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Old 05-01-2001, 01:29 PM   #1
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Ukemi styles

What style of ukemi do you practice, and what do you feel are the advantages of practicing this style over a softer/harder/more cooperative/less cooperative style?
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Old 05-01-2001, 01:34 PM   #2
Aikidoka2000
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Question Other styles of Ukemi???

Sorry, but I am not sure I understand your question fully.
I practice Ukemi, In which I can roll like a ball forward, backwards
sideways and diagonal.
Ukemi also encompasses breakfalls and how to be thrown without being injured.
Is there another kind of Ukemi?
-Tomu

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There's no need to withdraw.
The master swordsman
Is like the lotus blooming in the fire.
Such a person has inside of them
A heaven soaring spirit.
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Old 05-01-2001, 03:52 PM   #3
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Ukemi choices

Quote:
Originally posted by Aikidoka2000
Sorry, but I am not sure I understand your question fully.
I practice Ukemi, In which I can roll like a ball forward, backwards
sideways and diagonal.
Ukemi also encompasses breakfalls and how to be thrown without being injured.
Is there another kind of Ukemi?
In my opinion, ukemi involves a lot of choices. How fast do you attack? What is the nature of your grasp? How much posture do you sacrifice in order to maintain a grip with your ring and pinky fingers? How close do you stay to nage? How long do you face nage? At what point, if ever, do you actively resist? At what point do you give up your connection to nage to take your fall? Do you take a backfall or a breakfall?

I happen to believe that there are distinct styles of ukemi, but just as with styles of aikido it is very difficult to reach consensus on what characterizes each.

What choices do you make during ukemi?

-Alvin

Life is like a long journey with a heavy load. --Tokugawa Ieyasu
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Old 05-01-2001, 04:07 PM   #4
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Re: Other styles of Ukemi???

Quote:
Originally posted by Aikidoka2000
Sorry, but I am not sure I understand your question fully.
I practice Ukemi, In which I can roll like a ball forward, backwards
sideways and diagonal.
Ukemi also encompasses breakfalls and how to be thrown without being injured.
Is there another kind of Ukemi?
I'd have to say that the "falling" part of ukemi is just a small part of the entirety of ukemi. Lisa Tomoleoni wrote a good article on this subject which is on this site:

http://www.aikiweb.com/training/tomoleoni1.html

As far as ukemi "styles" go, there are identifiable traits that apply to certain people's ukemi. At Nishio sensei's seminar several years back, I was asked if I was a student of so-and-so sensei because of the way I took ukemi. (I wasn't, per se, but I had trained with so-and-so sensei many times before and had picked up certain ways of doing ukemi for certain techniques.) I've noticed myself that students of Yamada sensei take ukemi in a different manner than those of Kanai sensei, Chiba sensei, Tohei sensei, Takeda sensei, and so forth...



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Old 05-01-2001, 05:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by [Censored]
What style of ukemi do you practice, and what do you feel are the advantages of practicing this style over a softer/harder/more cooperative/less cooperative style?
I am using "ukemi" in its broadest sense, i.e., "what you do to/with the person applying the technique".

My own belief is that ample resistance by uke is conducive to learning, with certain qualifications. I don't think, for example, that uke should resist at such as level as to prevent nage from performing any technique at all, unless that is the shared goal of a particular practice session. I don't think uke should resist in such a way as to compel nage to switch techiques; again, unless that is the goal of the practice. I don't think that uke should resist mindlessly, from an inferior position which they cannot possibly maintain but for nage's benevolence. I don't think that uke should put more energy into their attack(s), then they can deal with in a throw or pin.

With these qualifications, I am strongly in favor of "fighting back" in Aikido practice. I think that many aikidoka disagree with me, and I'm interested in hearing why.
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Old 05-01-2001, 08:02 PM   #6
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Chris...

I'm in agreement with you...mostly.
The higher the rank the more I resist, but not to the point of undermining their technique. I think at 7th and 6th and 5th Kyu's you're still going through the motions of where you (as nage) should be, as if only having uke being your guide. 5th and 4th Kyu is your transition phase where more resistance comes into play, and this starts to "mold" your technique to the point when you get to 3rd/2nd/1st...you aren't worried about uke resisting...or shouldn't be. Then again I'm a perfectionist. If I'm working with 3rd kyu or above, I will resist a lot to let them know that I'm not just giving them the technique...

Then again...I could be wrong.

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...then again, that's just me.
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Old 05-02-2001, 01:29 AM   #7
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I try to be a good uke in the sense that I try to give a good an honest attack. I only interupt the technique at very rare situations where an opening is very obvious. I try to adapt my attack to what the nage wish to practice - some people like me to come charging in with all of my 190 pounds and some people like me to just slightly irritate their sense of perimiter in a slow attack. It very much depends on what the nage has as a focus in that particular training session. I also try not move somewhere by myself to 'help' the nage, but on the other hand I try not to be too resisting. I guess I try to keep moving for a better position all the time - only pausing if the nage really needs to take a second to think.

This is what I try to do when doing ukemi - It's not up to me to decide if this is what I actually do


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Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 05-03-2001, 02:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by [Censored]


My own belief is that ample resistance by uke is conducive to learning, with certain qualifications....
...With these qualifications, I am strongly in favor of "fighting back" in Aikido practice. I think that many aikidoka disagree with me, and I'm interested in hearing why.
Disagree. Two reasons, 1 educational, 1 combative:

1.) Educational. The role of uke (uchi-tachi) in classical ryu is the senior side when doing kata. They set the tempo of the movement, but not the control. If I am trying to learn a movement and get my body to perform at optimal levels, and my partner is "fighting back", I probably won't learn as much. The way I am taught, uke has two objectives; give a committed attack and stay dangerous. Resistance exercises are not one of those choices. Speed and strength are variables that everyone should be trying to work out of their practice. Study the meaning of the word "kata".

2.) Combative. The volume of aikido techniques are "what-if" techniques. In other words, you engaged someone in a conflict and they have enough skill to avoid or change your initial atemi. You blend with their energy and finish with something like kote gaeshi. You are not going to have time to "pick" the technique. If you take ukemi like you know what the person is going to do with you to the point of resisting the movement, you are going to get hurt. So train like each of those techniques could end your life.

If you practice in a way that ignores the threat of atemi, you are just doing a form of Asian folk dancing. If you think that resisting a technique creates stronger renshu, you will eventually hurt yourself and others. If you add speed, strength and resistance to your training, only certain types of people will come to train with you. Think of surfing. Do surfers resist a wave? No, they ride a wave. Good surfers ride really, really big waves. What are the chances of them resisting the force of the water propelling them forward?

Just a thought.

Jim Vance
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Old 05-07-2001, 02:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by jimvance

The way I am taught, uke has two objectives; give a committed attack and stay dangerous. Resistance exercises are not one of those choices.
If you are not resisting, you are cooperating. How do you stay dangerous while you are cooperating?

Quote:

Speed and strength are variables that everyone should be trying to work out of their practice.
Have you ever told your uke they are too fast and strong when they attacked you? How did they respond? I am talking about students with a few years experience here, not rank beginners.

Quote:

If you practice in a way that ignores the threat of atemi, you are just doing a form of Asian folk dancing.
This is true, but it is also true if you pretend every tap is a knockout blow, which I think is a more common habit among aikidoka. Again, I am not talking about brand new students.

Quote:

If you think that resisting a technique creates stronger renshu, you will eventually hurt yourself and others. If you add speed, strength and resistance to your training, only certain types of people will come to train with you. Think of surfing. Do surfers resist a wave? No, they ride a wave. Good surfers ride really, really big waves. What are the chances of them resisting the force of the water propelling them forward?
I don't like this as a combat analogy, because the wave keeps moving along regardless of what you do. I have never been so lucky as to meet an attacker who, as I step to the side, keeps attacking the air in front of them. Have you?

If a wave turned to follow you around, you would not be able to resist. But human attackers, even big, fast, strong ones, are not waves.
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Old 05-07-2001, 04:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by [Censored]
If you are not resisting, you are cooperating. How do you stay dangerous while you are cooperating?
Do resist as nage? Can you be "dangerous" as nage without resisting?

Have you ever played with someone really, really good at judo (say, an 8th dan)? I know Jim has. It's quite an eye-opening experience...

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Old 05-09-2001, 12:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by [Censored]

If you are not resisting, you are cooperating. How do you stay dangerous while you are cooperating?
Staying dangerous is a very difficult subject to discuss without the guidance of experienced and knowledgeable teachers. I would venture to ask the question to some of our resident Sensei "lurkers", because I do not feel I could answer the question properly. I guess from my own perspective, "cooperative" ukemi allows me to escape injury and maintain a connection with the tori (nage). This connection becomes very important in kaeshi waza...

Quote:
Have you ever told your uke they are too fast and strong when they attacked you? How did they respond? I am talking about students with a few years experience here, not rank beginners.
Sure, as sempai I tell them that only if I knew they could not take the ukemi properly. As the tori in an aikido technique, I should hope that they attack me with all the strength and speed they could muster. Because IF the technique is done properly, they must then eat what they just gave me. Have people pushed me over the edge with strength and speed? Sure. I just ask them to slow down so I can get it right. Most of them want me to get it right, so they slow down.
I practice in a system with one-on-one randori, and both participants must exercise control over the amount of strength and speed they use so that it is not the defining variable in the success of their waza. I notice that people who use a lot of strength and speed without the feedback from maintaining connection, like resisting, causes a lot of "separation" between the two people.

Quote:
This is true, but it is also true if you pretend every tap is a knockout blow, which I think is a more common habit among aikidoka. Again, I am not talking about brand new students.
Atemi is a lot more about position and who has the initiative than it is about hitting someone hard and fast.

And yes Jun, having to "cooperate" with higher level practitioners gives you a somewhat different perspective of things. Sometimes you feel lucky you can still walk off the mat unharmed, even though your mind is convinced otherwise.

Jim Vance
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Old 05-09-2001, 05:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by jimvance

Staying dangerous is a very difficult subject to discuss without the guidance of experienced and knowledgeable teachers. I would venture to ask the question to some of our resident Sensei "lurkers", because I do not feel I could answer the question properly. I guess from my own perspective, "cooperative" ukemi allows me to escape injury and maintain a connection with the tori (nage). This connection becomes very important in kaeshi waza...


I would think that maintaining the connection should be nage's problem at imtermediate/advanced levels. Otherwise there is little opportunity to practice establishing and re-establishing the connection, with someone who likes to break that connection for a tactical advantage. Every time I hear someone say "but you attacked me wrong" I wince.

Quote:
Sure, as sempai I tell them [to slow down] only if I knew they could not take the ukemi properly.


If you are concerned with maintaining a connection, wouldn't it be better practice to accept a hard, fast attack and restrain the power in your response, rather than telling uke to try again?

Quote:
Atemi is a lot more about position and who has the initiative than it is about hitting someone hard and fast.
I daresay it is about all of those things. Hitting someone slowly and softly does not always bring about the desired results.
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Old 05-09-2001, 11:24 PM   #13
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i'm just a beginner, so excuse the stupid questions please... but what advantage comes from loosing connection with your partner (whether you are uke or nage) except for when you need to roll away to save yourself, and even then it is just the physical contact that you give up...but at the last moment. if you're not connected, you can't feel the other person or their intent, can you?
and i thought that ukes should only attack as fast and hard as they are able to fall, since some techniques can't do much to disipate that energy before it comes back to uke... isn't it wiser to tell the kohai to ease up the attack than demonstrate energy in = energy out if their ukemi is not up to it?
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Old 05-10-2001, 01:39 AM   #14
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To start off, I would like to say there are no pat answers for any of these situations, which is why I voted "no resistance". Kata training must be predictable and facilitated by good teachers.

Originally posted by [Censored]
Quote:
I would think that maintaining the connection should be nage's problem at imtermediate/advanced levels. Otherwise there is little opportunity to practice establishing and re-establishing the connection, with someone who likes to break that connection for a tactical advantage.
Nage should always be maintaining connection, at any level. I haven't met anyone who could throw me across the room by looking at me.
I don't think that breaking the connection gives me any advantage, especially if I am the one who has lost my balance. Where I practice, breaking connection while trying to regain my balance often results in competent (and sudden) atemi. The only place breaking connection may be of use is if the nage did not take my balance to begin with.
I don't look at Aikido techniques as "first line of defense" applications. Most of them are "what-ifs", meaning in a "realistic" situation the technique just happens. I may be repeating myself, but just because (in the dojo) you know what the nage will do to you does not mean you get to resist their technique. Why train? Go lift weights. I feel a lot more openings (suki) in my partner's waza when I am relaxed, listening, and not trying to make openings. Sounds like you are blurring the line between kata and randori.
Quote:
If you are concerned with maintaining a connection, wouldn't it be better practice to accept a hard, fast attack and restrain the power in your response, rather than telling uke to try again?
Sure, but not always. There are different ways to approach training. Some days stretching the limits, others listening attentively.
Good questions. I would like to hear some other feedback.

Jim Vance
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Old 05-11-2001, 01:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by ca
i'm just a beginner, so excuse the stupid questions please... but what advantage comes from loosing connection with your partner (whether you are uke or nage) except for when you need to roll away to save yourself, and even then it is just the physical contact that you give up...but at the last moment. if you're not connected, you can't feel the other person or their intent, can you?
There are many "hit and run" type fighters who are not concerned with maintaining connection. They have little to gain and a lot to lose by following my rules. As far as intent is concerned: if it manifests itself in action, they will "feel it" and respond; if not, why should they care?
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