down, and control your center...

For kata, work with your partner. Learn the movements (both uke and nage). Feel free to say, "slow down", or "not so hard". You're figuring out what's going on and you cannot progress until you know what to do. Uke is a partner in this education.

For waza, have at it. Your partner should be able to work within the parameters of the interaction; you can to. He throws atemi... Turnabout is fair play. He prevents the natural development of technique...Henka waza and practice something else. This is where things usually get tricky because accidents can happen. You need to be vocal with your partner about expectations, "You can stop and hold me, but that makes me feel like I should step into your teeth with my unguarded foot. Try moving to regain your balance and posture so you can push my center. "Or, "When you step there that naturally defends my inside movement. If you deliberately step inside to prevent me from stepping inside, I will just step outside and do something else. Sensei wants us practicing inside step, so let's stay within the movement."

Also, role playing sometimes give us bad habits. It is a natural state for us to be balanced and stable. To require uke to hold an unbalanced, undefended state while we crank their wrist is BS. Uke should want to righten themselves, get back their balance and continue the pressure. Eventually it doesn't matter.

To George sensei's point, I have read several articles of the old deshi who implied they would attack O Sensei and have him dead to rights, right up until he closed his suki. Attacking makes sense; otherwise, don't attack.

Last edited by jonreading : 11-05-2012 at 12:37 PM.

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