Re: Like an Unsheathed Sword
"Once, during the rollover for a pin, the free arm became trapped under uke's body, and uke started tapping immediately. The instructor held the pin, and commanded access to the trapped arm. More tapping resulted. There were at least a couple of iterations of this. Eventually the presenter shifted position slightly, which allowed the uke to free his arm and submit it for pinning along with the other one.
That demonstration concluded, bowing ensued, but uke was out of commission for the rest of the weekend.
Being a man of clarity and precision, the instructor explained to us that we should never release a pin just because someone taps."
Could you clarify this part? It reads as if the instructor knew the free arm was pinned under the body. It also reads as if uke was hurt enough to not continue training the rest of the weekend. Is that correct?
FWIW, IMO, if you're demonstrating, there should be absolutely no need to over exert any pin to the point of hurting someone. Pushing limits is one thing, hurting is another. And if a "highly ranked" instructor can't pin someone effectively in a training environment or demonstration without hurting them, they shouldn't be "highly ranked" at all.
The entire reason the "tap" is there is to alert nage/tori/instructor/whatever that uke's boundaries have been reached. Some tap right when they reach it, some tap on a hard limit. Still, it's a safety measure ... for training. Safety measures are there for a reason.
And this part:
"Releasing the pin simply because someone starts tapping could become a dangerous habit, presumably because a clever assailant would use that to trick you."
Wow, just wow. How many times have we read threads about the viability of aikido in a "real" fight? Or aikido versus another martial art? And how many times have we read people replying that the chances of fighting another martial artists were slim to none? So, who, exactly, is it that we're going to fight and who will know to use tapping as a way to trick you? And how many times will that come up?
Unless things were completely different than what they sound like upon reading this, I'd steer clear of that instructor.