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Old 12-07-2012, 05:40 PM   #5
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,225
Re: Ukemi: pluses and minuses

Thanks for the replies!
My only reason for mentioning the "Ukemi Model" is for making sure I understand what was meant. I could have asked via PM, but I thought it might be helpful to put it in a thread, particularly if we can use it as a springboard into discussing ukemi in general...I assume I'm not the only one who doesn't quite know the meaning and ukemi seems like something that would be good to periodically re-evaluate. We're approaching the end of the year so I'm trying to revisit certain ideas (am also about to read my own blog and shake my head at myself). The phrase suggests an ukemi-heavy approach, compared with a more balanced "uke-nage" approach (for lack of a better description). I don't think it needs to be flushed as long as we can pin down what's meant. I trust there is a good point being made.
My understanding of ukemi is that it is simply how we receive (i.e. act according to) the incoming force. How we hold ourselves determines how our body is affected as well as our options through the interaction, and this is where my mind goes when I think of ukemi. I never got the impression that ukemi was considered bad, in and of itself, but I did get the impression that it was suggested perhaps too much emphasis has been placed on ukemi (i.e. receiving more than giving) and that this will generally cause people to give up their structure as a matter of habit. If all we ever did was take ukemi, I can see how that might be, but since we don't, I'm uncertain how to interpret the idea.
I latched on to the ukemi side of things long before the nage side. I suspect it was because it was easier to be moved, than to move my partners. I grew up being used as WWF (not the World Wildlife Fund) fodder by my friends so it felt far more familiar to me. However, I can see how this preference could have kept me from really focusing on how to generate the capacity to throw well, too.
Gotta let the kids enjoy the last few minutes of daylight; ciao for now.

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