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Old 12-10-2017, 06:29 PM   #1
akiy
 
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YouTube: "Aikido - Okamoto Yoko Shihan - 55th All Japan Aikido Demonstration (2017)"



Here is a short Aikido demonstration by Yoko Okamoto (6th dan, Aikido Kyoto) at the 55th All Japan Aikido Demonstration in May, 2017, in Tokyo.

What are your thoughts on this demonstration?

-- Jun

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Old 12-10-2017, 09:35 PM   #2
Michael Hackett
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Re: YouTube: "Aikido - Okamoto Yoko Shihan - 55th All Japan Aikido Demonstration (2017)"

This demo really didn't show Okamoto Sensei at her very best. I've seen numbers of her videos in the past and she is simply amazing to me. This was good and clean, but not at the level when she is rolling hard and beautifully. It seemed that the demo was shortened for some reason.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 12-12-2017, 11:02 AM   #3
nikyu62
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Re: YouTube: "Aikido - Okamoto Yoko Shihan - 55th All Japan Aikido Demonstration (2017)"

I always enjoy watching her aikido.
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Old 12-13-2017, 09:26 AM   #4
ChrisMoses
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Re: YouTube: "Aikido - Okamoto Yoko Shihan - 55th All Japan Aikido Demonstration (2017)"

Small woman doing big man aikido. I've trained with her a few times and she was far more concerned that I didn't respond correctly in my ukemi than my waza. At lunch she leaned across to the dojo-cho where I was training as if I wasn't even there, pointed at me and said, "fix his ukemi before I see him again." 20 years later I still hold that my ukemi was safer and better than anyone training at that dojo, although had several of the seniors try to *show* me why what I was doing wasn't safe. Never went well for them. Not a fan.

Chris Moses
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Old 12-13-2017, 09:59 AM   #5
Hilary
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Re: YouTube: "Aikido - Okamoto Yoko Shihan - 55th All Japan Aikido Demonstration (2017)"

"Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"

You are my new hero.
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Old 12-13-2017, 10:17 AM   #6
ChrisMoses
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Re: YouTube: "Aikido - Okamoto Yoko Shihan - 55th All Japan Aikido Demonstration (2017)"

Quote:
Hilary Heinmets wrote: View Post
"Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"

You are my new hero.
It's funny because it's true!

Chris Moses
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Old 12-15-2017, 11:08 PM   #7
Guillaume Erard
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Re: YouTube: "Aikido - Okamoto Yoko Shihan - 55th All Japan Aikido Demonstration (2017)"

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Small woman doing big man aikido. I've trained with her a few times and she was far more concerned that I didn't respond correctly in my ukemi than my waza. At lunch she leaned across to the dojo-cho where I was training as if I wasn't even there, pointed at me and said, "fix his ukemi before I see him again." 20 years later I still hold that my ukemi was safer and better than anyone training at that dojo, although had several of the seniors try to *show* me why what I was doing wasn't safe. Never went well for them. Not a fan.
If the visiting instructor, the Dojo-Cho, and your seniors all agreed that your ukemi left to be desired, wouldn't it be more likely that you were either mistaken in your perception, or that you were simply not attending a dojo that suited your own idea of practice?

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Old 12-16-2017, 08:20 PM   #8
ChrisMoses
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Re: YouTube: "Aikido - Okamoto Yoko Shihan - 55th All Japan Aikido Demonstration (2017)"

Quote:
Guillaume Erard wrote: View Post
If the visiting instructor, the Dojo-Cho, and your seniors all agreed that your ukemi left to be desired, wouldn't it be more likely that you were either mistaken in your perception, or that you were simply not attending a dojo that suited your own idea of practice?
The №2 at the dojo tried to show me that the way I took ukemi for nikkyo let me vulnerable because I kept both feet on the ground and bent my knees (crazy right?). Called me up in front of the class to show it didn't work. I picked him up by the knees and threw him over my back. He then left the mat to cry about it leaving the class to me. I left a few weeks later.

Chris Moses
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Old 12-16-2017, 09:27 PM   #9
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Re: YouTube: "Aikido - Okamoto Yoko Shihan - 55th All Japan Aikido Demonstration (2017)"

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
The №2 at the dojo tried to show me that the way I took ukemi for nikkyo let me vulnerable because I kept both feet on the ground and bent my knees (crazy right?). Called me up in front of the class to show it didn't work. I picked him up by the knees and threw him over my back. He then left the mat to cry about it leaving the class to me. I left a few weeks later.
Brilliant.

Motto tsuyoku
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Old 12-16-2017, 09:30 PM   #10
RonRagusa
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Re: YouTube: "Aikido - Okamoto Yoko Shihan - 55th All Japan Aikido Demonstration (2017)"

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
The №2 at the dojo tried to show me that the way I took ukemi for nikkyo let me vulnerable because I kept both feet on the ground and bent my knees (crazy right?).
Just wondering, if not on the mat, where were your feet supposed to be?

Ron

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Old 12-17-2017, 10:08 AM   #11
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: YouTube: "Aikido - Okamoto Yoko Shihan - 55th All Japan Aikido Demonstration (2017)"

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Just wondering, if not on the mat, where were your feet supposed to be?

Ron
Well, of course, on the mat or the ground.

However, I think there is a point to be made here. Many years ago, I took part in a seminar given by Morihiro Saito Sensei and he was teaching 2-kyo. He came over and took ukemi – and gave me some personal advice. I think this is called kuden and I have never forgotten it. The advice was to keep my feet firmly on the ground and my legs / knees flexible, so that I could more easily execute a kaeshi-waza. The point was to receive the 2-kyo, but then be able to do something else. With someone like Chiba S, you had to keep your knees flexible and your knees firmly planted on the ground in any case, but I have found by experience that this is not always the case.

Best wishes,

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Old 12-17-2017, 01:19 PM   #12
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Re: YouTube: "Aikido - Okamoto Yoko Shihan - 55th All Japan Aikido Demonstration (2017)"

A high class aikido expert or shihan should deal with any given ukemi done by any uke. Adapting to the ukemi is a sign high level to me.
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Old 12-17-2017, 05:21 PM   #13
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Re: YouTube: "Aikido - Okamoto Yoko Shihan - 55th All Japan Aikido Demonstration (2017)"

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Just wondering, if not on the mat, where were your feet supposed to be?

Ron
As nikkyo was applied you were supposed to balance on your forward leg and bend at the waist and lift your rear leg up straight behind you. You were supposed to be looking straight down at the end of nikkyo. It was ridiculous. I'm not making this up.

Chris Moses
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Old 12-17-2017, 05:30 PM   #14
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Re: YouTube: "Aikido - Okamoto Yoko Shihan - 55th All Japan Aikido Demonstration (2017)"

Quote:
Jean Hardy wrote: View Post
A high class aikido expert or shihan should deal with any given ukemi done by any uke. Adapting to the ukemi is a sign high level to me.
Another example of "correct" ukemi was ikkyo. To receive ikkyo, you were supposed to land looking up at nage, on your ELBOW with your shoulders perpendicular to the ground. We were told this way, you could use your skeleton to hold you up instead of your muscles (muscles bad!). It's hard to describe this position accurately, but it was nuts. All of the impact of the fall was basically going into your collar bone. I actually asked the same #2 if we could go outside to the sidewalk and compare falling styles. There's no way you could avoid injury the way they taught it, you would probably chip the radius and crack the collarbone on anything but a padded surface with a gentle partner.

Chris Moses
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Old 12-18-2017, 02:01 AM   #15
Dazaifoo
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Re: YouTube: "Aikido - Okamoto Yoko Shihan - 55th All Japan Aikido Demonstration (2017)"

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Another example of "correct" ukemi was ikkyo. To receive ikkyo, you were supposed to land looking up at nage, on your ELBOW with your shoulders perpendicular to the ground. We were told this way, you could use your skeleton to hold you up instead of your muscles (muscles bad!). It's hard to describe this position accurately, but it was nuts. All of the impact of the fall was basically going into your collar bone. I actually asked the same #2 if we could go outside to the sidewalk and compare falling styles. There's no way you could avoid injury the way they taught it, you would probably chip the radius and crack the collarbone on anything but a padded surface with a gentle partner.
Is that the fall at the 1 minute 14 second mark in the video above? If so... yee-owch!
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Old 12-18-2017, 04:57 AM   #16
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Re: YouTube: "Aikido - Okamoto Yoko Shihan - 55th All Japan Aikido Demonstration (2017)"

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Another example of "correct" ukemi was ikkyo. To receive ikkyo, you were supposed to land looking up at nage, on your ELBOW with your shoulders perpendicular to the ground. We were told this way, you could use your skeleton to hold you up instead of your muscles (muscles bad!). It's hard to describe this position accurately, but it was nuts. All of the impact of the fall was basically going into your collar bone. I actually asked the same #2 if we could go outside to the sidewalk and compare falling styles. There's no way you could avoid injury the way they taught it, you would probably chip the radius and crack the collarbone on anything but a padded surface with a gentle partner.
That's a huge issue with this (Tissier style) aikido and ukemi. It's potentially terrible on one's body long term. I think it's even apparent in the clip in the OP. The demonstrator seems to be using far too much effort. It makes me tired just watching it TBH. This also ties into good body usage in budo, which should strive to be as efficient as possible, as opposed to being overly flashy and gymnastic.The current debate about the decline/crisis of aikido needs to address this kind of practice IMO.
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Old 12-18-2017, 07:29 AM   #17
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Re: YouTube: "Aikido - Okamoto Yoko Shihan - 55th All Japan Aikido Demonstration (2017)"

Thanks for explaining, Chris.

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Old 12-18-2017, 09:42 AM   #18
Jeremy Hulley
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Re: YouTube: "Aikido - Okamoto Yoko Shihan - 55th All Japan Aikido Demonstration (2017)"

Quote:
Scott Burke wrote: View Post
Is that the fall at the 1 minute 14 second mark in the video above? If so... yee-owch!
Not to speak for Chris but we trained in that dojo at the same time. That's exactly it.

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Old 12-19-2017, 03:43 AM   #19
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Re: YouTube: "Aikido - Okamoto Yoko Shihan - 55th All Japan Aikido Demonstration (2017)"

Quote:
Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
That's a huge issue with this (Tissier style) aikido and ukemi. It's potentially terrible on one's body long term. I think it's even apparent in the clip in the OP. The demonstrator seems to be using far too much effort. It makes me tired just watching it TBH. This also ties into good body usage in budo, which should strive to be as efficient as possible, as opposed to being overly flashy and gymnastic.The current debate about the decline/crisis of aikido needs to address this kind of practice IMO.
As usual with demonstrations, they do not show how the technique or ukemi is taught.

"Tissier-style" Ikkyo ukemi is received in the legs and hips. The back foot draws closer to tori and is pivoted around as the front leg lifts, making uke face tori with a pendulous balancing motion, which slows the fall. The leg that remains on the ground absorbs the impact by bending the knee. The foot in the air will also find the ground quickly after the swinging motion is finished, and behind tori if possible.

The free-arm is not "landed on" at all - it merely "finds" the ground (with the same absorbing/dissipating idea that we all do when slapping the ground after taking a mae-ukemi) and the occupied-arm relaxes to receive the technique in the body as much as possible.

The idea is that the movement leads to aiki-otoshi as a kaishi-waza if Ikkyo is not performed well.
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Old 12-19-2017, 05:25 AM   #20
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: YouTube: "Aikido - Okamoto Yoko Shihan - 55th All Japan Aikido Demonstration (2017)"

The downside is toris who cannot adapt to ukemi they are not used to, and surprisingly often get irritated when confronted with that, just as in the story above. Imho it becomes over-stylized neo-orthodoxy a little too often.
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Old 12-19-2017, 09:25 AM   #21
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Re: YouTube: "Aikido - Okamoto Yoko Shihan - 55th All Japan Aikido Demonstration (2017)"

Putting a structure around ukemi tuition doesn't diminish our practice anymore than putting a structure around techniques (which most of us readily accept as necessary to learning aikido.)

Learning the form to forget the form applies to uke as well as tori, as both roles are based on the same essential principles.
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Old 12-19-2017, 12:54 PM   #22
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Re: YouTube: "Aikido - Okamoto Yoko Shihan - 55th All Japan Aikido Demonstration (2017)"

I genuinely don't care how other groups take ukemi. I dislike ukemi that presumed that Tori will not hurt you. We've had a few people come through who do "soft ukemi" and they're welcome to try. Most of the time we warm them that we strongly discourage this kind of ukemi because it's inherently unsafe, they assure is that they use it all the time and it's fine, then we never ever see them fall that way. After a few weeks we ask why, "Oh, you can't fall like that here, you'd break your neck..." Yup. Don't let people hurt you.

Chris Moses
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Old 12-20-2017, 06:18 AM   #23
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Re: YouTube: "Aikido - Okamoto Yoko Shihan - 55th All Japan Aikido Demonstration (2017)"

I completely agree with that, and it is indeed an essential ingredient of ukemi training as I understand it.

Ukemi is not just about taking uke's balance -- uke needs to know when it's unwise to wait for their balance to be taken.

However, I do concede that for some students it can be easy to be drawn into the whole "refusing to move if it's not correct form" training pathology, but I don't think this is limited to any one lineage.
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