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Old 05-24-2006, 07:27 AM   #26
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: "Tanker" uke

Hi Amir,

Quote:
One could get into a situation in which he can not do anything. Obviously, in such a situation we do not learn nor improve. There is no shame in admitting this and asking Uke to lower the wall for a while and letting you learn. But, if this is the case, you should know it was your inadequacy and not Uke.
Then didn't you just learn your limitations? We're always learning something...about ourselves, our partner, the waza...something. By the way...I admire the way you recognized the validity of Mr. S's opinion in some situations. As a blanket rule...it tends to fail, but in general, it has it's purposes.

Hi Arnold,

There are ways to deal with someone clamping down while your hands are on your knees, within the kokyu ho dosa paradigm. I'm sure your instructor or someone in your dojo can show you...but at the same time, changing things up doesn't hurt either.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 05-24-2006, 08:16 AM   #27
Amir Krause
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Re: "Tanker" uke

Hi Ron

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Hi Amir,

Then didn't you just learn your limitations?
You learn of your limitation on the first failure group. Does it matter if you will continue failing after the tenth time or so ?

My Sensei once compared it to fitness practice. The best way to develop the muscles is by letting them do something. we would not start lifting weights with 100Kg weight we can't move, even if we do wish to push that weight later on.
Once one recognizes his limitations, he should start working on improving. This should be based on actual work, not on pushing immovable walls. In the meanwhile, we also gain a lesson in modesty and honesty - admitting our own failure and asking to make it easier for us.

As for recognizing the validity of Mr. S's opinion ("no such thing as bad Uke") in some situations. I thought I was doing this even while I claimed it is not always true. As I wrote then, there is such a thing as bad Uke, but Tori should leave this to Sensei to determine while Tori concentrates on his own failures. Once one starts complaining on Uke behavior making him unsuccessful, one goes on a slippery slope to encouraging impractical and ineffective approaches.

Amir
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Old 05-24-2006, 08:18 AM   #28
Ron Tisdale
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Re: "Tanker" uke

Nice post....

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 05-24-2006, 09:23 AM   #29
djalley
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Re: "Tanker" uke

This has been discussed a few times before. I know that in my dojo we learn the move by step-by-step instruction, then a couple times once-through the whole thing, then we're given 5-10 minutes to experiment within.

During the step-by-step, when you're just learning the move and its mechanics, there is absolutely no excuse for Uke to be resisting Shite. You are learning the move. Contrary to the statement "There is no such thing as a bad Uke", there IS indeed such a thing, it's the clown that doesn't allow Shite to learn at this most basic level.

During the once-through, when you know the steps, you're getting the idea of how the move flows from one point to another. Again, it is Uke's job to go along with it here, as Shite is still learning.

During the experimentation/practice phase, it is up to Shite to perform the move and attempt to perform it correctly. Depending on Shite's experience, Uke can offer some resistance, especially resistance that Shite would likely encounter on the street or against an uncooperative opponent..

As for the whole "There's No Such Thing as a Bad Uke", I wholeheartedly disagree. The Uke that does not give energy, resists the technique in the learning phase, or does not allow a lesser experienced Shite to experience the technique is a Bad Uke. Shite and Uke are partners exploring the technique for the purpose of learning. Uke is not an opponent of Shite, he is a co-student.

Now, during freestyle, where Uke is free to make any attack on Shite, there is no such thing as a bad Uke. But if it's a randori where you're only doing wrist grabs, and an Uke does a front strike... BAD UKE!

Lastly, please note the distinction between Uke as a training partner, and the concept of an opponent. They are very different.

Don

Last edited by djalley : 05-24-2006 at 09:25 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 05-24-2006, 10:26 AM   #30
jonreading
 
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Re: "Tanker" uke

Aikido is a proven martial art that, when applied correctly, successfully controls your opponent (partner); Sensei usually reinforces this concept by demonstrating technique prior to training. So what does this mean?
Have confidence that the technique works; you may not be able to perform it correctly yet, but the technique is sound.
"It's not you, it's me." When in doubt, first look internally for the source of the problem before pointing fingers at others. Lots of things can affect the outcome of a technique and you are one of those things.
"What am I not communicating to my partner?" Uke should respond to nage's actions. If your partner is unaware of suki, or steadfastly ignoring atemi, or simply restricting their energy to neutralize a situation, you need to be prepaired to address those issues.

There is no such thing as a "bad uke"; there is dumb ukemi and there is false ukemi, but not bad uke waza. Part of the challenge of aikido is learning how to do aikido even when your partner doesn't know how to do aikido...
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Old 05-24-2006, 10:54 AM   #31
fullerfury
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Re: "Tanker" uke

There is no such thing as a bad Uke, however there is certainly such thing as a foolish Uke.

My experience has lead me to believe the following truths: ( at least true today and subject to change tomorrow) :

I am either seeking an opening or closing my openings. If the former, I am fulfilling the role of nage and if the latter I am uke.

If I am standing still waiting for my partner to "do something" to me, then I am open and probably endangering myself in my training (unless I really trust this someone). Ukemi is about closing your opening and finding a safe place.

When an uke blocks me out, the safest place to be is in a centered state, or well balanced state. If I can find this place, the "Tanker" uke will have to adjust to continue blocking me out, producing an opening or break connection.
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Old 05-24-2006, 09:15 PM   #32
Man of Aiki
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Re: "Tanker" uke

If a beginner who doesn't know better, go easy.

If it's an intermediate or advanced student who should know about attacking honestly, then I see no reason why you shouldn't shift around, power your way through, or even use a different technique.

I have trained with all kinds of ukes and every now and then you encounter one who gives you a dishonest attack.

If a shomenuchi to the head responed to by ikkyo is called for, and before he's even finished the strike he's dropping his knees and bracing his arms and shoulder to resist the technique, that is not an honest attack.

If a kotegaeshi in response to a wrist grab is called for, and even as you begin turning he's either let go on purpose or pulled sharply on your hand to try to unbalance you as you turn, that is not an honest attack.

You see, the uke knows what's coming. He knows what technique you are going to do (unless this is randori). If he decided to make you look bad by not attacking honestly, it's quite easy for him to do that.

Besides the ukes who's striking attacks never even come close to making contact, the only other kind of uke I hate training with are the ones who try to get cute by demonstrating that 'you can't do that technique to me'.

How hard is it to mess up the other guy's practice of ikkyo if you slide your hand off to the side and aren't really trying to come in on him in the first place? Or you start the strike and then drop your center and harden yourself before you even make contact, focusing more on not being moved than on striking.

Well it's not hard at all to thwart the other guy's technique. You know what technique is coming. You know how he expects you to attack. So if you deviate from that you can make a point by embarassing the other person.

I am not here pointing out how an INSTRUCTOR might do this to make a point while teaching someone waza. I am talking about students doing this to each other when they are supposed to be helping one another learn the techniques.

I had one guy I trained with that would absolutely refuse to strike hard in an ikkyo. Sometime he wouldn't even get halfway through the shomenuchi movement before he stopped his arm well in front of my head and dropped his center, bent his knees and tried to turn to stone.

Now when I attacked him for his ikkyo training, I never had the bad manners to do what he did to me. I really did try to strike him in the forehad like I was supposed to, fully committing to my shomenuchi. Because I was attacking him honestly, he was able to show off his 'good' Aikido by doing ikkyo on me properly. My arm was flexible at the moment he entered in because I was really trying to strike him with it.

Then everybody got to see my 'bad' Aikido as I had to FORCE him over and over again to go down. His arm was NOT flexible, he was hardening it and fighting to keep it straight, giving up on the strike well in advance of my entering in.

He constantly fought to look good while doing technique, and constantly fought to make others look bad while he was receiving technique from them.

Now my Sensei knew exactly what was going on and this guy got talked to about his attitude. In the end, he left for college somewhere else and became someone else's problem.

Now if you are faced with an uke doing this sort of thing, talk to him about it first, then bring it to your Sensei if the matter is not resolved.

Someone who is not attacking honestly during waza is wasting your time, and your time is valuable.
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Old 05-24-2006, 09:21 PM   #33
Man of Aiki
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Re: "Tanker" uke

No such thing as a bad uke? Then you've been lucky you've never encountered one of those individuals who seem to live for showing off their powerful aikido while doing technique and then do everything in their power to make everyone else look bad when they have to receive technique from them.

I've met at 3 people like that, and I've only taken Aikido for 5 years.
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Old 05-25-2006, 05:20 AM   #34
Amir Krause
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Re: "Tanker" uke

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote:
"It's not you, it's me."
This is the main point that made me think of the "there is no bad Uke" statement. Any who read the threads I linked, could have read I strongly argued against this statement and gave both reasons and examples for bad behavior of Uke.

But, when I read this thread. I found too many people who started blaming Uke for something that is likely to be their own failure. This was the main reason behind Mr S. above statement. Once Uke can be wrong, some may blame him rather then examine how could they improve their own application to work against such an Uke.

Personally, I have corrected and shown people how they should react as a good Uke for certain technique Kata practice. But, I only did this when my main role with the person is the role of Sempai. The job of correcting another is reserved for your Sensei and Sempai, not for the person who is currently practicing.


From this point of view, of my awareness to both sides of the equation. I come and try to decide on my opinion with regard to some situation, I can not see it, I can not feel it (often, trying to correct things in the dojo, I would replace one or both practitioners and feel for my self), all I can do is read your post, and responses.
When I read of a person who (as it seems to me) brags of his ability to block techniques as Uke, I will reach one opinion.
When I read of someone who has a problem as Tori, I may reach another.
In this thread, Tori complained Uke made him work to apply the technique, and gave such resistance that he had to tense and apply force he did not think was necessary. This was not a beginner, rather an advanced student (going to other dojo and used to succeed without force). Therefore, in this type of case, I would say Tori should look at himself. This is not a situation of Uke being so much more advanced, big and strong that he totally paralyzes Tori, this is mealy working well against resistance. When faced with a problem there, you should acknowledge it and try to improve your own performance: learn to move even more smoothly, examine the angles you move with, harmonize your body and hands, etc. until your technique becomes better.

Amir
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Old 05-25-2006, 06:04 AM   #35
maeukemi
Dojo: Kyushinkan dojo - Roswell, GA
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Re: "Tanker" uke

Last night we did a ki-excercise Sensei called "Taking off the coat."
Uke wraps both of nage's arms up behind their back and leans over nage's shoulders. If you force, struggle, *hold your breath* as I was doing at first, you can't escape no matter what. Too much resistance.

If on the other hand, you relax and breathe, (almost no resistance) you will be able to escape, no matter how hard uke holds, or what height/weight they are .


That's what "overexuberent" ukes are for. Move into their center, you have no chance. Move into yours, and you can do whatever needs doing.

It's really good training!
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Old 05-25-2006, 11:40 PM   #36
johanlook
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Re: "Tanker" uke

I've definitely met ukes that I consider "bad". The ones that disregard the sensei's instructions come to mind.

As far as "tankers" go, my favorite are the ones that do everything in their power to resist you, then rejoice in telling you exactly how it should be done, then all of a sudden doing it there way they turn into the "leaping fish" uke, jump over their own arm, get up looking at you as if to say " see? if you do it my way, I can't resist!" Just because someone can resist you doesn't mean that they can do the technique much better.

There is such a thing IMO as constructive resistance. Working at a pace that challenges but doesn't completely neutralise the training effectiveness of the nage.

This year because I get some sort of perverse ego satisfaction out it I make it a point that if anyone resists me with all their might, I do the same to them. Given, I'm on friendly terms with everyone at my dojo, so they usually realise that I'm just diggin them right back at em and we get on to training in what I would consider a more constructive way.
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Old 05-26-2006, 06:58 PM   #37
Man of Aiki
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Re: "Tanker" uke

Usually this tanking thing comes up when someone has not been able to let go of their ego.

Nage is 'Winner' - I will look strong and courageous and in control when I am Nage!

Uke is 'Loser' - I do not want to be a loser!! The only way I will 'go' with your technique is if you do it perfectly! Uh-uh, that is a sloppy ikkyo! I ain't going down and you can't make me! I'm a winner, not a loser!!

The one guy that gave me the most problems did very well when he was executing techniques on others. But when it came time for him to be thrown and taken down all of a sudden he had a big problem with the way everyone else was doing Aikido.

Face it, if you're near brown-belt level or above and you get an attitude problem you can pretty much thwart just about any Aikido technique someone tries on you. Not in randori, but the class waza time, when you are supposed to be taking turns being uke and nage.

You know how you thwart a shiho-nake in response to a shomenuchi attack? The nage is supposed to take your arm down and around, unbalancing you before he pivots under your arm.

Well you know how that technique works. So let's not attack honestly then, let's brace ourselves as we are striking, fighting to keep our hand high and our weight back (yeah, I know, that results in a tissue-paper soft strike, but remember the goal here is not to really help the other person train, it's our ego-building exercise to show everyone else 'I can't be thrown' and 'this other guy doesn't know what he's doing') so Nage can't unbalance us.

Then when he tries to pivot under our arm we simply yank it away from him.

Sound like fun?

One guy I trained with certainly thought so. He did it to me about 12 times over the span of 6 months.

Nothing kills the spirit of training faster than giving a partner an honest attack, really trying to step in and hit him in the temple with your shomenuchi strike, and watching him take your honest attack and expertly perform shiho-nage on you, dropping you to floor; and then when it's his turn he hardly puts his arm out there, keeps it way high, and keeps his weight back because he's determined not to be unbalanced and then pulls his arm strongly out of your grasp.

A few times to make my point to this gentleman I didn't even move as he attacked with his 'shomenuchi' and just stood there and watched it pass about a foot and a half in front of my face, over the height of my head. He was so focused on keeping that arm up and stiff he kept missing me by more than a foot even when I didn't move.

No such thing as a bad uke? That's the same thing as saying no one ever practiced Aikido with an immature attitude. You know it's happened.

Now it's rare, but throwing out pat phrases that goes against people's experience over the years doesn't foster discussion.
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Old 05-26-2006, 07:03 PM   #38
Man of Aiki
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Re: "Tanker" uke

Amir, I would say in the cases where the Uke is attacking correctly and honestly, the Nage is just incorrectly doing the technique, you are very correct.

I have seen the other kind of this thing, where some guy is doing the technique incorrectly but he thinks Uke must be doing something sneaky or wrong to be able to resist it.

Now that IS a lot more common in the dojo than the guy that gets an ego problem and decides he's not going to co-operate with other people doing Aikido on him.
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Old 05-27-2006, 04:34 PM   #39
Suru
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Re: "Tanker" uke

At the end of class, we would form a circle around a nage, then attack one by one. Nage would switch after each student had attacked. Sensei couldn't make it that day, so the sempai taught the class. He attacked a Tae Kwon Do black belt and, just for fun, prevented the TKD nage from performing the throw. Sempai had quite a bit of physical strength, as did nage. Realizing he couldn't throw Sempai, nage executed a lightning-quick roundhouse to the top of Sempai's head, almost hitting him but not. I didn't know a foot could get that high; it was beautiful. This reminded me of my struggles with my big brother. His grip is so strong that I couldn't even get my hand around for nikkyo. When he comes back from Vegas, after gambling away the deed to his house, I'm going to try what Saotome Shihan probably might try...just drink a beer and irimi nage his ass. Improvisation was crucial to O'Sensei's technique, so I would thank that occasional "tank" for letting you practice spontaneously.

Drew
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Old 05-29-2006, 01:48 PM   #40
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Re: "Tanker" uke

Quote:
I usually execute techniques without too much tension but when confronted with a "tanker uke", I feel like I don't have much choice but to tense up and use a little bit of force just to seize their center
Punch him in the face to make him move, THEN take his center.

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"
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Old 05-29-2006, 05:45 PM   #41
Man of Aiki
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Re: "Tanker" uke

Quote:
As far as "tankers" go, my favorite are the ones that do everything in their power to resist you, then rejoice in telling you exactly how it should be done, then all of a sudden doing it there way they turn into the "leaping fish" uke, jump over their own arm, get up looking at you as if to say " see? if you do it my way, I can't resist!" Just because someone can resist you doesn't mean that they can do the technique much better.
I've seen that too, Johan.

One guy I've talked about here was a brown belt; even when training with white belt beginners he was always resisting when being uke for them. He had the belief that even as a white belt, unless you did the technique PERFECTLY to his satisfaction, he wasn't going down no matter what you did.

I mean come on, it's the white belt's first week, why would you refuse to go down to their ikkyo?

I trained with and alongside this fellow for two years. Nobody liked practicing with him, even the Dan rank students.

And as Johan points out, after you try a technique with him, and it 'doesn't work', he's more than happy to start showing you everything you did wrong.

I figured out what he was doing after about 3 weeks of training with him.

Say we're doing Tsuki Ikkyo Omote (high punch to the face variation). I started as Uke, he was Nage and for about 15 times he had no problem controlling my strike and taking me down for the pin.

Then it was my turn. The very first time, he does the dropping his center/hardening his arm thing I talked about in an earlier post. He's shaking his head even before I'm halfway through. Apparently, I didn't interept his arm at exactly the right angle he wanted me to. So as far as he's concerned, the technique is over at that point.

"Here's what you're doing wrong!" he tells me, showing how I should have my shoulders 'rigid' and squared towards him.

So we go again. Now he sees something else he doesn't like. Once again, halfway through, he stops and yanks his arm back.

"No no, that's not right! See, it doesn't work when you do it wrong like that!" Now he's talking about the angle I moved his arm into after I intercepted it. I get another lecture. By this time, the other students in the class have done the technique 5 or 6 times. I'm on my second aborted attempt.

Never mind this guy is not an instructor and that the Sensei showed us the technique with no rigid shoulder posture like this guy is telling me to use.

Just to get along to go along, I do it the way he shows me.

Wow, magically the guy suddenly is on the floor even before I get to the point where I'm ready to draw his arm down my center.

We fall into the routine for 10-12 more repetitions, and by the 4th one he doesn't even notice I'm no longer using his 'rigid shoulder' thing.

Yet I'm having no trouble taking him down at all. What a.........SURPRISE.

This went on for two years every time we paired together. He resists, he shows me what I'm doing 'wrong', I do it his way....and he practically dives to the mat.

It never seemed to occur to him that I trained with every other student there, including the Dan ranks, without ever constantly getting 'stuck' like I did with him.

I also noticed he never dared do that with the Sensei or the Dan students, just the browns and the lower ranked students. They were the only ones who constantly got stuck in their techniques training with this guy.

As I mentioned before, unless you were doing a technique perfectly to his satisfaction, he didn't just resist, he didn't even let you get half or one quarter of the way through the technique before he was drawing back and giving you a lecture.

It got to where I ended up training with this guy alot the last few months he was with us because nobody else wanted to put up with his bs attacks.

Near the end I developed that habit of not even moving when he gave me his 'strike', watching his hand sail by not even close to me.

He knew he was on a short leash by then from Sensei, so he would mumble an apology and then really try to hit me like he was supposed to be doing.

I haven't seen this guy in 4 years, so I can only hope that wherever he trains now he matured in his behavior and let go of the ego that was holding him back.
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Old 05-30-2006, 01:04 AM   #42
Jerry Miller
 
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Re: "Tanker" uke

There is a guy like that in our dojo. Well at least for me.

Jerry Miller
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