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Old 06-25-2017, 05:39 PM   #51
Currawong
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Re: Resistance?

Good thoughts. Uke is supposed to respond in a way that the technique makes sense, so that tori (nage) can practice doing the technique. If tori attempts to use force in a way that is unnecessary, a more senior uke should be able to both show them that what they are doing is not good, and also how to move correctly for that technique.

With myself as a proverbial newbie to internal power practices, though which are, I feel, an extension of what I felt I needed to develop in the first place, attempts to use power on a person who has a well-developed internal structure and can apply it during movement, end up going nowhere. Resistance stops mattering, as the very effort of it at the very least ends up going into the ground. This applies for all techniques.

This comes back to the danger issue -- someone resisting too much could end up hurt when a technique is applied. Thus the necessity of becoming a good uke that knows what and how much force to apply when for the benefit of one's training partners, allowing sincere training while preventing injury.
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Old 03-05-2018, 10:29 AM   #52
John Duke
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Re: Resistance?

Sometimes with a resistant Uke , on one who expects a direction, movement, technique, do another technique , do something different after all you are to avoid the conflict. Then say to uke ''that is not what we are practicing" " I am practicing the movement, why don't you assist me and go where my movement takes you" ?
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Old 03-06-2018, 02:12 PM   #53
nikyu62
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Re: Resistance?

Look them in the eyes and say sincerely "do you REALLY want to find out if this technique works?"
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:14 AM   #54
sorokod
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Re: Resistance?

Quote:
John Duke wrote: View Post
Then say to uke ''that is not what we are practicing" " I am practicing the movement, why don't you assist me and go where my movement takes you" ?
A reasonable reply from the uke could be:
"You may want to move away from inward looking, navel gazing approach where i am to follow *your* intent, and start practicing martial art which requires you to accept the reallity of the interaction with the attacker and work on *that*.

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Old 03-07-2018, 08:29 AM   #55
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Re: Resistance?

Quote:
David Soroko wrote: View Post
A reasonable reply from the uke could be:
"You may want to move away from inward looking, navel gazing approach where i am to follow *your* intent, and start practicing martial art which requires you to accept the reallity of the interaction with the attacker and work on *that*.
If anyone had said that to me when I was a beginner, and just trying to wrap my mind around a technique, I'd have concluded that this person was an insufferably smug jerk who was much more interested in their own ego-aggrandizement than in being a useful and helpful partner. This is just a veneer of superiority on top of jerk behavior.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:40 AM   #56
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Re: Resistance?

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
If anyone had said that to me when I was a beginner, and just trying to wrap my mind around a technique, I'd have concluded that this person was an insufferably smug jerk who was much more interested in their own ego-aggrandizement than in being a useful and helpful partner. This is just a veneer of superiority on top of jerk behavior.
Sure - a beginner. But very quickly you would realize the wisdom of the uke's words and the folly of your rush judgment :-)

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Old 03-12-2018, 09:51 AM   #57
lbb
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Re: Resistance?

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David Soroko wrote: View Post
Sure - a beginner. But very quickly you would realize the wisdom of the uke's words and the folly of your rush judgment :-)
No, no, I don't think so. Someone who obstructs someone else's learning in order to gratify their own ego isn't wise, they're just a blowhard jerk.
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Old 03-12-2018, 03:16 PM   #58
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Re: Resistance?

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
No, no, I don't think so. Someone who obstructs someone else's learning in order to gratify their own ego isn't wise, they're just a blowhard jerk.
I will use an analogy which might give a sense of what I have in mind.

Imagine a person who learns how to ski, an absolute beginner. In the early days she will be practicing on the most gentle of slopes, progressing to more steep ones as the time goes by. Eventually, if she persists, she may be able to tackle a black belt ... oops I mean a black run.

Now, at no point would she address the snow and ask it to be less slippery or demand of gravity to suspend itself and to "assist her and go where her movement takes her"

The way I see this - it is the same with training; you may choose the speed and the intensity appropriate to your current level but to ask the uke to go against the nature of what the uke is, is as sensible and useful as asking gravity not to pull as hard as it does.

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Old 03-12-2018, 06:02 PM   #59
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Re: Resistance?

Except that mountains don't have agendas or egos. Ukes do. when someone knows what you are going to do it is easy to lock down and block you. There has to be some give and take.

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Old 03-12-2018, 06:55 PM   #60
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Re: Resistance?

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Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Except that mountains don't have agendas or egos. Ukes do. when someone knows what you are going to do it is easy to lock down and block you. There has to be some give and take.
Except that I never mention agendas, egos, locking down or blocking. All of these are noise and dilute the training. Are you familiar with the concept of the straw man argument ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man ) ?

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Old 03-13-2018, 08:15 AM   #61
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Resistance?

Yes. David, I am. I am not arguing with you...nor do I want to score points. I am simply pointing out that ukes are not like nature. They have responses. And ukes may not be in line with what the instructor is trying to impart or the nage is needing to learn.

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Old 03-13-2018, 09:23 AM   #62
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Re: Resistance?

...Except uke is a reflection of nage. That's the problem, right? Yamabiko. The echo of the mountain.

Don't add noise. If uke is acting appropriately, her behavior is a reflection of what nage is doing. If uke is not acting appropriately, then that's a problem in and of itself. I think we [often] confuse our inability as nage for non-compliance in uke. At is base level, if nage is moving correctly, then uke is moving correctly. How can this break? First, I am not the echo of the mountain (no aiki). Second, I project what I believe is "correct" movement onto my uke.

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Old 03-13-2018, 11:45 AM   #63
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Re: Resistance?

You people are arguing from theory and ignoring reality. Score all the points you want in this ego game, I'm out.
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Old 03-13-2018, 11:59 AM   #64
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Re: Resistance?

But too often the uke "resistance" is not even remotely martial. I call a locked down, resisting uke a "target". A human target doesn't need to be thrown or moved - it is struck or choked instead.

I think it is really bad training for an uke to resist like that regularly. In an actual confrontation, the Aikidoka might very well "feel" bad technique and reflexively "show" the attacker is not doing things "right" by resisting - and promptly get themselves rocked.

All paths lead to death. I strongly recommend taking one of the scenic routes.
AWA - Nidan - Started Aikido training in 2008
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Old 03-13-2018, 01:26 PM   #65
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Re: Resistance?

If someone stops my movement, I am not good enough. What is wrong with that? Who's ego is more bruised by that comment? The purpose of everything we do is to move freely. Yet, look how much time we spend arguing over all the reasons that prevent us from moving freely.

I don't agree with anyone who makes a poor training decision, regardless of which role is affected. But, you can only move you. If your partner makes a movement that is disconnected from yours, you cannot be affected by that decision. If you are moving correctly, the outcome of the poor decision should be instantaneous and unrelated to you. If there is a "but" in your waza, and it's not attached to the top of your legs, then you need to be critical of your success. "I can throw you, but you didn't attack right...", "This would work, but you are resisting me...", "I can do this technique, but you didn't follow me..."

Everyday our training should make us more confident in the success of our movement, regardless of what our partner does. In the beginning, it is helpful to show your partner how her movement affects you. Later, it shouldn't matter. I can probably search Aikiweb and return a ga-jillion threads that talk about working with partners who have difficulty with ukemi. What do you think is going on with those partners? I tank my waza because they resist or can't fall, or can't hold on? How useless is that? No. I need to understand the success of my movement without relying on my partner so I can work out with anybody. If I train this way, all my partners have value.

Also, hey Robin!!

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Old 03-13-2018, 06:07 PM   #66
sorokod
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Re: Resistance?

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
I am simply pointing out that ukes are not like nature. They have responses.... or the nage is needing to learn.
I guess my analogy didn't work as well as I hoped it would. To expand a bit, what I was trying to indicate is that reality imposes some hard constraints. To quote Philip K Dick "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." When you learn to ski, gravity is one such constraint and this is a very good thing.

Imagine that as a skiing beginner, you are given an anti-gravity-pack. With the this gizmo you can suspend gravity and float just above the snow, you can develop graceful movements. Maybe you'd find out that this "snow floating" enriches your mind, heals your traumas, expands your social circle and does many other wonderful things. The one thing it doesn't do, is to help you learn how to ski.

A fundamental hard constraint in martial arts is that the relationship with the partner is an adversarial relationship. In training you can tune the speed, force, intent etc... to match your abilities, but having the uke suspend her intent to do you harm is equivalent to strapping on that anti-gravity-pack. You are no longer studying a martial art let alone Aikido.

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
And ukes may not be in line with what the instructor is trying to impart
At the risk of stating the obvious, this is 100% the instructor's responsibility to fix. If that is not possible the pupil should be politely invited to leave.

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
...nor do I want to score points
Not sure what points you have in mind Mary, are those the same points that ibb has mentioned? If you feel that this discussion will benefit from me understanding your point system - please explain.

Last edited by sorokod : 03-13-2018 at 06:19 PM.

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Old 03-13-2018, 08:54 PM   #67
jurasketu
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Re: Resistance?

Hey Jon!

All paths lead to death. I strongly recommend taking one of the scenic routes.
AWA - Nidan - Started Aikido training in 2008
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:07 PM   #68
RonRagusa
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Re: Resistance?

Quote:
David Soroko wrote: View Post
In training you can tune the speed, force, intent etc... to match your abilities, but having the uke suspend her intent to do you harm is equivalent to strapping on that anti-gravity-pack. You are no longer studying a martial art let alone Aikido.
So where you train, does uke carry thru on her intent to do nage harm if she has the opportunity? And by harm I'm assuming you're not referring to harming nage's ego or self esteem but are implying that nage may possibly be injured if the attack gets thru. I ask because, over 40 years, I've visited a lot of Aikido dojos. In none of those occasions did I witness anyone attacking with that kind of street level intent to harm a partner. But maybe I'm misinterpreting what you mean by "intent to harm".

Quote:
David Soroko wrote: View Post
A fundamental hard constraint in martial arts is that the relationship with the partner is an adversarial relationship.
I think that, and this is based on personal experience not hard data, this is a minority view of the relationship between uke and nage in Aikido.

Ron

Last edited by RonRagusa : 03-13-2018 at 10:18 PM.

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Old 03-14-2018, 07:21 AM   #69
sorokod
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Re: Resistance?

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
So where you train, does uke carry thru on her intent to do nage harm if she has the opportunity? And by harm I'm assuming you're not referring to harming nage's ego or self esteem but are implying that nage may possibly be injured if the attack gets thru. I ask because, over 40 years, I've visited a lot of Aikido dojos. In none of those occasions did I witness anyone attacking with that kind of street level intent to harm a partner. But maybe I'm misinterpreting what you mean by "intent to harm".

I think that, and this is based on personal experience not hard data, this is a minority view of the relationship between uke and nage in Aikido.

Ron
"So where you train, does uke carry thru on her intent to do nage harm if she has the opportunity? And by harm I'm assuming you're not referring to harming nage's ego or self esteem but are implying that nage may possibly be injured if the attack gets thru."

You assume wrong, this is about liveliness, honesty, intent and connectedness in the uke - Google for some seminar videos of Saito Morihiro sensei and pay attention to the ukes. This is a nice leisurely example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gS-g7b387_k

"In none of those occasions did I witness anyone attacking with that kind of street level intent to harm a partner."

Perhaps I am over sensitive but the phrase "that kind of street level intent" seem to attribute to me something I did not say. To be clear, I don't use "street" as an adjective as have no idea what that means.

"I think that, and this is based on personal experience not hard data, this is a minority view of the relationship between uke and nage in Aikido."

As always you are entitled to any opinion you may have. This particular one is as relevant as your opinion on gravity - it is there regardless.

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Old 03-14-2018, 07:38 AM   #70
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Re: Resistance?

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
If someone stops my movement, I am not good enough.
Nonsense. Someone who knew what you were going to do managed to use that knowledge and thwart that particular movement. That's an easy and cheap "win". You can't argue that uke stopping nage "real" but nage performing another technique to which that "stop" is irrelevant is not "real". It's just stupid, is all. Stupid and an ego-aggrandizing exercise -- "ha ha, I stopped you, you're not good enough!" -- and if nage likewise steps out of line and flattens your face, as they should according to your logic, you might as well forget about training and just beat on each other outside a bar somewhere.

If it's what you want to do, go do it. But in a dojo, it's stupid and it's not training.
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Old 03-14-2018, 08:35 AM   #71
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Re: Resistance?

Quote:
David Soroko wrote: View Post
You assume wrong, this is about liveliness, honesty, intent and connectedness in the uke - Google for some seminar videos of Saito Morihiro sensei and pay attention to the ukes. This is a nice leisurely example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gS-g7b387_k
Thanks for the clarification.

Ron

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Old 03-14-2018, 10:41 AM   #72
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Resistance?

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
If someone stops my movement, I am not good enough.
It depends on the context:

If we are doing kata both have to follow the choreography, both have a role to play, and uke stopping nage has no purpose except in extreme circumstances.

If we move away from the kata, and go into a more alive, spontaneous training, then yes. If your training partner is able to stop, evade or counter your technique that means you're not good enough.
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Old 03-15-2018, 09:04 AM   #73
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Re: Resistance?

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Nonsense. Someone who knew what you were going to do managed to use that knowledge and thwart that particular movement. That's an easy and cheap "win". You can't argue that uke stopping nage "real" but nage performing another technique to which that "stop" is irrelevant is not "real". It's just stupid, is all. Stupid and an ego-aggrandizing exercise -- "ha ha, I stopped you, you're not good enough!" -- and if nage likewise steps out of line and flattens your face, as they should according to your logic, you might as well forget about training and just beat on each other outside a bar somewhere.

If it's what you want to do, go do it. But in a dojo, it's stupid and it's not training.
Well, if its stupid I should just stop. Thanks for enlightening me. I have several problems with this post.

First, what is nonsense, and according to whom? Of all the things that we do in training, how is training towards the ultimate goal of free movement nonsense?

Second, you have posted several paradigms that seem to exist in your training. Please keep them out of my training. I did not mention winning or losing. I did not mention "real" anything and I do not presuppose everyone with whom I train is ego-centric. Nor have I mentioned injuring anyone.

Third, if you are not honest enough within yourself that you require someone to confirm whether you "can" or "cannot" do aikido techniques, then uke's response will never be helpful, regardless of how she acts.

***

There is a world of excellent martial artists out there. People who can use use weapons beyond what we know. People who can move with power and skill like nothing you've seen in your dojo. People who know more about advancing your understanding of fight science.These people are better than us; better than us in the same comparison that a baseball player is better than someone who plays baseball on the weekend. In other words, the measure of separation is large. The people exist in a number of arts and have so much knowledge to share it's crazy.

Why do you limit yourself in your training? If you really find yourself unable to work with regular aikido people on the mat, how do you ever expect to work with one of these martial artists? If you can't work with these people, how can you learn from them?

And as a point of clarification for Demetrio - Kata is not free movement, so I don't really consider it part of my ultimate goal for free movement. With kata, we are talking about a pre-arrangement of movements so there should be no impediment in movement, except where prescribed in kata. The cessation of movement is either deliberate by design or a lapse in choreography. In some cases, skill can still affect the outcome, much as a senior can lead a junior through a movement, almost by forcing the movement. To the senior, the movement feels natural and "easy", while the junior may feel like he lost control of his body.

Last edited by jonreading : 03-15-2018 at 09:08 AM.

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Old 03-15-2018, 03:53 PM   #74
sorokod
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Re: Resistance?

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
...
And as a point of clarification for Demetrio - Kata is not free movement, so I don't really consider it part of my ultimate goal for free movement. With kata, we are talking about a pre-arrangement of movements so there should be no impediment in movement, except where prescribed in kata. The cessation of movement is either deliberate by design or a lapse in choreography. In some cases, skill can still affect the outcome, much as a senior can lead a junior through a movement, almost by forcing the movement. To the senior, the movement feels natural and "easy", while the junior may feel like he lost control of his body.
I think that Kata is more nuanced than you describe - at least the way I have been taught. It is a bit like drawing a landscape; it is there in front of you with it's hills trees and buildings but it is up to you to choose the techniques, brushes and colors and render it on canvas.

This applies to nage as well as the uke.

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Old 03-15-2018, 09:42 PM   #75
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Re: Resistance?

If I may make an observation...

I don't think we need quite so much 'resistance' in this discussion. The variety between lineages in aikido is vast (in some cases, even greater than between styles), so there's more to be gained from just explaining our different methods and what we're trying to achieve with them.

For example, a few comments on this thread have come from people who follow, or have some influence from the aikido Osensei left in Iwama. The following article gives some explanation on how here, resistance is used to build kokyu-power (explained as 'abdominal breath power'). http://www.iwama-aikido.com/articles/resist.html

On the other hand, some teachers focus more on ki-no-nagare (flowing form) and resistance is considered a solecism. I would agree, that when we know what is coming, it is easier to block people and I've certainly witnessed some crazy tricks (usually leaving openings for atemi - which just escalates things). Sometimes it's ego, sometimes it's a natural reaction (especially among beginners) because they are afraid of what you're going to do to their arm, wrist etc.

Then again, the person 'resisting' might just be doing what they were taught, according to a specific pedagogy, but of course, whether they should or not is another matter. The same goes for someone expecting uke to go with their movement when the teacher is trying to build kokyu power and principles for its deployment. I don't see much value in visiting to another dojo just to do what one always does. We should give it a go, and at the very least, it will be 'hanmen kyoushi' (反面教師 a good example of what not to do ).

Regards

Carl
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