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Old 06-09-2006, 08:40 AM   #26
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: Punishing Uke

One kaeshi-waza for nikkyo was taught to me from someone once associated with the ki society. As shite applies the nikkyo, you can pivot and cut shite's leg with the free hand and throw them. You also have the option of doing the judo tomoe (?) nage, foot in the stomach throw there. If shite leans forward even a little, it can be easy to off balance them with good movement. The ones that are hard to reverse apply the nikkyo without sacrificing posture or balance...the pressure comes entirely from the hips, with no or little shoulder involved.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 06-09-2006, 08:47 AM   #27
aikigirl10
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Re: Punishing Uke

[quote=David Orange][quote=Keith Krajewski]I think that resistance definitely has its place within any training.
Quote:

I think it's wrong to resist to the point that people get frustrated and quit. You shouldn't resist so much that they never experience success in the technique, but once they have the general idea, the only way to make it more accurate and realistic is to resist their technique when it breaks down.

Thanks for the reply.

David
Well, idk what aikido dojo you go to, and i'm not saying there is/was anything wrong with it, but personally in our dojo we do practice resistance.

Like you said, we don't do it to the point where people get frustrated but we do practice it.

And then there are other times where we don't practice it. I think not practicing it allows nage to get a feel for the technique and then later on resistance can be applied after nage has the hang of things.

But anyway, i just thought i'd let you know of a counter-example
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Old 06-09-2006, 11:15 AM   #28
Robert Rumpf
Dojo: Academy of Zen and the Ways
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Re: Punishing Uke

Quote:
David Orange wrote:
To me, "There is no resistance in aikido" means that NAGE never resists anything UKE does.
You're advocating the path of least resistance to uke's actions.

I'm sure that many people would agree with this, but it comes at the cost of learning to stimulate uke behavior. This means that uke (in your model) dictates the terms of the encounter. There are many situations where you don't want this to happen, and this is reflected in the types of training that I've seen where nage attacks.

Still, I'm sure that many in Aikido would agree with you that nage is mainly supposed to be receptive, and lets assume that this is a good attitude for training. I like this attitude a lot when trying to learn jiyu-waza and randori, where nage is able to just respond to uke in the way that uke's attack dictates.

It's great mentality and what "real" aikido might look like.. but randori and jiyu-waza are not typically all, or indeed most, of the training that I have experienced in any dojo - and with good reason.

Its very hard to train that type of training well without it devolving into wrestling or at least people ignoring technique until all practitioners are at least somewhat skilled..

For the most part in class, I find myself practicing kata, and I am attempting to work on the fine details of the movements and timing of a given principle by practicing the kata as demonstrated by my instructor. If I end up outside the kata, I tend to try not to go far.

That's if I have an experienced partner.

If my partner is inexperienced, I'm just trying to get them to put their feet into roughly the correct positions and to follow along without hurting me or them, all without micromanaging or contradicting the instructor.

To put it simply, I'm trying to help the novice to learn the kata so that they can later get rid of the kata or at least study it more thoroughly..

Its often unclear what my partners are trying to do...

Ideally, in order to be consistent with what you're advocating (and what could be "real") and to allow for precision practice and learning in a kata environment, uke should attack precisely and repeatably in a way that provokes the response that the instructor is trying to emphasize in the kata practice, while pretending that they don't know what you're going to do in response to their attack..

Well, I've never had an uke who was able to do that.

Most of the time, I get attacked shomenuchi in a way that lends itself to sankyo or koshinage, and I am told to do ikkyo by the kata and the instructor. Or I get attacked shomenuchi and I'm told to do ikkyo, but the attack is specifically designed to prevent ikkyo because uke knows it is coming. This happens even more often with pain-compliance techniques and that type of teaching - one of the chief reasons to avoid pain-compliance.

Sometimes, the instructor comes along to help when I can't get the kata to function and, surprise surprise, uke's attack and attitude changes as (a) his partner is different (b) he is more aware as it is the instructor (c) he believes the instructor will make the technique work. The instructor looks at me and is puzzled as to why I can't get the kata to work, but the attack, to me looks completely different..

I suspect most ukes are not able to be precise and repeatable. This could be, in part, because they are not trained to be so consistent - I know that I am not so trained. I've considered taking karate so that at least I could punch consistently.. but I haven't. It could also be that such a precise attack would be seen as being "staged" and therefore uke believes it is useless.

One of the pleasures of being a shodan is that your instructors tell you to polish your technique and work on the fine details and your ukes decide that in order to "help" you as a shodan, they need to be more resistant and more anticipatory of their response... I don't need resistance in kata to sort out details; I need consistency..

That, and a hell of a lot of jiyu-waza and randori (at the appropriate time). That said, they'd better be able to take the ukemi if they want to leave things open-ended.

I think there is a danger in too much jiyu-waza as well - people tend to play to their strengths. Kata presumably makes you exercise every muscle.

In any case, getting an attack that naturally leads to one thing, where that thing is not what is in the kata at all, is the cause of much of the frustration that you see on these forums directed towards uke..

Like most things in life, negative reinforcement is often the most easy and most counterproductive any difficulty. Its hard to learn to do otherwise, but its often wasted too because communication is a too way street.

Quote:
David Orange wrote:
the only way to make it more accurate and realistic is to resist their technique when it breaks down.
I very strongly disagree that this is the only way.

A technique, an argument, a piece of software, a relationship, or whatever system you choose that is constructed by you (with or without other participants), that is flawed (and they all are) has flaws that are self-evident to an accurate and perceptive observer who is trying to exploit such flaws.

Becoming such an observer (learning how to attack your own technique) is, I believe, one of the potential ways in which martial practice can be brought effectively outside the dojo.

By uke pointing those flaws out gratuitously, uke is robbing me of my ability to grow perception of my technique failures on my own. Failure of my technique is written in uke's body at any given moment if I know how to read it.

In addition, awareness of a flaw doesn't necessarily mean that you know how to fix it. Beyond that, knowing how to fix a flaw doesn't mean that you actually can fix it, repeatedly, over a variety of ukes and intensities. Those are all different steps that need to be made, and they require patience from uke with respect to nage's limited progress and capabilities.

I'm constantly aware of how broken my technique in kata is. If I thought that my kata was effective at all, I'd be wasting my time practicing it because I'd have nothing to learn from the kata.

Another pitfall: as soon as uke starts to get into the position of judging technique and pointing out flaws, then when a flaw doesn't come up, the nage naturally assumes the technique was well done. This is where Aikidoka become arrogant about their technical abilities.

Rob

Last edited by Robert Rumpf : 06-09-2006 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 06-09-2006, 11:29 AM   #29
Rocky Izumi
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Re: Punishing Uke

I tend to find that the best way to make sure I am doing the correct Kata is for Uke to attack strongly enough to hurt me with their strikes or put on full resistance when attacking with a grab. Without a strong, committed and resistant attack, I can do things that are not good Kata and get away with it. When the attack is serious, I have to do good Kata or the technique doesn't work.

For me, the Kata is the demonstration of the principles and the principles are there to ensure that the Kata works. If a novice is trying a technique and you allow the novice to complete the technique even though they are not doing the correct Kata, you may keep them from being frustrated but you are also helping them learn bad Kata. If the novice is getting frustrated, it is not up to the Uke to lighten up but for the Sensei to deal with the problematic Kata. As long as Uke is not trying to stop Nage by switching the attack or their balance all the time, the novice Nage should be able to learn the correct Kata.

On the other hand, that may be why we have so few students in our Dojo and lose so many after a couple weeks/months.

Rock
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Old 06-11-2006, 06:38 AM   #30
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
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Re: Punishing Uke

I'll put is simply:

Uke role is very complex, being a good Uke is not trivial

Uke main role is too give the proper feedback for Nage. However, while doing this, Uke is also learning himself. Even if we constrict ourselves to the main role - the feedback, one should notice it should has several characteristics that sometimes conflict:
* Realistic
* Educational
* Safe

When practicing Kata \ Waza (pre-defined attack and techniques) giving a realistic feedback is not simple by itself. Uke knows the response, and many tend to slowly adjust the attack to make Nage job more difficult. I have seen more then one person who has done this unaware.

Making the feedback educational is also not simple. People learn optimally when their fail rate is around 1 in 4. If a person only fails, he will not learn anything, if he only succeeds, he will learn nothing either. Further, one can only absorb that many corrections in a given time period.

Uke should also keep himself safe, and prevent injury. Thus, one could not wait until a technique is executed in full force and speed to examine it. One has to respond in a scaled down version -- reduced speed and force.

Combining these together and adjusting the feedback for each person one is practicing with is an art by itself, at least as complex as being Nage.


Since being a good Uke is such a difficult task, there is no point in punishing those who fail it, after all, if you look closely enough, you will find none of us is a perfect Uke. This does not preclude educating a person through physical means, which could prove instrumental for some people.

On another issue:
Quote:
Xu Wenfung wrote:
Randori or jiyu-waza is the place for testing your "str33t effectiveness". This is also the place where uke is allowed to come to attack in any form he wishes or those determined by the sensei, this is the place where tori is allowed to transition, atemi, etc to work on their fighting skills.
.
This raises a thing my teacher keeps pumping into our heads in every other practice: Randori is not a simulated fight, Randori is another means of learning. In a street fight, it is the end results that is important -- either you live in health or . On the other hand in Randori, the way you get to the situation of the technique is the important thing, forcing your partner down is counter-productive.
True, Randori is much more open for spontaneity, but this does not make it a fight.


Amir
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Old 06-12-2006, 10:18 PM   #31
David Orange
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Re: Punishing Uke

David Orange wrote:
To me, "There is no resistance in aikido" means that NAGE never resists anything UKE does.


Quote:
Robert Rumpf wrote:
You're advocating the path of least resistance to uke's actions...This means that uke (in your model) dictates the terms of the encounter.
No. It means he dictates how he steps into the manhole. The aikidoka is supposed to control the terms of the encounter. And that's from a sword perspective.

Quote:
Still, I'm sure that many in Aikido would agree with you that nage is mainly supposed to be receptive, and lets assume that this is a good attitude for training.
You may misunderstand my point on this. I'm referring to the situation I've found where everyone assumes that "there is no resistance in aikido," it means on UKE's part. Uke is never supposed to resist. I say that's backward. Uke can do what he wants. Nage turns it back on him. We let him choose his approach, but we should already have turned the terrain to our advantage. We should already have disadvantaged him by where we stand, etc. But when he attacks, we should tailor our response to his movement so finely that he can feel nothing to resist in our movement. If he does feel something to resist, and feels the natural impulse to resist it, he may. Nage will realize that he has lost the lead.

And the title of this thread points to that moment: when uke responds, perhaps involuntarily, to a weak point or failure of lead in Nage's technique.

There was talk in another thread of smashing uke in the face with a powerful backfist, or breaking his knee with a shattering kick. Why? For not falling down, no matter what nage does.

So I'm not saying that Nage must always be a teddy bear, but we shouldn't punish people physically for failing to be hypnotized by our astonishing technique. Uke is our training partner. And that brings up another side of this: what goes around comes around. It's bad to punish uke because soon we will be his uke. Do we want him to break our nose or our knee?

And it should be clear that both Nage and Uke are not "doing" aikido simultaneously. Of course, they're training in aikido together, but only Nage is using aiki. Uke must use kiai or Nage cannot even develop aiki. Aiki is the ura of kiai. So without kiai, there is nothing for aiki to be the ura of.

For aiki to develop, uke must begin with kiai and as nage's aiki becomes clearer and stronger, so must uke's kiai. As nage's aiki technique becomes cleaner, sharper and better timed, uke's kiai technique must become sharp, clear and powerful. And nage's aiki will become finer and stronger. So I should say that Nage always does aiki and Uke always does kiai. So it's important for him to resist if he can. We have had a pretty good discussion on this point in the "tricky uke" thread in this forum.

Quote:
I like this attitude a lot when trying to learn jiyu-waza and randori, where nage is able to just respond to uke in the way that uke's attack dictates... but randori and jiyu-waza are not typically all, or indeed most, of the training that I have experienced in any dojo - and with good reason.

Its very hard to train that type of training well without it devolving into wrestling or at least people ignoring technique until all practitioners are at least somewhat skilled..
I'm refering to levels where all practitioners are very skilled.

Quote:
For the most part in class, I find myself practicing kata, and I am attempting to work on the fine details of the movements and timing of a given principle by practicing the kata as demonstrated by my instructor. If I end up outside the kata, I tend to try not to go far.
By "kata", do you mean a practice technique or a formal kata? I know that my teacher used many formal kata, but when practicing technique, we called it waza or kihon waza practice. We only called it kata when it was a paired demonstration form.

Quote:
If my partner is inexperienced, I'm just trying to get them to put their feet into roughly the correct positions and to follow along without hurting me or them, all without micromanaging or contradicting the instructor... trying to help the novice to learn the kata...
I guess I should be clear that I'm mainly referring to black belts with several years' experience. Beginners are always an issue at a dojo, but that is almost a side issue. How to learn to move the body can be a trying issue but I'm referring to development at the level of art.

Quote:
Ideally, in order to be consistent with what you're advocating (and what could be "real") and to allow for precision practice and learning in a kata environment, uke should attack precisely and repeatably in a way that provokes the response that the instructor is trying to emphasize in the kata practice, while pretending that they don't know what you're going to do in response to their attack..

Well, I've never had an uke who was able to do that.
I think that makes it complicated. If uke has good falling skills, he can make the attacks and maintain the katachi of the attack to allow himself to be thrown. But where I trained, "good falling skills" means that you can safely fall from being thrown when you don't expect it. Many places I've seen define "good falling skills" as being able to fall down spectacularly when Nage did nothing to cause it.

So the root of aikido training is an uke who can attack with strong kiai and fall well to protect himself from pretty much any throw or pin. He gives the Nage a good strong attack and if nage does his technique correctly, he will not be able to stand. If Nage makes a mistake, this kind of uke will not move. And it would also be unwise to try to punish such a person for not falling, both on the level of pure karma and for the fact that he won't be easy to hurt. And you just might make him counterattack, which, if he has good kiai attacks, might be something Nage would regret.

In Japan, uke would attack and if you didn't instantly throw him with a clean technique, he might punch again, or kick or sweep your feet or grab your hand and do kote gaeshi--whatever you leave open. That often did devolve into ground work, but every aikidoka should know that any encounter could end up with both people on the ground. Rather than punish uke, we have to sharpen our technique against his resistance--not forbid him to resist us. When you do that, the strong people fade out and weak people run the show and, lacking strength and experience, they create a self-contained world of consensu reality which is not healthy.

Quote:
Most of the time, I get attacked shomenuchi in a way that lends itself to sankyo or koshinage, and I am told to do ikkyo by the kata and the instructor. Or I get attacked shomenuchi and I'm told to do ikkyo, but the attack is specifically designed to prevent ikkyo because uke knows it is coming. This happens even more often with pain-compliance techniques and that type of teaching - one of the chief reasons to avoid pain-compliance.
Well, that's where it gets tricky to say that we have to train cooperatively. Cooperation is as you described it a few lines up--uke presents a strong, precise attack and leaves himself available to be thrown. And as your aiki grows, he tightens up little by little until you are able to deal with a deadly attack using non-resistant aiki that will wrap him up without his knowing how it happened.

Quote:
Sometimes, the instructor comes along to help when I can't get the kata to function and, surprise surprise, uke's attack and attitude changes as (a) his partner is different (b) he is more aware as it is the instructor (c) he believes the instructor will make the technique work.
Sounds like it's not good behavior from uke. That's wasted training time for both of you. What do you suppose stimulates that kind of attitude in the uke?

Quote:
I suspect most ukes are not able to be precise and repeatable. This could be, in part, because they are not trained to be so consistent - I know that I am not so trained. I've considered taking karate so that at least I could punch consistently.. but I haven't. It could also be that such a precise attack would be seen as being "staged" and therefore uke believes it is useless.
Well, a good, single karate attack is excellent for training in technique. Uke can deliver a very powerful and meaningful technique with "CONTROL" that an untrained uke cannot match. To me, clean punches, kicks, head butts, elbow and knee techniques are half the necessary basics for uke. The other half are excellent rolling and flat-falling skills in every direction and for a wide range of throws and joint locks. In Japan, we had several sacrifice techniques that ended with uke taking a full flat fall with Nage applying a full neck choke at the same moment. It really takes that kind of falling ability to train with masters and that is really the only way to find aikido at the level of art.

[quote... your instructors tell you to polish your technique and work on the fine details and your ukes decide that in order to "help" you as a shodan, they need to be more resistant and more anticipatory of their response... I don't need resistance in kata to sort out details; I need consistency..[/quote]

Yes, to practice set techniques, the attack should be precisely repeated. Uke should enter with good balance, speed, focus and power and should not throw himself off balance in the process. As Nage, you must cause him to lose his balance by moving your body in time and in harmony with his attack, while redirecting his attack into a throw or joint lock.

As I mentioned the tough training in Japan, the surprising thing about it was that the techniques were always very clean and the Nages NEVER hurt me. When they were uke, if my aiki failed, they would immediately follow into follow-up attacks, but, while the fighting would get fierce, it was NEVER injurious and none of those teachers ever hit me with a "dirty" shot.

So at shodan, you should appreciate the resistant uke and learn to make your aikido finer with his resistance.

Quote:
In any case, getting an attack that naturally leads to one thing, where that thing is not what is in the kata at all, is the cause of much of the frustration that you see on these forums directed towards uke..
Well, again, that's not cooperative training. That's like he's trying to express something else and that is bad practice. He's wasting his time.

Well, depending on why he does it, he may be wasting his time. If he simply is too grossly uncoordinated to attack with consistency, it may be that your group just needs to work on specific training in attacks. Anyone who knows basic karate can give you the specific form you want to practice on and it's easier to practice when the uke is precise. But if we think that karate men are just brutes, we fail to learn about kiai and so our aiki fails to form up.

Quote:
A technique, an argument, a piece of software, a relationship, or whatever system you choose that is constructed by you (with or without other participants), that is flawed (and they all are) has flaws that are self-evident to an accurate and perceptive observer who is trying to exploit such flaws.

Becoming such an observer (learning how to attack your own technique) is, I believe, one of the potential ways in which martial practice can be brought effectively outside the dojo.
Yes. That is one of the major functions of budo training.

Quote:
By uke pointing those flaws out gratuitously, uke is robbing me of my ability to grow perception of my technique failures on my own.
Unless you're talking about someone who tries to foul up your basic technique practice by "resisting" your technique, uke should respond naturally to what he feels or senses of your technique. Some resistance is involuntary, coming from irreplaceable nervous system reactions that it would be foolish to try to eliminate from our systems. Without such natural response (or by using an uke who has trained himself to be unnatural), how would you ever know that you have technical flaws? Uke speeds that process for you. That's fully half of budo. Rocks become smooth and round by tumbling together for a long, long time. Without other boulders colliding with it, how long would it take a rough boulder to become round?

It would never happen.

My ni-en dama for tonight.

Best wishes,

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 06-12-2006, 10:27 PM   #32
David Orange
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Re: Punishing Uke

Quote:
Hiroaki Izumi wrote:
I tend to find that the best way to make sure I am doing the correct Kata is for Uke to attack strongly enough to hurt me with their strikes or put on full resistance when attacking with a grab. Without a strong, committed and resistant attack, I can do things that are not good Kata and get away with it. When the attack is serious, I have to do good Kata or the technique doesn't work.
Sounds like good training to me. When I read Rob's comments more closely, I realized that he is describing a kind of uke who does not have precise attacks. It sounds like they don't prescribe an exact technique. There's no way to practice effectively without good attacks--not general gestures with the hands.

Quote:
For me, the Kata is the demonstration of the principles and the principles are there to ensure that the Kata works.
I have come to believe that kata are taken directly from nature--from how people naturally move and do things. The particular movements in a kata are included because they are good examples of the principles the kata is trying to teach. And I'm not talking about kihon waza training, but about formal, paired kata like those in judo and yoseikan aikido, with or without weapons.

Quote:
If a novice is trying a technique and you allow the novice to complete the technique even though they are not doing the correct Kata, you may keep them from being frustrated but you are also helping them learn bad Kata.
Well, they do have to go through very rough and general stages to assimilate a kata. And as formal teaching presentations, formal kata contain virtually no resistance at all. If you mean practice of techniques, then the basic kata form of that should be quickly assimilated and shaped up through a senior uke's judicious resistance when they go off the way.

Quote:
If the novice is getting frustrated, it is not up to the Uke to lighten up but for the Sensei to deal with the problematic Kata. As long as Uke is not trying to stop Nage by switching the attack or their balance all the time, the novice Nage should be able to learn the correct Kata.
YES.

Quote:
On the other hand, that may be why we have so few students in our Dojo and lose so many after a couple weeks/months.
and YES.

Thanks.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 06-13-2006, 02:17 AM   #33
Dirk Hanss
 
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Re: Punishing Uke

Quote:
Hiroaki Izumi wrote:
If a novice is trying a technique and you allow the novice to complete the technique even though they are not doing the correct Kata, you may keep them from being frustrated but you are also helping them learn bad Kata.
I mostly agree, but to play the devil's advocate:
As I was told no one (living) aikidoka can do a correct (perfect) ikkyo, it seems as if a strong uke would never fall in your dojo, right?

The major reason to take ukemi voluntarily (if the technique is done sufficiently good for the level of nage)is that many novices tend to use force, if the technique does not work, and if they are strong enough, it works, though rather badly. So the next time,they use more force. And thus some create strong techniques, that only work, until uke is stronger.

Regards

Dirk
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Old 06-13-2006, 09:01 PM   #34
aikigirl10
Dojo: Aikido of Ashland
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Re: Punishing Uke

Quote:
Dirk Hanss wrote:
The major reason to take ukemi voluntarily (if the technique is done sufficiently good for the level of nage)is that many novices tend to use force, if the technique does not work, and if they are strong enough, it works, though rather badly. So the next time,they use more force. And thus some create strong techniques, that only work, until uke is stronger.
That's a great point and very well said.
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Old 06-15-2006, 08:08 AM   #35
Rocky Izumi
Dojo: GUST Aikido Club
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Re: Punishing Uke

Quote:
Dirk Hanss wrote:
I mostly agree, but to play the devil's advocate:
As I was told no one (living) aikidoka can do a correct (perfect) ikkyo, it seems as if a strong uke would never fall in your dojo, right?

The major reason to take ukemi voluntarily (if the technique is done sufficiently good for the level of nage)is that many novices tend to use force, if the technique does not work, and if they are strong enough, it works, though rather badly. So the next time,they use more force. And thus some create strong techniques, that only work, until uke is stronger.

Regards

Dirk
I think you just made my point.

Yes, if they are strong enough and nage has poor enough technique, uke never goes down. However, the argument for a strong uke is better technique and the higher ranked students, with better technique have never had a student who simply kept them from doing an Ikkyo using only power. That is the very reason we do Ikkyo rather than Hiji-osae. Hiji-osae relies too much on strength versus strength.

Yes, we have had people with whom even some of the senior (Yonkyu) students have had trouble. They get into trouble because the students, when faced with an inordinately strong Uke, try to overcome the situation with increased shoulder power of their own. So, I have to go in re-show correct technique and how to overcome upper body strength with leg strength and gentleness and flowing. I usually don't let the senior students use an Atemi or Harai or Keri to get out of a difficult situation but force them to work at doing the technique until they resolve the problem in other ways. Atemi, Harai, or Keri is just too simple a way to resolve the problem and doesn't force the students into the point of frustration they need to change the way they think (become enlightened).

Frustration and confusion are necessary precursors to true learning (enlightenment). That is why we have Zen Koans. They are there to induce confusion and frustration to help you break down the walls in your mind. Likewise, I am here to induce confusion and frustration in the students so that they will be able to learn their Aikido.

Actually, for the last month, I have had to be going over Shomen-uchi Ikkyo again showing them how to do it using hip power as in Kihon-waza and how to do it using body position (Hanmi) as in higher leve Ikkyo. Usually by the time students are testing for Sankyu, I expect them to be doing Ikkyo using the Hanmi or Ken style of body position rather than the power / jo / Kihon style of body position. I guess this applies to all the techniques that the students demonstrate during their Sankyu test for me.

As for David's comments, David, I am using Kata in it general form of "form" rather than prescribed "Kata" as in Judo or Karate Kata. This fits with the perspective of Kata as the form and Waza as the application (of course, with a few added implications that cannot be fully satisfied using the terms "form" and "application").

Rock
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Old 06-15-2006, 10:18 AM   #36
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Punishing Uke

Quote:
Hiroaki Izumi wrote:
As for David's comments, David, I am using Kata in it general form of "form" rather than prescribed "Kata" as in Judo or Karate Kata. This fits with the perspective of Kata as the form and Waza as the application (of course, with a few added implications that cannot be fully satisfied using the terms "form" and "application").
Rock
The usage of "kata" I have found confusing precisely because we do use explicit jo kata, and kumijo and kumitachi are often described in that way. "Kata" is a term whose usage varies very widely, in this regard, in my experience.

I have been taught to distinguish (at least) four degrees of latitude in single partner taijutsu practice.

1) kihon -- basic, static, linear form of prescribed attack and technique ( the "formal" demonstration) "1-2-3"

2) ki no nagare -- the dynamic blending manner of performing prescribed attack and prescribed technique -- not necessasairly limited in speed or orientation. "1-2-3" becomes "1"

3) henkawaza -- prescribed attack with a certain (or any) number techniques allowed based on the aiki or uke reaction at the moment of contact (e.g -- five kokyunage techniques from Shomenuchi, any four techniques from munetsuki) Some do formalize certain henkawaza progressions, e.g. -- initial intent to do shomenuchi ikkyo becoming iriminage, kokyunage, kotegaeshi, etc.

4) jiyuwaza -- any of a number (sometimes given) of attacks and number of techniques performed without any given order of performance -- i.e -- three techniques each continuous to munetsuki, shomenuchi and katadori. (after which -- collapse in heap)

Jiyuwaza can be more or less structured depending on instructor's preference

Randori can take any of the last three forms.

These are obviously broad generalizations, but that's about right in the most generally applicable usage from what I have gleaned from my sojourns through various USAF, ASU, and Iwama affiliated dojos.

Local practice may differ substantially.

Cordially.
Erick Mead
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Old 06-15-2006, 04:01 PM   #37
Rocky Izumi
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Re: Punishing Uke

Erick,

I would say that perhaps you are being a little too restrictive in your usage of a number of the terms. Taijutsu goes beyond the Waza and sometimes much less depending on who is using it. Like you mentioned in the term Kata, we have much latitude in how these words are used and the format in which they are used or the sentence in which they are used. For instance, the term Kihon will describe different things when used at different levels of practice/Keiko. What is your basic practice and what is my basic practice will differ if we differ in rank and principles being practiced. Depending on how we practice Ki-no-nagare, there may be no attack or attacker. It could also be Henka-waza practice or Kaeshi-waza practice which always be done using Ki-no-nagare. I would say that the term Ki-no-nagare should be used more for the principle than for a form of Keiko.

I would also differentiate between Jiyu-waza and Randori with Jiyu-waza being the Keiko and Ran-dori being the state in which you practice. It is much like you can do Henka-waza practice during the execution of Tanto-dori.

I guess the usage of these terms have become a little more restrictive these days to avoid confusion but I kind of like the old ways a bit. If you become a little too restrictive in how you use these words, it will confuse you even more with the broader usage by the Shihan when discussing things outside of the Dojo or with people from different Dojos.

I'm really not an expert in these things but I know that when translating into English for some of the Shihan, I have found that their usage of these terms is a little less restrictive and I have to be careful to try and clarify when turned into English so I use the terms myself, a little more restrictively, when doing those translations during seminars. On the other hand, I could be doing the translations all wrong. Oops!

Rock
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Old 06-15-2006, 11:26 PM   #38
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Punishing Uke

Quote:
Hiroaki Izumi wrote:
I'm really not an expert in these things but I know that when translating into English for some of the Shihan, I have found that their usage of these terms is a little less restrictive ...
Rock
Everything is a little less restrictive for the shihan I have seen.

I don't necessarily disagree with your points -- Japanese is inherently less categorical than English or any Western tongue, but by the same token, Western speakers tend to categorize in their own usages, warranted or not.

As long as we don't mistake the pointing finger for the moon ...

Cordially,
Erick Mead
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Old 06-16-2006, 04:57 AM   #39
Rocky Izumi
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Re: Punishing Uke

Very much agreed Erick. Hey, you're pretty close to us, why not take an AA flight down here some time for some R&R and Aikido?

Rock
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Old 06-16-2006, 07:53 AM   #40
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Punishing Uke

Quote:
Hiroaki Izumi wrote:
Very much agreed Erick. Hey, you're pretty close to us, why not take an AA flight down here some time for some R&R and Aikido?
Rock
Actually, Pensacola is nearer to Little Rock, Arkansas than it is to Miami. But persuade my good Yankee wife to leave go of my wallet, and I'll take you up.

One caveat -- I am constitutionally incapable of understanding cricket.

A Canadian a Brit, two Aussies and Pakistani could not explain cricket to this West Florida boy. (Sounds like the beginning of a bar joke ...)

The only thing I could grasp is that it involves something about a wicket, an off-leg and a stump.

Sheesh, I mean -- I love playing with the wooden sticks, but I never could imagine why one would play a ballgame with a shinken ...

Cordially,
Erick Mead
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Old 06-16-2006, 08:53 AM   #41
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Punishing Uke

good one! I though it WAS a bar joke...

Best,
Ron

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Old 06-16-2006, 11:02 AM   #42
Mark Freeman
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Re: Punishing Uke

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
The only thing I could grasp is that it involves something about a wicket, an off-leg and a stump.
Erick,

perhaps your international friends neglected to tell you about the 'silly mid off' and what a 'googley' is, I'm sure it would have been much clearer then!

I'm an englishman and I don't understand cricket at all....

regards,

Mark
p.s. if you go down to Barbados you will need to brush up your 'dominoes' those guys can really play!

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 06-16-2006, 10:01 PM   #43
Rocky Izumi
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Re: Punishing Uke

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote:
Erick,

perhaps your international friends neglected to tell you about the 'silly mid off' and what a 'googley' is, I'm sure it would have been much clearer then!

I'm an englishman and I don't understand cricket at all....

regards,

Mark
p.s. if you go down to Barbados you will need to brush up your 'dominoes' those guys can really play!
It's all about sitting in the hot sun, drinking cold beer, and standing up and cheering when everyone else does, much like baseball. The rest is inconsequential.

And draughts or what we call checkers.

For those of you coming down to Barbados for the Cricket World Cup 2007, don't forget your Do-gi. Send an email and practice with us.

The beer is excellent and so is the rum. Both are relatively cheap.

Rock
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Old 06-16-2006, 11:36 PM   #44
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Re: Punishing Uke

This sounds like fun.

As long as folks don't go confusing a leg-break with an off-break and a straight drive with a cover drive to mid-on (or is that mid-off??) everything should be fine.

Oh yeah and always beware of that guy fielding at silly point.

The best common factor in most Caribbean sports is as Rocky rightly said:

Quote:
It's all about sitting in the hot sun, drinking cold beer, and standing up and cheering when everyone else does...
Rock: Spoke to Kendo Eddy this week. He came to watch a class of mine. Sounds like you really wowed him with your Aiki-ken and Aikido training.

Regards.

LC

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Old 06-17-2006, 03:43 AM   #45
Mark Freeman
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Re: Punishing Uke

Quote:
Hiroaki Izumi wrote:
It's all about sitting in the hot sun, drinking cold beer, and standing up and cheering when everyone else does, much like baseball. The rest is inconsequential.
Now, this aspect of cricket I can fully comprehend

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Old 06-22-2006, 06:25 PM   #46
David Orange
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Cooperative Training

Well, anyway, I just wanted to ramble a bit more on punishing the uke. I don't recall many onfield cricket fights (though the bat would make quite a weapon), but sports generally do devolve into a lot injury to the "partner." The understated theme of much of modern entertainment sports is literally to damage the other player or team to the point that they cannot continue. Which is why I found the Gracie fights of the early 90s very interesting. At least there it was submission at the loser's discretion. In football, you never know when another player is out to paralyze you or permanently wreck your knee.

Maybe this is a lot of what has carried over in Western translation of aikido. In Japan, in Mochizuki sensei's dojo, even though there was effective resistance at high speeds about fifty percent of the time, I very rarely saw anything get harsh. It was always a draining, grueling grind, with most of the randori being sequence sutemi waza, often ending in a choke. And failed techniques meant counter attacks and grappling on the floor to submission or choke-out. But people didn't get mad out there (very, very rarely).

And in this, it was, in a way, like little league baseball. Those guys had been doing that heavy aikido together for many long years under a unique master. Why? Because he lived just up the street from them. They went there when they were young. They went to him just like we go to to Grandmaster Pete. He was the one who was there. People in Shizuoka did not know there was a really huge meijin living among them. Really? They would say. We didn't know that. But impressive people from around the world came to bow to him and learn from him.

And among his hometown students, he had developed some real tigers, who met these trained martial artists from around the world and bested them on the mat, time after time. And I mean always. It wasn't competition, but it was close to it.

Still, there was a difference. It was not competition. We weren't there to win or lose. We were there to find out the truth and participate in the polishing of ourselves in that grinding process.

But people did not get injured in all that. I don't mean "never" injured, but I found that most injuries come more from your own daily life than they do from good, intense aikido training. It's the way you think about yourself as you go through life, how you shape your body into the specific form of "you" that governs how you learn and "do" aikido, which determines whether you get injured.

However, a punishing nage is a danger to society. UNLESS the attacker actually attempts to injure you, you really have no right actually to strike him. And to strike in vital points outside actual self defense is foolhardy. To experiment with such strikes is to gamble with the partner's life, which is to gamble with your own freedom. Oh, yes. It's also to gamble with making a stronger person angry as well as giving him a legitimate right to respond with self-defense technique and actually DO to us what we TRIED to do to him. So it's also gambling with your own life. There is no right to strike anyone who isn't really trying to hurt you and you're better off developing aiki instead of striking him.

999,999 times out of a million, my experience at the old Shizuoka hombu was camaradarie and intense training. People didn't get mad on the mat. Seniors might express some displeasure toward a junior's behavior--usually peripheral to training--and the shihans could be rather explicit with that, but the training was sort of like stepping into a grinding machine. Everything was smooth and continuous, going round and round. Attacks came down like hammers swung by workmen: people didn't throw themselves off balance. It was work, not abstract symbollism. And though they had all trained together in the same thing with the same teacher for a long time, the people who were out there were each individuals. There was no trouble telling them all apart. Each was his own self-possessed artist. And it was a tiger-like art, so if you missed your aiki technique, they would be all over you like tigers. And they would play with you just savagely enough to let you progress. They played with you like older-brother tigers, teaching you how to be a full-grown tiger. And you had to really push them to make them lose their cool.

Tezuka, for instance. Tezuka Akira Sensei, one of the ones who got menkyo kaiden from Mochizuki Sensei. One night, I saw him warming up for class, doing the wrist bending stretch, when he looked oddly at something on the floor a few feet away. He didn't realize I was watching him. He went over to a makiwara post that came up through the dojo's wooden floor. There was an eight-foot banana bag, about 250 lbs of sand, lashed to the front of the makiwara post. As if he were kicking someone in the shin, Tezuka Sensei kicked the banana bag at its base and the makiwara post broke off at floor level. He was a small person. I will never forget it.

Washizu Sensei was like a fighter pilot who would sutemi rings around you. Kenmotsu Sensei was a farmer who cultivated people's inner feeling for aikido as if they were his garden.

So there were hours of strong, precise attacks, lots of clean, effortless aikido, with all kinds of weapons practice, attacks from all directions. If you did it right, the aikido really did work effortlessly. If you missed, you had to struggle to submission one way or the other, but people didn't go around hitting each other in vital points. That's where I think western aikido may have picked up some mistaken attitudes from sports. If we think that budo is even something like a sport, it's bound to breed some violence, which is not the purpose of aikido. I think "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is a bit dangerous for aikido because some people are self-destructive, even though they belong to well-respected organizations and have recognition from those organizations. And they act destructively toward their training partners.

When it comes to aikido, maybe we should say, "Regardless of what you want for yourself, do RIGHT to others."

Masakatsu agatsu.

Twenty years ago, right about this time of the summer, Murai Kyoichi Sensei was teaching us kenjutsu. He taught us suburi and said, "When you strike, see your worst enemy there and strike with the real intention to kill him."

So we practiced hundreds of suburi and I thought about what Murai Sensei had said. And I thought, "Let's see, now." "Who is my worst enemy?"

CUT! CUT! CUT! CUT!

Well, I could think of some terrible people, and even some who might have deserved to be split with a samurai sword, but I couldn't think of anyone I'd really cut with a sword. I did not have a single enemy that bad that I could think of.

CUT! CUT! CUT! CUT!

And then I thought about who it was that was always getting me into trouble. It was really myself. And it was not without Christian sentiments that I thereafter saw myself where my bokken struck. I always struck to kill.

So we should really always be glad if uke is a little bit troublesome. We should not punish him for being honest. The answer lies in our own technique and resistance by nage against uke, which is backward aikido.

Thanks for all the comments!

David

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Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

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Old 06-23-2006, 07:26 AM   #47
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Punishing Uke

Thank you for that post David.

Best,
Ron

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