Thread: Ukemi styles
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Old 05-09-2001, 12:19 AM   #11
Dojo: Jiyushinkan
Location: Mesa, AZ
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 199
Originally posted by [Censored]

If you are not resisting, you are cooperating. How do you stay dangerous while you are cooperating?
Staying dangerous is a very difficult subject to discuss without the guidance of experienced and knowledgeable teachers. I would venture to ask the question to some of our resident Sensei "lurkers", because I do not feel I could answer the question properly. I guess from my own perspective, "cooperative" ukemi allows me to escape injury and maintain a connection with the tori (nage). This connection becomes very important in kaeshi waza...

Have you ever told your uke they are too fast and strong when they attacked you? How did they respond? I am talking about students with a few years experience here, not rank beginners.
Sure, as sempai I tell them that only if I knew they could not take the ukemi properly. As the tori in an aikido technique, I should hope that they attack me with all the strength and speed they could muster. Because IF the technique is done properly, they must then eat what they just gave me. Have people pushed me over the edge with strength and speed? Sure. I just ask them to slow down so I can get it right. Most of them want me to get it right, so they slow down.
I practice in a system with one-on-one randori, and both participants must exercise control over the amount of strength and speed they use so that it is not the defining variable in the success of their waza. I notice that people who use a lot of strength and speed without the feedback from maintaining connection, like resisting, causes a lot of "separation" between the two people.

This is true, but it is also true if you pretend every tap is a knockout blow, which I think is a more common habit among aikidoka. Again, I am not talking about brand new students.
Atemi is a lot more about position and who has the initiative than it is about hitting someone hard and fast.

And yes Jun, having to "cooperate" with higher level practitioners gives you a somewhat different perspective of things. Sometimes you feel lucky you can still walk off the mat unharmed, even though your mind is convinced otherwise.

Jim Vance
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