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Old 05-18-2004, 11:06 PM   #12
Dojo: Itten Dojo -- Mechanicsburg, PA
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 420
Re: The Nage/Uke Dynamic - Guidelines


There is far too much in your last post for me to even attempt a full reply. I do appreciate the time you took to reply and I've read every word.

Very briefly:

1) We practice several times a week with jiyu waza and randori. We also, as a matter of course throw in variations of the technique we're working on as long as our partners agree and can handle the uncertainty. In short, we practice with a fair amount of spontinaeity at my dojo.

2) Uke can always vary the speed of his attack but still attack with integrity (meaning that uke’s target will be hit/grabbed if nage responds poorly), and intent (meaning that uke will follow up from the first attack into a second one, or he at least moves in such a way that he could follow up if nage makes a mistake). A slow punch can still be centered and have force behind it so that if nage doesn’t move, uke’s fist will still drive into the target -- but slowly.

3) So we attack newcomers slowly. That way, they have a chance to make corrections and finish their technique. Every time. At the same time, we (as uke) endeavor to keep moving in a slow, but realistic manner that so that a technique done slowly, statically, will feel similar to one done more dynamically. We do this by attempting to keep our hips moving under our shoulders, and by keeping our focus on nage. This is not “uke pulling out of technique. It’s quite the opposite; uke stays in the technique the whole time. This is, perhaps, the root of our misunderstanding. I do not advocate uke pulling out of a technique.

4) You said:

I realize you made no mention of scenario-based self-defense training. I did not say you did. I simply said that your understanding of form is more akin to that of scenario-based self-defense training than it is to the Budo understanding of kihon waza. You repeat this position here, again, and I would still hold that my summary of your ideas is accurate.
Really, David, this is very insulting. You’ve never trained with me or even met me. We obviously have different understandings, but you don’t have enough information from my posts to make any kind of judgment as to my skill, or my understanding of budo or kihon waza. I have never trained in a scenario-based self-defense setting and find the idea of such a thing quite alien. I guess that you feel it is necessary to make assumptions about my background and/or training methods to understand my perspective. You’re probably right, but you’re making the wrong assumptions.

5) I said nothing about solo forms, karate, iaido, or any kata not related to the paired practice. Nor do those forms have any bearing at all on the uke-nage relationship being “alive” or not.

Finally, a note. I have been training for a relatively short time; nearly five years. I fully realize that I have quite a lot to learn. There is much in what you wrote that I find valuable, and I appreciate the opportunity to examine my training against what you lay out in your guidelines.

That said, I have found your overall tone to be condescending and close-minded. The way you write, one gets the impression that you have all the answers and any disagreement with you must be the result of confusion, or in my case, scenario-based self-defense training that lacks spontaneity.

Should we ever meet at a seminar, or get a chance to meet at one another’s dojo, I would be happy to train with you. I sincerely believe that I could show you what I’m trying to describe much better than I can write about it. I’m sure the converse is true too.


-Drew Ames
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