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Old 08-13-2003, 08:40 AM   #1
Paula Lydon
Dojo: Aikido Shugenkai
Location: Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 427
Grr! nage as aggressor

~~Hi All!

Something I've noticed in the past few years and have been paying attention to is the point in training (or real life) where uke has stopped being the aggressor and I, with the thought in mind of 'doing the technique', become the aggressor. I've been focusing in my training to recognize when the attack is over; I believe this has helped me in two ways.

1) As nage I am more sensitive to the shifts in uke's body/mind. I'm not frustrated (as much) by forcing myself to reinitiate an attack that uke is no longer putting juice into just to practice something which isn't real or happening. Overall I feel more calm because I can respond to the moment--to me the heart of aiki--sensing when conflict is deminishing or over. I learned how to let things go a little better. When I can let go I have choice; when I have choice I have freedom. I give a gift of understanding to uke.

2) As uke I now give continuity in my attack to nage, never quitting at some point (which I used to do and think many folks still do)so that nage has to create an attack for practice where none no longer exists. This has enchanced my overall practice because by staying connected and engaged with nage I can learn to feel where their 'holes' are and sense in myself what I would do to counter them, without actually doing it, just visualizing. I learn more from nage when I engage more as uke.

Just some thoughts. Take care all

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Old 08-13-2003, 06:06 PM   #2
Location: Tulsa, OK
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 166

This is something that I have been working on as well. I really have a hard time with it, because I really want to make a technique happen like the one that we are practicing (or supposed to be at the time).

It is very hard to decide what action to take to bring the interaction closer to the particular technique of the moment, the one that the teacher just got through demonstrating.

Sometimes, when uke stops attacking, I just stop and step away. This approach gets pretty wierd after a few attempts though, and sometimes it's hard to explain to uke what is happening. Especially because it's hard to correct uke. I've even heard some people say "uke is always right."

So, that leads us to option two, which is to continue by either moving such that uke is led into another technique (you might be able to pull this off without becoming the aggressor), or to go ahead and become the aggressor and show uke that they, by stopping, have created an opening that they might not want.

Either way, I usually end up doing something completely different than what the teacher demonstrated. And inevitably, teacher is watching...

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Old 08-13-2003, 08:08 PM   #3
Location: Auckland
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 971
New Zealand
Chris Guzik (cguzik) wrote:

Sometimes, when uke stops attacking, I just stop and step away. This approach gets pretty wierd after a few attempts though, and sometimes it's hard to explain to uke what is happening. Especially because it's hard to correct uke. I've even heard some people say "uke is always right."
For my money uke is always right, in the sense that nage should just adapt to whatever it is they're doing. Just stepping away is fine, and should probably be followed by a discussion of why that is happening. What's more effective in changing uke's behaviour is showing them why it is in their interests to change their attack to what sensei demonstrated. In this case instead of stepping away maybe show an atemi, along with a discussion of "if the attack stops, and I don't have to deal with anything, why *wouldn't* I just hit you"

The only thing I don't think you should do is have the following discussion

"you're attacking wrong, do it properly"

"why would I attack like that"

"because that's what you're supposed to do"

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 08-13-2003, 11:21 PM   #4
Bronson's Avatar
Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,677
if the attack stops, and I don't have to deal with anything, why *wouldn't* I just hit you"
Sensei likes to demonstrate this with jo nage.

He'll ask "why would uke grab nage's jo?". When the student answers "to keep from getting hit with it". Sensei replies "So what do you think will happen if you let go of the jo?". They usually get the hint


"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 08-14-2003, 09:52 AM   #5
SeiserL's Avatar
Location: Florida Gulf coast
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,888
First, compliments on your introspection and your ability to express it. Keep writing.

Secondly, I tends to be pretty aggressive as the nage. But it only tends to work if the uke gives some intent and energy. If not, I feel like I am back in the bashing arts or just taking advanage of my poor uke. Aikido has actually taught me to be less aggressive than I used to be, but less than I hope to become.

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 08-14-2003, 11:15 AM   #6
Anders Bjonback
Dojo: Boulder Aikikai
Location: Boulder, CO
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 129
At my current period in training, I need to focus on being less agressive as nage. I usually am calm in the first part of the technique, and when it comes to the time to throw or apply something to the writst, I put in much more energy than I previously was. I think I need to work on having the same energy throughout the technique--a good beginning, middle and end--before I work on what you describe.

"For peace and happiness are presences, not objects we can grasp and hold onto."
--Lilian Smith
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