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Old 07-17-2002, 10:11 AM   #1
Carl Simard
Location: Quebec City
Join Date: Jan 2002
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Angry When someone try to block you

At the class, last evening, I have trained with a guy that was constantly trying to block me. He wasn't a total beginner, 5th kyu or so… Since I wasn't doing the technique at normal speed, with almost no force, trying to check different technical details, I explain to him that it was quite easy to block and that it wasn't, as he suggested, because my technique wasn't good. I tell him that at more normal speed and strength, he will not be able to block. It was like talking to a wall and he continued to block, telling that my technique wasn't good enough. At some point, I simply lose patience and done the technique at normal speed and efficient strength, even if I knew that it will be quite painful for him if he tried to block. He tried to block, and yes, it was painful. But then, he simply began complaining that I have done the technique with too much force and it was very painful!!! I answered him that if he wants to block someone, at some point he must be ready to assume the consequences… Don't know if he get the message since it was time to change partner…

Have you ever been in that kind of situation and was I right to apply the technique in the way I did, knowing that it will be painful ? I talked my sensei about that, but he didn't tell much. Only that other techniques or tricks could have been applied as well. I'm not sure if I should take that as an approval or not…

What do you think ?
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Old 07-17-2002, 11:22 AM   #2
chadsieger
Dojo: Minh Sensei
Location: Allentown, PA
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Talking

At my dojo, speed has nothing to do with the success of a technique. In fact, attempting the technique as slowly as possible is a great way to learn the proper mechanics/feel. If you can do it slowly effectivly, then you can do it fast when necessary.

The uke's role is to maintain the static as best as they can, however once they feel the move working, they are to relax and continue the connection to the end of the move.

If you are performing the technique with that particular uke check a couple of things.

1. Sometimes uke's efforts to maintain nice tension get overzealous and they prepare tension that "follows" the move (i.e. they know where it is going so they anticipate).

If this is the case, you should feel that separate technique would be called for (i.e. they may be blocking shiho, but kotagaishi is eaiser than usual.) In this case the uke is not practicing correctly.

2.Your's uke was right and you are just muscleing through your moves. In this case, try absorbing the attack a little bit more. This will bring uke off balance and make your technique as easy as pie. It is kind of like cheating, but drawing the attack off his/her comfortability zone is one of the most powerful devices in Aikido.

Good Luck

Sieger
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Old 07-17-2002, 11:23 AM   #3
rachmass
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
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It is frustrating to be in this situation! As annoying as it can be, I always have to ask myself what I am doing wrong, or how can I move my body so as not to get stuck like that. It is usually something like having an angle not quite right, or being off-center (for me).

Sometimes uke doesn't know how to move properly either, or doesn't understand that by stopping the technique (at 5th kyu) that he/she is not opening themself up to learning which is done both through being nage as well as uke.

I don't have any really good suggestions on how to respond, but my first reaction would be to not train with that person for a couple of days until I had cooled down and assessed the situation (was it something I was doing? etc.) and then try to practice again with an open mind. Easier said than done sometimes. Maybe you could just talk with him and ask him what was going on?

Hope this helps even a smidge....
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Old 07-17-2002, 12:10 PM   #4
Erik
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Quote:
Carl Simard wrote:
Have you ever been in that kind of situation and was I right to apply the technique in the way I did, knowing that it will be painful ? I talked my sensei about that, but he didn't tell much. Only that other techniques or tricks could have been applied as well. I'm not sure if I should take that as an approval or not…

What do you think?
I work with a lot of beginners these days. For some reason they'd taken to doing shomen strikes by raising the arm to the outside of their body and bringing it back down on center line. So the finish is right on center line where it's supposed to be but it mucks with the angle of the strike creating something more like a yokomen strike because it's coming at a slight angle. It was very subtle and I was catching myself having to shift the dynamic of my response.

I was taught that shomen uchi ikkyo is done by catching the strike at the beginning on the way up. With the arm to the side I had no chance to do this. Telling them to strike differently didn't work either. So, I simply started entering just like I normally would and when the arm wasn't there I bopped them on the nose just hard enough to get their attention. It worked and besides that's a good classic response to a yokomen strike.

Sure there are other options and other ways to do the technique but I liked that one.

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Old 07-17-2002, 12:41 PM   #5
Young-In Park
Location: Santa Ana, CA
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Re: When someone try to block you

Quote:
Carl Simard wrote:
Have you ever been in that kind of situation and was I right to apply the technique in the way I did, knowing that it will be painful ? I talked my sensei about that, but he didn't tell much. Only that other techniques or tricks could have been applied as well. I'm not sure if I should take that as an approval or not…

What do you think ?
If an uke tries to block or resist your technique, do another technique instead of forcing the technique demonstrated by the teacher. Stanley Milgram would be proud of the majority of aikidoka who blindly follow their teacher...

But then again, you'd have to deal with another complaint. Ukes always complain, saying, "That wasn't the right technique."

For reasons beyond my comprehension, some people have forgotten that aikido is a martial art.

YoungIn Park
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Old 07-17-2002, 01:31 PM   #6
shihonage
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Re: Re: When someone try to block you

Quote:
Young-In Park wrote:
If an uke tries to block or resist your technique, do another technique instead of forcing the technique demonstrated by the teacher. Stanley Milgram would be proud of the majority of aikidoka who blindly follow their teacher...

But then again, you'd have to deal with another complaint. Ukes always complain, saying, "That wasn't the right technique."
Sometimes the uke knows more than you and is trying to make a point, i.e. you're not doing it correctly and they're showing you your weak point.

Other times they stop you for the sake of stopping you.

The hard part is being able to tell the difference...
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Old 07-17-2002, 02:13 PM   #7
Carl Simard
Location: Quebec City
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Quote:
Chad Sieger (chadsieger) wrote:
1. Sometimes uke's efforts to maintain nice tension get overzealous and they prepare tension that "follows" the move (i.e. they know where it is going so they anticipate).

If this is the case, you should feel that separate technique would be called for (i.e. they may be blocking shiho, but kotagaishi is eaiser than usual.) In this case the uke is not practicing correctly.
It's exactly what was happening. Since I was doing the technique slowly, he had plenty of time to make moves or regain his balance, things that he would not have time to do if the technique was done at normal speed, without pauses to check if feet position are right, am I centered, etc… If I do a small pause without applying too much pressure on the lock to let him take the fall without risk, he was instead taking that chance to reposition itself to resist or escape the lock… This is why I have done the technique at normal speed the last time, to show him that he would not have time to do the block. And if he don't want to take the fall properly, trying to resist the lock instead, well, it's his choice… It wasn't forcing the technique, just doing it normally, without letting the other any time to regain balance or try something...
Quote:
Young-In Park wrote:
But then again, you'd have to deal with another complaint. Ukes always complain, saying, "That wasn't the right technique."
That's exactly the kind of answer that made me lose patience. When I tried to show him that he put himself in a situation where I can give him a very nasty atemi on the nose: "Yes, but that's not in the technique. If you do it right, you don't need the atemi."
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Old 07-17-2002, 07:12 PM   #8
jk
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Carl, unless uke was injured or maimed, uke has very little reason to complain. Where is it said that aikido has to be a comfortable, relaxing practice at all times? Hell, even ballet is not without a bit of pain.

At least that's the way I see it...

Regards,
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Old 07-17-2002, 08:23 PM   #9
jaemin
Dojo: Korea Aikikai Honbu Dojo
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Re: Re: When someone try to block you

We can notice the intend of uke easily, can't you?

Some ukes are trying to help us learning proper techniques. However, some other ukes are just trying to tell, "Oh, boy I'm better than you." In that case, I simply ignore such rude guys.

Of course, many newbies are very annoying, but it's just because that he/she is a newbie. Then I simply said, 'Take it easy'

Jaemin

ps. YoungIn Park seemed a Korean aikidoka like me.
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Old 07-17-2002, 08:34 PM   #10
PeterR
 
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Re: Re: When someone try to block you

Quote:
Young-In Park wrote:
For reasons beyond my comprehension, some people have forgotten that aikido is a martial art.
There is a time and place for randori and a another time and place for kata.

Still you have a point - if uke is being really bloody minded put him down. However, if all he is doing is giving you something to work for - switching to another technique is the easy way out.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-17-2002, 08:41 PM   #11
aikidoc
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Perhaps this is an issue which you should take up with your instructor. It's easy for someone to stop a technique when they know exactly how you are going to move-especially when 1st learning the move. However, mutual practice is not about stopping the other person and correcting them unless you are the instructor. Too many teachers on the mat leads to injury. Ukemi means to receive the technique. If your uke is stopping everything he/she is not feeling the energy of the technique and is not learning how to properly receive the technique. Generally speaking, if someone stops you and your are moving properly with hip power your can continue to execute the technique. Atemi is also effective. Another alternative is to as suggested, do something else. The best thing to do though is take up the issue with your instructor.
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Old 07-18-2002, 09:34 AM   #12
SeiserL
 
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Yes, finding a compatible partner in any aspect of the journey is very important.

Until again,

Lynn

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 07-18-2002, 10:13 AM   #13
Jason Tonks
Dojo: Bracknell Ellis School of Traditonal Aikido
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The reality is there is always someone who will try and block your technique or be deliberately awkward. I always like to gauge the intent here. As has been stated above it is easy enough to block a technique if you know what is coming. We can all be awkward and stand there smiling as nage struggles. When someone is learning a technique they need to have someone who will let them put the technique on, otherwise they will become frustrated and angry. Once they have got the basic movement and application then Uke can be a little more awkward so Nage is always building up the strength of his technique. To do so straight away is pointless. Uke and nage should be building each others power and spirit up. The intent should be of this each others development. If I resist or am awkward up to the point of the technique being applied, it is because I want to help Nage strengthen his technique not just be an awkward smartass. I have met these types and and make no bones about putting the technique or another one straight on them. You'll always find there the first ones to start crying "that's not what its about." I know some people will disagree but I'm Old School and sometimes the fact is it's a challenge and you've no choice. It's best if it can be avoided, but some people respect no other way.
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Old 07-18-2002, 10:33 AM   #14
Edward
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Well, last month I was doing my 3rd Kyu examination. I was paired with a policeman. Usually we try to look at our best during grading exams and we do not resist techniques. We started with Hanmi Handachi Shiho Nage and I had to start first. I could not move him, and was obviously taken by surprise because I was not expecting any resistance. After 2-3 failed attempts, I felt very embarrassed in front of 70 students and twice as many spectators. So I did the technique with all my power and it must have been quite painful for him. He resisted the next one even more, and I used even more power. It continued this way untill the last technique (Suwari Kokyu Ho)when he lost his nerves and started a Judo wrestling match with me. The result: we both failed the exam for bad manners.
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Old 07-18-2002, 11:13 AM   #15
cguzik
Location: Tulsa, OK
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What is good ukemi?

An article by George Ledyard Sensei that addresses this issue was posted here not too long ago.

http://www.aikiweb.com/training/ledyard1.html

A couple things that come to mind for me:

- Every teacher I have ever worked with has said, if the technique you are supposed to be practicing doesn't go, do something else -- don't stop.

- Any technique is stoppable if uke knows what nage is going to do. So, you may occassionally have to do something different to keep uke on his/her toes.

- Sometimes, an atemi can help point out to uke that in trying to stop your technique, they are creating an opening they might not want to create.

Best,

Chris
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Old 07-18-2002, 11:40 AM   #16
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
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I remember that I used to get REALLY annoyed by ukes who were not 'behaving properly.' I also remember that there have been nages who have gotten REALLY annoyed at me. Nowadays, it can still happen that I get pretty annoyed, but things have changed a little bit. I think I've gotten a lot of mileage out of the idea that the uke is always doing ukemi to the best of his/her knowledge and ability. Ultimately, if it is not what I want, I have three options. The first (the option of humility) is to explain that I'm having trouble and ask for particular kind of ukemi. The second (the option of generosity) is to try to teach the other student in hopes of showing them a path to greater knowledge or ability. The third (the option of aiki?) is to simply work with whatever I've gotten to the best of my ability.

The third option is 'best' in some ways because it always 'works.' I simply do the best nage I know how and uke does the best uke they know how and, by definition almost, we are doing aikido. My technique may not work at all, but ultimately there is nothing wrong with that. It will always be an opportunity to notice what I still have to learn.

This is not to say that I do not opt for options 1 and 2 sometimes. There is much to say for and against them, but there is no reason to cross them off the list.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 07-18-2002, 12:00 PM   #17
paw
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Quote:
There is a time and place for randori and a another time and place for kata.
Peter is correct.

Personally, I wish more instructors would make this clear during class. Perhaps if more instructors indicated when it was time for randori and leave kata as the default training method that would lessen the number of times we all have to deal with a "bad uke".

Regards,

Paul
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Old 07-18-2002, 01:59 PM   #18
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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"The result: we both failed the exam for bad manners."

Good (not for you this time of course). But at least this way, no one will pull that kind of crap during an exam again. everyone will be quite aware of what the result will be.

Ron (nothing like a clear example) Tisdale

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 07-18-2002, 02:11 PM   #19
Young-In Park
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Quote:
Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
There is a time and place for randori and a another time and place for kata.

Still you have a point - if uke is being really bloody minded put him down. However, if all he is doing is giving you something to work for - switching to another technique is the easy way out.
"something to work for"? the term "work" implies too much effort. being a lazy korean american (the worst of both worlds in the eyes of japanese people), i prefer "the easy way out." maybe my tiny little brain has tightly wrapped itself around the concept of the path of least resistance.

working smarter, not harder?

youngin park
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Old 07-18-2002, 10:16 PM   #20
Abasan
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"The result: we both failed the exam for bad manners."

At least it proves you have a sensei that takes his gradings seriously. Btw, where were you? Sugano Sensei has come and left.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 07-19-2002, 02:36 AM   #21
Edward
Location: Bangkok
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Quote:
ahmad abas (Abasan) wrote:
Btw, where were you? Sugano Sensei has come and left.
Sorry but I couldn't go because my Sensei asked me to accompany him to Taiwan Aikido Association 35th anniversary, which almost coincided with Sugano Sensei's seminar. We had Keiko with Moriteru Doshu and then an Embu where I was Uke for my Sensei who slammed me so hard on the mats that I don't remember much of the demonstration

I hope I'll make it next time!
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Old 07-19-2002, 06:13 AM   #22
Genex
 
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this ones simple our sensei says if you dont block it or move out of the way (get off the line) your gonna get hit,anybody want that? no? then move!

simple

like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick. - The hitchhikers guide to the galaxy on the Pan-galactic Gargleblaster!
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Old 07-23-2002, 08:36 AM   #23
Bruce Baker
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Back to the subject ...

As we return to the subject of resistant uke's and when is enough, enough ... yeah, I have hurt uke's who are not merely resisting for the sake of training but for prooving your technique does not work. I try to be more gentle in releasing my technique so nothing more than a sore muscle is felt these days.

Let me bring up the art of taking balance, creating distraction.

One of our traveling friends, Butch Chernofski, a traveling companion of Y. Yamada Sensei of NYC, consented to teach class while visiting LBI on holiday. He is not a big man, about 5 feet 8 inchs about 150 pounds but at times when proving a point his weight feels more like my 250 plus pounds.

Now, it isn't that the fact that he is heavy, but redirecting my energy to make it less effective. It is an old and sometimes difficult thing to learn, but part of taking the balance/ distractions learned with practice.

Amazingly enough, relaxing the body and arms while sending the power out your fingers beyond the balance of your uke is the key. What is really cool, but most difficult to get a grasp upon, is that it absolutely feels like nothing at all.

Once balance is taken, pain is inflicted, the body follows. If your uke is twisting and wriggling out of your practice technique, I guess it is time to inflict as little pain as possible to reawaken them to the fact that this practice of Aikido is indeed a Martial Art ... not just a squaredance.

Of course, if you don't have that expertise let someone with more experience awaken that person, but then it would also mean you need to work upon your own technique for practice also.

The biggest problem I have is usually people who have been in Aikido for a couple of years, who have made a decision that they are more skilled than their new partner, me. That is fine if they are, better practice for me, but usually it leads to them being hurt because I am being gentle as not to torque them out because they are wriggling, or trying to change the technique. OH, WELL!

Anyway. I want to advise you to use extension and push through the technique without using strength to the point you have taken the strength of your uke or redirected it.

It may seem like a rehash of an old simple foundation, but then that is also the magic of finding new things in Aikido.

As for resistent uke's ... try your best not to cause injury. Bring you instructor over to correct whatever is giving you trouble, I am sure the instructor will cause enough pain to reallign the offending student, or at least correct your practice to make resistant uke's more compliant.
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Old 07-23-2002, 08:44 AM   #24
SeiserL
 
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Re: Back to the subject ...

Quote:
Bruce Baker wrote:
Let me bring up the art of taking balance, creating distraction.
Haft go with Bruce on this one. A great way to overcome resistance is distraction and unbalancing. It is hard to put the mind in two places. Help them shift their priorities to not getting hit (atemi as a feint)or not falling down. Also, you maybe feeling the resistance because you are moving into them instead of taking the hand on the circumference. Just thoughts.

Until again,

Lynn

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 07-23-2002, 12:11 PM   #25
Chocolateuke
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Unhappy

Quote:
Edward Karaa (Edward) wrote:
Well, last month I was doing my 3rd Kyu examination. I was paired with a policeman. Usually we try to look at our best during grading exams and we do not resist techniques. We started with Hanmi Handachi Shiho Nage and I had to start first. I could not move him, and was obviously taken by surprise because I was not expecting any resistance. After 2-3 failed attempts, I felt very embarrassed in front of 70 students and twice as many spectators. So I did the technique with all my power and it must have been quite painful for him. He resisted the next one even more, and I used even more power. It continued this way untill the last technique (Suwari Kokyu Ho)when he lost his nerves and started a Judo wrestling match with me. The result: we both failed the exam for bad manners.
Wow, I dont know how I would have handled that! I know how dreadful my nerves get during exam time and I know how much of a relif it is for me to pass so Bummer man! and that cop needs to learn some manners not you! well train harder and you'll pass your next examination!

BTW I think the Sensei could have passed you for trying and not the cop for bad manners.

Ahh as for the original topic, peters right! and Uke must allow Nage to learn but nage must also allow uke to learn!

Dallas Adolphsen
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