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Old 09-13-2002, 09:04 AM   #1
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
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Aikido without Ukemi

Due to the advancement of my illness, Meneniere's disease, I have to leave out the ukemi when my balance starts to go. That is to say, the throw causes the room to spin, vibrate, or move for a few minutes after ukemi is completed.

So ... I have modified those times when a throw would leave me helpless to having the throw either turned into a stretch, or being thrown forward where two or three steps can disappate the energy of a throw.

It is an interesting concept in that it opens up the concept of either randori from a bad throw, or in that the object you have been hurtled toward is vertical, not horizontal.

The other observation I made at last weeks class was that the nage is not at the end of their technique, but strongly in a ready stance for uke to return again.

On the other hand, I noticed that uke could induce a throw with the energy generated by nage from their throw so that uke would then throw nage if they held on.

So from my modification for a disability, I find ability, variation, change, and enlightenment from not taking ukemi but modifying it into an energy disappation technique.

Have any of you used this method of casting your throw outwards rather than down to see these things? If so, what other things did you see?

If not, would you ask your teacher to try such a thing?

I thought it was interesting to notice the value of a wall as the object of completion for a technique rather than the floor?
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Old 09-13-2002, 09:40 AM   #2
SeiserL
 
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Actually, I visited a school with an exellent Sensei, who simply blended and took balance. They felt this was he essence of Aiki and didn't feel the need to throw. They were able to demonstrate that skill too. It was a great learning experience. Changed the way I thought. Its always good to entertain other ways of doing things.

Deepest compassion for your illness, any diesease of the ear can certainly impair balance. My compliments for your courage to continue to train. An inspiration.

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 09-13-2002, 09:41 AM   #3
Edward
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Well, I believe this is the very principle of Judo's sacrifice throws (sutemi). For some reason, we are not taught that in aikido...
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Old 09-13-2002, 10:02 AM   #4
akiy
 
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Quote:
Edward Karaa (Edward) wrote:
Well, I believe this is the very principle of Judo's sacrifice throws (sutemi). For some reason, we are not taught that in aikido...
At least two aikido (Aikikai) shihan I've trained with have done sutemiwaza.

(I also remember throwing one sixth dan guest instructor we had for one of our seminars in a sutemiwaza (something close to uki waza from shomenuchi) when he was uke for me. I guess he must have liked it since he did present me with a T-shirt of his dojo at the conclusion of the seminar...)

-- Jun

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Old 09-13-2002, 10:14 AM   #5
paw
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Guys,

You lost me. Lynn's post was about not throwing. In judo's sutemi waza you throw your partner. Wouldn't the judo equivalent to not throwing be uchikomi?

Regards,

Paul
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Old 09-13-2002, 10:29 AM   #6
jimvance
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Aikido IS Ukemi

Quote:
Bruce Baker wrote:
...So from my modification for a disability, I find ability, variation, change, and enlightenment from not taking ukemi but modifying it into an energy disappation technique.
I have been taught that what you described is ukemi, of which falling down is the first stage. In other words, ukemi is an energy dissipation technique and the most fundamental level is learning to fall down without harm.
Quote:
Bruce Baker wrote:
...Have any of you used this method of casting your throw outwards rather than down to see these things? If so, what other things did you see?
Yes. If uke's center of gravity is extended to a range where they cannot recover their vertical structure and each successive movement degrades their chances of recovery (of vertical structure), they will fall down, either in one step or a dozen. Contrarily, if uke has a chance to regain their vertical structure, they should. If the uke operates on this premise and the "degradation" of their posture doesn't occur during the projecting throws, they will stand back up, either in one step or a dozen.
Quote:
Bruce Baker wrote:
...I thought it was interesting to notice the value of a wall as the object of completion for a technique rather than the floor?
I think gravity's effect should always be the object of completion. My teacher likes to say "hit 'em with the Earth".

Jim Vance
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Old 09-13-2002, 10:40 AM   #7
jimvance
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Quote:
Paul wrote:
You lost me. Lynn's post was about not throwing. In judo's sutemi waza you throw your partner. Wouldn't the judo equivalent to not throwing be uchikomi?
Yes. It's also called Butsukari. I think Jun and Edward are talking about this:
Quote:
Bruce Baker wrote:
On the other hand, I noticed that uke could induce a throw with the energy generated by nage from their throw so that uke would then throw nage if they held on.
Jim Vance
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Old 09-13-2002, 11:14 AM   #8
opherdonchin
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I have recurrent joint pain that causes me to forego ukemi every so often. I always find it interesting and instructive, and certainly better than foregoing training.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 09-13-2002, 11:18 AM   #9
tedehara
 
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If you look at some of the older films that were made during the Japanese Occupation, you'll see people doing techniques without taking any ukemi. That was because the military banned martial arts, so people held "exercise classes" that looked suspiciously like aikido classes without the throwing.

Your situation reminded me of this chapter in aikido history. Thanks for sharing your insights.


It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 09-13-2002, 11:41 AM   #10
paw
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Jim,
Quote:
It's also called Butsukari.
Never heard that term before. I learned something new. Thanks!

Regards,

Paul
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Old 09-13-2002, 11:59 AM   #11
Chuck Clark
 
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It is impossible to do aikido without "ukemi", however it is possible and sometimes a revealing training tool to practice without "falling."

Ukemi does not mean falling. Its broader meaning is to receive energy with your body. Falling is only part of ukemi. The really sensitive "hidden" teachings of ukemi usually only become known, however, by lots and lots of relaxed falling at the hands of those that know.

Best scenario is...get this tons of falling experience when you're very young. As a "cradle language" if possible.

For those that begin this study later in life, it is a major part of the practice and a student must get to the place where the falling part of ukemi takes place with relaxation and proper form so that the mind/body system becomes sensitive to what is happening instead of worrying about getting hurt or what "ukemi" should be done with this specific technique.

Once you have gone past this sensitization stage, then practice without falling can be done with great benefit.

Regards,

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 09-20-2002, 10:42 AM   #12
Josh Mason
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I am a beginner, and we have yet to do any Ukemi. Like an above poster said, some sensei do not believe this is necessary. I haven't been in Aikido long enough to know what will happen in class in the future, but for now we are learning to take balance. When i am Uke for Sensei, he will apply Kotegaeshi, and I'll drop just from the discomfort. I don't think that a throw is necessary for an Aikido technique to be effective.

Those who are skilled at combat do not become angered or afraid. Thus, the wise win before the fight, while the ignorant fight to win.
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Old 09-20-2002, 11:27 AM   #13
jimvance
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Quote:
Josh Mason wrote:
I am a beginner, and we have yet to do any Ukemi. Like an above poster said, some sensei do not believe this is necessary. I haven't been in Aikido long enough to know what will happen in class in the future, but for now we are learning to take balance. When i am Uke for Sensei, he will apply Kotegaeshi, and I'll drop just from the discomfort. I don't think that a throw is necessary for an Aikido technique to be effective.
By using the name "uke", any practitioner implies that they are taking ukemi during a technique. When your balance is taken, how your body reacts is ukemi. So in the example of kotegaeshi given here, the ukemi is the dropping due to discomfort. A throw is a demonstration of many things, such as proper posture, a spirit of sacrifice, the movement principle associated with the particular technique, connected-ness, and (to some extent) the beauty of human movement. Not all aikido techniques are throws, and ukemi doesn't mean to just take falls.

Jim Vance
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Old 09-20-2002, 05:50 PM   #14
Janet Rosen
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During a period of time I was not able to take falls, nor did I trust my balance well enough to want to throw people. I continued to train working on openings, connections, and taking balance, working slowly to JUST find that moment when balance is taken. If you can find partners willing to play that way, it can be wonderfully instructive.

Janet Rosen
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Old 09-21-2002, 03:49 PM   #15
Bruce Baker
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I think it makes me even more aware of just how strong the nage is during technique.

What I started looking at was ... the possibility of using a wall, a person, or even a moving object as the destination of the uke?

I guess, I was considering that in learning to avoid the roll or fall, this interruption of flow has considerations just as valid as taking the roll or fall to disappate the energy.

It was one of those enlightening moments when doing the practice different than an ordinary practice gave me new insight to more variations, and counters than I had not considered in normal practice.
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Old 09-23-2002, 11:43 AM   #16
Josh Mason
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Thank you Mr Vance for the information. I am learning new things from you guys every day.

Those who are skilled at combat do not become angered or afraid. Thus, the wise win before the fight, while the ignorant fight to win.
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Old 10-15-2002, 05:54 AM   #17
Bruce Baker
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The other consideration of sending the energy past an uke, or in a direction that allows uke to feel only a small percentage of ukemi, is that the nage can work on increasing the natural flow of energy without injuring their partner.

How many times have you used too much energy and nearly caused an injury? I am way over one hundred and headed for a thousand count if I was to really think about it.

So why couldn't this consideration of Aikido without ukemi, or in my mind, turning the energy back to uke to be absorbed or transferred, be aimed slightly off the uke to give them a glanceing blow but allow you to practice increasing energy flow?

It was just a thought that occured to me in allowing a totally unrestricted form with only a couple of degrees of refraction to lesson the effect of force upon an uke.

Think about it, try it and see if it removes some of the restraint in your practice while relieving the uke of some responsibility, especially when they are injured.
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Old 10-15-2002, 09:17 AM   #18
SeiserL
 
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IMHO, how you train is how you fight. I would not want to habituate a pattern in that I don't really intend to use. I get the safety point of being able to deflect the energy so that we don't hurt anyone. Good idea for practice, if that's all you intend to do. Just nopt sure its a great way to train since its unrealistic and isn't fully committed to what you want to do in the end. But, let me give it some more thought.

Until again,

Lynn

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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 10-15-2002, 10:34 AM   #19
Nacho_mx
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Anyone who claims aikido can be done without ukemi are the ones complaining of "unusual injury rates" when the level of training raises.
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Old 10-15-2002, 10:44 AM   #20
opherdonchin
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Not me. I think AiKiDo can be done without falling or takin rolls, but I think that the beauty of AiKiDo is that it allows you to train without holding anything back and still be relatively safe from injury.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 10-15-2002, 12:52 PM   #21
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Aikido without proper ukemi is like swimming outside the pool.
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Old 10-15-2002, 01:08 PM   #22
opherdonchin
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We used to have a saying back when I rowed crew: 'put a rowing machine on the water and it sinks.' On the other hand, when the river was frozen, we sure did use them.

If you can't or shouldn't take the full ukemi, it seems better to keep training within your limitations than to quit or to risk injury.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 10-15-2002, 03:42 PM   #23
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If someone can´t or won´t get over his/her fear of taking ukemi, maybe it´s time to do a little self examination about what really is holding them back, and if practicing aikido is really helping them to overcome fear or just adding to their anxieties.

Last edited by Nacho_mx : 10-15-2002 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 10-15-2002, 07:55 PM   #24
Kevin Leavitt
 
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I think the whole point is that it some people have physical limitations that prevent them from taking what is typically considers "proper ukemi".

The question is..."can they still effectively learn aikido?"

i think they can. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Aikido can be a wonderful tool to discover them and learn how to deal with them more effectively.

It is wrong to ignore our weaknesses or make excuses for not realizing our fullest potential. (Look at Christopher Reeves...what a great role model for anyone of any phyical or mental capabilitites!) From the last interview I saw...He was really saying the same things that O'Sensei was professing! I think he "gets" it and is truely on the path to enlightment!

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