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Old 04-28-2006, 12:34 PM   #76
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

I'm very surprise by this discussion. By his nature as Budo, aikido techniques must be efficient, particularly in case when black belt execute it on a beginner. There is no excuse for him. As for reaction of Head instructor it is quite ridiculous. In my opinion it is McDojo, no worth even to discuss on this forum.
Aikido dojo it is martial environment, not healthy practice for bored housewives. Teacher that doesn't understand it must be avoided at all price. Many ppl hide his ignorance about nature of aikido and inefficiency of techniques behind hierarchical structure of the dojo, and using his "authority" to reprimand and put down honest students.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 04-28-2006, 03:28 PM   #77
Austin Power
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

As a "newbie" to the art and after reading this thread there seems to be some conflicts of opinions (what a forums for but hey).
Surely when practising either as tori ar uke you need to know the technique is valid and works. Personally i prefer to be hit at full speed with most techniques as actually having the technique applied correctly as uke provides a very valuable learning experience, i really don't think itsa all about ukemi.
As for the instructor bleating well surely he should have asked the relevant questions, of why the technique wasn't working and corrected it.
I do have some personal experience of this, although i wasn't admonished for it. Sankyo and Nikkyo just do not work on me at all and this was discovered when i was uke for sensai too. Rather than get flustered or have a go he simply modified the technique to make it work, then explained that in the event of it happening this is what you do.
I suppose i could have been dishonest and taken a knee for it but what was the point, due to being honest i learned a variation that may well serve me if i ever meet another freak like me

Unfortunately the downside of this is i now have a line of dan grades every time i train trying to apply either nikkyo or sankyo.
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Old 04-30-2006, 05:45 AM   #78
David Yap
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
Aikido dojo it is martial environment, not healthy practice for bored housewives. Teacher that doesn't understand it must be avoided at all price. Many ppl hide his ignorance about nature of aikido and inefficiency of techniques behind hierarchical structure of the dojo, and using his "authority" to reprimand and put down honest students.
Hi all,

All few years ago I did step into such a dojo. I observed that he (the instructor) didn't really understand the principles of kuzushi. When he got me off-balanced he wouldn't execute the technique. Unlike his regular students who would stay off-balance till he execute the techniques, by reflex I would regain my balance. Especially so if for a moment nothing was going to happen. Most times he could put me on the mat after a couple of tenkan, more than that, I would received nasty bruises on arms from his emotional charged pinches. I could have easy put him down but the aikido community here is rather small and it would mean the end of my aikido training. After three months, I decided that I wasn't going to learn anything from him, I moved on with no regret.

My advice is - if you are not happy with the instructor who is primarily responsible for your aikido development - move on, this is your own investment, the time and the money.

Best training

David Y

Last edited by David Yap : 04-30-2006 at 05:49 AM.
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Old 04-30-2006, 10:06 AM   #79
Mark Freeman
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
Aikido dojo it is martial environment, not healthy practice for bored housewives. Teacher that doesn't understand it must be avoided at all price.
Doesn't sound like O Sensei's desire for aikido to be for everyone.
Is aikido only for those who want to explore the 'martial' side of the art?
There seems to be a fair amount of 'machismo' even in aikido. What is wrong with a housewife bored or otherwise wanting to practice aikido for the undoubted health benefits to both mind and body?
Or is aikido only for the young and fit who can take serious 'hard training?

just a few questions propted by the quote above.

regards,
Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 04-30-2006, 10:08 AM   #80
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

mark, do not feed The Unpronouncable One.
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Old 04-30-2006, 12:31 PM   #81
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Quote:
Hanna Björk wrote:
mark, do not feed The Unpronouncable One.
LOL!

William M. Reed
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"I'm not the author William Reed -- yet."
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Old 04-30-2006, 02:02 PM   #82
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Quote:
Hanna Björk wrote:
mark, do not feed The Unpronouncable One.
Thank you Hanna, I love you too

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote:
Doesn't sound like O Sensei's desire for aikido to be for everyone.
Is aikido only for those who want to explore the 'martial' side of the art?
There seems to be a fair amount of 'machismo' even in aikido. What is wrong with a housewife bored or otherwise wanting to practice aikido for the undoubted health benefits to both mind and body?
Or is aikido only for the young and fit who can take serious 'hard training?

just a few questions propted by the quote above.
Of course, aikido is for everyone, I'm the best exemple of that
Only thing is, one can't separate aikido on "martial" side and some other less precised sides. It has nothing to do with machismo. You must precisly know what you want to practice.
If someone want healthy gymnastic, why sign up for aikido? There are very many gym around with nice, young,sexy and very competent instructors, you will have a lot of health benefits to both mind and body

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 04-30-2006, 03:59 PM   #83
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

For some people Aikido has nothing to do with fighing. It is about blending and reconciliation.

Whenever this is brought up, the New Age label comes out but whatever. One can't tell what happens at another's dojo. I love what we do. Fighting is so boring ....I love Aikido because of it's complexity......

I'll practice my Aikido and you practice yours.

Mary
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Old 04-30-2006, 06:32 PM   #84
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

How about taking that discussion in another thread? I do believe the subject of this one is a specific situation, experienced by one specific aikido student.
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Old 04-30-2006, 07:07 PM   #85
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote:
I love Aikido because of it's complexity......


Mary
Is Aikido more complicated than other martial arts? I have a blackbelt in Tae Kwon Do and it was not as complicated as learning Aikido.
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Old 04-30-2006, 08:32 PM   #86
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote:
Fighting is so boring ...
Mary
I understand that you've been fighting regulary, so it became boring?

Back to the topic -- "martial" aspect of aikido it is not exactly fighting And ppl who reject uke resistance, or idea that technique can fail because of this resistance are not doing aikido anymore.

Quote:
I do believe the subject of this one is a specific situation, experienced by one specific aikido student.
This specific situation is excellent illustration of quite common mechanism that happens in many aikido dojo.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 05-01-2006, 02:36 AM   #87
Amir Krause
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Quote:
This specific situation is excellent illustration of quite common mechanism that happens in many aikido dojo.
The problem is that without seeing the situation, we can not say which one of two possible mechanism was at work:

* Bad Uke - knowing the technique in advance and nullifying it in a non realistic manner, and/or during a specific type of training that should be more cooperative.

* Bad Tori and worse response from the Sensei later - Expecting success regardless of the quality of execution, and always putting the blame of failure on Uke Ego.

Both possibilities exist here, and reality could even include some combination. After reading the first post, I was quite certain the situation corresponded more to the second, but the later post changed my mind towards the first.

Personally, the environment I train in typically tends towards applying too much Resistance (a matter of the common Israeli mindset, when thinking of S.D. compared to the Japanese, every beginner has to show he can resist the technique in the first few lessons, and we tend to keep something of this later on).
It took me several years to realize that cooperative training does have an advantage at developing important aspects of Aikido, provided it is done in the right amount (there is such a thing as too much, in both cases). My solution is that even when I cooperate as Uke to a newer student, I would still point the mistakes and openings to him, and if he does not understand, I will show him. When I practice i try to select my Uke so I would be able to train the element I wish for in that practice - Resistance, or softness (selecting one of the ladies who are significantly lighter then me and trying to feel every slight movement and respond correctly to it).


Amir
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Old 05-01-2006, 04:40 AM   #88
Hanna B
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Quote:
Hanna B wrote:
For tori, I have seen that kind of training as training in handling stress.

Quote:
Dirk Hanss wrote:
potentially, Hanna - but does it match to a (nidan) tori trying several times a technique, before iriminage Andy?
I never said the aim of this training type in this particular dojo necessarily matches my experiences. On the contrary, I advised the original poster to ask his teacher what in his opinion is the purpose of this kind of training. All the parties involved could have gotten it all wrong, or not. I was just trying to say: check with your teacher what uke attitude he wants in this kind of training.
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Old 05-01-2006, 08:01 PM   #89
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote:
* Bad Uke - knowing the technique in advance and nullifying it in a non realistic manner, and/or during a specific type of training that should be more cooperative.

Amir
Hi Amir,
Such concept as 'bad uke' simply doesn't exist. It is only cheap excuse to bad technique. And to preserve the illusions about own 'perfect' aikido. So ego can grow quietly.

I can understand when uke helps (in very limited way) to other beginner. But it is certainly not a case when nage is black belt.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 05-02-2006, 12:52 AM   #90
Amir Krause
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didn't fall

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
Hi Amir,
Such concept as 'bad uke' simply doesn't exist. It is only cheap excuse to bad technique. And to preserve the illusions about own 'perfect' aikido. So ego can grow quietly.

I can understand when uke helps (in very limited way) to other beginner. But it is certainly not a case when nage is black belt.
I disagree. Bad Uke does exist in a training environment:
Most of the Aikido practice is Kata practice:
When we practice a particular technique, Uke is supposed to attack in a certain way, and Tori is expected to use one particular timing point, move to a prespecified direction and perform a specific technique.


Now, suppose Uke decided that instead of Shomen, he will attack you with a low-kick. Could Tori practice the same response?
The above is a large-scale example of the principle. But it holds true in much smaller situations as well. Another simple example would be a hand grab: it could be neutral, pull or push, each of these requires a different response. The hand grab can also respond to your actions and try to oppose any direction of force or neutralize any attempt you try to do, one may decide he wishes to practice at the latter way, but slowly, and then, if Uke responds very fast compared to Tori, despite the agreement, he would nullify the exercise. Another more subtle case of "bad Uke" is very common among beginners - in Yokomen, they attack with no force at all, just throwing the hand, limp, in such a way that when the hand is deflected the body is not affected and Kuzushi in irimi techniques(such as sumi otoshi - throwing the corner) is almost impossible. True, this type of attack would have been acceptable for advanced practice with a knife, but it would not have done any damage in most other situations. Thus, when one practices Yokomen he would not necessarily wish to practice this situation.

Practicing Kata allows us to concentrate on few elements of the equation and improve them. For this purpose, we superficially recreate a specific situation - placement, attack, directions of force, intentions. We then repeat the same situation lots of times, without variation from Uke side, as Tori tries to improve his responses. This type of repetition is done as a training tool, and should never be confused with a fight.

One should vary the rules for the Kata practice. A simple example we just did on Sunday was moving from a single Uke, attacking from the front, to multiple Uke attacking at their own will, from any direction. The attack and the intention of Uke stay the same, the technique Tori is required to perform is also fixed. Yet the Kata has changed, and several more variables enter the practice:
Even only the varying directions and times force better focus to identify the attack and "situational awareness", the Tai-Sabaki is more difficult, since one has to adjust the direction. Several people attacking means each of them is slightly different - different reach, different weight, different speeds etc. Again making the execution more difficult. And then, there is the pressure that rises in us as we know multiple people will attack us, even from behind, and try to smack us on the head.
This is an example of a simple change in the Kata, that makes Tori role much harder. Yet, given this change, had one of the Uke changed his attack, or decided to try and nullify Tori technique by softening all of a sudden, he would have violated this Kata and be a bad Uke.

In Korindo Aikido, we consider Kata practice as just one of the foundations of the practice. We practice with full variations in another type of exercise, which is just as important - Randori. Randori levels vary, from something that resembles the above Kata, to full blown fight at variable speeds. The common way we practice Randori among non beginners, is both sides attack, defend and counter at will. Thus, during such practice, Uke may actively try and evade the technique and then counter (with a technique or a secondary attack) or distance himself (if he feels in disadvantage). Even in this form, there are things that are discouraged and considered "Bad Uke" such as deceptions. Obviously, those same things are considered legitimate tactics Randori practice of slightly higher level.

There is a difference between practicing M.A. in a structured manner, bringing each element in it's own time. And throwing a person into a stormy sea to learn and swim. "Bad Uke" is equivalent to the latter.

If you wish to claim that a Black Belt student should have been sensitive enough to realize the changes a specific Uke is employing after several rounds. I would agree that he should, but admit that in some cases this is not so simple, and in some other cases, such as group practice, one may not wish to disrupt the whole group for this.


Amir
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Old 05-02-2006, 03:01 AM   #91
David Yap
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didn't fall

Hi Amir,

Quote:
Nagababa wrote:
Hi Amir,
Such concept as 'bad uke' simply doesn't exist. It is only cheap excuse to bad technique. And to preserve the illusions about own 'perfect' aikido. So ego can grow quietly.

I can understand when uke helps (in very limited way) to other beginner. But it is certainly not a case when nage is black belt.
Quote:
Amir Krause wrote:
I disagree. Bad Uke does exist in a training environment
I do agree with you that bad uke does exist in a training environment and I also agree with Nagababa that the concept of "bad uke" is a cheap excuse for a badly executed technique.

Regardless whether the nage is a mudansha or yudansha, most times he/she would not be able to move if the uke has the physical strength and intention to lockup the nage. However, the nage could read the intention of the uke the moment the grip is applied. Besides the application of an atemi or a kick, the nage should put him/herself in the right state of mind to feel and execute the technique at the precise moment. To find the path of least resistance, the nage must offer even lesser or zero resistance.

I believe that Nagababa's advice is at a black belt level we should train to a level that a "bad uke" concept doesn't exist anymore. If an ikkyo technique is called for, then you simply execute an ikkyo technique despite the strongest resistance from the uke. To polish ourselves in the art, we do need these "bad" uke.

Best training.

David Y
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Old 05-02-2006, 04:06 AM   #92
happysod
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Quote:
If an ikkyo technique is called for, then you simply execute an ikkyo technique despite the strongest resistance from the uke.
Although I happily agree with your intent as regards training, focusing on a particular technique to the exclusion of all else no matter what shape/resistance you're presented can be detrimental as this idea can creep into randori.

I'm not (nor often believe I will reach) at the stage that one technique will work under all circumstances, especially with an aware uke. So I'd probably just change the technique to one which fits the circumstances better.

However, I'm still fully with the "complaining about a kyu grades attack to your instructor is being a wuss" - there was no aggression or damage mentioned in the incident, just a hurt ego. I've got kyu grades that cause me no end of trouble, bless their little cotton zori, and I like them for it (well, most of the time)
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Old 05-02-2006, 05:01 AM   #93
David Yap
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

[quote=Ian Hurst]Although I happily agree with your intent as regards training, focusing on a particular technique to the exclusion of all else no matter what shape/resistance you're presented can be detrimental as this idea can creep into randori.

I'm not (nor often believe I will reach) at the stage that one technique will work under all circumstances, especially with an aware uke. So I'd probably just change the technique to one which fits the circumstances better. QUOTE]

Hi Ian,

I only use "ikkyo" as an example. One should focus on polishing all the basic techniques in kata with the appropriate partners at appropriate levels. Ikkyo (the first teaching) is a good example. It trains one on the basic essential movements of aikido - irimi.& tenkan. If one cannot master irimi and tenkan movements, then one can forget about the randori.

Best training.

David Y
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Old 05-02-2006, 08:06 AM   #94
Nick Simpson
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

The poster ddint say anything about resisting, just that he honestly didnt feel like he needed to fall. Taking him on his word, whats wrong with that? Nothing.

If my technique isnt working I want to be told about it. Constructively. If Someone is shutting my technique down/countering it on purpose then my technique is still failing, I need to either make it work (if I can), or realise what the problem within my execution of the technique is (and therefore learn from it and adjust, thanking the honest uke) or, if I have no other means and/or the uke is giving an non committal/inappropiate/locked out attack, henka waza and or atemi are another option.

Throwing a strop isnt a good answer. Perhaps telling the instructor is a valid option if you think it is required (i.e. better for sensei to correct someone than you) but if it's some sort of self serving ego repair than forget it. Ignore the black belt and train with other students instead. Perhaps ask your sensei what he meant when he told you these things.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 05-02-2006, 09:17 AM   #95
Steve Mullen
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Im with Mr Simpson on that one, it annoys me more when people just fall over, when you haven't had time to do anything, "duffy diving" as Sensei Riley calls it. I think it can be more counterproductive than resisting.

When Uki resists they are risking an injury, so tori must be even more carefull, but it also gives tori a chance to see how they can make a technique work without just wrentching uki's arm ot of the socket. Having said that tho, needlessly resisting can be a pain in the arse when you just want a good session.

"No matter your pretence, you are what you are and nothing more." - Kenshiro Abbe Shihan
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Old 05-02-2006, 09:28 AM   #96
Qatana
 
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Yeah, my teacher gives me a much harder time for falling when I don't need to rather than not falling when I don't need to.

Q
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Old 05-02-2006, 11:50 AM   #97
Mark Freeman
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Making 'honest' ukemi is easier said than done, until you are very self aware of your mind/body, it is possible to be 'resisting' even if you don't think you are. Good ukemi demands focus and flexibility, the ability to go were you are being led with 'non-resistance'. If the aikido is good this will lead to a neccessary escape, if the aikido is faulty, the ukemi will follow the fault to its conclusion, often some sort of 'lock - up', the only way out of this is to return to good aikido, problem solved.
If I practice with a lower grade, I will make adjustments for them, giving them a) either enough leeway to allow the exercise to reach it's conclusion, therfore giving them the experience of the complete shape of the exercise taken to it's conclusion. or b) follow enough to point out the spot that they need to focus on to make improvements. If I gave them too much of an attack / ukemi they would not learn to be anything other than frustrated.
If I practice with a higher grade, I don't give them any leeway, if they come up against a problem highlighted by my following it is up to them to seek instruction from the teacher, so that they do not keep repeating the same mistakes.

The situation at the head of the thread cannot be solved by anyone but the sensei of that dojo, he has to 'see' the problem taking place to know what to advise. Word of mouth about who did what and how regarding complex mind body movements inherent in aikido are almost certain to be 'faulty'

Even 'seeing' the problem as a sensei is not as accurate as 'feeling'.

just a few thoughts,

regards
Mark

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Old 05-03-2006, 10:51 AM   #98
Ken McGrew
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

This discussion is really a discussion about the Nage/Uke relationship and proper Ukemi. Whether the student should have fallen or not depends on the circumstances that we did not experience ourselves and the expectations of the school and style where the student trains.

Having said this, I can only address the question from my understanding of Ukemi that I obtained from my instructors and from their teacher Saotome Sensei. When I read comments that black belts should be able to make a technique work by forcing it if necessary, or that Uke should resist in order to show Nage what isn't working, then we aren't discussing anything I recognize as Aikido.

Uke and Nage engage in a simulation of combat. Both are holding back. Both should move as if it were an all-out attack, even though it is slower than that for training, even if it is static, they should move as if there were momentum in Uke's body. In a real attack, and in proper Ukemi, there is little opportunity to resist or brace. I am not suggesting that Uke fall down for no reason, that is something else. Nage should not force anything. Nage should ride the wave of Uke's body momentum, allowing Uke's motion to continue, but shaping it towards a resolution that is safe for Nage and, if possible, merciful towards Uke.

If this does not fit your understanding of Aikido I would encourage you to look again at the video footage of O'Sensei (after WWII), Doshu, and 2nd Doshu. Pay special attention to the practice of the students who you can sometimes see in the background or who are sometimes the focus of the footage. Do you see ANY resistance in their Ukemi? Do you see any forcing of the technique?

Saotome Sensei has addressed these questions in two of his videos, The Principles of Aikido and Oyo Henka. The narration from the Principles video sums up his understanding of the Nage/Uke relationship:

"The old conception of Aikido which Saotome Sensei views as tragic has to do with crushing, destroying an enemy... O'Sensei abandoned this conception of the art... Often when practicing Ikyo students will struggle against one another. Nage... will sometimes grab Uke's arm and Uke will sometimes brace and resist. According to Saotome Sensei such struggles reveal arrogance and ignorance. As the stud of the old concept of Aikido reveals, once the Ikyo movement has begn both participants enter a fluid martial arts situation in which the outcome is undetermined. In this situation Uke may be completely open to elbom breaking strikes, punches, kicks and so on. Those who struggle or brace in Ikyo have forgotten the art's original martial purpose."

As O'Sensei stated, "Aikido is the art of non-resistance."

Ken McGrew

Last edited by Ken McGrew : 05-03-2006 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 05-03-2006, 11:14 AM   #99
Keith R Lee
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote:
For some people Aikido has nothing to do with fighing. It is about blending and reconciliation.

Whenever this is brought up, the New Age label comes out but whatever. One can't tell what happens at another's dojo. I love what we do. Fighting is so boring ....I love Aikido because of it's complexity......

I'll practice my Aikido and you practice yours.

Mary
Yes, yes. Because fighting is such a straight forward affair with no techniques, strategies, or principles...

Keith Lee
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Old 05-03-2006, 12:19 PM   #100
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote:
Having said this, I can only address the question from my understanding of Ukemi that I obtained from my instructors and from their teacher Saotome Sensei. When I read comments that black belts should be able to make a technique work by forcing it if necessary, or that Uke should resist in order to show Nage what isn't working, then we aren't discussing anything I recognize as Aikido.

(snip)

As O'Sensei stated, "Aikido is the art of non-resistance."
I'm sure you would recognize it. What we're talking about is not resisting strength-against-strength, but uke maintaining structural integrity until nage takes it.

To make it a linguistic point, Ueshiba never actually said "non-resistance". Being Japanese, he said 無抵抗, muteikou, which is often translated as "non-resistance", since it's made up of two elements 無 mu, meaning "none" and 抵抗 teikou, meaning "resistance".

While we having been using the English term "resistance" in the discussion, the seeming Japanese equivalent would actually not show up in a same discussion in Japanese. My instructor, when instructing in us in how to be proper uke, never says "抵抗しろ!" (Teikou shiro!) "Resist!" Teikou, in this context, would be the same as when we say "bracing" or "jamming" a technique in English; digging in the feet, pulling back on one's arm and center, denying nage the proper energy he needs to execute the kata. Rather, in my dojo the words used to express the kind of "resistance" we are talking about in this thread are 頑張る ganbaru, "to hang with it, do one's best" or 粘る nebaru, "to persevere, to stick with it". Really, the most common phrase is "勝手に落ちるな!" (Katte ni ochiru na!) "Don't fall on your own!" Katte has a nuance of doing something selfishly or unilaterally.

So, really, what we have here is something of a blurry line caused by translation. Ideally (in my "resistance" dojo, as well as I'm sure, your dojo), what you have is a connection, each participant knowing themselves and their centers, and that of their partners very well. Uke knows when nage has him, and when he doesn't, and the same goes for nage.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
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