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Old 02-01-2012, 12:56 PM   #1
Mark Freeman
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Following?

'Following' is not a term I see discussed much on the forums and it is a term which I have been used to hearing and using since the day I started aikido. Uke's ability to 'follow' nage's technique for me, is where I have made some of my greatest insights into what and how the technique is supposed to go.

Now, when this is done correctly, and what I mean by correctly is, uke is giving a sincere attack, whilst at the same time 'not' giving away his centre, is completely on balance, and is sensitive enough to be able to feel every move and change of direction that nage makes. So if nage performs the technique correctly, and what I mean by correctly is, they are leading nage's intent/ki and not trying to use muscle to make it work, it will feel effortless.

When any of the principles of aikido are not in place, (using muscular strength, no centre, bad posture, etc), uke 'stops' the technique, because, basically it's virtually impossible to 'throw' a fully co-ordinated body that is on balance/centred. When all is working, it feels like a completely 'collusive' encounter, when it is not, it feels like you are trying to throw a tree.

My own teacher has spent a lifetime espousing non-resistant following, as it trains the sort of sensitivity and strength that he is trying to teach.

I spend a great deal of time focussing on the art of following, as a teacher it gives me the information I need if I can't see the problem a student is having, I can feel where they are going wrong as I have followed the technique to the point of failure, et voila, I can give them the point of resolution.

What terms do you use to describe this practice (if you do)?

regards,

Mark

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Old 02-01-2012, 01:34 PM   #2
kewms
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Re: Following?

I think it's invaluable, but I think it's also where a lot of aikido practice goes off the rails.

It's essential that uke be sensitive enough to feel where nage is and what nage is doing. In the beginning, that manifests as simply learning to "follow."

Where things go wrong is when uke is told to follow, no matter what. Even if nage tenses up and yanks his hand away, even if nage turns his back, even if nage tries to simply shove uke off balance, uke must "follow." No matter how badly nage does the technique, it is uke's responsibility to "follow."

For that reason, I prefer phrases like "take nage's center" or "continue to attack" over "follow." At higher levels, it must be possible for uke to "win" if nage commits a sufficiently large error. Otherwise, nage will never learn where his errors are.

Katherine
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:14 PM   #3
SeiserL
 
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Re: Following?

Yes agreed. Good point.

I follow the attackers lead (line of attack), over extend it, take balance, and they fall down or roll away.

Follow me?

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:11 PM   #4
Janet Rosen
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Re: Following?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Where things go wrong is when uke is told to follow, no matter what. Even if nage tenses up and yanks his hand away, even if nage turns his back, even if nage tries to simply shove uke off balance, uke must "follow." No matter how badly nage does the technique, it is uke's responsibility to "follow."

For that reason, I prefer phrases like "take nage's center" or "continue to attack" over "follow." At higher levels, it must be possible for uke to "win" if nage commits a sufficiently large error. Otherwise, nage will never learn where his errors are.

Katherine
I think there is a third way. I won't say it is preferable to what you are referring to but it IS another option - and where I train, where the norm does not permit uke/nage to switch roles, it is the one I use.
If nage tenses up, turns his back, etc I continue to follow (yes, continuing the attack and as if I am trying for nage's center) - but rather than actually trying to get nage's center, I follow the lead and as long as we can maintain connection, go where rightly or wrongly I'm actually being directed. If nage is contracting and spiraling me in, rather than extending and spiraling me out, this might lead me to a place where my free hand naturally gives a little atemi. If nage wanted my imbalancing to be forward with a fall over here, I won't make the course correction to match her expectation, but will imbalance where it actually is and fall where I'm actually being put - sometimes to nage's consternation.
So I try to be as accurate a mirror as possible of what nage is actually doing.

Janet Rosen
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:16 PM   #5
RonRagusa
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Re: Following?

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
What terms do you use to describe this practice (if you do)?
Hi Mark -

I remember being taught to follow nage's lead while attacking. Not so much to just go where he wanted me to, but because he was supposed to be providing me an opening into which I could move in order to continue my attack. It was always "I'm nage follow me".

I've come to realize that there's more to the lead/follow dynamic between nage and uke. Since I don't attempt to overtly control uke's movement I'm required to both lead him and follow him simultaneously. The term I use for this is congruent motion. A definition of congruent is "the quality or state of agreeing, coinciding" (Merriman-Webster). Congruent motion then can be seen as motion where our points of intersection form tangents rather than crossing points.

Looking forward to your visit this spring.

Best,

Ron

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Old 02-01-2012, 09:18 PM   #6
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Re: Following?

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
'Following' is not a term I see discussed much on the forums and it is a term which I have been used to hearing and using since the day I started aikido. Uke's ability to 'follow' nage's technique for me, is where I have made some of my greatest insights into what and how the technique is supposed to go.

Mark
between your following and David's stopping, i don't whether i should go or stay. you people confused me which isn't at all difficult to begin with. please don't make me stop and asking for direction which way, because that would be unmanly. bad enough that i wore a skirt, i just can't do unmanly aikido!

i thought uke's job supposed to be leading nage?

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:44 PM   #7
Stephen Nichol
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Re: Following?

If I understand Marks original post correctly, (and I would like to think that I do) Mark is saying that he uses 'following' more as a tool to understand what is wrong with Nage's technique and to help them correct it.

The 'following' (done with proper Uke responsibility of being sincere in intent, not over commiting balance however in this case, not taking advantage of the 'flaw' when found.) is a method that can be used to both find where the flaws in Nage's technique exist as well as to show someone who is Uke what the technique 'feels' like when done without error.

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote:
What terms do you use to describe this practice (if you do)?
In our dojo this is basic training. We start like this at the earliest stage, with sincere, centred attacks, resistance holds etc.. and Uke 'stops' themself (as mentioned in another thread) if they feel they are not able to 'follow' as they are not being 'lead'. Once the connection is lost, Nage knows and does not continue on for the sake of continuing on.

Sensei and Sempai's alike will ask that Nage 'try again' and then follow along until they find the point where the connection breaks, the technique fails and then 'co-operate' to correct it and continue to try again until Nage understands and can progress further along in the technique with less and less disconnections.

The only exception I can think of to Uke 'going along' with it even though the connection is lost that I am aware of is when they have a physical condition that prevents them from following 'normally'. So, bad knees in suwariwaza, sore shoulder/elbow etc... so they 'go through the motions' in those cases and those only.

Equally, Nage may adapt the technique as to allow Uke to follow completely. For example, one student in our dojo has a really stiff, damaged shoulder that we are keenly aware of. He also is very keen on training so... for Shihonage on that side, I go slowly, and a little lower on entry then down to my knee on the turn and 'if' I have over compensated for his shoulder in doing this and his centre is not taken (or worse, I gave it back to him) I stop. If I still have his centre, I continue with the 'cut' however very very slowly and finish the technique.

In this, 'following' works for both people as long as they aware of it and give feedback for it.

Last edited by Stephen Nichol : 02-01-2012 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 02-02-2012, 02:00 AM   #8
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Following?

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
'Following' is not a term I see discussed much on the forums and it is a term which I have been used to hearing and using since the day I started aikido.
This sounds very strange in my ears: We use the term "to follow" to describe a - in our eyes - "wrong" way of ukemi.

Quote:
Now, when this is done correctly, and what I mean by correctly is, uke is giving a sincere attack, whilst at the same time 'not' giving away his centre, is completely on balance, and is sensitive enough to be able to feel every move and change of direction that nage makes.
And what in acting this way of ukemi is "following"?

In our nomenclature "following" means that nage moves. And uke decides to stay in contact with this movement: to follow. This understanding implies, that uke doesn't need to follow. He can also decide not to. And being able to make this decision shows, that tori's technique doesn't control uke, doesn't really lead him, but let him decide whether or not he "accepts" tori's technique.
So "following" is only used when practicing wiht beginners who don't have the skill to make their technique work.

So if nage performs the technique correctly, and what I mean by correctly is, they are leading nage's intent/ki and not trying to use muscle to make it work, it will feel effortless.

Quote:
When any of the principles of aikido are not in place, (using muscular strength, no centre, bad posture, etc), uke 'stops' the technique, ...
Well: As David said: uke "stops" himself. Or uke becomes tori and throws. Or shows openings using atemi. Or ...

Quote:
When all is working, it feels like a completely 'collusive' encounter, ...
Yes, it does. But what for is needed what you call "following"? If tori's technique works uke does not need to follow? He can work on his ukem to get more flexible and what Endo calls "responsive" to addept his movement to tori's technique. Or he can stay "strong" and not accept the technique flowing through his body.
But he doesn't have to follow?

Last edited by Carsten Möllering : 02-02-2012 at 02:03 AM.
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Old 02-02-2012, 02:09 AM   #9
kewms
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Re: Following?

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
I think there is a third way. I won't say it is preferable to what you are referring to but it IS another option - and where I train, where the norm does not permit uke/nage to switch roles, it is the one I use.
If nage tenses up, turns his back, etc I continue to follow (yes, continuing the attack and as if I am trying for nage's center) - but rather than actually trying to get nage's center, I follow the lead and as long as we can maintain connection, go where rightly or wrongly I'm actually being directed. If nage is contracting and spiraling me in, rather than extending and spiraling me out, this might lead me to a place where my free hand naturally gives a little atemi. If nage wanted my imbalancing to be forward with a fall over here, I won't make the course correction to match her expectation, but will imbalance where it actually is and fall where I'm actually being put - sometimes to nage's consternation.
So I try to be as accurate a mirror as possible of what nage is actually doing.
Yup, that works, too. I think your approach and mine are really variations on the same theme. At my dojo, the yudansha are more or less expected to reverse each other if the opportunity arises, but if I were practicing with a more junior person or with people I didn't know well I'd do pretty much what you describe. From uke's perspective, the important part is knowing where the gaps in nage's technique are. One might choose -- or not -- to exploit those gaps for all kinds of reasons.

Katherine
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:30 AM   #10
Mark Freeman
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Re: Following?

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
I've come to realize that there's more to the lead/follow dynamic between nage and uke. Since I don't attempt to overtly control uke's movement I'm required to both lead him and follow him simultaneously. The term I use for this is congruent motion. A definition of congruent is "the quality or state of agreeing, coinciding" (Merriman-Webster). Congruent motion then can be seen as motion where our points of intersection form tangents rather than crossing points.
Hi Ron,

The simultaneous lead/follow is the desired state, as you say. We use the practice of sensitive following to help achieve it. There is always more going on than it initially seems, when discussing a particular point about training.

I know that in some other aikido practice, the grip is quite 'hard', for me this reduces the amount of flexibility in ukes movement and therefore their ability to follow effectively. 'Soft' following helps newer students get the shape of the waza, withought having to battle with overt resistance. There is of course a danger that this type of 'collusion' could be seen as being somehow martially effective, which of course it isn't. There has to be so much more in place for that to be the case. What it does do in my own experience, is give uke an advantage, in that, I can follow on balance, with no tension, and take nage's balance the moment they step outside of the principles.

I look forward to having some good practice with you, when I get over your way.

regards,

Mark

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Old 02-02-2012, 07:46 AM   #11
graham christian
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Re: Following?

Hi Mark.
Interesting point. Especially as your teacher sees it as something important.

Three principles we use come to mind here for me. Be with, keep with, stay with. Thus as a person get's better at these he thus stays more and more connected in all ways and thus feels and becomes sensitive to more and more of what's going on.

I bet that your view applies to when you stand and observe two others where one is getting stuck too. Then really you are doing the same thing no? Then if you need more reality you say, o'k, let me feel it and do as you describe.That's my understanding of what you are saying. I've never called it following but looking at it I could say yes, that is following.

Regards.G.
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:46 AM   #12
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Following?

Aikido... does the practice result in applicable skills or does it result in an increasingly rarefied activity? Aikido ukemi is unique. No other martial art looks like Aikido. I've played around in various martial arts for over forty years, in not one, would an attacker, EVER, run around his partner in a circle. Attacker's in any martial art I know of, if they don't like what seems to be happening to them, they will attempt to break connection, escape and regroup to attack again. Only in Aikido do we tell people to stay connected regardless of whether it makes sense to do so.

Now I don't actually have an issue with this... Aikido is unique. I love the movement. I think the whole point of the practice is the study of connection. But within the essential Aikido paradigm there is a rationale. If an uke grabs you, there is a rationale behind why he doesn't simply let go in order to not move. If a technique is correct, the uke letting go results in his being open to being struck. If the paradigm is operating correctly, at any point during the technique, there has to be some flow of energy through whatever the contact point is from the nage to the uke.

But what has happened in too much Aikido practice is the uke being taught to "hold on" and "follow" simply because their teachers told them to. If it becomes the uke's job to keep the connection, than pretty much anything nage does works. Just go up on YouTube... take a look at the ukemi for many of the top levels teachers. Often you see a number of things... You will see uke's who have only one side of their body activated, for instance a shomen uchi with the front hand while the back hand simply dangles at the side of the uke. Did you ever see another martial art in which anyone lets his body disorganize like that?

You will see ukes that attack with a strike, and when Nage moves out of the way of that strike, the uke's balance breaks of its own accord... the uke disorganizing his own structure just because his strike missed. In any other martial art, the attacker would maintain his balance and his center and when his first strike missed, there would be an immediate second strike.

You will see technique in which the nage is moving around the uke for some portion of the technique and the uke is actually sitting there waiting for nage to complete the throw. I can pretty much guarantee that, in any other martial art, if there is an instant in a technique when the technique goes neutral and what nage is doing is not directly affecting uke, he will either escape or reverse the technique. No one ever sits there waiting for you to do your technique.

The whole concept of what "leading" ones partner means gets lost when, the first time the uke lets go during a technique, he or she gets told to "hold on" and not let go. Then the nage proceeds to essential drag his partner through the technique, which works because the uke is told it his job to keep the connection. It is actually the nage's job to maintain the connection. It should be difficult or even impossible for uke to break connection. Now that represents VERY high level technique, no question. When you are down on the ground and you can't figure out why you didn't just let go, you are dealing with a very skilled partner. But understanding how "sticking" works in high level skills won't happen if the partner is told that disconnecting when it makes sense to do so, is wrong. When we tell our partners to hold on hard, then use that over commitment of strength to allow us to muscle our technique, we are missing what is important about how to connect. It should not be hard to maintain a grip during a technique. When the uke has to work hard to maintain the grip, the technique isn't what it should be. And anyone from any other martial art simply wouldn't maintain a grip like that if it was made difficult to do so... we have to train our people to do that as beginners.

Basically, in much of Aikido, people are taught an ukemi that is designed to make the teacher's technique work. Yes, there are reasons that the uke wants to maintain an "alive" connection to the nage throughout any given technique. The reason for that is Kaeshiwaza. If there is an instant of disconnection, an instant of collapse of nage's energy field, the least loss of extension, the technique is instantly reversed. This kind of continuous connection is the basis for good martial practice.

What is happening in much Aikido, in my opinion, is that the art gets increasingly rarefied... It's like the difference between applied physics and theoretical physics. The folks in the Physics labs can create conditions in which elements exist that, as far as we know, don't occur anywhere in nature that we know of. Very special conditions are required to create these elements. The folks in Applied Physics take the principles of Physics and apply them to real world projects. The principles that they work with cannot be so rarefied that they only apply in a lab or require a multibillion dollar super collider to duplicate. They have to work with principles that can be applied in every day conditions...

Much of Aikido has gotten to the point at which interactions happen that one simply cannot reproduce outside of the dojo and the rarefied conditions created by training ones partners to respond to our technique rather than having technique that actually creates that response in the partner.

If you train your partner to move as expected, you have no idea whether you know how to do something or not. In high level technique, there is little difference in feel between technique that works and technique that is working because the uke is tanking. The level of effortlessness is much the same. In order to know whether what you are doing is really working, you have to trust that your partner isn't just falling down for you. I frequently do a technique wrong just to check on my partners. If they break their balance or fall for me when I do it wrong, I give them a hard time. If they let go during a technique, if I can't show them why they were "open" when they did so, then it was My mistake, not theirs. I will actually do classes in which I ask the ukes to let go and break connection any place during the technique they wish. If the nage isn't still in a position of advantage or is open to reversal or striking when the uke lets go, the technique was wrong. This lets the ukes understand WHY they do what they do, it isn't just because they were told to. And it lets the nage understand exactly what really needs to be happening in their movement and with the connection and that if they lose that connection or positioning the technique is lost.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:38 PM   #13
lbb
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Re: Following?

We're taught that the purpose of ukemi and following is to protect yourself, and to try to keep your options open as long as you can in case nage's technique breaks down and you have an opening. No?
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:37 PM   #14
graham christian
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Re: Following?

One word, different definitions.

Follow:a) To keep the eyes or attention on.

Follow:b) To keep the mind on, keep up with and understand.

Do you follow me? Ha, ha. Zanshin!

Regards.G.
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:34 PM   #15
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Following?

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
We're taught that the purpose of ukemi and following is to protect yourself, and to try to keep your options open as long as you can in case nage's technique breaks down and you have an opening. No?
To my mind that is the starting point for sure. Since the prupose of Aikido practice, to my mind, is the study of Connection, the uke wants to stay connected. But the purpose of that is to continue the attack while simultaneaously protetying himself or herself. Breakin ones structure for no reason is bad martial arts and it is also a form of breaking connection. It is also dangerous for the uke because the body doesn't have the ability to absorb much shock when it is not acting as an integrated whole.

There is a lot of more sophisticated stuff going on too... All the same principles which the nage is striving to manifest in his or her technique should be in the ukemi. Uke and nage should not be doing somethig different and very often in Aikido they are. Too often the nage is striving to manifest an understanding of some very sophisticated and complex principles with a partner who acts like a martial arts idiot. Personally, I can't see how that would ever work. There's no way one partner can get to a high level with another partner who is incompetent.

But bottom line is basically what Mary has said. The reason we encourage our ukes not to break connection is that you can't learn to do a technqiue when the uke is breaking the connection. Later on, when the nage gets to a certaihigh level of skill, it is a lot less optional for uke to maintain that connection. He can try to escape or not go but it shouldn't matter at that point.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:06 PM   #16
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Following?

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
'Following' is not a term I see discussed much on the forums and it is a term which I have been used to hearing and using since the day I started aikido. Uke's ability to 'follow' nage's technique for me, is where I have made some of my greatest insights into what and how the technique is supposed to go.

Now, when this is done correctly, and what I mean by correctly is, uke is giving a sincere attack, whilst at the same time 'not' giving away his centre, is completely on balance, and is sensitive enough to be able to feel every move and change of direction that nage makes. So if nage performs the technique correctly, and what I mean by correctly is, they are leading nage's intent/ki and not trying to use muscle to make it work, it will feel effortless.

When any of the principles of aikido are not in place, (using muscular strength, no centre, bad posture, etc), uke 'stops' the technique, because, basically it's virtually impossible to 'throw' a fully co-ordinated body that is on balance/centred. When all is working, it feels like a completely 'collusive' encounter, when it is not, it feels like you are trying to throw a tree.

My own teacher has spent a lifetime espousing non-resistant following, as it trains the sort of sensitivity and strength that he is trying to teach.

I spend a great deal of time focussing on the art of following, as a teacher it gives me the information I need if I can't see the problem a student is having, I can feel where they are going wrong as I have followed the technique to the point of failure, et voila, I can give them the point of resolution.

What terms do you use to describe this practice (if you do)?

regards,

Mark
This sounds like what I think of as "tracking." Once they're both in motion, uke shouldn't be able to track nage, ideally, and if they can, but are not, it's an example of collusion. Does that sound right?

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 02-03-2012, 05:23 AM   #17
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Re: Following?

Hi Folks,
My pennys worth. If uke simply follows tori without tori having made uke move this to me is a waste of time.Somebody making big circles /orbiting around tori without their centre being taken might just as well be ballroom dancing [no disrespect to dancers by the way ].Tori must apply kuzushi and ensure that ukes posture is broken. If ukes posture is not disturbed uke will 1. be still balnced.2. if uke does go down , ukee is colluding with Tori.
You will not see any judoka in shiai falling over .Only time there is total collusion in judo is doing kata [nage no kata in particular ] .Tori /uke work as a unit , each responding to the other.
Cheers, Joe.
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:00 AM   #18
Mark Freeman
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Re: Following?

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
This sounds like what I think of as "tracking." Once they're both in motion, uke shouldn't be able to track nage, ideally, and if they can, but are not, it's an example of collusion. Does that sound right?
Hi Matthew,

I'm not sure if I can understand what you are trying to get across.

The type of following I am describing, looks and feels like collusion until nage makes the slightest mistake, which then becomes apparent by a 'clash' with the uke, providing uke is following in the way I describe in the OP. This is completely different from colluding with nage and just going with the technique and being thrown whether the technique is performed correctly or not.

This has to be seen as a sliding scale, if I followed a beginner like this, they would never complete the technique successfully. If I work with a beginner, I will almost do the technique for them so they learn the outer form. The higher the grade the more intensity of the following.

I make it my focus to track everything that nage does, but my primary focus is on myself staying centred, fluid, flexible, sensitive and solid. I'm here to help myself and my partner improve.

I know this type of practice is not common in all styles of aikido, as I have come across those from other styles, who do not practice in this way. What does become apparent is that, they are not used to dealing with this fluid/solid paradigm.

regards,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:53 AM   #19
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
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Re: Following?

I would say, taking the explanation given, that it is one of the most fundamental principles in Aikido from beginning to end. As Mark says, it's a 'sliding scale' or to me a rising scale of ability with regards to that one thing.

I fail to see how you could do good Kaeshi Waza for example without it.

In life this same principle applies in so many things, listening being one. Some are good at it some are not. Some need more practice.

There is seeing and there is looking, there is copying and there is duplicating, there is hearing and there is listening, there is collusion and there is being with. In each case one is following as described and one is not.

There is Ki out and there is Ki in.

2cents.

G.
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Old 02-16-2012, 06:52 AM   #20
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Re: Following?

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
The type of following I am describing, looks and feels like collusion until nage makes the slightest mistake, which then becomes apparent by a 'clash' with the uke, providing uke is following in the way I describe in the OP. This is completely different from colluding with nage and just going with the technique and being thrown whether the technique is performed correctly or not.

This has to be seen as a sliding scale, if I followed a beginner like this, they would never complete the technique successfully. If I work with a beginner, I will almost do the technique for them so they learn the outer form. The higher the grade the more intensity of the following.

I make it my focus to track everything that nage does, but my primary focus is on myself staying centred, fluid, flexible, sensitive and solid. I'm here to help myself and my partner improve.

I know this type of practice is not common in all styles of aikido, as I have come across those from other styles, who do not practice in this way. What does become apparent is that, they are not used to dealing with this fluid/solid paradigm.
Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Another thing I found with Mark was a principle he had said on the forum that he followed and his teacher emphasised which was the principle of 'following'

He certainly did that when using non resistance in such a way that it makes you feel you can do anything to him yet if you are one iota away from 'perfect' you soon find out you can't and bump into what can only be described as a wall of center. Excellent. He sure has learned well from his teacher.
Like so many things in martial arts and particularly aikido IHTBF

Thanks Graham for the validation.

regards,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:30 AM   #21
mathewjgano
 
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Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
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Re: Following?

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
Hi Matthew,

I'm not sure if I can understand what you are trying to get across.

The type of following I am describing, looks and feels like collusion until nage makes the slightest mistake, which then becomes apparent by a 'clash' with the uke, providing uke is following in the way I describe in the OP. This is completely different from colluding with nage and just going with the technique and being thrown whether the technique is performed correctly or not.

This has to be seen as a sliding scale, if I followed a beginner like this, they would never complete the technique successfully. If I work with a beginner, I will almost do the technique for them so they learn the outer form. The higher the grade the more intensity of the following.

I make it my focus to track everything that nage does, but my primary focus is on myself staying centred, fluid, flexible, sensitive and solid. I'm here to help myself and my partner improve.

I know this type of practice is not common in all styles of aikido, as I have come across those from other styles, who do not practice in this way. What does become apparent is that, they are not used to dealing with this fluid/solid paradigm.

regards,

Mark
Hi Mark,
I just saw this. Thank you for the reply! It sounds similar, at any rate. What I was trying to describe relates to nage having the initiative and uke always following that. The moment nage makes a mistake, uke "tracks" back into him or her (and either collides in some way or makes kaeshi). The sense I have is that as uke I'm searching for nage's center, but nage keeps me either off-balance or otherwise out of sync so I don't ever get a solid location to attack. So I'm always trying to track everything going on, but sometimes (often, in my case) I don't get the sense that I have a "solid" track on nage/tori.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:52 AM   #22
mathewjgano
 
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Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
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Re: Following?

...So I get the sense I've done something similar to what you described as "following," and think it plays at least a part in our training, based in what I remember (training these days feels too new for me to be sure). Often I would be practicing something and sense it when I lost part of my control; uke could have taken it over, but just by being present it made it obvious enough for me to adjust and close the opening. Then on the next go-'round I would try not to create the opening at all...which often created new openings as I focused too much on the old one.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:49 AM   #23
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Re: Following?

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
between your following and David's stopping, i don't whether i should go or stay. you people confused me which isn't at all difficult to begin with. please don't make me stop and asking for direction which way, because that would be unmanly. bad enough that i wore a skirt, i just can't do unmanly aikido!

i thought uke's job supposed to be leading nage?
Hi Phi,
Have you got the cart[uke ] before the horse [Tori] here? Uke attacks, Tori neutralise s the oncoming attack , and Tori using Irimi or Tenkan and appropriate waza , leads Uke to his /her doom.Uke [unless he /she has dna linked to lemmings]should not give up their own posture/centre ,Its up to Tori to ensure that Uke is suitably unbalanced . I can understand at times how you can get mixed up reading so many different viewpoints.When in doubt , lie down, have a doughnut.Somehow things become clearer [for me at least]after this home remedy.Cheers, Joe.
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