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Old 12-02-2013, 10:53 AM   #5
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,152
Re: The uke/nage paradigm

I think old-skool aikido used the term "shite" and some style still do. If memory serves, the connotation of the term was one of designating a leadership role (leading/receiving, etc.). I think once you experience takemusu aikido, it becomes difficult to designate a static role in the paired relationship which causes all kinds of problems.

Kata requires a clear understanding of role. Uke, nage, whatever. In paired kata, I think it is acceptable to constrain each role to the kata. Cooperation, participation - whatever you call it everyone knows what's coming and where they're going. In koryu, uke is often the senior and inherits a leadership role in teaching the kata to a partner.

Waza is not kata. At some point we become skilled enough in kata that we can make it happen organically. Randori. Not screaming like a girl running around the mat randori (no offense, girls), but free-style engagement randori. I think we rarely train at this level. Statistically, if we did we should only be successful some of the time (unless we are really good) as our partner should confound us on occasion.

I am not sure if changing semantics will help resolve what I feel to be a source of the problem. I think the confusion comes in when we think we are doing waza, but we are really doing kata. I would focus instead on more strongly identifying kata practice distinct from randori and managing an expectation of success that encourages more activity from uke.

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