Re: The Role of Uke in Aikido Training
Two years ago i started to train my ukemi as Ledyard is pointing in this article; trying to stablish good kuzushi and trying to feel the structure of nage throught the point of contact.
The first months were frustrating, i was always losing the feeling of nage's structure after he started to move; I was too tense and holding myself. Months passed and i started to feel that i could use nage's structure to support my own structure, this new knowledge allowed me to achieve a higher degree of relaxation, to move freely and to spot holes in nage techniques (this also caused that many mates wanted me to take ukemi for them).
So i totally agree with Ledyard way of thinking... but I had another experience.
When taking ukemi for some shihans in his seminars, it was impossible for me to feel any structure on them, so the kuzushi turned to be unidirectional (from shihans to me), so when i attacked them i felt like traveling to the past in a time machine; i found me holding myself again and withouth any structure to relay on other than mine. This situation brought me an idea; what if instead of trying to establish kuzushi with nage's body structure i try to stablish kuzushi with nage movements?.
What i'm doing from six months to now is trying to give nage the sensation that i'm weightless and that i have no body structure (the same i felt with shihans as uke) while maintaining my intention to attack. By allowing nage to move freely i feel a higher number of holes on his technique and i can choose between make an atemi explicit, give nage some body structure or unbalance him depending on his level.
I don't know if this could be an evolution of what Ledyard is exposing or not, but i believe that it is something interesting to try and to experience.