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Old 03-14-2010, 11:30 AM   #1
Thomas Osborn
Dojo: Aikido of Northampton
Location: Holyoke, MA
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 108
Learning My Own Lessons

3/14/10 NOTE: Something I initially saw as a drawback to only having people for a max of 12 hours, I am realizing is actually an excellent learning opportunity for me; I always have "uncooperative" ukes. Because Todd Sensei almost always teaches good ukemi [how to properly and safely respond to a technique], most of the people at my home dojo know how to move defensively, if not cooperatively. Resistance is usually "instructive", i.e. an attempt to show you where you might not be doing a technique properly. Unfortunately, this cooperative ukemi, can also lead to weak or sloppy technique.

Many of the vets are fairly strong, sometimes rigid, and have no idea how to "take technique". Most are not deliberately uncooperative, although there is always one or two who constantly attempt to lock me up, or out muscle me. This has two consequences for me;
I have to do my technique safely, being sensitive to the energy, tensions and possible physical issues of my partner.
I have to do my technique right, no short cuts, half hearted or sloppy moves, staying focused on my own movement while being sensitive to my partner.

While it is damn hard, it is making a difference in how I work in the dojo. If I remember my own five points of technique, a technique works, even with the muscle men. In fact, when I sense that strength and I relax, their strength flows into the technique, and back into them.

Damn! All this stuff I've been spouting actually works!

(Original blog post may be found here.)
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