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Old 03-10-2011, 03:05 AM   #1
senshincenter
 
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Beautiful Uke

I hate the beautiful uke. They are ruining the art.

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
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Old 03-10-2011, 03:56 AM   #2
grondahl
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Re: Beautiful Uke

How come?
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Old 03-10-2011, 03:57 AM   #3
Mark Freeman
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Re: Beautiful Uke

Quote:
David Valadez wrote: View Post
I hate the beautiful uke. They are ruining the art.
Hi David,

you are not normally a man of so few words.

In what way are the beautiful uke ruining the art?

And are the ugly ones helping in some way?

regards,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:27 AM   #4
Alex Megann
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Re: Beautiful Uke

Quote:
David Valadez wrote: View Post
I hate the beautiful uke. They are ruining the art.
You mean this kind of thing?

I have the highest regard for Takeda Sensei, but I understand that in his school (Aikido Kenkyukai) ukes are encouraged to be extremely responsive, for better or for worse. In this clip, at least, I see lots of beautiful flying through the air, but a shortage of actual attacks that you would have to get out of the way of...

Alex
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:48 AM   #5
sakumeikan
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Re: Beautiful Uke

Quote:
Alex Megann wrote: View Post
You mean this kind of thing?

I have the highest regard for Takeda Sensei, but I understand that in his school (Aikido Kenkyukai) ukes are encouraged to be extremely responsive, for better or for worse. In this clip, at least, I see lots of beautiful flying through the air, but a shortage of actual attacks that you would have to get out of the way of...

Alex
Alex,
If these are genuine attacks I am a Dutchman.This sort of thing gives aikido a bad name.No wonder the other M.A. fraternity think we are all delusional doing this sort of attack.If I had to do this type of attack?? to my own TechnicalDirector, what do you think would be the response?I would be chastised and rightly so.
Cheers, Joe.
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:54 AM   #6
itaborai83
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Re: Beautiful Uke

Quote:
Alex Megann wrote: View Post
You mean this kind of thing?

I have the highest regard for Takeda Sensei, but I understand that in his school (Aikido Kenkyukai) ukes are encouraged to be extremely responsive, for better or for worse. In this clip, at least, I see lots of beautiful flying through the air, but a shortage of actual attacks that you would have to get out of the way of...

Alex
I fail to see the beauty in mockery

regards,
Daniel
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:11 AM   #7
Gorgeous George
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Re: Beautiful Uke

Quote:
Alex Megann wrote: View Post
You mean this kind of thing?

I have the highest regard for Takeda Sensei, but I understand that in his school (Aikido Kenkyukai) ukes are encouraged to be extremely responsive, for better or for worse. In this clip, at least, I see lots of beautiful flying through the air, but a shortage of actual attacks that you would have to get out of the way of...

Alex
There's plenty of flying about, but I wouldn't characterise it as beautiful...

Perhaps the guy means like Chrisitan Tissier's ukes - that's what comes to my mind when I hear 'Beautiful Uke(mi)':

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3Nma...eature=related

...I hasten to add that I love Christian Tissier's style.
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:14 AM   #8
Alex Megann
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Re: Beautiful Uke

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Alex,
If these are genuine attacks I am a Dutchman.This sort of thing gives aikido a bad name.No wonder the other M.A. fraternity think we are all delusional doing this sort of attack.If I had to do this type of attack?? to my own TechnicalDirector, what do you think would be the response?I would be chastised and rightly so.
Cheers, Joe.
I can't imagine what Chiba Sensei would make of this - possibly a smack in the mouth, or maybe just laughter!

Very different training methods, to say the least...

Alex
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:21 AM   #9
Alex Megann
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Re: Beautiful Uke

Quote:
Daniel Itaboraí wrote: View Post
I fail to see the beauty in mockery

regards,
Daniel
Certainly no mockery intended.

My opinion is that Takeda Sensei is one of the most skillful aikidoka around, and I can imagine that receiving ukemi from him would constitute a very intense training regime in itself. I certainly had experience of the aikido of his teacher, Seigo Yamaguchi Sensei (Christian Tissier's teacher too, as it happens!), whose passing I very much regret, and he put great demands on the responsiveness of his ukes.

All the same, my own feeling is that one can "educate" ukes into a certain way of practising that starts to become very different from how "normal" people would respond to techniques, and to me that is a dangerous road to travel.

Alex

Last edited by Alex Megann : 03-10-2011 at 07:25 AM.
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:03 AM   #10
Shadowfax
 
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Re: Beautiful Uke

Quote:
Alex Megann wrote: View Post

All the same, my own feeling is that one can "educate" ukes into a certain way of practising that starts to become very different from how "normal" people would respond to techniques, and to me that is a dangerous road to travel.
Correct me if I am mistaken here... but if we took ukemi like "normal" people I would think we would soon run out of people to train with.
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:05 AM   #11
Mark Freeman
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Re: Beautiful Uke

Quote:
Alex Megann wrote: View Post

All the same, my own feeling is that one can "educate" ukes into a certain way of practising that starts to become very different from how "normal" people would respond to techniques, and to me that is a dangerous road to travel.
Hi Alex,

Dangerous for whom?

Of course uke is educated to respond differently to 'normal' people, isn't that one of the reasons to practice, so that you are no longer considered 'normal'.

For me, being uke is about offering nage a spirited attack that needs to be dealt with. This can be done at snails pace with a brand new beginner of at full speed with full intent with a weapon. The act of ukemi is to follow through the attack and fully receive nages response. All focus being on maintaining co-ordination throughout. This should result in an escape and a mind to attack again.

What do normal people do, I'm genuinely interested? If you are talking about resisting technique rather than 'following'. Then the normal person is limited in their response, also they can't use resistance against someone who is 'non-resistant'

I can't see the you tube links offered above (at work, yt blocked). For me some of the worst ukemi I see on the net, are ukes who give a good 'strong' grab, who have their balance taken easily (hopping on one leg etc) and are easily dealt with. They have too much tension in the system to stay fully co-ordinated.

The hardest (and paradoxically the easiest) uke to throw is one who keeps his centre in his hands, does not resist nage's technique, but rather follows it through to its logical conclusion, remaining fully co-ordinated and balanced all the time. The result is either a nice clean throw, beacuse the technique was correct, or as is often the case, the technique stops because nage has tried to throw/lock/manhandle uke while not following the principles of aikido.

I forget what the world of normal is like sometimes

regards

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:13 AM   #12
Shadowfax
 
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Re: Beautiful Uke

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
Hi Alex,

The hardest (and paradoxically the easiest) uke to throw is one who keeps his centre in his hands, does not resist nage's technique, but rather follows it through to its logical conclusion, remaining fully co-ordinated and balanced all the time. The result is either a nice clean throw, beacuse the technique was correct, or as is often the case, the technique stops because nage has tried to throw/lock/manhandle uke while not following the principles of aikido.

Mark
or results in a full reversal if uke is really on top of things.
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:15 AM   #13
Mark Freeman
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Re: Beautiful Uke

Quote:
Cherie Cornmesser wrote: View Post
or results in a full reversal if uke is really on top of things.
Oh yes, thanks Cherie, I forgot to mention that, one of my favourite things!

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Old 03-10-2011, 08:35 AM   #14
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Re: Beautiful Uke

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
Oh yes, thanks Cherie, I forgot to mention that, one of my favourite things!
I'm still not nearly good enough to pull it off. But sensei showed me one night just how beautifully that will go off if uke allows the technique to be fully spent while still maintaining their center and control. It was like someone just showed me the most amazing gem and said someday I might even get to own it. Love those moments in my training when I get a glimpse of the possibilities.
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:48 AM   #15
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Beautiful Uke

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Alex,
If these are genuine attacks I am a Dutchman.This sort of thing gives aikido a bad name.No wonder the other M.A. fraternity think we are all delusional doing this sort of attack.If I had to do this type of attack?? to my own TechnicalDirector, what do you think would be the response?I would be chastised and rightly so.
Cheers, Joe.
According to most of the attacks I see in aikido, not only would you be a Dutchman Joe, but Italian, Spanish, Greek, German, and dare we say it "English"?....
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:49 AM   #16
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Beautiful Uke

Quote:
Cherie Cornmesser wrote: View Post
Correct me if I am mistaken here... but if we took ukemi like "normal" people I would think we would soon run out of people to train with.
Define normal....?
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:51 AM   #17
Mark Freeman
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Re: Beautiful Uke

Quote:
Cherie Cornmesser wrote: View Post
I'm still not nearly good enough to pull it off. But sensei showed me one night just how beautifully that will go off if uke allows the technique to be fully spent while still maintaining their center and control. It was like someone just showed me the most amazing gem and said someday I might even get to own it. Love those moments in my training when I get a glimpse of the possibilities.
It was one of those 'gems' that first hooked me too. I can now do what was once only a possibility. My teacher still keeps producing the odd gem to keep me wanting more

Keep going, keep focussed, stay relaxed and one day you will own your own treasure

regards

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:00 AM   #18
grondahl
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Re: Beautiful Uke

For all we know, David can be refering to those who take ukemi to Chiba or maybe Isoyama sensei.

To my eye it seems that "Chiba-stylists" also take a very distinct kind of ukemi.
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:23 AM   #19
Ketsan
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Re: Beautiful Uke

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
Hi Alex,

Dangerous for whom?

Of course uke is educated to respond differently to 'normal' people, isn't that one of the reasons to practice, so that you are no longer considered 'normal'.

For me, being uke is about offering nage a spirited attack that needs to be dealt with. This can be done at snails pace with a brand new beginner of at full speed with full intent with a weapon. The act of ukemi is to follow through the attack and fully receive nages response. All focus being on maintaining co-ordination throughout. This should result in an escape and a mind to attack again.

What do normal people do, I'm genuinely interested? If you are talking about resisting technique rather than 'following'. Then the normal person is limited in their response, also they can't use resistance against someone who is 'non-resistant'

I can't see the you tube links offered above (at work, yt blocked). For me some of the worst ukemi I see on the net, are ukes who give a good 'strong' grab, who have their balance taken easily (hopping on one leg etc) and are easily dealt with. They have too much tension in the system to stay fully co-ordinated.

The hardest (and paradoxically the easiest) uke to throw is one who keeps his centre in his hands, does not resist nage's technique, but rather follows it through to its logical conclusion, remaining fully co-ordinated and balanced all the time. The result is either a nice clean throw, beacuse the technique was correct, or as is often the case, the technique stops because nage has tried to throw/lock/manhandle uke while not following the principles of aikido.

I forget what the world of normal is like sometimes

regards

Mark
I don't know if anyone else has experienced this but when I train in dojo with "highly responsive" ukemi uke ends up in a heap on the mat. My dojo doesn't do the "highly responsive" thing and our Aikido is about using a relaxed body more than taisabaki and when we train with "responsive" people they get hurt.
As I see it they're not actually responsive; they actually make the technique for tori so when someone actually does a technique on them it's a totally new experience and you are literally throwing a total beginner who might be nidan or sandan.

That's if you can throw them. Many of them will make the attack and then start running immediately and all you can do is move to keep up with them, then for no reason to do with you their legs suddenly fly up from under them and they fall over. I've lost patience with people and "thrown" them with one finger pressed lightly on the nape of their neck and been congratulated for it. Anything will work with a responsive uke, you can take your hand out of your centre and throw them with a flick of your wrist.

The same goes for techniques: I tend to find that the guys that do train in a "responsive" way can't actually move anyone who chooses not to respond. By this I don't mean go tense or resist I mean someone who just stands there relaxed. Also I tend to think that if I'm moving around in such a way that I can choose to counter I may as well not move in the first place or I may as well counter them. In not doing so I'm hiding an important fact from them; my posture isn't broken and neither is my balance.
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:27 AM   #20
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Beautiful Uke

Quote:
Peter Gröndahl wrote: View Post
For all we know, David can be refering to those who take ukemi to Chiba or maybe Isoyama sensei.

To my eye it seems that "Chiba-stylists" also take a very distinct kind of ukemi.
Yes it looks real....
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:55 AM   #21
Mark Freeman
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Re: Beautiful Uke

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
I don't know if anyone else has experienced this but when I train in dojo with "highly responsive" ukemi uke ends up in a heap on the mat. My dojo doesn't do the "highly responsive" thing and our Aikido is about using a relaxed body more than taisabaki and when we train with "responsive" people they get hurt.
As I see it they're not actually responsive; they actually make the technique for tori so when someone actually does a technique on them it's a totally new experience and you are literally throwing a total beginner who might be nidan or sandan.

That's if you can throw them. Many of them will make the attack and then start running immediately and all you can do is move to keep up with them, then for no reason to do with you their legs suddenly fly up from under them and they fall over. I've lost patience with people and "thrown" them with one finger pressed lightly on the nape of their neck and been congratulated for it. Anything will work with a responsive uke, you can take your hand out of your centre and throw them with a flick of your wrist.

The same goes for techniques: I tend to find that the guys that do train in a "responsive" way can't actually move anyone who chooses not to respond. By this I don't mean go tense or resist I mean someone who just stands there relaxed. Also I tend to think that if I'm moving around in such a way that I can choose to counter I may as well not move in the first place or I may as well counter them. In not doing so I'm hiding an important fact from them; my posture isn't broken and neither is my balance.
Hi Alex,

I guess I am not sure about your definition of 'highly responsive' it sounds like you are describing 'overly responsive' especially if they are throwing themselves without any imput from you. I know personally I want to feel that I have had at least something to do with their fall/roll

And about them getting hurt, what is it they or you do for that to happen, just curious. Are they unable to ukemi correctly to escape the technique or is the technique being 'over' applied?

I must get out more and experience some of this

I have had students who have come to me from different styles and they haven't been taught to 'follow' the technique in the way that we have. They are pretty immobile, and difficult for the lower grade students to cope with. However, once you know what you are doing they are easily dealt with too.

My guess is that we train in different ways to try and reach a similar end goal.

regards

Mark

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Old 03-10-2011, 10:16 AM   #22
grondahl
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Re: Beautiful Uke

Nope. It looks like stylized ukemi.

Quote:
Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe wrote: View Post
Yes it looks real....
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Old 03-10-2011, 10:37 AM   #23
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Beautiful Uke

Quote:
Peter Gröndahl wrote: View Post
Nope. It looks like stylized ukemi.
Of course most of the time..... Lest we forget ukemi is escape from the waza so as to prevent injury, not the other way around, that's the problem..... My ukemi is to escape being injured also as a kaeshi waza toooooooooo!!!!!!

The nearest you will get to normal or real is in judo, MMA, etc etc

Anything else is a form of gymnastics which is very nice..... but c'mon get real!!

Last edited by Tony Wagstaffe : 03-10-2011 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 03-10-2011, 10:39 AM   #24
Alex Megann
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Re: Beautiful Uke

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
Hi Alex,

Dangerous for whom?

Of course uke is educated to respond differently to 'normal' people, isn't that one of the reasons to practice, so that you are no longer considered 'normal'.

For me, being uke is about offering nage a spirited attack that needs to be dealt with. This can be done at snails pace with a brand new beginner of at full speed with full intent with a weapon. The act of ukemi is to follow through the attack and fully receive nages response. All focus being on maintaining co-ordination throughout. This should result in an escape and a mind to attack again.

What do normal people do, I'm genuinely interested? If you are talking about resisting technique rather than 'following'. Then the normal person is limited in their response, also they can't use resistance against someone who is 'non-resistant'

I can't see the you tube links offered above (at work, yt blocked). For me some of the worst ukemi I see on the net, are ukes who give a good 'strong' grab, who have their balance taken easily (hopping on one leg etc) and are easily dealt with. They have too much tension in the system to stay fully co-ordinated.

The hardest (and paradoxically the easiest) uke to throw is one who keeps his centre in his hands, does not resist nage's technique, but rather follows it through to its logical conclusion, remaining fully co-ordinated and balanced all the time. The result is either a nice clean throw, beacuse the technique was correct, or as is often the case, the technique stops because nage has tried to throw/lock/manhandle uke while not following the principles of aikido.

I forget what the world of normal is like sometimes

regards

Mark
Mark,

When I am teaching, my favourite ukes for demonstration are of course the senior grades in the dojo, who don't need to be coached in how to take ukemi: they understand how the aikido techniques work, they know that atemi is always a possibility, and they can look after themselves when things start to speed up. They are also capable of spotting holes in my technique (hopefully not while I am demonstrating!) and pulling the odd kaeshiwaza out of the bag.

At the same time, I very much appreciate practising with other other members of the dojo, especially the ones who have experience in other martial arts - they may not react as smoothly as an aikido yudansha, but they do "keep it real".

As for "normal" - I am thinking perhaps of a more typical cross-section of the demographic than the springy and athletic young men in the Takeda clip. As you say, though, once someone has lasted more than a month or so in an aikido dojo, they are already starting to drift away from what most people would consider "normal"...

Alex
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:02 AM   #25
senshincenter
 
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Re: Beautiful Uke

Forgive, but I have to read the thread later. Here, though, is some more stuff I've been thinking about:

Check out these videos and see how many times, if any, the uke fall the same way...? It seems to me that they fall differently every time. It might seem like a small detail, but I see it as a big pointer. It points to the forms being alive.

Granted, ukemi is a trained response, and much is learned about the art through uke's role, and undoubtedly kihon waza can be considered a paired form, but my opinion is that it should still be a living thing, and as such, it should be subject to the infinite variety that is the hallmark of life.

What we see instead, more and more, is a paired collusion, one were a silent deal is made, wherein nage agrees to employ architectures that allow uke to do their beautiful ukemi over and over again (the same way!), as uke agrees to allow nage to do their loose and open architectures over and over again. The result is so cosmetic, so sterile, so artificial.

All spontaneity is gone for the sake of having open hakama fly through the air. In an art where Takemusu Aiki is held up as an ideal, and in a practice where spontaneous training and/or live training environments is used less and less today, it would seem that this collusion in the name of beauty is the last nail in the coffin for Aikido.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxHIR...&tracker=False

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7Cfp...&tracker=False

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-dYF...&tracker=False

David M. Valadez
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