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Old 11-19-2002, 11:43 AM   #1
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
Location: Barnegaat, NJ
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 893
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Too much upper body strength

I had some fun this past weekend as a seminar in Morristown, NJ. A big strong guy, in his twenties, was using a lot of upper body strength to throw the old fat man, and complaining he couldn't feel where I was going when we were doing ushiro practice.

Well I slowed down, and jostled him so he could feel when and where contact was made, but he must have thought that being strong was having great upper body strength, so I got a few good throws to the mat.

Instead of complaining, I told him he wasn't using his hips, at which I got an angry look ... the old who the hell are you, and what makes you think you can teach me anything look.

I just want to be thrown in a manner that is not abusive, and his style wasn't it.

So, like most old guys, I let him set his stance before I used my center to move him three feet away ... wherein he toppled like a tree. To me, it was more of a nudge, rather than a true throw, but the point should have been taken.

I know that it is difficult to overcome the stigma of a man's upper body strength being the mark of strong Aikido, but what other ways are there besides showing someone?

I have yet to find an adequete way to explain it with words, or a means being tactful for my usual gruff ways?

Just a thought that I have considered reexploring with the advent of finding many big strong young guys still using considerable upper body strength after they have experienced two or more years of training?

Should we introduce more drills to move partners, such as the drills of someone holding a kicking shield, and learn to move them with center instead of brute force?

I learned to move heavy objects with my hips at work, should we have a hip practice to encourage proper movement that would translate into learning to move the entire body for correct technique application?
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