We practice in a cooperative training environment. When I train with a partner we enter into an agreement to abide by the structure of the exercise in order that we may both derive the benefits afforded us by the practice. The agreement is simple.
If we are practicing say, shomen uchi kokyu nage, I as uke agree to attack with a shomen strike and not a yokomen strike or katate tori. I agree to attack and, when nage moves, follow in order to continue attacking. As uke I agree to attack without foresight, that is, to attack where nage is and not where I know he's going to be. When practicing static grabs I agree to regulate the power of my attack and operate within nage's ability to receive and deal with that power, regardless of nage's rank.
If I'm not thrown I don't fall. If my balance isn't compromised I keep it. If nage leaves openings I do not ignore them.
As nage I agree to regulate the power of my technique and operate within uke's ability to take ukemi, regardless of uke's rank. I agree to execute the technique we are practicing. I agree to move without foresight, to present a tangible target for uke's strike or grab. I agree to respect the energy uke is putting into the attack and treat the attack with the same seriousness as I would if there was real ill intent behind it.
If I don't follow through on my throw I expect uke not to fall. If I don't disturb uke's balance I expect him to keep it. If I leave openings I expect them to be exploited.
I and my partner work together to better ourselves and for the betterment of each other. Cooperation in training does NOT imply capitulation on the part of either participant.
(Original blog post may be found here