Thread: Ukemi styles
View Single Post
Old 05-03-2001, 01:20 AM   #8
Dojo: Jiyushinkan
Location: Mesa, AZ
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 199
Originally posted by [Censored]

My own belief is that ample resistance by uke is conducive to learning, with certain qualifications....
...With these qualifications, I am strongly in favor of "fighting back" in Aikido practice. I think that many aikidoka disagree with me, and I'm interested in hearing why.
Disagree. Two reasons, 1 educational, 1 combative:

1.) Educational. The role of uke (uchi-tachi) in classical ryu is the senior side when doing kata. They set the tempo of the movement, but not the control. If I am trying to learn a movement and get my body to perform at optimal levels, and my partner is "fighting back", I probably won't learn as much. The way I am taught, uke has two objectives; give a committed attack and stay dangerous. Resistance exercises are not one of those choices. Speed and strength are variables that everyone should be trying to work out of their practice. Study the meaning of the word "kata".

2.) Combative. The volume of aikido techniques are "what-if" techniques. In other words, you engaged someone in a conflict and they have enough skill to avoid or change your initial atemi. You blend with their energy and finish with something like kote gaeshi. You are not going to have time to "pick" the technique. If you take ukemi like you know what the person is going to do with you to the point of resisting the movement, you are going to get hurt. So train like each of those techniques could end your life.

If you practice in a way that ignores the threat of atemi, you are just doing a form of Asian folk dancing. If you think that resisting a technique creates stronger renshu, you will eventually hurt yourself and others. If you add speed, strength and resistance to your training, only certain types of people will come to train with you. Think of surfing. Do surfers resist a wave? No, they ride a wave. Good surfers ride really, really big waves. What are the chances of them resisting the force of the water propelling them forward?

Just a thought.

Jim Vance
  Reply With Quote