Thread: Equitable?
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Old 03-04-2005, 12:06 PM   #97
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
Re: Equitable?

Gaia Thurston-Shaine wrote:
When I say "most connected ukemi" I expect that this is the most important aspect of ukemi, especially in a seminar situation when the instructor might not know the ukes they call up. Someone who is able to follow and stay connected no matter what the technique or style is going to be the best uke for the job.
Whereas I can envision situations in which I agree with you, I can also picture situations where I don't necessarily agree with you. For instance, I have met a number of people, both male and female but too many of them female, who do "beautiful ukemi", very "smoothe" and pleasing to the eye, particularly when complemented by a nicely-cut hakama of just the right length. Some people consider that good ukemi and I just shrug. Another situation is in which you have a demonstrator who is vigorously applying reverses and cuts that require straight-in drops to the mat, over the reverse arm, etc. In that case, a degree of athleticism is required by uke or Nage is going to have to hold back on his technique to allow time for the "most-connected ukemi" to gather itself.
I would disagree that a male is more likely to have good ukemi or be less likely to be injured or "distract from the lesson". In fact, I believe that the often more connected, looser, less "muscle-bound" (stereotype) ukemi of many females is less likely to cause injury to anyone.
Possibly you're right; possibly I am. However, I can picture too many past instances of harshly applied technique which I have seldom seen applied to women the way they are to men. Not to say some women couldn't handle them, just that most would probably avoid them, exactly as MOST small-framed, not-too-athletic men would prefer to avoid those techniques. Fair enough?
Perhaps I have had unusual experiences, but I have seen seminar instructors choose a broad variety of ukes, generally starting with ones they know, then watching the class and picking ukes based on the ability and characteristics they observe. I have been called up for ukemi in many seminars, as a kyu-ranked female, sometimes by instructors I have never meant. I can only assume that they saw something in my ukemi that caused them to make this choice.
OK. I've never met you. Who knows from where you're speaking, exactly? You could be the goddess of ukemi, for all I know.


Mike Sigman
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