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Old 02-09-2016, 08:40 AM   #1
Peter Boylan
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Ukemi skills and Counters

Once you can do ukemi, I think you should start learning counters. Knowing how to counter a technique is a great skill for you and your partner. I'm not talking about stopping a technique, but actively taking control away from tori and applying something else to them. If a technique is solid, you can't do this, but if they are leaving openings you can. However, until you've got good ukemi skills, you can't take the next step to counters. This is what I wrote my latest blog about.
http://budobum.blogspot.com/2016/02/...-counters.html

Do you practice counters, and do you ever use them to demonstrate a partner's openings and weak points?

Peter Boylan
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http://www.budogu.com
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Old 02-09-2016, 06:13 PM   #2
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Ukemi skills and Counters

Aikido to me is The Way of Aiki and ukemi skill is Aikido's main unrealised (mostly) advantage. While I agree with what you wrote above, I also know that 'it' will work against solid technique. It is for us to figure out how because no one else will show us. But just thinking about it can make it so ... It does not mean ukemi. There is a difference between aiki and ukemi, of course. But being good at ukemi is a great start ...

Last edited by Rupert Atkinson : 02-09-2016 at 06:16 PM.

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Old 02-09-2016, 06:41 PM   #3
Scott Harrington
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Re: Ukemi skills and Counters

In the words of Saito sensei:

There is a Kaeshi-waza for every technique. But Kaeshi-waza is too dangerous for the beginner. Perfect command of authentic basics and constant harmony with your partner's movements are the indispensable prerequisites to untrammeled Kaeshi-waza performance. In other words, Kaeshi-waza is a sophisticated art by itself.

In olden days, Founder Morihei Uyeshiba used to initiate his leading disciples into the art of Kaeshi-waza in strict secrecy as a "manual for martial competition" prior to sending them out in the world as undefeatable instructors. These instructors, armed with Kaeshi-waza, were thus able to gain leadership always in their training sessions even when they were in a defensive position.

*********

While not a partuclar fan of Saito's Iwama system, I do hold him in high regard as the "Encyclopedia of Aikido" and his writings are superb in dissecting O'sensei's techniques. I only wish he had trained with other Daito ryu practitioners to say, "Oh, now I see why Ueshiba sensei does it that way!"

I had the luxury of training once with him and it was an honor and a learning experience.

Scott Harrington
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Old 02-10-2016, 06:03 AM   #4
rugwithlegs
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Re: Ukemi skills and Counters

Very nice. I was told that the morote dori attack (two hands holding one) translates well to Aikido controls as Ikkyo, Nikyo, Sanko, Yonkyo, Kotegaeshi and others are two hands controlling one arm. Eri dori and katamenuchi translate into Iriminage.

Without Ukemi, a student just tries to stiffen and block a technique. It works fine for kata practice with a senior who knows how to keep a junior partner safe. it creates dangerous and stupid reflexes for free practice. Holes are worth finding.

I think we do teach kaeshiwaza very quietly for beginners. Don't let your hands get behind your head doing Shihonage. Don't let your arm get behind your shoulder in Tenchinage and Iriminage. Don't lift Kotegaeshi too high. We don't practice to the full reversal, but even Ushiro ryotekubidori Kihon is learning to keep hands in a strong position related to the center as taught by gentle partner feedback.
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Old 02-10-2016, 07:46 AM   #5
jonreading
 
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Re: Ukemi skills and Counters

For me, ukemi is about receiving the attack, but that would include energy (as is aiki). I think sometimes we focus so much on "falling" or taking stylized ukemi that we forget it's body management. Kimura sensei used to refer to taking ukemi in a very unattractive manner because the way he trained, you either managed the energy or you failed (gloriously).

I have changed my perspective on this topic, looking a little closer at the role ukemi plays in helping us define what is happening to our body. Ukemi amplifies what is affecting our body and allows us to define it and eventually work with it. The liability is that amplification can turn into hyper-sensitization and now you have conversations about ki balls.

Kaeshi waza is just waza, once we decide to start utilizing the attack energy. I like it elevated in the education process because most of us need time to figure out what happened to our body. While unsubtle, something that makes me fall down is a good indicator my structure was affected. If I don't know what broke my structure, probably there's no way I am gonna use that energy in a constructive way... mostly because I don't know how it works.

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Old 02-10-2016, 11:14 AM   #6
Greg Jennings
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Re: Ukemi skills and Counters

IMHO, if uke is just being a throwing dummy for nage, he's shortchanging both parties.

Heard the same about kaeshi waza in one of the late Saito Sensei's seminars. Concur WRT beginners, but feel that the foundation must be laid and that it can be safely introduced in an incremental manner.

Coming at it from a different direction, we're taught that we're supposed to be "on" from the time that we get on the mat till the time that we bow off. Isn't being aware of slack, openings, etc, and our own position to take advantage of them, part of that? I was certainly aware of those openings and thinking about them before ever repping them.

Greg Jennings
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Old 02-10-2016, 06:55 PM   #7
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Ukemi skills and Counters

Quote:
Peter Boylan wrote: View Post
Once you can do ukemi, I think you should start learning counters. Knowing how to counter a technique is a great skill for you and your partner. I'm not talking about stopping a technique, but actively taking control away from tori and applying something else to them. If a technique is solid, you can't do this, but if they are leaving openings you can. However, until you've got good ukemi skills, you can't take the next step to counters. This is what I wrote my latest blog about.
http://budobum.blogspot.com/2016/02/...-counters.html

Do you practice counters, and do you ever use them to demonstrate a partner's openings and weak points?
A lightbulb seemed to turn on for me when I was first taught kaeshi, and over time it has seemed to be that ukemi and kaeshi inform each other really well. Studying one seems to be a study in the other.
It depends on who we're training with along with where we're at in the process, and it might not be quite what you mean, but we typically will apply counters when we feel an opening. However, it's not usually a completed counter technique; just enough to show that we can begin to seize the initiative.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 02-10-2016, 09:18 PM   #8
rugwithlegs
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Re: Ukemi skills and Counters

It occurs to me that henkawaza is also feeling for the openings.
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Old 02-11-2016, 01:58 AM   #9
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Ukemi skills and Counters

Quote:
John Hillson wrote: View Post
It occurs to me that henkawaza is also feeling for the openings.
I would say that if you are looking at openings and particular kaeshi-waza for particular techniques you are still at the level of kata. I believe that aiki works against 'no openings' and thus it totally trumps everything else. When I caught certain teachers in the past they had me from the moment I grabbed them, probably before. That is what I am chasing. Waza of any type are just a distraction. Understanding ukemi is part of the process of 'discovering aiki.'

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Old 02-11-2016, 02:28 AM   #10
philipsmith
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Re: Ukemi skills and Counters

I agree with many of the opinions expressed.
Kaeshi-waza is, however, in my opinion a development of ukeme not a waza in it's own right. If taught as a waza it often degenerates into a "fight" which helps neither party; or Tori allows openings in their technique which they wouldn't normally tolerate.

That's why ukeme is; for me ; actually the ultimate expression of Aikido.
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Old 02-11-2016, 02:39 AM   #11
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Ukemi skills and Counters

Quote:
Philip Smith wrote: View Post

That's why ukeme is; for me ; actually the ultimate expression of Aikido.
For me, I would replace ukemi with aiki. Aikido is The Way of Aiki. If you look at it that way, everything you do will change.

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Old 02-11-2016, 03:42 AM   #12
Bernd Lehnen
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Re: Ukemi skills and Counters

Quote:
Philip Smith wrote:

That's why ukeme is; for me ; actually the ultimate expression of Aikido.
Quote:
Rupert Atkinson wrote: View Post
For me, I would replace ukemi with aiki. Aikido is The Way of Aiki. If you look at it that way, everything you do will change.
Originally, aikido was made only possible if you had aiki.

Modern aikido with its modern concept of ukemi is like good poetry and may give you good feelings and lofty ideas, but no means to get at and live the original thing.
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Old 02-11-2016, 08:56 AM   #13
jonreading
 
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Re: Ukemi skills and Counters

Quote:
Bernd Lehnen wrote: View Post
Originally, aikido was made only possible if you had aiki.

Modern aikido with its modern concept of ukemi is like good poetry and may give you good feelings and lofty ideas, but no means to get at and live the original thing.
+1

I think the idea of kaeshi waza dies on the vine if you limit it to a "reversal"-oriented perspective. Certainly if you work with someone moving with aiki.

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Old 02-12-2016, 02:05 PM   #14
sorokod
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Re: Ukemi skills and Counters

Some Iwama standards:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_SB0TqvUb8

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