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Old 08-26-2007, 10:47 PM   #51
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: What is the purpose of this type of ukemi?

Thanks for the video link Benjamin. I didn't see anything new in that footage, nor anything that any competent practitioner of aikido should be able to do within a couple of years of proper training.

Chuck Clark
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Old 08-26-2007, 11:20 PM   #52
Mike Haftel
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Re: What is the purpose of this type of ukemi?

Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote: View Post
Mike,
I think this is also what makes a throw work well with little effort. If you try to impose your idea of how the throw is going to go - to do something specific to uke or apply a pattern, you end up losing track of them and what is actually happening and get stuck or have to use brute force.
Yes, I agree. In my eyes, being able to control uke doesn't automatically mean one must use brute force, the imposition of ideas, or applying a pattern. But, again, I'm not speaking from a purely "Aikido" based mindset. It seems you are limiting yourself, or at least this discussion, to Aikido-based philosophy/principles and you are assuming that "control," as I have been discussing it, is based on brute force, conflict, and resistance.

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Kevin Wilbanks wrote: View Post
It's by remaining open to the constant changes of the situation and continuously paying full attention to what the other person is doing that you are able to influence the situation most powerfully. It's the openness to ongoing change that gives you more influence than the other guy, who is presumably not so adept or enlightened. I wouldn't call this "control".
Remaining open to change is not the only thing which "gives you more influence than the other guy." What about efficiency of power? I'd define power, in this case, as being able to accompolish a lot without having to do much at all. What about embodying the principles of the martial arts, themselves, in order to break through the illusion of physical (t)echnique and start developing (T)echnique? There are too many principles, which are common throughout the various arts, to touch upon. But, I hope you get the idea.

And, I'd rather have more than just "influence" over "the other guy." Influence implies some aspect of compromise or a risk of failure...it implies a chance. In my opinion, there should be no chance, no compromise, no failure. For me, the attacker is an illusion. I should not have to compromise for him. It is uke's problem that he attacks, not mine. That is partially what I mean by control.

But, this is more an arguement of philosophical and ideological terms.

For now, all I wanted to say was that being able to decide (mid-throw) how to fall, where to fall, and when to fall is an implication that nage is not really in control of uke. Take it for what you will, I guess.

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Kevin Wilbanks wrote: View Post
I think control is ultimately an illusion. I don't think anyone is really in control of anything, except in very limited ways. Thinking that we have control or seeking to impose it is the root of most of our problems.
Well...yes. But, you should really specify what type of control you are talking about. And, going further on your comment...I'd say the deeper "root of our problems" is the reason why people seek out control or attempt to impose it, in the first place, and not the act, itself.

But, that's just my own little opinion.

Last edited by Mike Haftel : 08-26-2007 at 11:25 PM.
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Old 08-26-2007, 11:29 PM   #53
tarik
 
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Re: What is the purpose of this type of ukemi?

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Benjamin Edelen wrote: View Post
It is pretty obvious that part of the reason there is some opposition to these newer forms of ukemi is "ukemi envy".
Envy? How does a person feel envy for choosing NOT to do something that they CAN do?

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Benjamin Edelen wrote: View Post
A couple years of working these falls out for yourself is really the only way to become aware of their utility. It takes much less time and effort to type up a message board post about how these falls are probably not useful.
Ah, that explains it. I spent too many years playing with this approach before changing my point of view. Maybe if I'd stopped after a couple of years, I'd still have the same opinion.

Honestly, I'm too lazy to want to put that much effort into my ukemi any more. In fact, I'm working hard to take all the athleticism and effort out of my ukemi. T'aint easy though.

By all means, continue with it for yourself, of course, just be aware that there are different points of view that exist and can demonstrate why they've chosen different paths.

Regards,

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 08-27-2007, 12:06 AM   #54
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Re: What is the purpose of this type of ukemi?

I agree. There is nothing particularly esoteric about it. Just good solid ukemi fundamentals with a twist that makes them less like judo falls. These kinds of falls do not even have to be taught, they can be learned from a video and put into practice immediately. I am not under the impression that the falls require much athleticism since you do not hit the ground nearly as hard and you use energy of the fall to stand back up. Of course regular falls do this as well to some extent, but in my experience not as efficiently. I guess the mileage may vary for any individual. People reading this thread should definitely give these falls a shot, however. The opinions in this thread run completely contrary to anything else I have ever heard about these techniques as well as my own experience. Everywhere I go and everyone I talk to who has developed these falls thinks at least some of them are worth their time.

Last edited by bkedelen : 08-27-2007 at 12:13 AM.
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Old 08-27-2007, 12:54 AM   #55
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Re: What is the purpose of this type of ukemi?

To be quite honest Ben, I don't see any difference between the ukemi on the Ikeda AJ vid and your average run-of-the-mill Aikido ukemi. To be really blunt, the ukemi shown was no different to any number of aikido videos available on YouTube. I also don't see any particular waza in the vid where one would be required to do the sort of ukemi under discussion - in particular, the second and third vids that Bob posted on the Judo Forum.

Ignatius
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Old 08-27-2007, 01:40 AM   #56
tarik
 
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Re: What is the purpose of this type of ukemi?

BTW, Benjamin, while it's been a few years now, I've been attending Ikeda Sensei's seminars and retreats for a long time and even lived in the dojo in Boulder for a week or so back in 2000 during a visit, so I'd guess that I'm reasonably familiar with what he does and teaches. It's nice stuff.

Quote:
Benjamin Edelen wrote: View Post
I guess the mileage may vary for any individual. People reading this thread should definitely give these falls a shot, however.
Definitely. On both statements. And question all sides. Absolutely.

Quote:
Benjamin Edelen wrote: View Post
The opinions in this thread run completely contrary to anything else I have ever heard about these techniques as well as my own experience. Everywhere I go and everyone I talk to who has developed these falls thinks at least some of them are worth their time.
Well, obviously, now your experience has changed as you have now encountered people who have a different opinion. Have you asked Jun what I mentioned yet? It's certainly a different experience, that's all.

I believe that the only time that uke can practice ukemi like that is if tori allows them to. I'm sure I'm really not an authority on saying whether than means one should or should not practice it, but I know what that means to me so I choose to not practice (or teach) ukemi that requires tori to throw in a certain fashion.

Regards,

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 08-27-2007, 11:09 AM   #57
bob_stra
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Re: What is the purpose of this type of ukemi?

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
To be quite honest Ben, I don't see any difference between the ukemi on the Ikeda AJ vid and your average run-of-the-mill Aikido ukemi. To be really blunt, the ukemi shown was no different to any number of aikido videos available on YouTube. I also don't see any particular waza in the vid where one would be required to do the sort of ukemi under discussion - in particular, the second and third vids that Bob posted on the Judo Forum.
Nor I - just looked like 'good, ol' fashioned aikido ukemi' to me - certainly none of the "falling leaf stuff" you could see in the third or fourth video I posted on that thread.

O/T:
Personally, I have to question the utility of the 'falling leaf'. I have performed such ukemi directly onto hard concrete, without a scratch. Great fun! Now....if I could only get uke to throw me in such a way so that I could fire off one of these bad boys....

EDIT: "Falling leaf" (or dolphin wave to B-boys) here -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=173b-l398cM

Actually, if anything, I'm more interested in the 'side-break-fall-cum-roll' style ukemi, which I think might be directly applicable to falling from certain rear projection or 'dead stop' (eg: 'clothesline' irimi-nage) type throws -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XMLYbR68Tw

- or, more to the topic: maybe even judo style throws, such as vs taiotoshi or haraigoshi. (If you've ever taken a hard fall from one of those..well...yeah, it's like irimi - IOW, not a bunch of fun)

Eg: taiotoshi

Basic version:


This one makes the soft fall idea look promising ...


and here's what a real taiotoshi looks like
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVC49lOmHs4
(0:59 until end of clip)

another, shorter clip
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dD6Xg9jCF1M

PS: Is there anywhere online where I can see Ostoff style ukemi? I'm really interested in learning a little more about ukemi in general

PPS: Again off topic - what do you folks call this technique? Surely not what the video has it titled as?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skYCL20ZyM0

Last edited by bob_stra : 08-27-2007 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 08-27-2007, 11:59 AM   #58
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: What is the purpose of this type of ukemi?

Quote:
Benjamin Edelen wrote: View Post
I think it is safe to say that high level Aikido ukemi absolutely does not serve the same purpose as judo ukemi. Depending on your judo goals, good judo ukemi is designed to either provide crisp punctuation during ju no kata, OR keep you from being injured during regular judo training, OR make your partner's throw look worse so that they do not get a full point for their effort. These are the realities of modern judo training. Aikido ukemi does intersect with judo ukemi in the area of keeping you safe during training, but it furthermore provides a vehicle for the artistic realization of human movement. In some ways Aikido ukemi is its own purpose, lending strange and wonderful faculties to its adepts.
The basic reasons for ALL budo ukemi, both tai jitsu and buki jitsu (and that doesn't just mean "falling down safely") are: safety, so that training can take place, ultimately, at the highest levels possible of speed, force, and intent; while keeping as safe as possible (survival), uke is also learning both sides of the waza by overcoming fear of falling, losing, being injured so that very high levels of sensitivity are developed by both tori and uke; as this sensitivity and knowledge base develops, uke also learns the second primary reason for good ukemi is learning how and when kaeshi waza and counters are possible... on the other side, tori is also learning these lessons; another reason is high quality ukemi is as necessary as high level performance of waza in preserving, demonstrating, and passing on the very nature and substance of the art; finally, movement arts can reach profound levels of artistic experience; this should come from the elegance, efficiancy, simplicity, intent, connection, and energy flow that develops from all of the above. It should not stem from a desire to be "artistic"... the beauty, elegance, and art will appear appropriately. I agree that there are wonderful lessons to be learned about far more than budo waza by this practice. They are powerful lessons that may develop our character and spirit that often might not make sense unless you've traveled that path or been close to those that have.

These are lessons I have learned from my teachers. The way I have described it is mine and I take full responsibility. After the last fifty-four years of budo training, I am still willing and hungry for learning more.

Best regards,

Last edited by Chuck Clark : 08-27-2007 at 12:02 PM.

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Old 08-27-2007, 12:35 PM   #59
DanielR
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Re: What is the purpose of this type of ukemi?

Interesting discussion. I attended a number of seminars with Frank Ostoff and Jan Nevelius during the past year. I first observed folks doing these beautiful "over-the-hip", "uke-wrapping-around-nage-while-breakfalling-quietly" exercises (similar to this video on YouTube) during breaks at the Endo Sensei's seminar in Seattle two years ago. At first, apart from being aesthetically pleasing, these exercises looked to me like great tools for studying and teaching ukemi, giving a beginner a nice progression for developing trust in nage's ability to throw the uke safely, and in one's own ability to take these falls safely. During seminars with Ostoff Sensei and Nevelius Sensei I got a bit more detailed view into the nature of these interactions; I now see these as teaching tools both for uke and nage, as uke gets to develop the feeling of constantly looking for opportunities for reversal, and nage gets to develop better sensitivity and timing of the throw. So to me this type of training goes well beyond minimizing impact when taking ukemi, although that itself is pretty good as far as I and my body are concerned.

Specifically with regards to the falls, so far I didn't find these exercises to require any special effort or athleticism, just a reasonable level of fitness (as any other style of ukemi requires). As to their applicability, I'm not anywhere near being proficient enough to judge, but I tend to agree with Jun's comment on this in a similar discussion several years ago (and, having observed him taking ukemi, I trust his judgement), that there are situations in which they are useful, and situations when one has to absorb the throw differently. In general, it seems to me that all Aikido techniques can potentially end badly for the one they're being applied to. To me, the trick is to find a way to practice this stuff without trashing one's body and being able to take ukemi many years into that practice. Personally, I'm interested in any style of ukemi that has such potential.

Best,
Daniel
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Old 08-27-2007, 01:29 PM   #60
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: What is the purpose of this type of ukemi?

What I saw in that video linked in the last post was some very nice slow motion basic ukemi exercises that would be good for beginners. I have done fairly similar exercises for many years especially teaching ukemi to people that have "problem" reactions to the normal training syllabus. This, in my opinion, should not be done for very long because: the kind of training that I value is live, active attacks that require uke to really cause a problem that must be solved, tori must "take" the uke's sente and affect their structural integrity at first touch in such a way that their system is pretty much locked up and must make a reactive recovery of their structure before they could enforce their intent to continue to be "dangerous" and attacking... this kuzushi/fitting/instinctual recovery attempt/waza which fits the uke's attempted recovery is how our training syllabus is designed. At no time, except initial beginner status, is uke's job to give tori force to make a technique with and then flow with into a proscribed ukemi method. Any drills or exercises that do not have this transaction are done only until that live connection can be done even when done in slow motion.

I learned how to replicate live motion in slow motion from Marcel Marceau during my residence in Paris, France in the late sixties. He used aikido as a method to teach connection and actuallization of real movement in slow motion in his mime school. I, in turn, pass this on to my students.

In my opinion, this sort of live interaction must happen at early levels of practice so that the real "doing" aiki/bu/do at some point happens as a result of long practice of that live interaction. This then is not kata... it is true randori (or even sometimes at a level that is really shiai or "testing our meeting") appropriately.

Interesting discussion and sharing of ukemi related stuff. Thanks.

Best regards,

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
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Old 08-27-2007, 01:42 PM   #61
David Humm
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Re: What is the purpose of this type of ukemi?

Quote:
Bob Strahinjevich wrote: View Post
what do you folks call this technique? Surely not what the video has it titled as?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skYCL20ZyM0
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