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Old 11-17-2003, 04:32 PM   #1
Paula Lydon
Dojo: Aikido Shugenkai
Location: Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2002
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emotional ukemi

~~Recently, I've begun working with something I can only call 'emotional ukemi', following another's lead without being so proactive. Off and on I'd gotten nowhere with certain people or situations as even gentle confrontation wasn't working. I had knocked around the idea of ukemi in these instances but thought it would in some way deminish me; it has not. It doesn't mean roll-over.

~~In fact, there has been improvement in these slightly klunky relationships or encounters, for which I am thankful. For me, this has much to do with the heart of Aikido. I've included this thread in the spiritual catagory as I believe this is something unique that Aikido offers and was curious as to others' imput.

~~Take care All

~~Paula~~
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Old 11-17-2003, 06:35 PM   #2
Qatana
 
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Once again, Paula, you have touched on exactly why i train. Haven't been able to acheive it more than maybe 7% of the time, but thats more than when i started!

As a kind of corrolary, i find that the less time i spend on the mat, taking ukemi, the more confrontational i become.So i guess that my year of regular training has had a measureable effect!

Q
http://www.aikidopetaluma.com/
www.knot-working.com

"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 11-17-2003, 10:17 PM   #3
Thalib
 
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Thank you for bringing this up.

It is the way of ukemi.

When I have to die by the sword, I will do so with honor.
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Old 11-18-2003, 08:00 AM   #4
Chuck Clark
 
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When your emotional ukemi begins to function your physical ukemi (including the falling part) improves in quantum leaps.

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 11-18-2003, 09:43 AM   #5
Thalib
 
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When I explain "learning ukemi" for beginners, I explain to them that it is not about learning how to fall or how to breakfall. If you are going to fall, then just fall, there is nothing to learn about it. Ukemi is not about falling though.

So what is ukemi? Here's an excerpt from an essay I wrote for my Yudansha exam (but I changed topic after I got stuck):
Quote:
Let's first see how the word ukemi is written in Japanese. The word is written in two parts, uke and mi. The kanji for uke means receive, while the kanji for mi means the body or the person. In the dictionary, combining the two means being acted upon or passivity. But, in the martial arts world it is taken to mean as break falling.

There is always some type of ukemi in every proper martial art. It is taught either as a way to save oneself from injury when falling or could be taught as a manoeuvre in techniques.

Many do teach on being passive and receive the fall, as the meaning of the word, and keeping oneself safe at all times. Also, technically, there are many types of ukemi: falling and slapping on the ground, front roll, back roll, and even get back right on one's feet. From a mechanical point of view this is all correct, but so many get technical that one forgets about the actual force that drives the fall.

In Aikido, it is not only about the fall, but in learning and feeling the force that drives the fall.

When I have to die by the sword, I will do so with honor.
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Old 11-18-2003, 09:48 AM   #6
Thalib
 
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The significance of ukemi in Aikido

The following is the continuation of my unfinished essay:


Learning ukemi in Aikido

At first, of course beginners are taught the technical side of ukemi until they have gained quite enough confidence, then they are taught how ukemi is used in breaking falls from many different techniques. The next step is to practice during nagare waza (flowing techniques) or jiyuu waza (free-form techniques), this is to practice sensitivity between uke/tori (the receiver) and nage (the one that does the technique).

Although this is a good type of training, the purpose is still only to teach break falls. So what makes it different in Aikido than any other martial arts if it only stops there? Nothing, basically it has no meaning but to break fall. In Aikido, learning ukemi should take steps further beyond break falling.


Learning ukemi by oneself

Technically, ukemi in Aikido consists of mae-ukemi (front roll), ushiro-ukemi (back roll), of course there are also tobi-ukemi (flying ukemi) and ukemi applied during a throw.

When practicing by oneself, many just roll for the sake of rolling using the ukemi technique that was taught. This usually results in the person going many other ways other than straight, lying flat on their backs -- not completing the roll, or dizziness from rolling. So how could one prevent this from happening?

A quick solution that one would take in order to go straight is usually giving it more momentum or force or doing it fast. This is not true however. Giving more momentum could result on greater impact, and it doesn't solve lying flat on the back, nor it does solving the dizziness afterwards. Slapping the ground during this does not help either but it only hurts the hands.

The proper way is first relax, feel the weight of the body drops naturally, then feel the centre or one point (seika-tanden or seika-no-itten), keeping the centre, and directional focus. Only when this is achieved, ukemi should be performed. When done properly, this will keep one in the way that one would want to go because there is a sense of direction and a sense of purpose that one is focusing on, this also eliminates dizziness. Doing this will also give one the momentum needed to complete the roll, there is no need to over exceed, rolling slowly could also complete the roll and still go on a straight line. In order to reach the destination, the mind will instruct the body on what to do, which will be automatic, which could prevent from lying flat on the ground during ukemi.

It is important in keeping the unity of mind and body. This sounds easy, but if not learned and practiced thoroughly, it just becomes another theory that people will dismiss. If it's still too hard to apply in ukemi, one could try just by standing, sitting, or walking.

Many think, doing it fast and hard, making a lot of loud slapping sound, and doing lots of it is the way to train oneself in ukemi. This is quite a false pretence, because it is meaningless, the mind is hollow, one is only throwing one's body around without purpose. This could only result in injury, or future injury. The best way to train, and actually the hardest way, is to roll as slowly as possible, maintaining proper control and focus, keeping the unity of mind and body.


Learning ukemi with a partner

This is basically the same as doing ukemi alone with an added factor, the momentum that the partner is giving. Many think when one becomes uke one should just follow the nage around, or just the opposite giving the nage a hard time by fighting the nage.

Although the latter could be used to test the nage ability in a realistic manner, the uke is actually the one that is hurt the most by this. Not hurt in a physical sense, although that could also happen, but hurt in the learning process. Actually the uke is hurt in both process, the nage could also be hurt especially if the nage is still a beginner.

In truth, being uke or nage is not much different; both need to feel the energy of the other. Being uke is actually learning on how to be nage. People are reluctant to be uke because they are the one to being thrown around, but being uke has much advantage, and quite a great responsibility in the partnership.

The uke have to feel the energy that is exerted by the nage and be able to "ride" it, like a surfer surfing the wave, or a ship that is sailing by the wind. A surfer sees the wave coming, and the surfer could feel the force, the energy, that is generated by that wave. With this knowledge, the surfer swims to meet the wave at the point where surfing becomes possible, this could only be felt. At that point, the surfer just rides the wave in many different ways until the wave dissipates. The same analogy with the sailing ship, the wind blows the sails and sail is modified so the ship could go a certain way.

As the uke, one has to be sensitive to the nage. The uke shouldn't be guessing what the nage is going to do, because this could actually result in injury. When "riding" the nage energy, it is important to remember all the aspects of doing the ukemi by oneself. This knowledge is very significant when one then in turn becomes the nage, because one now could use this knowledge in order to blend oneself with the uke. Again the concept is quite simple, but without proper learning and practice, all of this becomes meaningless.

Last edited by Thalib : 11-18-2003 at 09:51 AM.

When I have to die by the sword, I will do so with honor.
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Old 11-18-2003, 09:59 AM   #7
Ted Marr
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I must admit, I don't know what you mean by "emotional ukemi". Sure, it sounds like it makes some sort of sense, insofar as it means you are taking agressive force and channeling it through you without injury, but I would have to see it in practice, or at least hear a more concrete example before I could agree or disagree with you... right now, it's far to conceptual to be discussed in my mind.
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Old 11-19-2003, 08:29 AM   #8
SeiserL
 
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IMHO, Learning to enter and blend can be learned in both Tori and Nage positions. Learning to stay connected to another, in whatever position, is always emotional.

Learning to fall gracefully and learning to fail gracefully may also be connected.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 11-25-2003, 07:05 AM   #9
Ghost Fox
Dojo: Jikishinkan Dojo
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I don't know if this is the same thing as "emotional ukemi", but a teacher of mines gave a couple of lectures about Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), and I saw a lot of correlations to Aikido. Basically NLP is the study of how people think, experience and interact with the world. What I found the most useful, with regards to Aikido, was how NLP explain relationship, communication and interaction with other people. I now pretty much use the presuppositions and terminolgy of NLP when explaining Aikido to beginners, and how Aikido can be used in a non-combative aspect.

The basic for creating a relationship of trust and responsiveness, in NLP terms, is called building "Rapport". One can create Rapport by first "Calibrating" oneself to the situation by recognizing the non-verbal signals given off by a person. One then begins to "Match" a persons unconscious mannerisms and belief in order to begin to enhance the Rapport. After one has "Paced" the person for a while you can begin to "Lead" the person by slowly changing the Matched patterns.

I feel my Aikido works a lot better now that I see my partner, be it uke and nage, as someone whom I trying to build a Rapport with, and his posture, movements and attacks are ways of communication.

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Old 12-04-2003, 10:51 AM   #10
Anders Bjonback
Dojo: Boulder Aikikai
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If you mean what I think you mean by emotional ukemi, then I wonder when I don't take emotional ukemi. Maybe I need to practice taking the lead once in a while.

"For peace and happiness are presences, not objects we can grasp and hold onto."
--Lilian Smith
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Old 12-14-2003, 01:03 AM   #11
Kelly Allen
Dojo: Friends Dojo
Location: Winnipeg
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Quote:
Damion Lost (Ghost Fox) wrote:
I don't know if this is the same thing as "emotional ukemi", but a teacher of mines gave a couple of lectures about Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), and I saw a lot of correlations to Aikido. Basically NLP is the study of how people think, experience and interact with the world. What I found the most useful, with regards to Aikido, was how NLP explain relationship, communication and interaction with other people. I now pretty much use the presuppositions and terminolgy of NLP when explaining Aikido to beginners, and how Aikido can be used in a non-combative aspect.

The basic for creating a relationship of trust and responsiveness, in NLP terms, is called building "Rapport". One can create Rapport by first "Calibrating" oneself to the situation by recognizing the non-verbal signals given off by a person. One then begins to "Match" a persons unconscious mannerisms and belief in order to begin to enhance the Rapport. After one has "Paced" the person for a while you can begin to "Lead" the person by slowly changing the Matched patterns.

I feel my Aikido works a lot better now that I see my partner, be it uke and nage, as someone whom I trying to build a Rapport with, and his posture, movements and attacks are ways of communication.

These techniques you describe are used by Darren Brown a supposed mind controller. This is his web site. http://www.channel4.com/science/micr...rol/index.html An interesting read.

I have read other articals related to verbal self defence that refer to predetors leading there victims minds using these techniques.

Kelly
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Old 12-14-2003, 01:48 AM   #12
Col.Clink
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Quote:
Kelly Allen wrote:
These techniques you describe are used by Darren Brown a supposed mind controller. This is his web site. http://www.channel4.com/science/micr...rol/index.html An interesting read.

I have read other articals related to verbal self defence that refer to predetors leading there victims minds using these techniques.

Kelly
Not long ago I recieved some instruction on NLP, (visusal, Auditory, Kinesthetic)& Transactional Analysis(which deals with ego states). Some great concepts that I would call "non physical Aikido", it's very similar and has helped me alot in my occupation, without getting physical, but that won't last forever!

Regarding Derren Brown, he's pretty impressive and can read people extremely well.
http://www.derrenbrown.co.uk/home.asp

I think Aikido does help us to communicate better emotionally with others, perhaps that is an offshoot of being so close in contact on the mat, although I suspect allot of martial arts have that 'emotional' effect.

re: emotional ukemi....

I've "blended" with people I didn't get along with, and "taken emotional ukemi", that is, I admitted I was wrong, and the other person was correct, then I apologised profusly, even though I (and many others) thought the opposite. But, strangely enough, we get on a hell'uva lot better, even though I'm still "blending", though not as much. I think it's opened me up more, taking ukemi on and off the mat.

cheers

Rob

Last edited by Col.Clink : 12-14-2003 at 01:50 AM.

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