Thread: Dead end?
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Old 10-24-2013, 05:14 PM   #13
Dojo: Suenaka-Ha Aikido of Bloomington
Location: Bloomington, Indiana
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 170
Re: Dead end?

This post reminded me of something that happened in the class I was teaching last week. I have themed out my last few classes with techniques that use a very minimum amount of movement to achieve success and was teaching my fancy nikkyo (Yoshinkan guys can correct me on the name!) One of the students couldn't get it right, so when I took over as his uke, he got it right on the first try and said "That's not right though, I didn't do it, you did it for me!"

He was right, and it was the same complaint I had when I was about 5th kyu level as well, since that is what our dojo cho did to me with a lot of techniques. As it turns out, you're better off with a compliant uke in the beginning so they sort of put themselves in the position for you. This way you can feel how the technique should 'feel' when it is done correctly. Once you get that feel into muscle memory, it's easier to recreate it without thought, and more importantly, without a compliant uke. Running through the most basic of techniques over and over again is the same thing. It takes awhile to get the feel, and it does feel initially that you are cheating somehow. But thanks to that kind of super basic technique combined with compliant uke practice, I have much better control and smoothness in my techniques. And more importantly, in my mind, is the fact that my dojo cho trusts me to lead a class of beginners.

If you trust your training partners, and have a good feel for atmosphere in the dojo, I'd encourage you to stick around. Your Sempai trained under the Sensei and is now doing the things that you want to do. Wait and see what happens to you in 6 months to a year. Somewhere along the line you will manage to do something you had no idea you could do, and you will do it well. And that one millisecond of pure joy when you have managed to connect all the principles and do a technique really well without thinking about it is the most awesome feeling you will ever have.

Oh, and teaching any other kind of ukemi than ushiro ukemi makes me ridiculously nervous personally. It's so terribly easy to try to put your hand down to break a fall without a LOT of training and that way lies a broken wrist. I want to see perfect ushiro ukemi first before I even ponder doing anything else.


Anonymous User wrote: View Post
I'm emotionally overwhelmed by the number of replies.Thanks to all of you.I feel really heard here.

To answer some questions:
First thing I would like to settle is the ukemi thing.What I meant is for the lack of better words just any rolling/jumping ukemi.I really want to work on that but it seems my teacher doesn't encourage me to do so.He often says that we should do the typical ushiro ukemi slowly.Maybe he is okay with anything else but only say ushiro because not all can do a mae ukemi.

As a person I really like him.He is a good guy and one could say he is a rolemodel i.e. he is always gentle,forgiving and calm.

To me it all comes down to the thought "Am I wasting time?"

We have a nidan senpai,he really is what I would like to be.They have been training together for years like he says and the relationship is more than healthy.

I have scheduled a few trainings in the next weeks in a few different dojos (different style,organisation,same organisation etc)

It's not that I don't feel right with the philosophy

Aikido for me is pure love.Whenever I practise it I just feel peaceful and right.I love to just watch videos for days,read all the news,read all the books and so on.I'm concerned that something could spoil this love.
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