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Old 04-08-2002, 11:19 AM   #26
Steve
Dojo: Salina Aikido Club
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Re: uncooperative, overbearing....

Quote:
Originally posted by thomson
Last night I had the distinct displeasure of working with an uke that was hell bent on (I believe) proving that aikido doesn't work or MY aikido doesn't work. SNIP ... His reasoning was that if done correctly it wouldn't matter how strong or weak I was I would be able to finish the technique.
Not true. Force is necessary to move anything, even if it's just a cottonball. And you must apply force to stop or redirection uke's motion. Let's not forget that the simple act of standing requires force. Would tenkan with uke hanging onto your arm require less? One reason we practice is to find the MINIMAL force needed when combined with proper technique.
Quote:

Part of the rest of the problem is nobody else want to work with this guy, so because I'm newer to the dojo, a lot of times I'm still looking for a partner after everyone has run from him.
Why should you train with him? Are you an adult? Are you paying money to learn aikido? This guy is your sensei's problem, not yours. You could try this: Next time simply stand next to a pair of people who are practicing and wait patiently. When your sensei asks what you're doing, tell him, "I won't practice with So-and-So." If he asks why, tell him.

Steve Hoffman
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That's going to leave a mark.
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Old 04-08-2002, 04:37 PM   #27
Chris Li
 
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Re: Re: uncooperative, overbearing....

Quote:
Originally posted by Steve
Why should you train with him? Are you an adult? Are you paying money to learn aikido? This guy is your sensei's problem, not yours. You could try this: Next time simply stand next to a pair of people who are practicing and wait patiently. When your sensei asks what you're doing, tell him, "I won't practice with So-and-So." If he asks why, tell him.
I've seen people do that kind of thing before, with the effect of dividing and almost destroying the dojo. IMO, the people that make you the most uncomfortable are the people that you should be training with the most.

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-08-2002, 05:04 PM   #28
guest1234
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I would instead say the one in danger of disrupting the dojo is the one who's attitude makes everyone avoid him. He obviously isn't correcting his behavior, and others should not have to train with him if he is misbehaving.

I would not make a scene during class, however. Just don't sit near him, and make sure you get a different partner before he can choose you. He should get the hint if everyone avoids him. If not, since your speaking to your sempai didn't get any results, you could discuss it with your sensei--- but off the mat would be my suggestion. He will decide what, if anything, he will do about the situation. Most senseis, however, should have noticed by now that one student is being actively avoided by the rest, and I would think has asked a senior to do something about it (as in, have a talk with Mr. Muscles).

Training with all sorts of partners is important, but this one refused to work with his partner in the way requested, and then belittled his partner. What he needs is a larger, stronger senior to imobilize him a few times (or better still, a SMALLER partner to imobilize him a few times) to give him a feel of what kind of partner he is being.

Personally, I dislike training with someone who is so negative, tolerate such behavior a max of 8 times, and if they still refuse to help me with what I ask of them, then I shut them down the next time they try to do the technique. Since I am usually half their size, it solves the problem as they either straighten up, or they avoid me the rest of the night. It takes very little to prevent your partner doing the technique shown, just a refusal to give an attack with the right energy for the called for technique.No one learns anything when all you do is shut each other down.
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Old 04-08-2002, 05:54 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by ca
I would instead say the one in danger of disrupting the dojo is the one who's attitude makes everyone avoid him. He obviously isn't correcting his behavior, and others should not have to train with him if he is misbehaving.
Whether it's his fault or mine, the end result (disruption of the dojo) is the same.

Quote:
I would not make a scene during class, however. Just don't sit near him, and make sure you get a different partner before he can choose you. He should get the hint if everyone avoids him. If not, since your speaking to your sempai didn't get any results, you could discuss it with your sensei--- but off the mat would be my suggestion. He will decide what, if anything, he will do about the situation. Most senseis, however, should have noticed by now that one student is being actively avoided by the rest, and I would think has asked a senior to do something about it (as in, have a talk with Mr. Muscles).

Training with all sorts of partners is important, but this one refused to work with his partner in the way requested, and then belittled his partner. What he needs is a larger, stronger senior to imobilize him a few times (or better still, a SMALLER partner to imobilize him a few times) to give him a feel of what kind of partner he is being.
Turn around is fair play? I'd like to think that there's a way to break that cycle, but maybe I'm too optomistic...

There was a study comparing pre-school education methods in the US and Japan. In the US, when two children got in a fight, the basic approach was for the teacher to seperate them, talk to them and, in general, get the situation settled. In Japan the basic approach was to leave them alone. The Japanese explanation was something along the lines of "How will they ever learn to deal with each other if the teacher is always interfering?". Now, I've seen both methods work and both methods not work, so I suppose YMMV.

For an example of how M. Ueshiba dealt with difficult students check out Ellis Amdur's section on Arikawa and Terry Dobson in "Dealing with O-Sensei" (hint, he followed the Japanese approach ).

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-09-2002, 12:28 AM   #30
gi_grrl
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While we're on the subject...has anyone experienced the uke who blocks the technique, but not consciously. In this case, I'm thinking of a person who seems to not like taking ukemi. I'm sure she doesn't mean to deliberately block a technique, but she unconsciously moves to avoid locks and throws and is able to do so because she knows what is coming. The only way to practice the technique is to blend near-perfectly or do it quickly enough that she hasn't time to block (which feels very nasty when you know someone is a bit sensitive to pain and unlikely to ukemi in a timely manner).

Please - don't get me wrong! I like training with the lady, I benefit since it makes me learn to do the techniques correctly. But it can be so frustrating when you're trying to learn something new and need a little bit of extra time

How do you explain to someone that they're unconsciously blocking a technique? I don't like the tit-for-tat method, I've tried it and it just means that instead of one person feeling frustrated, both of us do

Fi.
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Old 04-09-2002, 12:28 AM   #31
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Quote:
but alternative technique is not really a solution. as through the ukes un co operative nature you are forced into bad ettiquette, by not practicing the technique which was demonstrated by the instructor.

One of the understood rules in our dojo is to blend with what is given. If uke is giving the wrong attack for the technique shown and you blend with it and do a different technique sensei seems to feel that you
were working on what was shown...blending, you just did it in a different way. I've also found that these types of uke are the first to jump up and say "that's the wrong technique!" To which I reply "not for that attack."

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 04-09-2002, 01:49 AM   #32
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Fiona,

Depends on if she's senior to you or not. If not a senior, I'd ask if she was feeling stiff today because something hurts, or the ukemi looks unfamiliar. Hopefully a positive answer in there somewhere, then reassure that we'll go slow and don't worry, I won't throw you hard/fast/etc ... if she's quite junior, perhaps a hint or two on how to accomplish the fall safely.

If she's senior, it is a lot more tricky. Still the same opening line, with more emphasis on the stiffness rather than the ukemi (yeah, it's the ukemi, but a senior is definately not going to like admitting it)... trot out that old standby "I'm working on XYZ and it would help if you could kind of flow with me here, I'll be going fairly slowly and won't really be throwing you hard, just want to get the rhythm down, etc"

I've had the best success with scared stiff ukes by going painfully slowly, being really soft and gentle, and making sure I keep good, smooth constant contact (no sudden moves or jerks).

What I do not do is let uke skip the ukemi. I tell beginners how they can let go, get low, take a roll on their own, but that they will fall... otherwise you end up with more advanced students who can't take ukemi, which to me is a real contradiction in terms.
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Old 04-09-2002, 04:48 AM   #33
George S. Ledyard
 
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The Uncooperative Partner

Regarding the incident in question... There are several issues here that need to be covered separatly. First, the issue described is one between two sixth kyus. At that level neither one of them knows enough to be resisting each other. Uke doesn't have the ukemi required to protect himself if nage pulls off a technique that he is resisting. Nage doesn't know enough technique to make the adjustments necessary to do technique against an uncooperative partner. It is innapropriate for the seniors / Sensei to allow this at this level of training. Neither one of them is training correctly if this is what is taking place. Uke at this level needs to be focusing on how to take the ukemi. His desire to take good ukemi facilitates the development of the understanding of how a technique should be done.

Now let's make the assumption that these fellows aren't sixth kyus any longer but more like shodans... The idea that being resistent is somehow more honest is incorrect. It is essentially martially unsound. One should never resist a technique since that simply creates a suki or opening. The partner will simply change the technique or apply the appropriate atemi. If one is striving for reality in training from a martial standpoint one should never resist a technique but rather reverse it. I have had partners sitting there congratulating themselves on being able to stop my technique who were completely open to a head butt or knee to the groin.

There was a reason that O-Sensei used the high level students as ukes. They knew how to attack appropriately to the techniques he was attempting to demonstrate. The idea that your technique should be strong enough to work regardless of the manner in which the attacker delivers his attack is silly. If that were true there would not be any aiki. One would simply force his technique using his strength. Actually, it doesn't matter how good you are (Shihan included) if the other fellow knows what the technique is, he can make the energy of his attack inappropriate for that defense. In other words, I could do a yokomen uchi that NO ONE could do a shihonage on.

This happens all the time in training. The Sensei demonstrates a technique and then your partner attacks in a way in which that techique would clearly not work. But since you are trying to do what the Sensei did, you keep straining to make the uke fit the technique.

At a certain point in your training it's not so easy to do this to you any more. You have enough techniques in the repertoire to shift appropriately when the energy of the uke shifts. And you aren't so concerned with doing exectly what the Sensei just did. That's fine for YOUR training but the fact still remains that the uke is not training correctly. He isn't learning anything (aside from the fact that if he contracts his arm strongly enough to stop your shihonage he gets an elbow in the head that he can't block).

An exception to this is training with a peer when you have a mutual understanding that giving each other a hard time is for your mutual benefit. It's a kind of Aiki weight lifting. Your partner supplies resistance so that you can get stronger and then you do the same for him. This is never done from the standpoint of showing up your partner but rather from the desire that both of you get stronger in your technique. You agree to resist in order to show your partner the weaknesses in his technique and he agrees not to do the myriad atemi that present themselves when you resist. It is important that neither one of these people think that this resistance is anything more than a training aid between consenting partners.

If the uke trains this way all of the time he is not learning proper ukemi. He might get to the point at which he can take any fall you dish out after he begins resisting but that isn't real ukemi. In a real martial a situation you are striving to not be thrown, not survive the throws when they occur. Real ukemi training is simply the preparation for kaeshiwaza. You learn to move so completely in concert with the technique that there becomes no separation between you and the nage. Once your ukemi gets to the point at which you can stay connected with your partner through the fastest and most complex techniques, then in a situation requiring martial application, you can sense any small openings in the technique of the opponent and apply a reversal.

Kaeshiwaza is Aikido at its most martial. It is the way in which a person perceives the suki in the partner's techique and takes full advantage of it. While this is the real deal as far as martial practice goes you can't have a class in which everybody is is hellbent on making the technique the Sensei has just demonstrated impossible for his partner. Each pair would be executing some technique or other and no one would be practicing the actual technique the Sensei wished to teach. This would be chaotic and dangerous.

So there is a reason that we structure our training the way we do. Part of the structure is taking the ukemi in such a way that it challenges the partner but doesn't defeat the technique being practiced (unless the partner simply blows the execution). This is taken to the point at which it is happening at full speed and power. At this point (higher level yudansha) it is appropriate, even necessary, to start reversing the partner if he doesn't have the technique. This trains the proper perception and responses. But this isn't meant to be emulated by the whole class. It is somethin that the seniors engage in when they train with each other but is not meant to be emulated by the whole class.

Finally, ukemi is never about showing up your partner. That kind of ego is dangerous. Years ago I had a nemsis in the dojo who for my first year never let me do a techique on him. He always let me know that if he fell down it was because he was being nice, not because I had actually thrown him. Well at one point he had to have an operation and was gone for three or four months. I kept training steadily and when he returned to the dojo he thought to reestablish the same relationship we had had before. ButI had been training and was somewwhat better at that point and he was weaker due to his operation. We were training
and I went to do a shohonage, he resisted as usual, but this time I realized that I had it! Not pretty or artistic but I had it. And I ripped his elbow out and put him back off the mat. Now this guy was a very skilled yudansha and I was still a white belt. He could have taken the ukemi at any point and been fine. But he needed to show me he was superior and that was his downfall. He hurt himself, I didn't do it.

That's why the type of resistance the partner decribed above was doing is not to be encouraged. He might be able to stop you now. But he isn't doing anything to prepare for the day when your technique has gotten better and stronger. And on that day he will get creamed.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 04-09-2002 at 04:54 AM.

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Old 04-09-2002, 07:41 AM   #34
thomson
 
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Thumbs down Thanks George!

Quote:
An exception to this is training with a peer when you have a mutual understanding that giving each other a hard time is for your mutual benefit. It's a kind of Aiki weight lifting. Your partner supplies resistance so that you can get stronger and then you do the same for him.
Thanks George! This is exactly how I feel about resisting a technique, however, I couldn't word it properly in my original post, and I was too angry at the time. Thanks for wording it for me!

My uncooperative "buddy" is still up to his same old tricks, the only difference now (I'm reiterating my last post) is MY attitude, I refuse to allow HIS ego affect my training. I am not training in aikido for the someone else. I am training for my own betterment, and I am now thankful I've met this guy now, rather than later. Just the attitude adjustment it has forced me to make within myself has been worth it. Don't get me wrong I still will avoid training with him if possible for the reasons I've already outlined and another I just realized last class: he won't ukemi when a technique is applied. For example, sankyo, he will not tap when it hurts and I have no desire to be the one to inflict a fracture or worse a spiral francture on someone that refuses to protect himself, so I back off, and accept the ungracious ribbing about my strength, manhood, whatever. I've accepted the fact that this guy probably won't change, and its not my job to try and change him (that's his girlfriend's problem), so I try to blend. He is helping me in my aikido, just not in the physical (technique?) part.

Later!
Mike

To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself. - Sun Tzu
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Old 05-14-2004, 10:10 AM   #35
John Boswell
 
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Re: uncooperative, overbearing....

Quote:
I've accepted the fact that this guy probably won't change, and its not my job to try and change him (that's his girlfriend's problem)...
HA! I know this is an old thread, but this comment was funny!

I had an alcoholic brother-in-law who found a cartoon in the New Yorker mag one day. In the picture was a girl with her vampire boyfriend standing on the front porch of her parents house with the parents in the doorway looking shocked. The caption read: "I know... but I can CHANGE him!" My alcoholic bro-in-law laughed and laughed, showed this to my sister and said :"See? That's YOU!"

He died years later due to complications from his addiction.

Anyhow, moral of the story: You can't change anybody. No one can. You can try to influnce someone, but you'll never change them. They have to do the changing themselves. In other words, Mr. Thomson's attitude change on his own was the best move.

Mike! You still out there? How's aikido still going for ya??

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Old 05-14-2004, 07:00 PM   #36
Lan Powers
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Re: uncooperative, overbearing....

*You agree to resist in order to show your partner the weaknesses in his technique and he agrees not to do the myriad atemi that present themselves when you resist. It is important that neither one of these people think that this resistance is anything more than a training aid between consenting partners.*

Probably the pithiest statement of the realities of resistance training I have ever read...Thanks!
Lan

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Old 05-15-2004, 01:31 AM   #37
otto
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Re: uncooperative, overbearing....

Quote:
Mike Thomson wrote:
I could not get my hands in front of me for anything.
Maybe you could thrust your body backwards?......

"Perfection is a Process"
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Old 05-16-2004, 05:31 AM   #38
Mark Uttech
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Re: uncooperative, overbearing....

[b]trapped by a strong uke is a great place.
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Old 05-16-2004, 10:31 AM   #39
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Re: uncooperative, overbearing....

IMHO, there are many levels here, each with their own lesson.

Interpersonally, talk with your Uke an explain what you are trying to do and learn, helps them understand that they are there to help you learn not frustrate your learning. Also, learn to handle some one who offers too much resistance, even though it does initially interfere with learning. Learn to bow and politely not work with people who will not cooperate in a learning situation.

As a Sempai, I have talked with my Kohai and intervened myself by making that Uke my training partner. Often if things are explained by Kohai they are taken much better. Also, as Sempai It is my responsibility to help make the Dojo a safe place where people can learn. Others did it for me.

Talk to Sensei. The instructor needs to know what is going on in their school. They may have suggestions for you as well as direct or indirect general reminders of the role of a good uke as training partner.

My compliments on not letting some one else inter fer with your training.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 05-16-2004, 05:01 PM   #40
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Re: uncooperative, overbearing....

This reminds me of an post I made here way back when I was getting ready for my 5th kyu test about 4 1/2 years ago. I posted about a troublesome uke and that he was getting angry with me. Now, I have continuously been training since then and am at 2nd kyu, and just the other night got to train with him again (as he hasn't been around for a long time and was coming back after a long hiatus). This time the experience training with him was more of a positive interchange than challenging my technique. What I learned was that in the past I didn't really understand what he was trying to do and that he didn't have to ability to help me which caused frustration on both our parts. This time we were more on an equal playing field and the interchange was positive because we understood how the techniques worked. So instead of just getting mad at each other, he was able to explain to a woman weighing 60 pounds less than him how to do AikiOtoshi to him and I was able to tell him that he was only picking me up and not using my center. It was a much more pleasant experience and we both learned as a result.

Last edited by giriasis : 05-16-2004 at 05:05 PM. Reason: clarity

Anne Marie Giri
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Old 05-16-2004, 05:30 PM   #41
Mark Jakabcsin
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Re: uncooperative, overbearing....

Great post (4/9) George. I haven't followed this thread but luckily found your post. Good stuff. Take care.

mark j
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Old 05-17-2004, 03:40 AM   #42
erikmenzel
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Thumbs down Re: The Uncooperative Partner

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
One should never resist a technique since that simply creates a suki or opening.
Hear hear.

Erik Jurrien Menzel
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Old 05-17-2004, 04:00 AM   #43
PeterR
 
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Re: The Uncooperative Partner

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
One should never resist a technique since that simply creates a suki or opening.
to which

Quote:
Erik Jurrien Knoops wrote:
Hear hear.
to which I reply Shriek

Now perhaps we are thinking about resistance is fundamentally different ways and perhaps I'm taking things out of context but looking at the paragraph he also states
Quote:
he idea that being resistant is somehow more honest is incorrect. It is essentially martially unsound.
and I will put it to you that it is entirely possible to resist a technique and maintain martial integrity. Kaeshiwaza is resistance. Resistance can be hard or soft. It it .....

Shriek

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Old 05-17-2004, 06:29 AM   #44
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Re: uncooperative, overbearing....

Calmed down a bit. Shrieks have given way to mutterings.

With resepect to resistance - there is a time and place for it and degrees of.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-17-2004, 07:07 AM   #45
Mark Jakabcsin
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Re: uncooperative, overbearing....

Peter,
I guess we just read George's post differently. You wrote: "Kaeshiwaza is resistance. Resistance can be hard or soft. It it ....."

George specifically addresses Kaeshiwaza as a positive for students at the approprate level of skill. When I read George's post I felt that when George used the word resistance he meant someone who got stiff & ridged or someone who, knowing the intended technique before hand, foils it simply for their own ego boost.

Folks that look for realism in kata style training where both parties know the exact initial attack and the follow-up are sorely mistaken. I don't believe kata style training was ever intended to be realistic. I believe it was intended as a method to work on detail for a set technique. Uke should supply realistic resistance to advanced students. This doesn't mean uke's goal is to foil tori's technique but to 1) complete his initial attack 2) defend himself when #1 becomes untenable. Randori is for realism.......although I believe a sporting environment generally detracts from the realism. Personally for realism I prefer scenario training.

mark j.
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Old 05-17-2004, 05:57 PM   #46
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Re: uncooperative, overbearing....

In a situation such as you describe you should talk to your sensei. This situation should not have been. Resistance is good but under the right circumstance. Later resistance can be applied without worry but reisistance should only be added once the basics are achieved and both parties agree to it.

Lyle Laizure
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Old 05-17-2004, 06:55 PM   #47
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Re: uncooperative, overbearing....

In time you'll welcome his stiff-bodied resistance: it makes him easier to lock once you've progressed a bit further.
The spaghetti-limp grabs are the ones that get me.
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Old 05-17-2004, 08:07 PM   #48
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Re: uncooperative, overbearing....

Mark;

I read George's post, nodded and moved on. Then I saw Erik's which definately caused me to focus on a select few parts of George's original post.

It is the role of the senior student in a pairing to define the appropriate level of resistance. In kata it usually is enough that tori has something to work with, can understand the mechanics, and most importantly understand where he is going wrong. Too little resistance is unsatsfying, too much is frustrating and ultimately unproductive. Usually uke is reasonably close so no problem but sometimes he is wrong either because of inexperience, a bad guess or (and I think this is what the post is all about) because they are an ass.

Now being a bit of an ass has its place too - we call it randori. However, in this case nage has a whole range of options and since the distinction between tori and uke disappears both can play the same game.

My point is simple - resistance even in kata training has its place.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-17-2004, 08:23 PM   #49
Largo
Dojo: Aikikai Dobunkan/ Icho Ryu Aikijujutsu
Location: Indiana
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Re: uncooperative, overbearing....

I'm surprised by the comments that this uke seems to be making. How old is he?

As far as doing your own techniques go, I would say to go ahead and do them. Ukemi is for the uke's self protection. If he doesn't want to tap, than that's his problem. (note, this doesn't mean snap his wrist. Slowly, carefully, and with a lot of control, put in the lock until he taps. [this is also good training for his wrists, so you aren't doing anything bad or immoral ])
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Old 05-17-2004, 08:34 PM   #50
Mark Jakabcsin
Dojo: Charlotte Systema, Charlotte, NC
Location: Carolina
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Re: uncooperative, overbearing....

Peter I totally agree with your post. I would wag (wild ass guess) that George does as well.

I think the following paragraph of yours is one of the best and most succinct I have read on the topic, hence it is worth posting a second time.

Peter wrote: "It is the role of the senior student in a pairing to define the appropriate level of resistance. In kata it usually is enough that tori has something to work with, can understand the mechanics, and most importantly understand where he is going wrong. Too little resistance is unsatsfying, too much is frustrating and ultimately unproductive. Usually uke is reasonably close so no problem but sometimes he is wrong either because of inexperience, a bad guess or (and I think this is what the post is all about) because they are an ass."

Take care,

mark j.
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