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Old 05-02-2012, 11:21 PM   #26
PeterR
 
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Re: Resistance?

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Peter:
In my opinion, part of the problem with our training model, was the change away from the uke being the teacher (this was/is the predominant model in koryu- from which modern budo evolved from). When the uke is in the role as the teacher, that person is in the perfect position for guiding the nage in improving the execution of techniques. The teacher can increase resistance, change things up, etc. as part of a training paradigm. Without that awareness, the uke frequently acts in a manner that is essentially nonsensical when they are acting against the execution of a technique.
Again I disagree and at the risk of beating a dead horse - when and by whom did this change occur. Both Takeda and Ueshiba M. taught in very traditional ways for jujutsu which meant that deshi spent a lot of time receiving technique. Kenjutsu training is quite different but primarily in the amount of physical abuse that uke suffers not to mention all that falling down and getting back up. With all due respect I think the idea of a shift in training methodology in modern Aikido is urban legend possibly linked with the false idea that Aikido is related more to kenjutsu than to jujutsu.

Quote:
As a teacher, I frequently intervene when a student is acting "dumb" in the role of uke. .....
I spend a lot of time teaching my students how to be a good uke.

Our training paradigm is essentially a two-person kata practice. When both people take their roles seriously, the level of training can always increase, without unnecessary risk of injury, or devolving into some cooperative, delusional space where everyone feels good....

Marc Abrams
I agree (especially about the two-person kata) and as I said previously the role of uke and tori both have to be taught. I do think that it is essential that the teacher takes on both roles and leads by example.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:10 AM   #27
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Re: Resistance?

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Kenneth Hannah wrote: View Post
I disagree. Depending on the technique, if you cannot effectively move uke, then its on to another technique, and so on until he has submitted (tapped out).
You should not be applying a technique until after your uke is unbalanced.

You should be looking for lines of non-resistance, position your body to use the line of non-resistance to unbalance your uke then apply technique.

dps
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:56 AM   #28
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Re: Resistance?

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Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
Again I disagree and at the risk of beating a dead horse - when and by whom did this change occur. Both Takeda and Ueshiba M. taught in very traditional ways for jujutsu which meant that deshi spent a lot of time receiving technique.
I'm curious to learn how two known "innovators" taught in a "traditional" manner?

FWIW, It's reasonably common knowledge in koryu circles, where old teaching methods are usually preserved as much as possible, that the uke role in both armed and unarmed training is most often filled by the senior who can then control the outcome and provide the highest levels of instruction.

I'd suggest that this change began with innovation in judo and continued through the intervention of government. Dig through the research in historical Japan and observe that more modern forms of budo practice involved a much higher student to teacher ratio, which makes it very difficult to continue such a practice. When you add to that the use of judo and other forms of "traditional" instruction in schools to inculcate "Yamato-damashii" where formality and obedience was was the real learning and order of the day, I guess you could say it's not all that unclear how this changed.

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Tarik Ghbeish
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MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:59 AM   #29
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Re: Resistance?

Uke's role is to help train nage in the art under examination. Uke, at a base level, should not resist a technique or a throwing exercise. They should require that their balance be broken, with proper application of technique. If the appropriate limb is locked, and balance is broken, then you are not "taking a fall" by not resisting. If the techniques has to be performed at 10% of speed to learn how to break balance then so be it. It is a simple thing to resist if you know what is coming or provide no energy.

When working with lower kyus, doing drill work, and working a new technique, uke is required to help nage get the feel of the throw. Resisting by going limp, not entering, locking down, providing random energy in the wrong direction all constitute barriers to learning; they are ego boosts to a misdirected uke.

That being said, dan ranks should be held to a more applicable art. Strikes that track uke, punches that retract quickly, getting swatted with uke's free hand (improper location), holding upon landing to test stability, getting kicked in the butt when standing in the wrong place after a throw are all valid training modes for yudansha (as well as upper kyus). They should occur with agreement and knowledge of the participants and more typically are part of a dojo culture as defined by the chief instructor. Introducing reality to the upper ranks is important after all if the advanced students cannot effectively utilize a technique unless attacked just so, then what is the point, peaceful as it may be Aikido is a martial art not dance style. Reality is important, but has the right time and place in the learning process; overzealous green belts are not the right time and place.
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:09 PM   #30
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Re: Resistance?

Quote:
Hilary Heinmets wrote: View Post
Uke's role is to help train nage in the art under examination. Uke, at a base level, should not resist a technique or a throwing exercise. They should require that their balance be broken, with proper application of technique. If the appropriate limb is locked, and balance is broken, then you are not "taking a fall" by not resisting. If the techniques has to be performed at 10% of speed to learn how to break balance then so be it. It is a simple thing to resist if you know what is coming or provide no energy.

When working with lower kyus, doing drill work, and working a new technique, uke is required to help nage get the feel of the throw. Resisting by going limp, not entering, locking down, providing random energy in the wrong direction all constitute barriers to learning; they are ego boosts to a misdirected uke.

That being said, dan ranks should be held to a more applicable art. Strikes that track uke, punches that retract quickly, getting swatted with uke's free hand (improper location), holding upon landing to test stability, getting kicked in the butt when standing in the wrong place after a throw are all valid training modes for yudansha (as well as upper kyus). They should occur with agreement and knowledge of the participants and more typically are part of a dojo culture as defined by the chief instructor. Introducing reality to the upper ranks is important after all if the advanced students cannot effectively utilize a technique unless attacked just so, then what is the point, peaceful as it may be Aikido is a martial art not dance style. Reality is important, but has the right time and place in the learning process; overzealous green belts are not the right time and place.
I was in Torrey Pines just a couple of days ago but unfortunately too jet lagged to consider Aikido.

Anyway - proper ukemi (and that includes the level of resistance at a particular time) needs to be taught. One strength of more formalized kata training is that both roles are strictly defined so both tori and uke know exactly what is expected of then. Of course that needs to be off-set with a style of randori (also with varying degrees of resistance) that allows for free expression.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:18 PM   #31
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Re: Resistance?

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Hilary Heinmets wrote: View Post
Uke's role is to help train nage in the art under examination. Uke, at a base level, should not resist a technique or a throwing exercise. They should require that their balance be broken, with proper application of technique. If the appropriate limb is locked, and balance is broken, then you are not "taking a fall" by not resisting. If the techniques has to be performed at 10% of speed to learn how to break balance then so be it. It is a simple thing to resist if you know what is coming or provide no energy.

When working with lower kyus, doing drill work, and working a new technique, uke is required to help nage get the feel of the throw. Resisting by going limp, not entering, locking down, providing random energy in the wrong direction all constitute barriers to learning; they are ego boosts to a misdirected uke.

That being said, dan ranks should be held to a more applicable art. Strikes that track uke, punches that retract quickly, getting swatted with uke's free hand (improper location), holding upon landing to test stability, getting kicked in the butt when standing in the wrong place after a throw are all valid training modes for yudansha (as well as upper kyus). They should occur with agreement and knowledge of the participants and more typically are part of a dojo culture as defined by the chief instructor. Introducing reality to the upper ranks is important after all if the advanced students cannot effectively utilize a technique unless attacked just so, then what is the point, peaceful as it may be Aikido is a martial art not dance style. Reality is important, but has the right time and place in the learning process; overzealous green belts are not the right time and place.
I was in Torrey Pines just a couple of days ago but unfortunately too jet lagged to consider Aikido.

Anyway - proper ukemi (and that includes the level of resistance at a particular time) needs to be taught. One strength of more formalized kata training is that both roles are strictly defined so both tori and uke know exactly what is expected of then. Of course that needs to be off-set with a style of randori (also with varying degrees of resistance) that allows free-expression.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-23-2012, 07:52 PM   #32
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Re: Resistance?

Peter,
Next time you are in town give us a call. We are actually no much closer to downtown (El Cajon and Washington). We always enjoy visitors!
H2
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:04 PM   #33
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Re: Resistance?

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Hilary Heinmets wrote: View Post
Peter,
Next time you are in town give us a call. We are actually no much closer to downtown (El Cajon and Washington). We always enjoy visitors!
H2
I hope to do that - I was flown in from China for a one day job interview and am waiting with fingers crossed. We'll have to see but if it works out I will have to explore training opportunities.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-24-2012, 12:21 AM   #34
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Re: Resistance?

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Yes, resistance alone leads to damage in my view. Thus one of the major principles of Aikido is non-resistance.
Teaching this from day one is imperative from my view otherwise it is merely a shell of Aikido which is being done.
Peace.G.
I have studied in several schools for extended periods of time and have experienced those that preach absolute non resistance and those that preach strong resistancewhile training. Both, are hopeless, in my opinion. You need to train in-between most of the time, and from time to time, go to either extreme (not just a bit, but a lot at either extreme, then back tothe middle).

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Old 05-24-2012, 12:51 AM   #35
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Re: Resistance?

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Rupert Atkinson wrote: View Post
I have studied in several schools for extended periods of time and have experienced those that preach absolute non resistance and those that preach strong resistancewhile training. Both, are hopeless, in my opinion. You need to train in-between most of the time, and from time to time, go to either extreme (not just a bit, but a lot at either extreme, then back tothe middle).
The middle road - very Buddhist in its wisdom. Not really sure what it is about Aikido and those that like to comment on it but it sure breeds a lot of extreme statements. I've seen this in the resistance game, but also speed vs static, name your concept.

Aiki in my view really reflects an increased sensitivity to your opponent. The ability to respond to their energy in a way that makes it your own. If there is no resistance during training then you can not experience that energy and learn to utilize it. Conversely if you are always working with hard resistance you will never learn to overcome that energy without an equal measure of force.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:20 AM   #36
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Re: Resistance?

I like that - altered it a bit - and have copied it to a post-it on my desktop.

"Aiki reflects an increased sensitivity to your opponent; the ability to respond to their energy in a way that makes it your own."

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Old 05-24-2012, 01:23 AM   #37
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Re: Resistance?

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Rupert Atkinson wrote: View Post
I like that - altered it a bit - and have copied it to a post-it on my desktop.

"Aiki reflects an increased sensitivity to your opponent; the ability to respond to their energy in a way that makes it your own."

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:42 AM   #38
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Re: Resistance?

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Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
The middle road - very Buddhist in its wisdom. Not really sure what it is about Aikido and those that like to comment on it but it sure breeds a lot of extreme statements. I've seen this in the resistance game, but also speed vs static, name your concept.
Passion tends to breed extreme points of view :-)

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Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
Aiki in my view really reflects an increased sensitivity to your opponent. The ability to respond to their energy in a way that makes it your own. If there is no resistance during training then you can not experience that energy and learn to utilize it. Conversely if you are always working with hard resistance you will never learn to overcome that energy without an equal measure of force.
I look at it this way. When succeeding at aiki, what you do is "non-resistance" relative to the fact that what you are doing never "resists" what your partner is doing, but instead uses it and adds a very little bit to it. Sometimes the, it may appear to be resistance to the uneducated because you can make the feedback loop very tight, but it is not.

But we spend most of our time training to learn this, not doing it, and that can be misleading. To learn, our training must be cooperative and yet also competitive by slowly, increasingly made more difficult over time, through 'resistance' or more preferably, IMO, through a greater application of the same principles by uke to steal back the sente.

If efficient learning is the goal, then the scale to measure shouldn't be based upon ones own opinion about how 'resistant' uke should be to tori, but instead measured upon tori's success in kata based upon on the correctness of their ability to use the taught principles in kata to succeed at the technique at least 70% of the time. Less frequent success could mean that uke is resisting too much, while more could mean that uke is overly cooperative. Even randori is a cooperative, if even a more constructively competitive practice, but at least it isn't kata.

Peter, I think you already mentioned the value in allocating training time between kata and randori. Unfortunately, for many in the aikido world, what is called randori isn't what you and I mean when we talk about the two.

IME, one of the weaknesses in many places I've visited, is the dogma that aikido has no kata, which is then demonstrated as false in practice. Aikido, in fact, is demonstrably taught through kata, sometimes far more so by schools that insist that kata does not exist in aikido. But actual doing of aikido, as opposed to training, is not kata and once could say that doing is the real aikido while training is the "lie" as I believe Ueshiba himself once stated when asked to do a demonstration before the Imperial family.

Best,

Tarik Ghbeish
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:23 AM   #39
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Re: Resistance?

Quote:
Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
IME, one of the weaknesses in many places I've visited, is the dogma that aikido has no kata, which is then demonstrated as false in practice. Aikido, in fact, is demonstrably taught through kata, sometimes far more so by schools that insist that kata does not exist in aikido. But actual doing of aikido, as opposed to training, is not kata and once could say that doing is the real aikido while training is the "lie" as I believe Ueshiba himself once stated when asked to do a demonstration before the Imperial family.
This should be hung on the wall of every dojo

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Old 07-05-2012, 06:13 PM   #40
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Re: Resistance?

Now, I'm a complete outsider in all this, so I might say something completely idiotic here, but:

Shouldn't it be down to two people: nage and sensei? If your Sensei decides that it's best for you to train with resistance, then you both start training with resistance. If Sensei has no word in the specific matter, I'd say it should be up to nage, who is practicing his/her technique, then he/she can either ask for more resistance to test the technique, or less to refine the technique.

I will however quickly say, that resisting a throw/lock/whatever wouldn't automatically lead to injury, as some have stated. Unless you are some crazy doped up person, your body would naturally give out long before any of your joins or bones break (which is why the techniques are also useful in the first place). I can't see how you could break a join, unless either an accident happens, or someone is deliberately trying to break a joint. It's not like you go "I'll resist this.... whoah my arm broke out of nowhere, where did that come from?!".

Granted, I so far only have experience (3rd Kyu) in Shotokan Karate, which is obviously very very different from Aikido, but really... joints and bones don't break out of nowhere
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:19 PM   #41
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Re: Resistance?

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Rupert Atkinson wrote: View Post
I have studied in several schools for extended periods of time and have experienced those that preach absolute non resistance and those that preach strong resistancewhile training. Both, are hopeless, in my opinion. You need to train in-between most of the time, and from time to time, go to either extreme (not just a bit, but a lot at either extreme, then back tothe middle).
Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
The middle road - very Buddhist in its wisdom. Not really sure what it is about Aikido and those that like to comment on it but it sure breeds a lot of extreme statements. I've seen this in the resistance game, but also speed vs static, name your concept.

Aiki in my view really reflects an increased sensitivity to your opponent. The ability to respond to their energy in a way that makes it your own. If there is no resistance during training then you can not experience that energy and learn to utilize it. Conversely if you are always working with hard resistance you will never learn to overcome that energy without an equal measure of force.
I think you two really nailed it!
Sometimes you need no resistance, sometimes you need a ton, and most of the time you need a little/bit.
Training constantly with no resistance, is like training Karate and only ever doing the kata's, and expecting students to be able to survive a kumite later with only that. Likewise, full resistance would be like doing Karate, and only doing full-contact from day one, and still expecting the students to learn the details of the technique.
Both extremes have their place in the training regiment, but with just a bit of both - and a whole lot of in-between.
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:18 AM   #42
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Re: Resistance?

I'd like to throw in my two cents on the issue of uke teaching nage. In our dojo it is generally discouraged for an aikidoka to "teach" his/her partner on the mat. We call it shadow teaching and there are several reasons for this position. First, there is already a teacher (Sensei) on the mat. To presume that the Sensei cannot attend to those who need help is the height of disrespect and arrogance.

Secondly, constant instruction from uke can be confusing to nage especially if they are junior and want to be respectful. But, everyone learns differently if nage is thinking about his/her center and uke is telling him/her to change his/her feet then the training process is disrupted and the learning curve becomes steeper. Even a Sensei who is constantly interrupting his/her students to correct them can cause frustration and prevent learning.

Third, if uke feels free to discuss the technique with nage and the whole dojo is doing the same training grinds to a halt. I've seen classes where everyone is talking and no one is training. What a waste that is.

So, in our dojo we suggest that training continue with a minimum of talking. If nage is completely lost uke can guide nage through the technique but, ideally, without discussing nage's failings. Other than that nage is charged with discovering the technique as it is appropriate to his/her physical capabilities.
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:11 AM   #43
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Re: Resistance?

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Tom McIntire wrote: View Post
I'd like to throw in my two cents on the issue of uke teaching nage. In our dojo it is generally discouraged for an aikidoka to "teach" his/her partner on the mat. We call it shadow teaching and there are several reasons for this position. First, there is already a teacher (Sensei) on the mat. To presume that the Sensei cannot attend to those who need help is the height of disrespect and arrogance.

Secondly, constant instruction from uke can be confusing to nage especially if they are junior and want to be respectful. But, everyone learns differently if nage is thinking about his/her center and uke is telling him/her to change his/her feet then the training process is disrupted and the learning curve becomes steeper. Even a Sensei who is constantly interrupting his/her students to correct them can cause frustration and prevent learning.

Third, if uke feels free to discuss the technique with nage and the whole dojo is doing the same training grinds to a halt. I've seen classes where everyone is talking and no one is training. What a waste that is.

So, in our dojo we suggest that training continue with a minimum of talking. If nage is completely lost uke can guide nage through the technique but, ideally, without discussing nage's failings. Other than that nage is charged with discovering the technique as it is appropriate to his/her physical capabilities.
Tom:

The uke as the teacher is a model that predates gendai budo. I think that is the height of arrogance and disrespect of the students to assume that the sensei is the only teacher in the room. What you are describing is a situation where 50% of the time (uke) is pretty much wasted. Talk about the heights of arrogance, the idea that someone junior to you cannot point out areas of your own failing! Sounds like a set-up for the creation of idols and the worshiping of them.

In my dojo, people should be assisting themselves and those around them in helping everyone to improve. This can be done without being negative, but encouraging. I spend a lot of time and energy in helping students to be their best teachers. They develop the abilities to critically analyze what they and their partners are doing, and they learn how to effectively communicate that through words and actions. This is how I train and how I teach. I wish you the best of luck with your teaching model.

Marc Abrams
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:55 PM   #44
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Re: Resistance?

Not quite Marc

The senior taught in the role of uke and that was primarily in weapons based kata - not necessarily in jujutsu techniques. It would be a mistake to thing that these seniors were the level of kyu grades or early dan.

That said - I know in systems which are kata based the role and expectations of uke are taught from the beginning. Learning that helps you to understand the techniques from tori's point of view also. In Shodokan for example it is expected that you should be able to effectively teach techniques required two kyu levels below your own.

I do agree with your point though - with the proviso is that they teacher and others should be all on the same page.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:47 PM   #45
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Re: Resistance?

Where I find I can learn from ANY uke is in giving me consise and brief feedback, be it verbal or in the body, on what she is feeling. Not necessarily telling me what I'm doing wrong or suggesting a correction, but something like "it feels like you disconnect after the turn" or "it feels like you had me and then gave it back to me when you..."

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Old 11-06-2012, 07:58 AM   #46
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Re: Resistance?

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Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
Not quite Marc

The senior taught in the role of uke and that was primarily in weapons based kata - not necessarily in jujutsu techniques. It would be a mistake to thing that these seniors were the level of kyu grades or early dan.

That said - I know in systems which are kata based the role and expectations of uke are taught from the beginning. Learning that helps you to understand the techniques from tori's point of view also. In Shodokan for example it is expected that you should be able to effectively teach techniques required two kyu levels below your own.

I do agree with your point though - with the proviso is that they teacher and others should be all on the same page.
Peter:

We are both referring primarily to koryu. The weapons-based kata had/have a continuum to hand-to-weapons, to hand-to-hand based upon an particular "operating system." The distinction is more an artifact of the operating system in use with tools. There were no kyu grades or dan grades for that matter. Our waza is a form of kata as well. I think that we are essentially in agreement. I think that you would agree that a beginner's body is a good feedback mechanism for how our waza works in people who have not been "taught" how to respond to what we do. Likewise, "playing" with friends from other martial arts is typically very informative to all parties as well.

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