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Old 07-06-2005, 10:10 AM   #26
happysod
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Re: Attacked by Uke

ack! must be feeling ill as I agree with Naga
Quote:
Any advice on this situation?
ask them if there's a particular reason for the heavy attack if it bothers you, but I didn't really read anything other than perhaps over enthusiasm or a misreading of your skill level.
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Old 07-06-2005, 10:57 AM   #27
Jorge Garcia
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Re: Attacked by Uke

While it sounds like the Yudansha mentioned was overdoing it a bit, I do something similar to that but a bit lighter. If we are doing suwariwaza kokyu ho and nage has his arms and hands low and relaxed, I just grab the wrists and push them (moderately) into his center. That will lock his hands there and he falls backward or to the left or right. That keeps us from talking, it keeps things real, and continues the original attack. I have never had a person I did that to repeat the problem. The next time, they extend and make sure I don't do that again and I cooperate as uke also by taking the ukemi. If I am uke and as I am coming in, nage is moving too slowly not matching my approach, I continue the attack by proceeding to grab ryo kata tori and I do the kokyu ho to him that way. I see that as continuing the original attack and providing honesty and realism to the training. Otherwise, we have to start talking. I think when they look at my expression and see that I'm not trying to do anything different, most see it as for what it is. A way of saying, "look at this." I don't think I've ever had anyone take it wrong. If the uke though has a competitive spirit or is expressing dominance or arrogance, that is inappropriate. When I was a while belt, I was training with a yudansha in a seminar, I did something wrong and he just turned it into a ju ju nage and flipped me right over. It happened so fast, I hardly knew what happened and his expression never changed and he never said anything. I just knew I had made a mistake to be open enough for him to do that. It made me respect him.
Best,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 07-06-2005, 11:00 AM   #28
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Attacked by Uke

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
When uke is pushing with all his will and power, tori can work out not only as Janet nicely wrote, how to redirect such difficult attack, but what is more important, how to create power under extreme pressure. I'll give you some nice tips: think about your big toe as a source of power. If your body is flexible, all joins will transmit this power to the hips and to your hands. You will not be worried anymore about "wild" attack LOL.
I might have put it more mildly, but I also agree with what Szczepan wrote in the beginning of his post...

If uke is able to push tori back then tori was too late IMO. The trick is to extend into uke when they grab so that you have that connection from your big toe all the way into uke.

Sure a 4th kyu might not have figured this out yet, and maybe the senior in question didn't have the best possible pedagogical approach, but it still could have been a learning experience. It's ok for learning to be frustrating, too.

kvaak
Pauliina
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Old 07-06-2005, 11:16 AM   #29
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Attacked by Uke

Quote:
It's ok for learning to be frustrating, too
I find it often is...but then I'm a bit slow....so....

Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 07-06-2005, 03:39 PM   #30
Jeff Sodeman
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Re: Attacked by Uke

While I have my own opinions about the specific situation, I would say that your sensei is the one you should ask about this. He knows both of you and is in the best situation to both understand what happened, explain it, and/or deal with it.

Not to get sidetracked, but I'm amazed at the questions I see online that should be addressed to people's teachers. On some things of course it's good to get multiple perspectives - and I'm not talking about those questions, but you should trust your teacher enough to give him the option of dealing with the problems that come up in the dojo before looking elsewhere.

Speaking as a dojo cho I feel like part of my job is dealing with things like this, and if I were to find a thread from one of my students I'd feel like there was a lack of trust or respect.

As to what happened, I can think of times when the yudansha's behaviour is appropriate, and times when it wouldn't be.

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Old 07-06-2005, 04:12 PM   #31
Janet Rosen
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Re: Attacked by Uke

Jeff, your perspective as dojocho is really appreciated. As somebody who has been on aikido-l since I was a newbie, before these forums existed, and used them for "reality testing" a whole lot, I'd say that there are a number of possible things in play:
1. some instructors are by design or by default difficult to approach, period
2. especially if a student is newer, lower ranked, shy, or
3. in a dojo where Rank and Hierarchy are strict, and
4. a student percieves his issue as being "minor" or "too insignificant" or
5. dojo politics keep one from wanting to make waves and
6. sometimes it is more comfortable -- kind of like a 13 yr old who want to find out from a large group of 13 to 18 yr olds how they deal/t with acne, rather than asking his 40 yr old dad what he did....sensible or not, all these things do occur in humans, and typically mean not a lack of respect in the instructor, but perhaps OVER respect or a perception of a gulf.
my 2 cents, which may be worth quite a bit less.

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 07-06-2005, 08:39 PM   #32
Jeff Sodeman
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Re: Attacked by Uke

Janet, I completely agree that those are the likely reasons people don't approach their instructor with a question or problem. In fact I wouldn't ask my teacher something I thought could be answered without bothering him, and I'd start with a contemporary.

In that sense I do think there's a "chain of command" which can be used. As many times as I tell the students I'm open to any questions I rarely get them.Generally they ask a fellow student, who asks a senior student, who approaches me, etc. And in fact this is how I do know most of what goes on for better or worse in the dojo too - and some things I leave alone and other I guide in as subtle a way as I can.

As I think most people would agree training in aikido is more than learning technique, it's learning to deal with people and conflict. I personally just don't like using the web to deal with these kinds of issues if other options are available.

At the least I would ask questions on here like the poster did along the lines of "this and that happened the other day in class, is that unusual and should i talk with someone at my dojo about it?" Everything other than the first part of my last post was a general rant and not about this specific thread.

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Old 07-07-2005, 12:56 AM   #33
Janet Rosen
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Re: Attacked by Uke

Quote:
Jeff Sodeman wrote:
Everything other than the first part of my last post was a general rant and not about this specific thread.
(smile) yep, and you did express it well--didn't really feel like rant mode.

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 07-08-2005, 11:50 PM   #34
Lorien Lowe
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Re: Attacked by Uke

Quote:
Ruth McWilliam wrote:
Could I also use this as uke, if tori is pushing me straight over backwards?
If Nage is off balance when they're pushing you, then theoretically you could; one of my sempai is very good at it. I can't do it yet, though. On my knees, I'm not quick enough to move out of the way of the energy before nage (or uke, from the other side) redirects and recovers.
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Old 07-09-2005, 02:51 PM   #35
Don_Modesto
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Re: Attacked by Uke

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
The co-operative nature of most of our training lends itself to these kinds of issues. How much do I resist, when do I resist, in what way do I resist...each dojo has its on culture and assumptions...and from partner to partner, practice to practice, these can vary as well.

Its one of the things I hate about aikido, and one of the things I love about aikido. For technical solutions...For political solutions...For personal solutions....There's a forth dan I train with occationally who doesn't ever speak to me when we train. It goes like this:

First pair of waza, he is shite, he just throws me, bam!

2nd pair of waza I am shite, I try to do what he just did, just how he did it.

3rd pair of waza he is shite, he slows down A LOT on the portions I had problems with.....
Really nice post, Ron.

Don J. Modesto
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Old 07-11-2005, 11:22 AM   #36
Zach Sarver
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Re: Attacked by Uke

Maybe your Uke thought you could handle the stength he was useing. I mean in my dojo uke resist as much as they think the person can handle. So again maybe he thought you could handle that amount of strength.
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Old 07-11-2005, 12:48 PM   #37
Robert Rumpf
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Re: Attacked by Uke

Quote:
Recently we were doing kokyu-ho (suwari-waza), and my uke was a yudansha. I'm only 4th kyu. When I would grab for his wrists, he would start executing the move. I thought, "That's fine. He's anticipating my 'attack.' Maybe that's a yudansha thing to do."

I couldn't get a good grip on his wrists because he wouldn't let me. While I was trying, he did some sort of pseudo-judo move and threw me on my back! Then, when he was doing ukemi for me, he was pushing me backward with all his strength in what appeared to be a macho wrestling technique.

I didn't want to be bullied around, even if he was a yudansha, and so I strong-armed him onto his back. I was embarrassed because I'm generally reserved and courteous on the mat. I feel like I was forced into reacting that way, though.

Looking back on it, maybe I should have just stopped and said, "No. You're not allowing me to practice this move properly. It isn't helping my training in kokyu-ho."

I've NEVER seen an aikidoka (not to mention a yudansha) deviate from being a good, humble uke. I did nothing offensive to him, nor did I act in an aggressive manner to rile him up.

This really bothers me because I don't want to engage in macho bull**** behavior with people just because they are having a bad day or whatever.

Any advice on this situation? It would be most helpful. Thank you.
Your original post leaves out many important details. First of all, what was his reaction to you pushing him over? Secondly, what was his general disposition when he pushed you over? Those things (and others) matter, because they help to indicate what that person was thinking and their potential motivation and goals.

I'd follow this sequence, though, given what you said.. When you were first pushed around,

1) I'd talk to the guy and ask him what he's doing and why in the most neutral way possible.

2) If his answer was not complete enough, or if I wasn't interested in doing what he wanted to do, I'd do one of the following:
a) Stop training with him immediately.
b) Ask the instructor (or that student) for their opinion on what the correct reaction is to the behavior exhibited by that student.
c) If I feel endangered and overwhelmed, ask him to train slower and more gently because you're injured (make some injury up if necessary).

As for (1), maybe he was trying to tell you something non-verbally, or he was deliberately working on something different and/or wrong. Perhaps he was just being an ass to see if he could get away with it that one time, and wouldn't do it again. Maybe it was a momentary lapse of reason. Maybe the guy is an asshole in general. However, he owes you an explanation so that training can continue normally without you seeing him as an enemy.

As a word of warning, none of the options under (2) are likely to endear you to that uke if you're not careful about the way you execute them. This could cause future problems, since you'll probably encounter them again. It is easy to build long-term resentment.

Examples of questions for (b) include "I don't feel like I can give a good attack when you move before I grab." or "How would you avoid getting bowled over?" or "How do I do this without feeling like I'm muscling you, which I obviously couldn't do if I was much weaker?" A perceptive instructor can pick up the implications behind these questions and do what is needed.

I think that when you've gotten to the point where you're shoving back at your partner, and not trying to sort things out, its too late. This is especially true if your skills and strength are widely out of alignment with theirs (in either direction). Some other reaction needs to come before the shoving if this situation is to continue to be a class and not a confrontation.

The decision as to whether I would do (a) or (b) would depend on how diplomatically I could talk with my instructor, and what my expectation of their response and interest would be. Some instructors can instantly evaluate problematic people and ukemi, while others are completely oblivious. Others don't care, as they take what I can only describe as the hands-off approach.

I would do (c) only if I thought they would respect my wishes when expressed, and if I was willing to give them another chance.

My willingness to step off the mat would also reflect how much I felt like I was in danger of getting hurt or of hurting them. These days I tend to step off the mat whenever I get really upset, so that I don't go through the rest of class fuming. I also step off the mat when I can't think of any good, quick, response, and don't want to have a full out argument or fight in the middle of a class.

I don't see this as the ideal solution, because in life we can't always withdraw from problems. However, one step at a time.

A polite way to step off the mat is to (if it is allowed) say that you would like sit out because some joint is acting up, or perhaps even excuse yourself for some water.

If you find someone who is consistently an asshole to you, avoid them for a while until they change or your responses improve. When you have confidence in a partner's abilities, many of the above reactions can be non-verbal and happen through the uke-nage relationship.

To generalize further.. and make a related point.

I don't think it is wise to tell someone much senior to you that they're doing it "wrong" unless it was the type of situation where they didn't pay attention to the instruction and so were doing a completely different technique (the "honest mistake" situation). It is possible to presume too much in terms of the good nature of your training partners.

At the point when I am willing to speak up to try to change a senior's technique, the most I would say would be to point out that they are doing something different than what the instructor is saying to do. I'd want to be really sure I was observing the difference correctly to even speak up this much (having eaten crow many times when it turned out that I was the one mistaken).

If they acknowledge that they are choosing to do it differently, and I don't feel endangered, and they were willing to take ukemi for how I choose to do it, than I wouldn't complain. Its not the place of either party to force a point of view on the other.

My two cents,
Rob
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Old 07-11-2005, 02:43 PM   #38
MattRice
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Re: Attacked by Uke

If I'm doing seated kokyu-ho with Sensei, he does this to me every time. (pushes me back over my heels) I finally figured out he was trying to illustrate that I was letting my arms collapse towards my center. As soon as he feels that happening, he just follows it in: bang, nice thigh stretch.

If I can extend through my arms a split second before he gloms on, I can get passed that bit, beating him to the 'punch' sort of. Once he's extending into my center, it's too late. I had to move sooner.

matt
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Old 07-13-2005, 10:15 AM   #39
Nick Simpson
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Re: Attacked by Uke

Your not alone, this situation happens to nearly everyone at least once during their training, If Uke's got a good point to make then thats all fine and dandy. If not, then their being a prick. Not so nice eh? Hard to deal with, yes, I tend to fume about things like this. Wish I didnt, but thats just me, im getting better I think, but those evil thoughts always crop up when meeting people like this. I've heard the whole thing about training to eliminate the ego: Argh, thats never going to happen but I spose its something worth striving for. And that quote I believe Ledyard sensei has above his dojo door:

'Aikido is a series of frustrations.'

Too true. I know this stuff (or at least I think I do), but sometimes it all seems like a waste of time. I've already passed a load of frustrations, does one more matter? Wouldnt it be better to just quit? Ah, what a wonderful thing this Aikido is...

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 07-13-2005, 02:53 PM   #40
DustinAcuff
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Re: Attacked by Uke

Some of our senior students are still a bit overzealous at times and just love to throw suprises from time to time. I've almost had my hand broken while being uke for a kukyo before. And once instead of doing a right punch uke threw a hard left jab. To my credit I didn't get hit but this unsettled me so badly that I thought my technique was insecure and would have snapped uke's arm if he hadn't had the presence of mind to drop me at that instant. It was a humbling experience for both of us.

Senior students are people too and rank and good technique do not mean that they are soft yet.

Depending on the particular situation, individual and school, you both could have been well within your "rights" or you could both have been out of line.

I am a bit confused by some posters comments along the line of if uke moves nage (push maybe?) that nage has already lost it and cannot do anything. I may be misreading, but if this is what was said then I am confused and would like some clarification as to why.
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Old 07-19-2005, 07:10 PM   #41
"Shocked"
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Re: Attacked by Uke

Thank you for your comments and suggestions, everyone. I really do appreciate them.

Just to clarify things, the uke in this situation was a rather small middle-aged man. I happened to be bigger and stronger. This is what I think: the yudansha felt insecure because I was a "lowly" white belt and was doing the technique effectively. Maybe he wanted to "stir things up" a bit. Even if he was helping me in my training (like someone mentioned), I didn't appreciate it because I felt he was reacting in an immature manner.

When I strong-armed him onto his back, he just accepted it. The instructor walked by and laughed. I guess he was entertained.
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Old 07-19-2005, 07:30 PM   #42
"Shocked"
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Re: Attacked by Uke

And some of your comments about executing the move before uke has a chance to push me back really helped. It's just that it was a beginner's class, and we're not accustomed to random yudansha coming in and making it "real."

But if that was my baptism by fire, then so be it. I'll be more ready for that guy next time I'm paired with him.
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Old 07-20-2005, 07:28 AM   #43
Nick Simpson
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Re: Attacked by Uke

Good attitude mate, Good luck with your training

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 07-20-2005, 02:43 PM   #44
Ellis Amdur
 
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Re: Attacked by Uke

I just noticed this thread - a few random thoughts. This is not the kind of situation that I, as a teacher, would appreciate a student coming up to me to complain about. There was no injury, no danger - and I think I experienced more kokyu-ho in Japan done that way than the "proper" way - including some prominent shihan at the Aikikai. For many people, part of the experience of kokyu-ho is sumo on the knees. This is good body-building training. It's not, I agree, "kokyu-ho," but it presents an interesting and honest technical dilemma. You can't beat it with "softness." It's frustrating. So if you consult with a senior on how to counter such a push, using proper alignment/leverage/tai-sabaki/kokyu, more power to you (Pun intended). But I don't see anything to complain about. You are learning ukemi by being dumped, you are learning the rudiments of dealing with "brute force," and you are, hopefully learning the rudiments of maintaining your composure and your temper when faced with what is guaranteed in the dojo and in life. Irritating people.

best

Ellis Amdur

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Old 07-20-2005, 08:54 PM   #45
eyrie
 
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Re: Attacked by Uke

There's more than 1 way to do kokyu-ho. In fact, there are 10 general directions in which kokyu can be directed. If you know how to use kokyu, it doesn't matter if uke has a vice like grip of death, they will still be thrown. Being in seiza makes it all the more easier, since the ground force has a much shorter path and you have a much larger (triangular) base to work from.

Ignatius
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Old 07-21-2005, 10:10 AM   #46
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Re: Attacked by Uke

You should never loose your temper on the mat. I was just practising with a guy the other day, doing shomen kotegaishi, and I grazed the side of his face. I keep my fingernails short and never wear any jewelry, but he felt it necessary to execute a rather punishing kotegaishi. What I did was an accident, what he did was intentional. Needless to say, I will avoid this guy like the plague for a while. Perhaps that was his intent. Point being, talk, withdraw, collect yourself, don't just react and fight.
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Old 07-30-2005, 07:42 PM   #47
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Re: Attacked by Uke

Ron, you expressed my sentiments almost exactly!

I tend to learn better by watching the visual rather than hearing the instruction. So if my partner slows down to teach me something, I pay attention.

I have had a number of higher (even lesser) ranking students exert great power in resisting my flawed technique. Of course, the better ones then showed me my mistakes and guided me towards understanding. The lesser ones just resisted until I figured it out for myself or sensei helped me.

I have also had a number of lower students resist my technique. Mainly because I had a period of about a year were I trained only irregularly and they had no idea of my rank. I always enjoyed the resistance, as it made me practice with technique rather than strength. Nothing like the face of an uke overcome regardless of resistance....

So, when I encounter resistance, I look to the level of my partner. Are they someone who can show me where I am failing. Or are they simply resisting a technique that may have become sloppy? Either way, I learn and earn...

Brenda
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Old 07-30-2005, 11:03 PM   #48
Jeanne Shepard
 
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Re: Attacked by Uke

Quote:
Brenda Allen wrote:
Ron, you expressed my sentiments almost exactly!

I tend to learn better by watching the visual rather than hearing the instruction. So if my partner slows down to teach me something, I pay attention.

I have had a number of higher (even lesser) ranking students exert great power in resisting my flawed technique. Of course, the better ones then showed me my mistakes and guided me towards understanding. The lesser ones just resisted until I figured it out for myself or sensei helped me.

I have also had a number of lower students resist my technique. Mainly because I had a period of about a year were I trained only irregularly and they had no idea of my rank. I always enjoyed the resistance, as it made me practice with technique rather than strength. Nothing like the face of an uke overcome regardless of resistance....

So, when I encounter resistance, I look to the level of my partner. Are they someone who can show me where I am failing. Or are they simply resisting a technique that may have become sloppy? Either way, I learn and earn...

Brenda
I've learned more from my sempai slowing down and doing the technique slowly and carefull (especially where I was scewing up) the I ever learned from them beating me up. I'm grateful.

JEanne
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Old 07-31-2005, 02:03 AM   #49
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Re: Attacked by Uke

Hi Jeanne!

I too, have learned a great deal from my sempai, and luckily, only a few have tried to beat me up. Most have slowed down technique to show me where I am failing. However, I do find that training with those of lessor rank, especially when uke is using a great deal of strength to resist technique, can teach me a great deal about where I am failing in my own technique.

While I am a firm believer in the philosophy that one trains to the level of one's opponents, we have no opponents in aikido <wicked grin>. Then again, one cannot teach what one does not know....

Brenda
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Old 08-02-2005, 10:21 AM   #50
Lyle Bogin
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Re: Attacked by Uke

This kind of kokyu training is the one bit of aikido training during which I never feel cheated by a very resistant uke. I had a "match" like this with Imaizumi Sensei. I couldn't move him as he exhaled into my technique, and he said to one of my seniors "young guy so he's getting strong fast", and I thought "ha, not strong enough to move an older guy I outweigh." Then he did a double yonkyo and threw me gently onto my back.

I am a talker though, and I do prefer direct explaination of the expectations of uke to the old "no, no, no, no, yes!" (Mel Brooks joke intended) method of resistance. A quick explaination shortens the process and gets us moving together again faster. After all, it's often not something you are doing wrong, but rather something you are doing differently than the image in uke's mind. I like to provide uke with a problem and a solution at the beginning.

Sometimes resisting someone can really raise their beast, and I like to spend some time earning uke's trust. After all, a beginner in aikido is often an expert in another martial art. I feel that not resisting too much sometimes falls into the "protect yourself at all times" category.

All of that being said, I still appreciate the opportunity to work with some resistant uke's. I am just not really one myself.
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