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Old 10-05-2004, 09:02 PM   #8
L. Camejo
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Dojo: Ontario Martial Arts
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,423
Re: Opinions and thoughts please...

Jordan Steele wrote:
When I train in Aikido and am uke, it's my job to know when nage has offbalanced me and then move accordingly. I understand Aikido is co-operative but why do I allow myself to be off balanced.
In my understanding the Tori/Uke relationship during cooperative practice (kata or forms etc.) is one where both practitioners are trying to practice the technique in the "most ideal" way possible, so there is no resistance and Uke follows the movements initiated by Tori. It's a 2-part process to understanding, in both roles one understands exactly what makes techique work and also why it doesn't work. Also, I can't say that this sort of training is found only in Aikido. I have trained along similar lines in Jujutsu and even Judo during cooperative practice. It is part of helping your partner and yourself understand the intricacies of technique.

Jordan Steele wrote:
In all other martial arts I've trained becoming off-balanced is a big no-no and should be avoided at all cost.
Again it depends on a few things. I teach all my students to maintain their balance and posture throughout the technique while playing the role of Tori to avoid being taken to the ground by a resistant Uke/attacker. In striking arts it is also emphasised that loss of balance is a dangerous thing, as well as stand up weapon arts etc. Failure to maintain one's balance in these cases removes a basic assumption that makes these arts effective. Also, because striking is involved, it's not so much a matter of receiving the technique, since in this case "receiving" the strike means that you've probably done something wrong to get hit in the first place, so the Tori/Uke relationship does not really exist in the same way as with many stand up grappling arts such as Aikido.

Jordan Steele wrote:
In my last few classes I have been aware of the fact that during any technique if I wanted to regain my balance and not allow nage to throw me, I could and that's not because they have poor technique, it's because mentally I made a decision not to let this person throw me onto the ground.
Well imho if you have the option to regain your balance as Uke during the technique's execution, something is wrong or the technique is not being practiced in a "martial" sense at this time, but maybe to get a deeper understanding of movement principles, body mechanics etc. There are times when the training is focused on something other than being martially effective all the time in order to understand other principles of the technique and of Aikido.

Jordan Steele wrote:
Someone would have to hit me or effectively distract me to actually take my balance because after 5 years of being thrown on my ass, I realized I don't have to fall at all. It's easy to stop nage of any skill. Just drop your center and break away from his center. Maybe I could be humbled by someone out there because I honestly think when an average person senses imbalance, they will react in a way to try and regain balance and if they have any sense of self-preservation they will resist you from the beginning.
From my experience, there's aikido and then there's AIKIDO, there's kuzushi and then there is KUZUSHI. One can interrupt, break or obliterate an attacker's balance depending on the need imo. For those who train to make kuzushi a key element of their effective technique, an attacker can be given information beforehand of the technique to be done, know everything about the technique and still be dropped by it. There are many ways. Imho it depends on your experiences in Aikido. One does not need a Shihan to experience devastating kuzushi followed by effective technique, just someone who makes it a core of their training and drills all aspects of it consistently. A good practitioner who knows how to fully utilise kuzushi will both not allow you to have any control of your centre until the technique is over and will also allow room to use your reflex resistant/restorative actions to being taken off balance to make an even more powerful technique (we call it reactive kuzushi). Iow by resisting you make things better for them to throw or pin you.

Just my thoughts.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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