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Old 03-01-2011, 07:10 PM   #26
Tenyu
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Re: Uke Substitute

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Jonathan Olson wrote: View Post
To get back to the topic. I was going to say that I did'nt think of my weapons as uke because my weapons don't attack me. Then I remembered all the times I've been hit in the head by my own bokken.
I've been hurt more by the staff than by any uke and I've never been hurt the few times I actually did hit my head. I severely injured my shoulder with the staff almost two years ago doing one of the Tengu series forms by resisting taking the fall I should have. It took months of recovery and the help of a master trigger point therapist to fix it. The concussions I've already talked about and luckily I know how to teach in a way to prevent them.
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Old 03-01-2011, 07:14 PM   #27
graham christian
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Re: Uke Substitute

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David Skaggs wrote: View Post
When practicing with a weapon do you see where the weapon is actually a substitute for an uke?. What you do with the weapon you can also do with an uke.

dps
Yes. And vice-versa.
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Old 03-01-2011, 07:42 PM   #28
lbb
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Re: Uke Substitute

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Rich Hobbs wrote: View Post
Ok... basing selection of this instructor on what?
Well, originally it was because they had the appropriate teaching certificates from the ryu.

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Rich Hobbs wrote: View Post
As above, how do they do this? Without discussion and thinking, what do you use to determine if a given teacher knows what they are talking about?
Same thing: they've been given a certification to teach by people who ought to know if someone's any good. But that doesn't apply to aikido, unfortunately, so if you're looking for weapons work within aikido, you need to go by reputation, I guess.
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Old 03-01-2011, 08:10 PM   #29
JO
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Re: Uke Substitute

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David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Imagine uke holding on to your wrist(s) as you go through the weapons kata.

dps
In which case the weapon is definitely not taking the place of the uke as I am holding it and not the other way around. I could do the same exercise without the weapon.

Jonathan Olson
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:12 PM   #30
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Re: Uke Substitute

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Jonathan Olson wrote: View Post
In which case the weapon is definitely not taking the place of the uke as I am holding it and not the other way around. I could do the same exercise without the weapon.
In more rigorous jiyuwaza or randori, a 'closer' approximation to a real life martial encounter, it's silly for uke to try and grab nage's wrist. And if uke is told to grab nage's wrist, then nage shouldn't wait until the wrist is grabbed before starting the throw especially if other attackers are involved. Nage should be the one grabbing uke if there's to be any grabbing at all. Of course this doesn't negate the significance of one of Aikido's most important kata practices of tainohenko or other katatedori techniques.
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:38 PM   #31
David Orange
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Re: Uke Substitute

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David Skaggs wrote: View Post
When practicing with a weapon do you see where the weapon is actually a substitute for an uke?. What you do with the weapon you can also do with an uke.

dps
That's really more or less a backward summation. You use your body as if you were holding a sword and use your te gatana as swords, cutting your opponent. Maybe if you said, "What you do with the weapon you can also do "to" an uke"....

Anyway, you don't use the uke as if he were your sword, but as if you are doing kenjutsu to him, while actually unarmed....

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:45 PM   #32
David Orange
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Re: Uke Substitute

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Rich Hobbs wrote: View Post
How can one know one is making one thousand "correct" cuts if there is no thought or consideration; surely there is some risk that the end result is an ingrained error as opposed to enlightenment. I am not suggesting this is the case in your circumstance, I am only musing the general point.
Without attempting to speak "for" Mary on this, as I read her post, she said that she doesn't think about the abstraction of the sword use to use of uke's body. She only thinks about cutting with the weapon, where she has experience and the ability to judge. She doesn't try to link it (as I understand her post) to the abstract idea that uke "is her sword".

FWIW.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
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Old 03-02-2011, 12:38 AM   #33
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Re: Uke Substitute

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David Orange wrote: View Post
That's really more or less a backward summation. You use your body as if you were holding a sword and use your te gatana as swords, cutting your opponent. Maybe if you said, "What you do with the weapon you can also do "to" an uke"....

Anyway, you don't use the uke as if he were your sword, but as if you are doing kenjutsu to him, while actually unarmed....
Uke attacks with the te gatana and nage grabs uke's arm, the tsuka, and cuts with uke's body, the blade. I thought this was standard teaching in Aikido dojos? Not that nage can't receive with one's own te gatana but without a dive bunny, nage would still have to hand transition to make uke the ‘weapon' and follow through with another move to complete the throw. I can't see how that transition could be made without violating the phase lead on an honest uke. I'm quite sure I've seen what you're referring to in video demonstrations but I consider it flawed both in principle and in practice.

I've also seen demonstrations where nage employs a downstream uke-centric te gatana as a quick kokyu, and although it ‘works' it's conflict oriented and a misrepresentation of Aikido.
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Old 03-02-2011, 12:47 AM   #34
raul rodrigo
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Re: Uke Substitute

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Tenyu Hamaki wrote: View Post
Uke attacks with the te gatana and nage grabs uke's arm, the tsuka, and cuts with uke's body, the blade. I thought this was standard teaching in Aikido dojos?
Actually in many dojos (those of the Hombu shihan among them) nage doesn't grab uke's arm. He just cuts down and only then after uke is down does he grab the wrist. Please see Chiba. He doesn't have dive bunnies for ukes.

R
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Old 03-02-2011, 01:24 AM   #35
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Re: Uke Substitute

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Raul Rodrigo wrote: View Post
Actually in many dojos (those of the Hombu shihan among them) nage doesn't grab uke's arm. He just cuts down and only then after uke is down does he grab the wrist. Please see Chiba. He doesn't have dive bunnies for ukes.

R
I should have clarified the grab happens before the throw but on the same beat. Grab/receive on the upbeat and throw on the downbeat, for a simple example of shomenuchi ikkyo.

If a phase lag occurs where uke must voluntarily become a dead squirrel, however short, while nage makes compensatory hand transitions then it isn't Aikido regardless of the person's rank.
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:34 AM   #36
mrlizard123
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Re: Uke Substitute

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David Orange wrote: View Post
Without attempting to speak "for" Mary on this, as I read her post, she said that she doesn't think about the abstraction of the sword use to use of uke's body. She only thinks about cutting with the weapon, where she has experience and the ability to judge. She doesn't try to link it (as I understand her post) to the abstract idea that uke "is her sword".

FWIW.

David
I read the original post differently... I read it as substituting the sword for uke as a training partner, not a specific replacement as in the sword is the person/the person is the sword; perhaps I'm barking up the wrong tree though... I think of it more a device which I use to assist me in practicing my movement.

I don't equate my ken work in aikido with kendo/kenjutsu/battojutsu or any other form of using the sword in a "sword fight" as such. I see it as a useful visualisation tool to practice aiki with the ken. I may imagine "cutting" through a person etc etc in various scenarios but I don't see this as "cutting through them, the same way as if I would be 'sword fighting'".

I'm possibly not making this distinction as clear as I'd like as there is a subtle but important distinction in terms of using the ken as a means of focusing my intent but not by equating "use of a sword" to "moving a person".

When it comes to the question of certification to teach weapons; I think this is irrelevant (IMHO with the disclaimer that I have been known to be wrong...) since I don't see the ken work in aikido as being sword work in the same way as it would be in a sword school, notwithstanding some similarities in terms of movements that cross over between which I am not qualified to discuss in sword school terms.

When it comes to determining which teacher you should invest in in Aikido or in Aikiken etc I don't just go on reputation, I trust my instincts and discuss with them, ask questions, etc, formulate opinions - I won't just say "people said he is good that is enough" it has to be justified to me.

If someone wants to ask me why I do xyz before deciding to train I like to think I can convince them I know what I'm talking about and if I can't then we both have a problem; they should go elsewhere and I should be taking a hard look at myself.

Ars longa, vita brevis, occasio praeceps, experimentum periculosum, iudicium difficile
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:11 AM   #37
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Re: Uke Substitute

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Rich Hobbs wrote: View Post
I read the original post differently... I read it as substituting the sword for uke as a training partner, not a specific replacement as in the sword is the person/the person is the sword; perhaps I'm barking up the wrong tree though... I think of it more a device which I use to assist me in practicing my movement.
That is what I meant.

Thank You

dps

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Old 03-02-2011, 06:37 AM   #38
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Re: Uke Substitute

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Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
How is this baiting germane to the topic?
Hi Janet,

I don't see it as baiting. I'm genuinely trying to understand the input that Mary is providing. She joined a discussion to say that she doesn't think about the topic. I'm trying to understand what it is that she is bringing to the debate by seeking her perspectives on it.

It seems the contribution was to suggest we didn't think or talk about it, so I was exploring why we should or should not. I don't think it's irrelevant - in fact I think it's very pertinent to the purpose of Aikiweb and forums in general.

We can discuss what we wish to; there will be topics that we believe are a waste of time/not helping the people involved/are detrimental as well as those that are of great importance in our respective opinions.

We have several choices in how we choose to interact with such discussions; we can remain out of the conversation because we think it is pointless/irrelevant/we have nothing to say on the matter, we can contribute to it to further the debate because we think it merits investigation, we can explain why we think it is not worth investigating and so on.

Even where we disagree I find it interesting and important for my understanding to try to understand why we disagree, so that I can decide whether my stance should change or remain the same. I am very much open to the idea that I'm wrong or mistaken to a small or large degree depending on my experience and knoweldge of the subject matter.

If my posts come across as irreverent or rude it is not my intention. I have the tendency to waver between overly concise and coming across possibly as curt or waffling on endlessly.

One day I hope to find balance in this too.

Ars longa, vita brevis, occasio praeceps, experimentum periculosum, iudicium difficile
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:54 AM   #39
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Re: Uke Substitute

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Rich Hobbs wrote: View Post
It seems the contribution was to suggest we didn't think or talk about it,
Well, no, not really. At the most, you're talking about a different "we", the "we" of Aikiweb, while I'm talking about the "we" of aikido/aikiken practitioners. What's the practice of a forum member? Discussion, talking, etc. What's the practice of an aikidoka? Aikido. To expand on my earlier comment, I think that aikido practitioners demonstrate a tendency to intellectualize their practice that IMO isn't beneficial. The eager use of metaphor is one such example: such-and-such technique or practice is LIKE an unfolding flower/leaping lizard/flatulent city bus/whatever. Metaphor has its uses, but the danger is that the metaphor can become the main thing, as the effort goes into further constructing and developing and elaborating on the metaphor and the story around it, rather than experiencing the thing directly. Then, of course, you get the problem where annoying reality fails to conform to the metaphor, and rather than discard the metaphor, you decide that reality needs to be adjusted instead. A lot of religious practices seem to have their origin in this tail-wagging-the-dog kind of thinking: "They write books that contradict the rocks, then say that God wrote the books and the rocks are lies."
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:14 AM   #40
mrlizard123
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Re: Uke Substitute

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Well, no, not really. At the most, you're talking about a different "we", the "we" of Aikiweb, while I'm talking about the "we" of aikido/aikiken practitioners. What's the practice of a forum member? Discussion, talking, etc. What's the practice of an aikidoka? Aikido. To expand on my earlier comment, I think that aikido practitioners demonstrate a tendency to intellectualize their practice that IMO isn't beneficial. The eager use of metaphor is one such example: such-and-such technique or practice is LIKE an unfolding flower/leaping lizard/flatulent city bus/whatever. Metaphor has its uses, but the danger is that the metaphor can become the main thing, as the effort goes into further constructing and developing and elaborating on the metaphor and the story around it, rather than experiencing the thing directly. Then, of course, you get the problem where annoying reality fails to conform to the metaphor, and rather than discard the metaphor, you decide that reality needs to be adjusted instead. A lot of religious practices seem to have their origin in this tail-wagging-the-dog kind of thinking: "They write books that contradict the rocks, then say that God wrote the books and the rocks are lies."
What you say makes sense but in this instance David was not looking at how we can use the weapon as a metaphor for uke, where the bokken is uke, as far as I read it.

Uke and a weapon are two distinct devices by which we can improve our Aikido; one is a stick, the other a person but both can be used to develop good movement etc.

I agree that to take metaphors, similies and other such devices too far can lead us down the path that you suggest but I don't believe that is what is being proposed in this case.

Ars longa, vita brevis, occasio praeceps, experimentum periculosum, iudicium difficile
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:34 AM   #41
Janet Rosen
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Re: Uke Substitute

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Tenyu Hamaki wrote: View Post
I should have clarified the grab happens before the throw but on the same beat. Grab/receive on the upbeat and throw on the downbeat, for a simple example of shomenuchi ikkyo.
Even with your clarification I disagree.
I was originally taught to meet with a cut, cut down and during the cutting down there is a natural transition to the lock (grab). I have since trained under different styles/affiliations and this has never been contradicted by any instructor.
All have agreed, whether its shomenuchi ikkyo or tsuki kotegaishe or whatever: Looking for/reaching for a midair grab = trouble. Safer to cut and let the grab happen naturally (and FWIW some of my instructors have framed things as a 2 beat technique and some a 3 beat technique, but the "grab" always happens on 2, not on 1)

Janet Rosen
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:53 AM   #42
Basia Halliop
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Re: Uke Substitute

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The eager use of metaphor is one such example: such-and-such technique or practice is LIKE an unfolding flower/leaping lizard/flatulent city bus/whatever.
LOL. I REALLY want to see the technique that's like a flatulent city bus.
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:16 AM   #43
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Re: Uke Substitute

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Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Even with your clarification I disagree.
I was originally taught to meet with a cut, cut down and during the cutting down there is a natural transition to the lock (grab). I have since trained under different styles/affiliations and this has never been contradicted by any instructor.
All have agreed, whether its shomenuchi ikkyo or tsuki kotegaishe or whatever: Looking for/reaching for a midair grab = trouble. Safer to cut and let the grab happen naturally (and FWIW some of my instructors have framed things as a 2 beat technique and some a 3 beat technique, but the "grab" always happens on 2, not on 1)
I agree with you on the grabbing part, what I wrote doesn't match the actual order of the technique. I should have wrote, as you say, the grab finishes on the beat but I would still disagree with you on the optimal number of beats. I argue the reception happens best on the syncopated And(+) and the grab/throw finishes on the 1. With the staff, the shomen is done exactly the same with an +,1 count where uke's(staff) initial energy on the reception is conserved, built upon, and resonated into the throw/strike. The advantage of this is that uke has no opportunity to apply another power application against nage before the technique is complete. As it's impossible to use an +,1 count in any practical way for a sword cut, its ikkyo equivalent does require a 1,2 count at the minimum but that gives a non-fully compliant uke, however off-balance at the 1, the ability to recover with different moves before the 2 begins. I've always felt the same for almost any techniques with more than one beat, but we couldn't have all these interesting taijitsu katas to practice if there weren't some cooperation. It's been awhile since I've been to any dojos but I do recall now the sword ikkyo is common in many Aikido styles. I'm pretty sure O Sensei and Tohei usually demonstrated the staff ikkyos, I'd have to double check to be sure. I wouldn't be surprised if kihon teaching methods accidentally broke the staff ikkyo into the sword ikkyo. For example there many videos of non-resonant 31 count jo kata available on youtube including one where Saito Junior is teaching each count separate, but when you watch him demonstrate it in the National Geographic clip it's completely integrated and resonant.
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:36 AM   #44
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Re: Uke Substitute

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Basia Halliop wrote: View Post
LOL. I REALLY want to see the technique that's like a flatulent city bus.
I just don't want to smell it....

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Old 03-02-2011, 03:19 PM   #45
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Re: Uke Substitute

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I just don't want to smell it....
I wrote that after a truly ghastly morning commute on the MBTA. I swear this bus shuddered, groaned, gathered itself and farted loud enough to wake the dead every other block. Yeah, I know, no GI tract so technically it wasn't farting, but wow.
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Old 03-03-2011, 02:28 AM   #46
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Re: Uke Substitute

When I use a bokken for practice (8 directional cutting) I would imagine ukes all around me and step off the line and cut each one down, for years I practiced this mental imagery.
However earlier last year, I was re-assessing the eight directional cut.
I did this by watching M Saito Sensei, and how he did it. I would watch it over and over and over and over again. And then some more! Honestly I spent hours and hours studying his body movement on just this excercise, then I would practice, every day for at least an hour for a year. I discovered ( for myself) that by practicing these movemts with a Bokken, it holds within it the secret of shiho nage. And I honestly absoloutly beleive this to be true and correct. Not just the omote and ura variations but migi & hidari also.

Now when I practice 8 directions, I imagine that I cut to strike a uke, they moves off the line and grabs my wrist to stop me using the bokken, then turn and cut shiho nage. I hope what I am describing matches my mental image.

Here is the link to the video in question, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6_Ks-0HvoA, from 2min onwards and funnily enough, straight after Saito Sensei performs happogiri, he shows the four direction throws of shiho nage. I do not think this is a massive leap, but quite possibly a significant one, at least it was for me.
I would be interested in what you all think on this.

In Budo

Andy B
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Old 03-03-2011, 05:46 AM   #47
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Re: Uke Substitute

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Andrew Bedford wrote: View Post
When I use a bokken for practice (8 directional cutting) I would imagine ukes all around me and step off the line and cut each one down, for years I practiced this mental imagery.
However earlier last year, I was re-assessing the eight directional cut.
I did this by watching M Saito Sensei, and how he did it. I would watch it over and over and over and over again. And then some more! Honestly I spent hours and hours studying his body movement on just this excercise, then I would practice, every day for at least an hour for a year. I discovered ( for myself) that by practicing these movemts with a Bokken, it holds within it the secret of shiho nage. And I honestly absoloutly beleive this to be true and correct. Not just the omote and ura variations but migi & hidari also.

Now when I practice 8 directions, I imagine that I cut to strike a uke, they moves off the line and grabs my wrist to stop me using the bokken, then turn and cut shiho nage. I hope what I am describing matches my mental image.

Here is the link to the video in question, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6_Ks-0HvoA, from 2min onwards and funnily enough, straight after Saito Sensei performs happogiri, he shows the four direction throws of shiho nage. I do not think this is a massive leap, but quite possibly a significant one, at least it was for me.
I would be interested in what you all think on this.

In Budo

Andy B
That is a good example of what I mean.

My sensei would demonstrate having uke hold onto nage's wrist(s) and have nage do a sword cut or sword draw from nage's obi to show the relationship between weapon and open hand technique.

You can do it with any weapon.

dps

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Old 03-03-2011, 05:58 AM   #48
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Re: Uke Substitute

Here is an excellent book on the topic;

"The Structure of Aikido: Kenjutsu and taijutsu, sword and open-hand movement relationships" by Gaku Homma,

"In this remarkable interpretation of the foundation of Aikido technique, Gaku Homma focuses on the relationship between Japanese swordsmanship and open-hand movement, uniting historical tradition with the contemporary development of the art of Aikido. Although the study of Kenjutsu and Aikido have long been associated, this is the first book in which actual Aikido techniques are related to sequences used with the sword. Sixteen hundred frame-by-frame photos mirror the movement shared by both arts."

http://books.google.com/books?id=rFU...ed=0CCoQ6wEwAA

dps

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Old 03-03-2011, 06:56 AM   #49
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Re: Uke Substitute

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Andrew Bedford wrote: View Post
I imagine that I cut to strike a uke
Andy B
Andy,

A cut and a strike are two distinct actions that have little in common. I mentioned before the sword generally represents the lethal and the staff the non-lethal side of Aikido. The bokken, being of wood and many times thicker than a sword, shares some qualities of both. O Sensei used the bokken to practice either application, alternating between the two according to the situation. He activated asymptotes when he struck with it and touched asymptotes when he cut with it. The bokken's shape prevents non-resistant resonations between activations but it can resonate with either a moving or ‘static' decontracted asymptote in jodan-no-kamae. There's video of O Sensei doing this subtly with uni-directional bokken strikes. Personally I haven't used a bokken in maybe two years and don't even own one. I can easily teach with it but there's really no need hence no desire to continue training with it after passing an intermediate level study with the staff.

Here's video of low frequency asymptotic activation with the bokken: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6UjPDsdPso
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:02 AM   #50
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Re: Uke Substitute

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Peter Gröndahl wrote: View Post
From 0:50-1:10 gives the key to unlock a key foundation of power generation in aikido (or so I've found).

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

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