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Old 03-15-2008, 12:04 PM   #1
saha
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Aikido Falls - Acted or Real

Are the falls in Aikido acted or real? I mean is the attacker forced to fall by action of the attacked or he falls out of his own will?
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Old 03-15-2008, 12:46 PM   #2
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido Falls - Acted or Real

Good Uke will not fall as much as they will keep their balance and try and get back center/balance...that is, get ahead of the "curve" again. Failing to do so, they will go down to the mat in a controlled and balanced manner, always looking for the hole or gap in nage's structure. Failing that, they will tap once all remaining motion has stopped and it is evident that uke can no longer influence the situation.

I don't like the term falling as it barks of "spontaneous and random loss of control".

Ukemi is not about falling to me. Ukemi is about being on the yang side of the equation, but your response should be no different than nage....you never fall done correctly, IMO.

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Old 03-15-2008, 02:22 PM   #3
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Re: Aikido Falls - Acted or Real

This depends heavily on which phase of practice we're talking. Let's call the person that attacks X, the person that throws Y, and just for simplicity they'll be male.

To learn a throw, X must allow himself to be thrown by Y. There is no martial art that I am aware of where X can be fully resistive at this learning phase. If X is resistant at this phase, it is impossible for Y to learn the throw, pin, or whatever movement. Especially if X is more experienced, which is probably the case if Y is still in the learning phase, then it is much too easy for X to simply block, evade, or completely reverse a technique. Y cannot learn when he is never successful.

On the other hand, in the testing phase, X must not allow himself to be thrown. In fact, this is detrimental to practice as now Y cannot test his acquired skills against anything if X is compliant. At this point now the reverse is true from the learning phase: if X falls too easily, allows large openings, etc, then Y will not be able to truly test his own technique. Y cannot test his technique if he has nothing to test it against.

There are gradations in resistance X should give that correspond to where in the learning spectrum both X and Y are at, from full compliance to full antagonism. I've only listed two phases above, but of course one can easily see that there are different kinds of resistance: X can flow easily and disallow their center from being taken, or X could lock up and use muscle strength to disallow a technique, and so on. Just as there are various ways to resist, there are also various ways to learn and practice. This is true of many martial arts, and is certainly not unique to Aikido.
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Old 03-15-2008, 02:48 PM   #4
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Re: Aikido Falls - Acted or Real

I'll chime in from the perspective of a newcomer to aikido...

One of the reasons I 'found' aikido this year is because of an article I read probably 20 years ago in a motorcycle magazine, about a rider who'd survived a crash that should have resulted in death or severe injury because of the falling skills he'd learned from studying aikido. So a major draw to this particular martial art for me is that it is totally balanced, as one learns not only to effectively throw/disable an attacker, but also to protect oneself from injury in being thrown...and then beyond that, to regain one's center in order to be ready and balanced again after the sequence for the next action. In other words, ukemi is not just flopping on the floor in response to nage's technique; it's the appropriate reaction to nage's action...just like nage's reaction was the appropriate reactino to uke's initial attack. I hope that makes sense?

As uke, I could resist nage's technique...but is that always appropriate? If I resist and have my shoulder dislocated, or try to reverse and open myself up for a strike, is that a wise response? Or is understanding the technique and performing effective ukemi, allowing my energy to be redirected so that I can safely roll onto back onto my feet, in control of my center, and facing nage again from a safe distance the appropriate response? At least this is as I understand ukemi at this point in my training...

Last edited by Cephallus : 03-15-2008 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 03-16-2008, 05:20 AM   #5
Amir Krause
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Re: Aikido Falls - Acted or Real

Quote:
Manos Saha wrote: View Post
Are the falls in Aikido acted or real? I mean is the attacker forced to fall by action of the attacked or he falls out of his own will?
The above answers were great. So I just wish to add one minor point - the answer to your question is situation dependent:
Kevin described a very expeiranced Uke (technique recipiant). If Uke is much less expireinced then Tori (the technique excutioner) and Tori is any good and so wishes, Uke will fall and\or suffer some injury (see Cephallus answer).

Pkoi explained the learning process reason, and the reason an experianced Uke will let a less experianced Tori throw him.

Amir
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Old 03-16-2008, 07:23 AM   #6
RoyK
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Re: Aikido Falls - Acted or Real

The funny thing is that while most people outside of Aikido think that the uke falls on purpose, the reality of training as far as I've encountered it in my several years of Aikido, is that people are more prone to resist than to flow.

Either way, in my dojo it is considered equally bad ukemi to be as resistive as possible, or to fake an attack and fake a fall (unless required by training in both cases).
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Old 03-16-2008, 07:48 AM   #7
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Re: Aikido Falls - Acted or Real

Amir brings up a good point. I did describe (more or less) what proper or experienced ukemi should be. This is what we should be shooting for in doing ukemi IMO.

Anyway, it is not about resistance as Roy points out.

If I am more experienced at ukemi than nage, then I don't take advantage of nage by offering him no opennings, gaps, or the ability to train. I also do not disconnect from the flow and "dive", "tank", or fall into ukemi.

What I do is to present the proper and appropriate response to nage, when he hits a problem, is doing the wrong thing, or is no longer affecting the stituation, I open it up a little and hope that he sees it and we can then start moving again.

I think one thing that is bad is to lose sight of this and simply "take ukemi". If we never present nage with appropriate and good ukemi, how will they ever learn?

That said, I agree, many will add resistance, erring on that side of the equation, which is NOT appropriate or necessarily better than flowing. Flowing to me is different than falling though! Many, I think translate flowing as falling, and resistance as the opposite of falling??? They define resistance as success maybe??

I hate to bring up BJJ, but that is where I really learned that resistance is not good tactically. If you resist in BJJ, your opponent will move on to something else and use that resistance as a focus point to exploit you! It really gets driven home in BJJ!

So, anytime I hit a point of resistance, or I feel myself going there, I think readjust and get balance and posture, and move to a better place!

Good discussion.

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Old 03-16-2008, 08:57 AM   #8
Amir Krause
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Re: Aikido Falls - Acted or Real

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post

I hate to bring up BJJ, but that is where I really learned that resistance is not good tactically. If you resist in BJJ, your opponent will move on to something else and use that resistance as a focus point to exploit you! It really gets driven home in BJJ!

So, anytime I hit a point of resistance, or I feel myself going there, I think readjust and get balance and posture, and move to a better place!

Good discussion.
Well, I guess I was lucky in my teacher selection. My teacher says the same things, while teaching Aikido. He keeps urging us to learn to from being Uke, not to be rigid nor weak,rather to flow with good Ukemi, and use it to learn of the others openings, so we would be able to do Keashi waza easily.

Perhaps it has to do with us learning Korindo Aikido rather then Ueshiba, though I doubt it. Perhaps it has to do with my teachers vast experiance in Judo and Karate too. And maybe, it has to do with the Israeli beginer student mentality, who have to test everything and are sure it is not working until they find out "resistence is futile"

Amir
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Old 03-16-2008, 12:38 PM   #9
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Re: Aikido Falls - Acted or Real

In my case, it wasn't that my Aikido teacher's were teaching wrong, it is that I failed as the student to listen very well!

I am of the personality as well that requires me to test everything. BJJ offered me a good model to really learn to accept that what my aikido instructors were/are teaching is correct...I just need to listen!

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Old 03-16-2008, 12:50 PM   #10
Lyle Bogin
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Re: Aikido Falls - Acted or Real

There are all kids of ways to meander and grapple as uke, but I think in the end aikido is a fixed game. Uke ultimately, after considering all of the things mentioned above, must consent to be thrown or else the reciprocal practice of aikido becomes impossible.

It's not IF uke falls, but HOW uke falls that is important to me.
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Old 03-16-2008, 02:02 PM   #11
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Re: Aikido Falls - Acted or Real

Lyle,

I understand and agree with you.

The fixed game mentality does present a paradox, especially for the beginner.

One might interpret this as "it doesn't really matter what I do, as I am going to lose anyway". Very extreme, yes, but we do see this in aikido quite a bit I think.

Sort of follows the whole path of "predestination" as seen throughout philosophy and religion.

It is important during ukemi to remember that it is the journey and not the endstate (Uke losing) that is important.

As you state, it is not IF, but HOW.

There is much that goes on in between the point of execution and contact, and cessation of motion!

I think we tend to lose sight of this some times!

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Old 03-16-2008, 03:02 PM   #12
Marc Abrams
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Re: Aikido Falls - Acted or Real

Taking ukemi is a wonderful opportunity to learn. At it's most basic level, we are learning how to conform to forces that our body is experiencing in order to learn to land safely. This is critical to our longevity and body integrity. In reality, we are relearning instinctual actions in which we naturally soften when falling. At a second level, which Kevin alluded to, we can learn to re-orient our body by staying connected to the nage and the movements and forces that we are experiencing in order to escape from a technique. This can occur by adjusting our bodies so that our joints do not lock-up and/or reposition ourselves so that the nage is not occupying the space we need to remain standing (thereby having to fall- ukemi). At the highest level, we can learn how to use to nage's movements to execute techniques on our own.

If we simply fall for sake of falling, we cannot learn. If we simply try and "resist" the technique, we cannot learn as well. We can help the nage learn to execute proper techniques while we can learn from taking ukemi.

Marc Abrams
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Old 03-16-2008, 06:42 PM   #13
Mattias Bengtsson
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Re: Aikido Falls - Acted or Real

I think of good resistance and ukemi as trying to push down a brick wall.

"bad" Ukemi in this case would be if the brick wall was just made of stacked bricks. A slight push would cause the wall to crumble. "Acted falls" would fall in this category, but so is beginners (When ever I'm up against such a Uke, i try to perform the as relaxed and effortlessly using absolute zero strength.)

Better Uke (for me) would be a solid wall, but with a few loose stones.
If i perform the technique wrong, im pushing the wrong bricks and the wall wont budge. But doing it correct means I've found those loose stones, knocking them down and allowing me to pass through the wall by the hole made by the loose bricks and exit at the other side. For me this is a "real fall"

Uke Iacta Est
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Old 03-17-2008, 09:27 AM   #14
ramenboy
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Re: Aikido Falls - Acted or Real

Quote:
Manos Saha wrote: View Post
Are the falls in Aikido acted or real? I mean is the attacker forced to fall by action of the attacked or he falls out of his own will?
let your instructor apply nikkyo to you. then ask yourself if your fall is 'acted or real.'
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Old 03-17-2008, 09:37 AM   #15
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Aikido Falls - Acted or Real

Both. Depends on circumstance.

Best,
Ron

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Old 03-17-2008, 09:58 AM   #16
MM
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Re: Aikido Falls - Acted or Real

It's all fake.

Bet that got some attention.

Seriously, just take a brand new person who has never done aikido before and try irimi nage. Do they fall the same way that 5+ year students fall?

For most of aikido, there is a training paradigm where one learns specific ways to fall and roll. For training purposes, falling and rolling are, in effect, acted. There are various other ways to contort or move the body where you won't get those nice rolls and breakfalls. (Which, of course, means one other option is getting broken. Another option is kaeshi waza. Etc, etc.)

So, the question is really too general to ever cover any of the good info. More to the point is Why do people roll or fall the way they do in aikido? What are the causes? Historically, why do aikido people roll/fall that way? Are they taking advantage of the only "out" available or are they forced into it? Too much power forcing a redirect or just "synergizing" with nage?

As for nikkyo ... bah, unless you've got some internal structure (see other threads) going, nikkyo isn't really that hard to stop.
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Old 03-17-2008, 10:21 AM   #17
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Aikido Falls - Acted or Real

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
As for nikkyo ... bah, unless you've got some internal structure (see other threads) going, nikkyo isn't really that hard to stop.
Or counter:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgGPNFmV5sU

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Old 03-17-2008, 12:10 PM   #18
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Re: Aikido Falls - Acted or Real

Quote:
Manos Saha wrote: View Post
Are the falls in Aikido acted or real? I mean is the attacker forced to fall by action of the attacked or he falls out of his own will?
I think the premise is that ukemi refers to moving because you have to; not necessarily because you're made to...if that makes any sense. "Falling" isn't a bad thing. It's just different and in some cases might simply be the best option. Good ukemi as I understand it means we're maintaining a consistant effort based upon the skills of our partners and ourselves. Sometimes this means letting a person knock you over so they know what it's like to extend completely through the technique; sometimes it means only moving if they've really got control over your center.
One thing that has really been brought to my attention lately is the level of talking that goes on at my dojo. Not everyone likes to be corrected; some I'm sure prefer to go at their own pace, but almost all the experienced students give tons of feedback on what they're perceiving in the movements being practiced. Of course it needs to be balanced with practice itelf so we can move without the prompts, but I think communication helps keep things honest.
We also get a lot of open mat time where we can be more free flowing, which also helps tremendously on keeping ukemi more spontaneous and genuine and less contrived (eg-what happens if they don't let go at the end of a throw?).
As a side note, i think the graduated randori system of Shodokan does a great job of providing this kind of spontaneity.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 03-17-2008 at 12:12 PM.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 03-17-2008, 01:38 PM   #19
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Re: Aikido Falls - Acted or Real

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post

As for nikkyo ... bah, unless you've got some internal structure (see other threads) going, nikkyo isn't really that hard to stop.
aaah, but if you take that same brand new student vs 5+ year student... that's where the original question comes from

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Old 03-17-2008, 02:11 PM   #20
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Aikido Falls - Acted or Real

Heh...one option is to take a district or state level high school wrestler, say 150 pounds or so, and see if the waza have the same affect on him.

Best,
Ron (sometimes yes, often no)

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Old 03-17-2008, 02:45 PM   #21
ramenboy
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Re: Aikido Falls - Acted or Real

ha! touché
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Old 03-17-2008, 03:33 PM   #22
saha
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Re: Aikido Falls - Acted or Real

I dont understand how an "acted" fall can help you learn. If the purpose is to fell an opponent, how will you learn if he falls by himself? Aikido is a martial art, not a dance or partnership.
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Old 03-17-2008, 03:49 PM   #23
ramenboy
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Re: Aikido Falls - Acted or Real

Quote:
Manos Saha wrote: View Post
I dont understand how an "acted" fall can help you learn. If the purpose is to fell an opponent, how will you learn if he falls by himself? Aikido is a martial art, not a dance or partnership.
if your partner didn't know how to fall correctly, you wouldn't have anyone to practice with. if you don't learn how to fall correctly, you wouldn't be practicing long because you'd be injured. ukemi is not 'acted falling' it is learning to protect your body. it is learning to receive the technique with your body so you don't get hurt. 'uke' means 'receive' in japanese.

if your teacher didn't learn to fall correctly, he wouldn' be there to teach you. do you have a teacher yet?
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Old 03-17-2008, 03:55 PM   #24
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Re: Aikido Falls - Acted or Real

Has anyone looked up Manos Saha's previous 8 posts?
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Old 03-17-2008, 04:09 PM   #25
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Re: Aikido Falls - Acted or Real

Quote:
Manos Saha wrote: View Post
I dont understand how an "acted" fall can help you learn. If the purpose is to fell an opponent, how will you learn if he falls by himself? Aikido is a martial art, not a dance or partnership.
You're right, if uke is falling entirely by himself, nage can't learn. That is why uke must apply a sincere effort. How much effort uke applies is based on the ability of both. Someone with no experience throwing whatsoever will usually have a hard time learning how to throw me if I don't adjust the power of my attack...in other words, I let them throw me, but they are still doing the throwing.
And many people would disagree that Aikido doesn't involve a partnership. at its broadest level means to connect with the energy around us purposefully. Whether it's a fist coming at your face or a partner stepping toward you in swing dancing, the question is the same: how shall i move with it so I can maintain my rhythm unbroken?

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