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Old 05-17-2004, 09:20 PM   #6
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 420
Re: The Nage/Uke Dynamic - Guidelines


I hope that my comments were, in fact, useful to you. I think you are a bit disingenuous when you reduce a couple of my statements to that of cliché and make assumptions about my training that are in no way supported by what I wrote.

I wrote nothing about scenario-based self-defense training. Nor do I train in a dojo that uses such methods.

You missed my joke about nage being responsible for uke’s safety and uke being responsible for uke’s safety. I never stated or implied that only nage was responsible for uke’s safety.

You said:
Forms, waza, or kata, are not the antithesis to whatever is living. Saying that basic training is about experiencing a form is not at all the same thing as saying that one should train weakly, out of the moment, not be ready for anything, dead, not alive, casually, with one's mind wandering, etc. These are assumptions you have made concerning the understanding of the word "form." It is a misunderstanding of budo pedagogy that you have misapplied to the statement you have cited.
I misapplied and misunderstood no such thing. Your writing seemed to state as much, and I was arguing that the kata should be alive.

Part of what keeps kata training alive is having integrity in uke’s attack and nage’s response. If nage makes a mistake -- even a very basic, first-day-of-class nage -- uke shoud never, “continue on with the form even if nage messes’ up.” If uke puts himself in a position to fall when he could have attacked, he is doing nage a disservice. I am not saying that uke should always attack when given the chance, nor am I advocating reversals on new students. But if uke simply stops and points out that, for example, nage is pushing him away instead of leading him forward, nage has the chance to make a correction and continue the technique.

You state:
…your position would have nage somehow experiencing the form only after that were able to do it fully correct, with no opening for uke to depart the partnership from.
But, of course, that’s not true. There are several degrees of response that are appropriate to nage and uke’s levels of experience. The aim of our method of training is for nage to feel what doesn’t work as well as what works. If something doesn’t work, nage learns not to move that way; when he gets correction, he learns why that particular movement did not work and the corrected one does. Contrary to your concept of how we practice at my dojo, we actually let our beginners complete the techniques every time. In the process, they develop some sensitivity to uke. At the same time, by learning how to give a strong attack, uke is learning quite a lot about where nage is vulnerable, where uke is vulnerable, and how

I stated that you’re overemphasizing the sempai/kohei relationship. I never stated that such a thing inevitably leads to big egos. I agree with your further clarification of what you meant.

I hope your guidelines help serve their intended purpose. I realize that you disagree that they’re too long and wordy, but most authors (myself included) tend to take a dim view of criticism like that. I urge you to pare down the wording a bit if you want others to really understand what you mean.


-Drew Ames
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