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Old 10-20-2002, 08:06 AM   #3
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
Location: Barnegaat, NJ
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 893
crash or .. to fly?

When I first tried to understand the basics for gymnastic maneuvers, growing up in a high school that encompassed grade 7-grade 12 with minimum requirements to pass gym with barest of gymnastic skills, the ratings of landings or performance were 'crash and burn', passable, and 'one who can fly'.

As much as we deny that in watching people learn aikido, there is this same rating of ability as we watch the performance of each practitioner, whether we are aware of it or not, the rating system is there in our minds.

The fact that you are nage, throwing, or devising techniques, or that there might not be ukemi, which in this particular incidence I believe to be the experience of accepting techniques as uke.

Most people assume that ukemi is the rolling and falling we associate with the dispersion of energy from recieving a technique, but even the methods of creating space, putting pain of submission holds upon uke, or the meerest acceptence of energy dispersal could be interpreted as ukemi, but then is that too trivial? Should we draw the line and separate the physical visual throws, rolls, and breakfalls from the etherial thoughts of absolute?

I guess the question is a bit vague in this sense.

Maybe I started this with limiting my rolling, tumbling, and physical ukemi to a reception of submission or having the angle of throws changed so I might walk instead of fall head over heels.

I would think that even with limitations, working withing health concerns, and doing practice within ones ability, there is,indeed, the need to experience the falls, rolls, feeling of energy exchange from throws to truly understand the basis of aikido's power.

Could we learn Aikido without ever taking a fall or breakfall or roll? Maybe. I don't think it would be Aikido any more, but a smaller piece of the martial arts puzzle than Aikido already is.
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