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Old 01-14-2010, 09:20 AM   #1
Thomas Osborn
Dojo: Aikido of Northampton
Location: Holyoke, MA
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 108
Dojo Versus Reality?

1/13/10 w [2s, 8v] A Good class, A couple of the guys are grasping both technique and the concept of breathing and relaxing, at the start, and through out a technique. The biggest issue now, is ukemi. Unlike in the dojo, people do not know how to follow in a technique and they often end up in a potentially dangerous position. There are two issues here;
I have to help/teach people to "go with the flow", to protect themselves by giving up their balance in a controlled way.
I have to improve my own technique so that uke is more apt to move where I want them to go. While uke should be able to move "protectively', it is nage's responsibility to insure uke does not move inappropriately, that both nage and uke end up in a safe and secure place. I can't teach this when I am unable to do so outside of the dojo, with a partner who does not know the safest way to move as uke.
Given the time limitations I am working with I will probably not get people to the point where they can take good, safe ukemi, but I can teach it more often and emphasize it throughout classes.

NOTE: With some techniques, even when I use fairly good form that works in the dojo, it doesn't work well when applying it "real world', i.e., with someone who doesn't know how to take ukemi. I've noticed the same phenomenon when working with a new student in the dojo. Is this a problem inherent with the technique? Or due to the fact that I am not doing it properly? How can dojo practice be more realistic? It is important to learn and practice good ukemi, but does this lead to enabling weak or improper technique.

I practice Aikido as a form of physical meditation, not necessarily for its self-defense, martial aspects. But it is a martial art, and I should feel confident in my ability to use it as such. I'm finding that confidence a bit shaken.

(Original blog post may be found here.)
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