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Old 10-09-2014, 07:05 AM   #14
Carsten Möllering
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Dojo: Hildesheimer Aikido Verein
Location: Hildesheim
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 932
Re: People who are never uke

Anonymous User wrote: View Post
You're describing henka waza.
No. I am definitely not.
I'm indeed talking about performing a certain, given waza that was demonstrated by the teacher with resisting uke, "them knowing what's coming, and knowing they won't get hit". And to do that in a slow and relaxed way.

Look at it carefully. The technique, one just demonstrated by instructor, the one everyone is practicing repeatedly, can be stopped by a wicked-minded partner.
And tori can learn to perform this given technique of this wicked minded blockages and boycotts. - Without using henka waza, without seeking refuge in atemi, wihtout covering inability by increasing speed.
As I said: We do that as one part of our keiko. We consider it to be an important part.

But regular training method at my (former) dojo doesn't include henka waza. At all. It's considered "dirty" I guess.
We have other parts in our keiko where we emphasize completely free movement. Or we explicetly encourage tori to change and play with the possibilities of henka waza. And sometimes henka waza are even the subject of teaching.
But when we practice kihon waza we only practice the given technique.

... if the uke abandons the concept of sincere attack/mind, of simulating that specific energy, one out of many, you're never going to pull it off.
I've come to understand that it is a very interesting concept to learn not to rely on what uke does or does not. When your technique does not require a certain ukemi or - talking in a broader sense - a certain behaviour you as tori get mor freedom, you don't have to re-act, but are able to act. You become independent.
Not only in a technical sense which already matters a great deal. But also personally, psychologically. Which is even more important.

Well, even when we don't especially work on blocking tori, our concept of ukemi is not very helpfull for tori:
I know dōjō, where uke is requested to extend beyond his center of gravity, to "give some energy", to "carry on attacking" during the whole technique of tori. Things like that. You call it "to give a sincere attack" or "simulating that specific energy".
In my practice we don't do things like that. We stay within our own sphere, we don't give us away but try to remain as stable as possible and to give tori as few as possible to work with. Uke is required to be rooted and centered.
(For that reason my ukemi in those dōjō I mentioned above, is concidered to be no good attacks: I don't give tori something to work with.)

When the uke's goal is not to attack, but just to withdraw/make YOU uke/block a specific set of movement/energy, their behavior is no longer even remotely natural or realistic, and this entire interaction becomes a useless dud, an artificial construct existing only inside dojo bubble, teaching nothing of use.
Ummh, I think this way of ukemi is very "realistic" in a sense, that tori learns not to need the help of uke to be able to do a certain teachnique. This way of practice helps to not rely on uke, but to build on one's own possibilities.
Plus: Practicing kata does not mean to be a kind of scenario training. The aikidō kata are clearly not entitled to show what I will do if he will do thisorthat ... . The kihon no kata of aikidō mean to teach the body of tori in a certain way and to teach and build up certain abilities. It's the same like in the kata of koryū. What really is to be tought is contained within - or even lies behind - the outer, visible movements.

I have no idea of how those two gyus you are talking of understand their practice.
What I try to describe here is only my understanding and my experience. And it was especially Katherine's statement that caught my eye.

Last edited by Carsten Möllering : 10-09-2014 at 07:11 AM.