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Old 07-20-2008, 01:02 PM   #1
Ethan Weisgard
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"suki" "tsukuri": Japanese terms for "opening"

I often see in - English texts - the Japanese term "suki" used in the context of nage intentionally creating an opening to invite uke to attack. In Iwama, Saito Sensei would use the term "sasoi" (entice or invite) when talking about the intentional creating of an opening to make uke attack. He would also use the phrase "Aite no ki wo yobidasu" : to call out your opponent's ki. I never heard the term "suki" used in the case where nage created an opening him/herself.

In Nishio Sensei's group, the word "tsukuri" is used when nage creates an opening to lead uke into the attack.

I am wondering whether or not the term "suki" is actually only used in Japanese Budo terminology when the opening is unintended. I would like to hear people's experiences in this regard.

In aiki,

Ethan Weisgard
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Old 07-20-2008, 04:14 PM   #2
nekobaka
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Re: "suki" "tsukuri": Japanese terms for "opening"

I don't recall my sensei using suki either. I do hear people using it in practice though. Sensei's tend to choose their words, and maybe don't use it on purpose, too martial or something, maybe.
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Old 07-21-2008, 04:08 AM   #3
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Re: "suki" "tsukuri": Japanese terms for "opening"

Suki is used in kendo for an opening whether made by the attacker by application of "seme" or by the opponent either unintentionally or to lure them in for a sneaky oji waza
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Old 07-21-2008, 04:53 AM   #4
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: "suki" "tsukuri": Japanese terms for "opening"

Quote:
Ethan Weisgard wrote: View Post
I am wondering whether or not the term "suki" is actually only used in Japanese Budo terminology when the opening is unintended. I would like to hear people's experiences in this regard.

In aiki,

Ethan Weisgard
Hello Ethan,

This is the way I use the term when teaching my Japanese students. However, I think the term is used so differently in everyday Japanese that my beginners have to stop and think--and then make efforts to understand the 'budo' use of the term.

In addition, the use of terms like sasou or suikomu have a different sense altogether. They do not necessarily entail or imply suki.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 07-21-2008, 01:01 PM   #5
Ethan Weisgard
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Re: "suki" "tsukuri": Japanese terms for "opening"

Hello Peter,

Thank you for the prompt reply.

Saito Sensei explained that when you - as uke tachi - were in a strong Ken no Kamae, a trained person - as uchi tachi - would not come in to attack. He taught that it was necessary to make an opening to let the person attack. He would say something like "kamae wo sukoshi akeru," meaning to my knowledge: "opening" your Ken no Kamae to let your opponent in. The same was the case with jo training: from Tsuki no Kamae, you would take your jo slightly off the line of attack, leaving an opening for uchi-jo to come in. In tai jutsu, the "lead" would be, for instance, extending your wrist towards uke to entice a katate-dori attack, or extending the shoulder slightly for kata-dori. This was referred to as "sasou," as far as I recall. This was used in the manner of "enticing" uke to make a certain attack by making the given area most available in terms of placement.

I didn't hear him use the term "suikomu," but I have heard other Sensei from Iwama use that term. This seems to me to have the meaning of "absorbing" the oncoming attack ("inhaling" I guess is the direct translation). Wouldn't this be more related to the feeling of absorbing the oncoming attack, more than calling it forth?

What term or terms would you use in a setting where you want to "lead" uke to make a certain attack?

Sincerely,

Ethan Weisgard
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Old 07-23-2008, 02:34 AM   #6
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Re: "suki" "tsukuri": Japanese terms for "opening"

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
However, I think the term is used so differently in everyday Japanese that my beginners have to stop and think--and then make efforts to understand the 'budo' use of the term.
Same goes for me. Very often my Japanese students give me a puzzled look when I mention "suki" and even when I remind them of the kanji (空き), they seem to stagger through the meaning. Very interesting indeed.
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Old 07-23-2008, 06:07 AM   #7
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: "suki" "tsukuri": Japanese terms for "opening"

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Joseph Pielech wrote: View Post
Same goes for me. Very often my Japanese students give me a puzzled look when I mention "suki" and even when I remind them of the kanji (空き), they seem to stagger through the meaning. Very interesting indeed.
Hello Joseph,

Interesting. I can see that a reading for 空 is suku However, for suki, my computer gives 透き and 隙 (also read as hima), which have a temporal as well as a spatial dimension.

PAG

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Old 07-23-2008, 06:11 AM   #8
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: "suki" "tsukuri": Japanese terms for "opening"

Hello Ethan,

A Japanese friend of mine who received his 3rd dan from O Sensei himself used suikomu and sasou, to describe a situation of O Sensei 'inducing' the attacker to attack in the way he (O Sensei) wanted him to.

PAG

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Old 07-23-2008, 10:31 AM   #9
Ethan Weisgard
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Re: "suki" "tsukuri": Japanese terms for "opening"

Hello Peter,

Thank you for the reply. Would that be something like "Aite no kogeki wo sasou/suikomu" ?

In aiki,

Ethan
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Old 07-23-2008, 09:16 PM   #10
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Re: "suki" "tsukuri": Japanese terms for "opening"

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Joseph,

Interesting. I can see that a reading for 空 is suku However, for suki, my computer gives 透き and 隙 (also read as hima), which have a temporal as well as a spatial dimension.

PAG
In most budo contexts that I've come across, 隙 is the kanji used for suki.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
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Old 07-23-2008, 09:32 PM   #11
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Re: "suki" "tsukuri": Japanese terms for "opening"

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Joseph,

Interesting. I can see that a reading for 空 is suku However, for suki, my computer gives 透き and 隙 (also read as hima), which have a temporal as well as a spatial dimension.

PAG
Hi Peter. I have come across 隙 on several occassions in the budo literature, but for whatever reason, members of my dojo and elsewhere in my neck of the woods seem to prefer 空. (Maybe Josh know why.) Very interesting. Thanks a lot!
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