Thread: Following?
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Old 02-02-2012, 02:00 AM   #8
Carsten Möllering
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Dojo: Hildesheimer Aikido Verein
Location: Hildesheim
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 932
Re: Following?

Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
'Following' is not a term I see discussed much on the forums and it is a term which I have been used to hearing and using since the day I started aikido.
This sounds very strange in my ears: We use the term "to follow" to describe a - in our eyes - "wrong" way of ukemi.

Now, when this is done correctly, and what I mean by correctly is, uke is giving a sincere attack, whilst at the same time 'not' giving away his centre, is completely on balance, and is sensitive enough to be able to feel every move and change of direction that nage makes.
And what in acting this way of ukemi is "following"?

In our nomenclature "following" means that nage moves. And uke decides to stay in contact with this movement: to follow. This understanding implies, that uke doesn't need to follow. He can also decide not to. And being able to make this decision shows, that tori's technique doesn't control uke, doesn't really lead him, but let him decide whether or not he "accepts" tori's technique.
So "following" is only used when practicing wiht beginners who don't have the skill to make their technique work.

So if nage performs the technique correctly, and what I mean by correctly is, they are leading nage's intent/ki and not trying to use muscle to make it work, it will feel effortless.

When any of the principles of aikido are not in place, (using muscular strength, no centre, bad posture, etc), uke 'stops' the technique, ...
Well: As David said: uke "stops" himself. Or uke becomes tori and throws. Or shows openings using atemi. Or ...

When all is working, it feels like a completely 'collusive' encounter, ...
Yes, it does. But what for is needed what you call "following"? If tori's technique works uke does not need to follow? He can work on his ukem to get more flexible and what Endo calls "responsive" to addept his movement to tori's technique. Or he can stay "strong" and not accept the technique flowing through his body.
But he doesn't have to follow?

Last edited by Carsten Möllering : 02-02-2012 at 02:03 AM.
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