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Old 01-19-2014, 10:07 PM   #1
tim evans
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Leading your uke?

Ushiro waza dynamic I do ok on But for katatori(wrist) or ryotetori (double grab) gets me every time any thoughts or tips on how to improve leading your uke.thanks

one of the "corn fed boys"
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Old 01-20-2014, 04:38 AM   #2
robin_jet_alt
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Re: Leading your uke?

That really depends on what you are doing and what they are doing. Regardless, I don't like 'leading'. Why not try 'not leading'.
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:15 AM   #3
asiawide
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Re: Leading your uke?

You can and you should be able to move uke from static position. There are some(or many?) different methods to do it. This is one of the basic way to move your uke when two of you are strongly connected. Look at 00:03~00:04 It's externally visible. But you can make this very small.

http://youtu.be/hhbhZGvK58A
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:33 AM   #4
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Re: Leading your uke?

Yes, static exercises are excellent to discover where the weaknesses of uke are. Usually with dynamic execution you can cheat and hide your errors, static training displaying it very clearly. Very strong static attack allows you to adjust your posture, check for constant flexibility of the muscles, learn how to redirect attacker’s power, maintain correct distance and angles of your attack. You have to look where there is no resistance and enter there immediately. Of course, in the beginning, uke must be mature enough to not to change his attack by adjusting to your technique, to help you, otherwise you will learn not much. However progressively, once you become more comfortable, he should increase difficulty of his attack, by neutralizing your attempts to execute a technique. Next level can be two uke are attacking your arm with morotedori attack …etc…

You may see the video from Yoshinkan, also Saito sensei, and Kanetsuka sensei for some technical details how to approach such training if you can’t get help from your instructor.
Personally I’m including a lot of static exercises in my daily training.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:34 PM   #5
tim evans
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Re: Leading your uke?

Thanks for the responses. I will try to do it from the static position and see how it develops.

one of the "corn fed boys"
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:18 AM   #6
Alex Megann
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Re: Leading your uke?

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
You may see the video from Yoshinkan, also Saito sensei, and Kanetsuka sensei for some technical details how to approach such training if you can't get help from your instructor.
Personally I'm including a lot of static exercises in my daily training.
Yes, Kanetsuka Sensei approves very strongly practise from static attacks. He has stopped more than one yudansha grading, insisting that the candidates allow their attackers in ushiro-waza to get a proper grip, rather than performing flowing techniques.

On the other hand, one of his favourite phrases is "LEAD attacker…" . By that, my understanding is that he means to move the attacker's centre in order to get them to go where you want, rather than using force.

Alex

Last edited by Alex Megann : 01-21-2014 at 08:20 AM.
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:32 PM   #7
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Re: Leading your uke?

I am not a "leading" fan. Leading supposes there is also a following; so what if you partner does not follow? For us, we use the term "connected" specifically to speak about a relationship when all power from nage is transferred into uke. That is, when I move my partner moves. This is a two-way street since uke can also transfer power into nage. The concept of "leading" is related more to the order of affection; its more about who is first to affect (and prevent from recovering) the other. It is not so much a lead/follow relationship but an affect/recover relationship.

To complicate matters, there then is the issue of directing power into your partner's center and preventing your partner from directing power into your center. whole other thread...

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Old 01-22-2014, 09:45 PM   #8
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Re: Leading your uke?

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Leading supposes there is also a following; so what if you partner does not follow?
It isn't necessary for your partner to follow you. Leading means to lead uke's motion by staying just ahead of it while you follow him.

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
This is a two-way street since uke can also transfer power into nage.
As long as you stay ahead of uke's movement and mirror him, there can be no transference of power from him to you.

Ron

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Old 01-22-2014, 11:03 PM   #9
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Re: Leading your uke?

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Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Leading means to lead uke's motion by staying just ahead of it while you follow him.

Ron
This is why I get confused. Should I be staying ahead of it or following it?

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Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
As long as you stay ahead of uke's movement and mirror him, there can be no transference of power from him to you.

Ron
And this is a good thing? Call me power hungry if you will, but I thought the whole point was to transfer power from him to me.
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:08 AM   #10
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Re: Leading your uke?

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Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
This is why I get confused. Should I be staying ahead of it or following it?
By "it" I assume you mean uke's motion. Perhaps an analogy will help. Imagine a horse, a cart, a carrot, some string and a stick.Now in order to get the horse to move the cart I have to hang the carrot from the stick using the string and dangle it in front of the his nose. The horse, though, has a mind of his own and will often change direction with no warning. If he loses sight of the carrot he will stop.In order to keep the horse moving I have to make sure he can always see the carrot so I have to simultaneously stay slightly ahead of his motion (lead) while following where he goes.

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Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
And this is a good thing? Call me power hungry if you will, but I thought the whole point was to transfer power from him to me.
What I mean by the 'transference of power' is the idea that I can transfer power to uke in order to adversely affect his intention to attack such that I can execute a throw or otherwise immobilize him. I would rather that the reverse transference from him to me not take place for obvious reasons.

Ron

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Old 01-23-2014, 08:00 AM   #11
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Re: Leading your uke?

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
By "it" I assume you mean uke's motion. Perhaps an analogy will help. Imagine a horse, a cart, a carrot, some string and a stick.Now in order to get the horse to move the cart I have to hang the carrot from the stick using the string and dangle it in front of the his nose. The horse, though, has a mind of his own and will often change direction with no warning. If he loses sight of the carrot he will stop.In order to keep the horse moving I have to make sure he can always see the carrot so I have to simultaneously stay slightly ahead of his motion (lead) while following where he goes.

Ron
It seems to me that this will only work so long as uke decides to do what you want, on his own, in a dojo. This fails when you're actually fighting someone smarter than a horse. As for myself, I prefer to be in a position where the person has no choice but to move with me (not me moving with him), using connection.
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:57 AM   #12
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Ai symbol Re: Leading your uke?

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Joshua Landin wrote: View Post
It seems to me that this will only work so long as uke decides to do what you want, on his own, in a dojo. This fails when you're actually fighting someone smarter than a horse. As for myself, I prefer to be in a position where the person has no choice but to move with me (not me moving with him), using connection.
By moving as Ron is describing one is moving with Uke but just slightly ahead. What the Uke wants is to strike or grab or whatever. Ultimately, one is grabbing their mind and manipulating their intention, their desire to harm you. As one progresses the circles, the leading becomes smaller and smaller. Initially, I just moved as Saotome sensei told my sensei, "Move in or out, left or right." After that by being in a safe place, say right next to them you can change as they change, adjust as they do. I let them lead, but yet stay just a little bit ahead of them. It sounds contradictory but that is how it plays out. When I do it, I feel very connected to my Uke and it also plays out that way in a randori setting as well.

Train Hard
Jason
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:47 AM   #13
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Re: Leading your uke?

Quote:
Jason Rudolph wrote: View Post
By moving as Ron is describing one is moving with Uke but just slightly ahead. What the Uke wants is to strike or grab or whatever. Ultimately, one is grabbing their mind and manipulating their intention, their desire to harm you. As one progresses the circles, the leading becomes smaller and smaller. Initially, I just moved as Saotome sensei told my sensei, "Move in or out, left or right." After that by being in a safe place, say right next to them you can change as they change, adjust as they do. I let them lead, but yet stay just a little bit ahead of them. It sounds contradictory but that is how it plays out. When I do it, I feel very connected to my Uke and it also plays out that way in a randori setting as well.

Train Hard
Jason
I was never a believer in the theory that Aikido "takes away the opponent's desire to harm you". I much prefer to make him realize that he *can't* harm me...by taking kuzushi on-contact, and using that to control the encounter.

You mentioned Saotome. Have you seen Saotome "matching" his movement with what uke is doing? I haven't. He just enters, does his thing, and uke is thrown.

Have you heard him talk about "matching" or "blending" with an opponent's movement? I haven't.

Though I have heard him (more recently) talk about controlling uke with aiki, using yin and yang and maintaining polarity throughout the body - though that stuff probably belongs in another forum
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:18 AM   #14
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Re: Leading your uke?

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
It isn't necessary for your partner to follow you. Leading means to lead uke's motion by staying just ahead of it while you follow him.

As long as you stay ahead of uke's movement and mirror him, there can be no transference of power from him to you.

Ron
Some of this may just be semantics. "Leading" falls into my bag of bad language used to describe movement within aikido. I am also not a fan of "leading from behind." Ultimately, the spirit of leadership is to solicit a unified direction from another body. If your partner is not following your leadership, then you are not leading anything. Under such circumstances you are moving only yourself in a coincidental direction as another body. Once the coincidental movement changes direction, you have no authority to re-direct that movement. Often, we end up reinforcing our poor direction with either physical or verbal chastising. An example I think many of us experience is the "don't move there" lecture we receive when uke moves different from how nage desires [uke to move]. This does not qualify for my definition of leadership, much as the thought of army commanders standing behind soldiers and shooting those who retreat does not imply leadership.

You used an example of cart and horse. As I perceive that example, the driver's choice to sit behind the horse is irrelevant to the the fact the carrot must be presented in front of the horse and moved in the direction the driver desires the horse to move. Similarly, a driver using a whip to direct the horse must present the whip from behind to spur the horse forward. Both examples are not leadership, but rather aggravation.

Second, I have difficulty reconciling technique that splits movement. One of the things we practice as both uke and nage is moving with unity. If uke is doing her job, she would be pursing your center, not an extremity; if she got an extremity, she could transfer her whole body power into you because you are connected. The idea of baiting your partner is difficult to accomplish if your uke if not following a carrot, but rather following you. Imagine the carrot in your pocket as you sit behind the horse...

I think the concept of being ahead of you partner is not leadership. I think it is simply arriving to the best position first. If you partner is smart, that will change their position and you have adversely affected your partner's ability to control you. I do not understand why I need to use language that is relationship-oriented to describe what is individual movement; I believe the term "lead" brings with it the connotation of a role within a relationship (i.e. if I am a leader, then my partner must be a follower). To use this term and then not describe the related role of your partner is confusing at best. To somewhat contradict your point, I argue that many people who train in this fashion do, in fact, need their partner to follow them. And that is not to take away from the success of training with a compliant uke who is helping nage learn how the movement takes place, but it is to point out a different training perspective.

To talk about my experience with Saotome sensei, he moves with balance. Your part in whatever he is doing is mostly irrelevant to preventing his movement. You move to points of safety from which you can press a new "attack". He often performs a silly little demo where you shake hands. This is one of the best exercises I have seen for introspectively looking at what "best" and "first" mean in a martial encounter. For me, this is the embodiment of irrimi.

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Old 01-23-2014, 12:43 PM   #15
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Re: Leading your uke?

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Some of this may just be semantics. "Leading" falls into my bag of bad language used to describe movement within aikido. I am also not a fan of "leading from behind." Ultimately, the spirit of leadership is to solicit a unified direction from another body. If your partner is not following your leadership, then you are not leading anything.
You're right, same word different connotations.

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Under such circumstances you are moving only yourself in a coincidental direction as another body. Once the coincidental movement changes direction, you have no authority to re-direct that movement.
I don't need to re-direct uke's movement. It's a matter of staying ahead of it while moving with it.

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Often, we end up reinforcing our poor direction with either physical or verbal chastising. An example I think many of us experience is the "don't move there" lecture we receive when uke moves different from how nage desires [uke to move].
We don't have that lecture in our dojo. Every uke encompasses a unique set of characteristics that affect how they move; they're all different, presenting different challenges. I have learned to not expect anything from uke. Giving up expectations allows me to remain in the moment and occupy the center of our interaction no matter what uke does.

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
You used an example of cart and horse. As I perceive that example, the driver's choice to sit behind the horse is irrelevant to the the fact the carrot must be presented in front of the horse and moved in the direction the driver desires the horse to move. Similarly, a driver using a whip to direct the horse must present the whip from behind to spur the horse forward. Both examples are not leadership, but rather aggravation.
The analogy was put forth merely to clarify the context of my use of the word lead. You are taking it to literally

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
One of the things we practice as both uke and nage is moving with unity.
As do we.

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
If uke is doing her job, she would be pursing your center...
Yes, pursuing nage's center is the goal of any attack.

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
The idea of baiting your partner is difficult to accomplish if your uke if not following a carrot, but rather following you.
An example of taking the analogy too literally. To torture it a bit further, I am the carrot... and the driver of the cart.

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
If you partner is smart, that will change their position and you have adversely affected your partner's ability to control you.
??? Perhaps a typo, but at no time does uke control me. And I encourage uke to make the attempt.

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I do not understand why I need to use language that is relationship-oriented to describe what is individual movement; I believe the term "lead" brings with it the connotation of a role within a relationship (i.e. if I am a leader, then my partner must be a follower).
We'll just have to agree to disagree on that point.

Ron

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Old 01-23-2014, 01:45 PM   #16
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Re: Leading your uke?

In reference to your question about a possible typo in my post...

One of the things that gives me trouble is how my partner engages me.

What I try to understand is why, as nage, would I move if uke cannot control me? In other words, for what reason (other than doing something to uke), would I move if the threat uke presented could not affect me? The obvious answer is I would not need to do anything. Since we do something, it stands to reason that uke has to threaten my position and cause me to address the attack.

As a rhetorical question, the ultimate goal of "attacking" should be to gain control over your partner, a good attack then representing a real threat to nage. In this sense, for proper training uke should accomplish one of three things: 1. the successful attack requires nage to address the attack, 2. the successful attack is greater than nage can accommodate and uke relinquishes some advantage back to nage to address the attack, 3. the successful attack is greater than nage can accommodate and uke gains control.

Honestly, I find myself in categories 2 and 3 often when I am nage. While I get what you are saying, I am not yet in a position where my aikido functions at a level where uke cannot influence some (or all) or my movement.

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Old 01-23-2014, 02:19 PM   #17
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Re: Leading your uke?

Sorry Ron, I'm afraid your analogies are just confusing, whereas Jon and Joshua make perfect sense to me.
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Old 01-23-2014, 03:45 PM   #18
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Re: Leading your uke?

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Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
Sorry Ron, I'm afraid your analogies are just confusing, whereas Jon and Joshua make perfect sense to me.
Of course they are confusing...it like trying to talk about football with an English person. Aikido that you do is different from aikido that we do.

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Old 01-23-2014, 03:48 PM   #19
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Re: Leading your uke?

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Joshua Landin wrote: View Post
It seems to me that this will only work so long as uke decides to do what you want, on his own, in a dojo. This fails when you're actually fighting someone smarter than a horse. As for myself, I prefer to be in a position where the person has no choice but to move with me (not me moving with him), using connection.
It is not a fight, Loud Cloud.

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Old 01-23-2014, 04:20 PM   #20
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Re: Leading your uke?

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Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Of course they are confusing...it like trying to talk about football with an English person. Aikido that you do is different from aikido that we do.
The English know all about football. They invented it, didn't they?
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Old 01-23-2014, 05:22 PM   #21
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Quote:
Joshua Landin wrote: View Post
I was never a believer in the theory that Aikido "takes away the opponent's desire to harm you". I much prefer to make him realize that he *can't* harm me...by taking kuzushi on-contact, and using that to control the encounter.

You mentioned Saotome. Have you seen Saotome "matching" his movement with what uke is doing? I haven't. He just enters, does his thing, and uke is thrown.

Have you heard him talk about "matching" or "blending" with an opponent's movement? I haven't.

Though I have heard him (more recently) talk about controlling uke with aiki, using yin and yang and maintaining polarity throughout the body - though that stuff probably belongs in another forum
I agree with you that Aikido does not, "take away the opponent's desire to harm you" certainly not in a physical sense anyway. Personally, I don't care what they realize. They could have an epiphany or scream their brains out it really doesn't matter as long as I can neutralize the threat. I'm in ASU so that is why I mention Saotome sensei. Indeed, I have never heard him mention "matching" but I have heard him speak of blending and leading numerous times over the 20 years I've been in his organization both at seminars and at the shrine. What I am speaking of is different than the "Internal" approach you may be referring to. Finally, I also agree with you that Kuzushi on contact is a worthy goal and one that I share, however just not always possible so one has to continue to have a relationship with the aggressor until the threat is over. Besides, there is more than one way to achieve it.

Train Hard,
Jason

Last edited by akiy : 01-24-2014 at 12:33 AM. Reason: Fixed quote tag
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:54 AM   #22
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Re: Leading your uke?

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Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
It is not a fight, Loud Cloud.
My comment about fighting was referring to outside the dojo..not during paired waza practice. But I just don't think the practice is martial when you have ukes doing things like desperately trying to follow an arm that make no sense in an actual martial encounter.

But I guess it depends on what you're ultimately shooting for. I took a look at your dojo's website and no where does it advertise that you're teaching a functional martial art. I actually applaud this, after all aikido can provide any multitude of benefits besides self defense.
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:31 AM   #23
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Re: Leading your uke?

if you do the normal ushiro stuffs where uke tries to run around you, then the whole leading/following sort of make sense. if you have uke from hell, who just comes straight in and grab your arm then either off balance you through some sort of ikkyo or kotegaeshi shape, then follow with hitting you repeatedly, then the whole leading/following would just be silly. come to think of it, the whole ushiro stuffs are kinda silly, at least to me, unless it's about exploring some aikido principles like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5NlUdYXPjI

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Old 01-24-2014, 12:14 PM   #24
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I agree that the Ushiro attack is a pretty silly attack. I believe that I read somewhere, probably in a John Stevens book that Osensei believed that it was unsound to let someone get behind you but that Ushiro taught that one can still recover if they do. Also, to just stand there like a tree seems tactically unsound as well. I think of Randori and Ushiro similarly in that way. In that context, the attacker/s have to grab you where you want them to or at least where they are able to and not just Teeing off on where they want to and how they want to.
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:17 PM   #25
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Re: Leading your uke?

The problem with discussions of this type come from the generally low level of understanding that people within Aikido have about a term like "leading". The result is many serious teachers and practitioners say they don't like the term or think it is just something "aiki bunnies" talk about.

In fact, what skilled teachers have meant by "leading" is fundamentally based on ones ability to do static technique with "aiki", requiring a good understanding of how "connection" works. Since not that many folks in Aikido actually understand this very well, what has passed for "leading" has been nage staying ahead of an attack with uke being trained to chase him. Try that with someone from another art who hasn't been trained to run around his partner chasing a grab.

In actuality, if a body movement is simply moving away from an attack, there is no reason for the attacker to deal with it. It is actually a break in connection and is not "leading" anything. Real leading has to do with how one places ones "intention" creating a feeling in the attacker that he actually does just about have you. It starts with a mental connection. That energetic connection must be there, flowing inside the energy of the attack so that the physical "lead" is not perceived as moving away from the attacker. A real lead creates a feeling that uke must follow, wants to follow. But we can't get to an understanding of what this means with ukes who are taught from day one to follow or chase any moving target. Ukes need to be taught to recognize the difference between something they need to deal with and something they do not need to deal with. If someone attempts to "lead" an attack and doesn't do it properly, the uke should apply a counter.

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