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Old 12-23-2002, 11:19 AM   #1
akiy
 
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Uke's Message

Hi folks,

This may be a "Californian" set of questions, but...

In general, what message are you sending to nage when you're uke? In other words, if you could transmogrify your intent and actions as uke into verbal/written words, what would they be?

And, although this is open to subjective interpretations, what do you think this message would be according to the person in the role of nage when you're uke? What do you think they would be "hearing"?

Do you think there'd be a difference in what you're "saying" as uke and what nage is "hearing"? If so, why?

Lastly, what sort of message do you like to hear from uke when you're nage? What helps you the most in your training?

-- Jun

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Old 12-23-2002, 11:51 AM   #2
Paul Smith
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I will speak for one aspect - when working with a junior nage, I like to move with them in such a way as to encourage proper technique, proper use of their body, up to and including simply moving my body (and therefore, their body)into proper execution of their technique. I do this absent verbal explanation, as getting their bodies to feel the technique will do wonders, in my view, over any blabbing I do (and am wont to do).

Paul Smith
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Old 12-23-2002, 11:52 AM   #3
opherdonchin
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Those are amazingly excellent questions, Jun. It's hard to even know how to start, though.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 12-23-2002, 01:34 PM   #4
erikmenzel
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Re: Uke's Message

Quote:
Jun Akiyama (akiy) wrote:
This may be a "Californian" set of questions, but...
Being just dutch, "Californian" makes as much sense to me as "Fries" would make to the average american.
Quote:
In general, what message are you sending to nage when you're uke? In other words, if you could transmogrify your intent and actions as uke into verbal/written words, what would they be?
This strongly depends on the nage I am working with. It varies from dont be affraid, to "relax", to I am coming, to I am seriously coming, to I am going to get you, to please dont hurt me . Every partner is different and every exercise and technique is different. Those al determine the way one trains, the way one is uke, the intent one gives and the message one sends, be it on purpose or not, across.
Quote:
And, although this is open to subjective interpretations, what do you think this message would be according to the person in the role of nage when you're uke? What do you think they would be "hearing"?
Depends. Some partners dont hear you even if you shout it in there ears as where others take the most subtiles of hints. In some degree this kind of communication has to be learned and some people indeed learn it. Some dont however. Beside this communication skill there is of course the obvious noise and context deformation of any message. Much like the saying "when you only got a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail" one always projects ones own experience/interest/understanding on a message.
Quote:
Do you think there'd be a difference in what you're "saying" as uke and what nage is "hearing"? If so, why?
Yep, simple. My partner is not me and therefor hears things from within his own context, understanding and capability. Of course there is also the very realistic problem that my communication would be far from perfect (=sucks) and thus my imperfection hinders the communication extra.
Quote:
Lastly, what sort of message do you like to hear from uke when you're nage? What helps you the most in your training?
I like my ukes to say: go ahead do what you want, but if you leave an opening I will be there!

Of course you do not always get what you want. I will settle for: I ll do the best I can.

Erik Jurrien Menzel
kokoro o makuru taisanmen ni hirake
Personal:www.kuipers-menzel.com
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Old 12-23-2002, 02:36 PM   #5
Steven
 
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Quote:
This may be a "Californian" set of questions, but...
EH? Please explain
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Old 12-23-2002, 05:46 PM   #6
Paula Lydon
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~~Like any conversation, the particulars of the message change depending on my nage, but the general message is always, fundamentally: "We are in this together". I certainly hope that's what nage is 'hearing' from me . Thinkers there, Jun

~~Paula~~
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Old 12-23-2002, 07:16 PM   #7
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Like Lydon-san suggests, during "onegai shimasu", I'm hoping that I could have something to contribute as my partner will have something to contribute.

Of course I get over-zealous at times, sometimes having that "Seniority Complex". But, there are many occasions that I was brought back down to earth. Only when I got my feet on the ground, I could have my "smile" back.

What I wish from uke, is to "lend the uke's ki" for training. Some people grab soft and just follow, thst is fine. Some grab hard and hold the position, that is fine also. As long as the uke is sincere in the teaching-learning process.

When I practice with a complete beginner or someone completely new to me (senior or junior), I emphasize on form first. Therefore I don't grab hard nor resist. Nage then could perform the technique as demonstrated and I get a chance to recognize the nage's "ki".

When I practice with the intermediate students, I give a bit of resistance. Since they know form, they must find deeper meanings of those forms. Asking the question why instead of how.

When I practice with someone that I have known for a while especially seniors my level or higher than I am, I would start practicing seriously. I would actually attack with the best balance I could possibly give, being of one mind and body, using "ki" as some people would say.

The reason I start being a balanced uke with only someone that is familiar to me is that I know that they won't think that I am arrogant or trying to resist. I'm only trying to learn the next step and I want to bring my fellow students with me to that next step. And they understand, that this is so. If I do it to a complete beginner or some intermediate ones, they might lose their interest in Aikido.

Some might see this as selfish and sometimes discriminant to the junior students. I call it progressive learning. The Aikido I understood 5 years ago, is not the same Aikido I understand now. I wasn't wrong 5 years ago, it's just that I've progressed a little in my learning.

When I have to die by the sword, I will do so with honor.
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Old 12-23-2002, 10:04 PM   #8
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As much as people may find it undesirable for partners to decide to become Sensei, I assume that my partner is not asking me to comment on his form. Therefore, as uke I am concerned with my attack and my presence, not on critiquing form.

If I am given the opportunity to continue attacking, I will, as a way of saying I have been allowed to continue.

If my balance is not taken, then I will not fall, as a way of saying I have not been unbalanced.

They can figure out whatever they want in response to what I say--what if they figure out a better way to handle what I am saying than I could suggest to them? They should never be robbed of that opportunity.
In other words if nage hears what I am saying as I intended it, they are free to explore and experience, and there is no advice to be taken or left, and there is no need for egos to get hurt or stroked.

If on the other hand what I am saying is misinterpreted as a specific comment on nage's form, then we are in trouble because I certainly don't know what's best for them.
If nage does misinterpret it in this way then they usually ask what I am trying to say about their technique, and I can say "I dunno, let's play with it" or I can try to repeat what sensei said if there is a very specific very small problem that is really clear.
--JW
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Old 12-24-2002, 08:35 AM   #9
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IMHO, being a good training partner/Uke is very difficult.

I would hope my Tori/Nage hears me saying, "I am here to help you train. I will give you a good attack to train against so you will be prepared. I will give of myself for your bebefit."

What I think many hear is, "Oh no, here comes that big guy!"

Sometime I don't know how to help people get over my size. I am only 6'4" and 220 lbs. In truth, my size should be the least of their worries, especially because most who get to know me think I am a pretty decent guy. When they extend Me-tsuki and Ki through me, without focus on my size, they do much better.

Some find me a good training ground to see if they can make their Waza to work on the big guy. If that is what they hear from me, then I am honored.

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 12-24-2002, 09:08 AM   #10
opherdonchin
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I've been thinking about this and reading other people's answers and thinking some more. It's hard to see myself clearly.

A number of people have pointed out how much what they 'have to say' depends on nage. I think this is true for me, too, although maybe in a slightly different way. For me, as either uke or nage, it is a sense of affection and caring that I most would like to project when I work with my partner. There are people with whom this is a real struggle for me, and others towards whom it flows easily. I bind these experiences together with a feeling that I always try to project all the affection I can or all the affection I feel. Sometimes that's a lot, sometimes it isn't, but it should always be the best I can do.

A message that I'm clearer about trying to project (but that doesn't necessarily always get across) is that I don't feel like I 'know' very much and that I'm trying to figure it all out. I always feel this, so it isn't hard for me to feel like that's what I'm 'saying.' On the other hand, it isn't always heard very clearly.

In fact, I've had nage's tell me they hear the most bewildering variety of things from me. Some 'hear' me saying 'you don't know aikido and you're no good.' Other's hear me saying 'everything we do is ok and this primarily about having fun.' Some feel protected and cared for working with me while others feel threatened and uncomfortable. Some feel understood and others feel judged. I try to look in myself to understand how all the strange and different emotions get evoked, but I don't find it in myself. Perhaps it's there, but I tend to think more that each nage hears the things that speak to him or her.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 12-24-2002, 01:42 PM   #11
Bryan Webb
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I think that nage listens to the ukes response to suggestions that are made by nage. Nage suggests that uke move in a certain direction, uke responds by either by following the suggestion, indicating that uke cant move in that direction, or another direction would be easier, nage adjusts, suggests another direction, and so on, til uke has moved to a place that is unstable enough to fall. Nage is helping uke get to that place, not forcing uke.

For beginners we often have the experienced students as uke and have the beginners as nage, nage just maintains contact with uke.. nage is along for the ride. This removes the beginners need to throw, and relieves a bit of stress from the beginner.
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Old 12-26-2002, 08:58 AM   #12
akiy
 
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Great thoughts so far, everyone! Any other thoughts?

-- Jun

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Old 12-26-2002, 10:02 AM   #13
mike lee
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intensity

Attack balls out and cut the crap. How else can we learn to act decisively?
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Old 12-26-2002, 10:25 AM   #14
opherdonchin
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Quote:
How else can we learn to act decisively?
Does that have to be a rhetorical question?

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 12-30-2002, 09:47 PM   #15
MaylandL
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Quote:
Jun Akiyama (akiy) wrote:
...what message are you sending to nage when you're uke? ...
When I am Uke, I try to provide an honest attack in accordance with the wishes of Sensei when he/she has first demonstrated the technique. This includes the correct attack form as well as the direction of the energy of the attack. Is it shomeuchi, katate dori? Do I grab and remain static or do I grab and push/pull etc? Do I need to put in more/less resistance?

In taking ukemi, I would be conscious of the direction of Nage's energy and whether it was blending with mine and where Nage was taking me. Is nage taking my balance and redirecting my energy, are we clashing and stopping the energy? What can I learn from taking Ukemi?

The manner of taking ukemi and being uke for beginners, intermediate and advanced practitioners differs greatly.
Quote:
Jun Akiyama (akiy) wrote:
...what do you think this message would be according to the person in the role of nage when you're uke? What do you think they would be "hearing"?
I would hope that nage feels that he/she has all of the energy from an attack that he/she needs to do the technique correctly and in accordance with Sensei's wishes. I would like nage to think that it was an honest attack and that Uke was neither compliant or resistant. Essentially it was a "good" attack that allowed the technique to be performed.
Quote:
Jun Akiyama (akiy) wrote:
Do you think there'd be a difference in what you're "saying" as uke and what nage is "hearing"? If so, why?
I guess there may be a difference depending on the relative experience of the people practicing together. It may depend on how sensitive the training partners are to each other's balance, posture and energy and the familiarity with the form of the technique.
Quote:
Jun Akiyama (akiy) wrote:
...what sort of message do you like to hear from uke when you're nage? What helps you the most in your training?
...
For me its the same message whether I am nage or Uke - "that was good training, I learnt something then".

As for what helped me most. Honest and very relevant feedback as nage or uke. Understanding and internalising the feeling to my energy, posture and balance when a technique is done correctly both as nage and as uke. I find that when I am Uke and the technique is done correctly, the ukemi becomes second nature since I am in the right position and I dont have to "catch up" with the technique.

All the best for training and the new year.

Last edited by MaylandL : 12-30-2002 at 09:51 PM.

Mayland
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Old 12-30-2002, 10:18 PM   #16
akiy
 
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Hi folks,

I appreciate everyone's responses so far.

I just wanted to clarify, though, the question above. Rather than saying, "I want uke to feel A, B, and C and I want to make sure I do X, Y, and Z when I'm uke," I wanted more to hear something like, "I want to let uke 'hear' something to the effect of 'insert something verbalized here'."

As I wrote above, "In other words, if you could transmogrify your intent and actions as uke into verbal/written words, what would they be?"

Any further thoughts on this?

-- Jun

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Old 12-30-2002, 10:22 PM   #17
Lyle Bogin
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Equality.

"The martial arts progress from the complex to the simple."
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Old 12-31-2002, 12:00 AM   #18
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OK then, Akiyama-han...

As the uke in this partnership, I will now attack you sincerely for the purpose of us learning together.

Please trust me, for I will have control. I will trust you, for you will have control.

Not to worry if we don't get the result(s) expected. We will search for the answer together.

For you are my reflection as I am your reflection.

When I have to die by the sword, I will do so with honor.
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Old 12-31-2002, 11:42 AM   #19
opherdonchin
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Quote:
I wrote:
For me, as either uke or nage, it is a sense of affection and caring that I most would like to project when I work with my partner.
"I care about you. I like you. You have nothing to fear from me."

Sometimes, there is also a message of "I 'see' you clearly and I am on your center." Sometimes, with more beginning people, this message is important to give non-verablly because verablly it wouldn't make any sense to them.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 01-01-2003, 10:25 AM   #20
Jonathan Lewis
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Quote:
Iriawan Kamal Thalib (Thalib) wrote:
OK then, Akiyama-han...
Hey Jun, You just became half the man you were

(sorry, that was off topic, I have a weird sense of humor)
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Old 01-01-2003, 04:20 PM   #21
Bruce Baker
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Uke says...

Well ... there is a variety of movements that are sometimes misunderstood.

As Lynn Seiser suggests, not everyone knows how to handle the larger guys, be they tall or just plain wide. Trying to put through the message of moderate resistence to make the practice interesting while trying to tell your nage to stay within the safe limits of practice, such as not losing concentration and cranking these larger bodies too hard because fear overcomes reason, more effort is required, and the larger body is not a flexible as the skinny people .. well play nice stay awake, please.

As for Mike Lee's 'go full out', to use a more polite phrase, that never seems to work without hurting yourself,or causing hard feelings with your partner. Maybe it is just me, but I have yet to use more than 50% of my speed or strength, and even that usually gets a dirty look, or a 'take it easy, will you?"

Unless you have an open mind, understand the varied levels of resistence that create higher levels of practice, and drop the attitude of "am I better than my partner", the only transmygrofry that is gonna occur is a " I don't want to train with that gorilla, he is too rough" feeling.

I try to laugh at good practice, and I try not to talk too much in bad practice, at least not like I used to as it really ticked off the teacher to hear terms not alligned with Aikido training.

I guess the basic thing is .... come on let's practice, I won't rip your arms off ... and don't forget this is supposed to be fun.

When it ceases to be fun, it must be time to stop.

Bye.... fun over.
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Old 01-01-2003, 06:56 PM   #22
Jonathan Lewis
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After my silly joke at the expense of Mr. Thalib's typo, I guess I owe you a serious answer.

I strive to give the same message both as Uke and as Nage. That is, Concern for my partner, myself, and the dojo community; Concern for safety, learning, and human experience.



Sensitivity to what is happening at the moment is one of the big keys to this. That is the same in both roles, Uke and Nage.

I agree with Mr. Baker's sentiment,

"When it ceases to be fun, it must be time to stop."

Where safety is compromised it generally ceases to be fun. When learning stops, or the dynamics of a situation make learning difficult, it generally ceases to be fun. When you lose track of your own or your partners humanity, it generally ceases to be fun.
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Old 01-02-2003, 01:17 AM   #23
Thalib
 
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Quote:
Jonathan Lewis wrote:
After my silly joke at the expense of Mr. Thalib's typo, I guess I owe you a serious answer.
Actually Lewis-han, it's not a typo... it's just Osaka-ben...

Don't know why I used it, just felt like it I guess.

Mokuteki wa arimahen...

oops... getting off topic... I'll leave now...

When I have to die by the sword, I will do so with honor.
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Old 01-02-2003, 08:35 AM   #24
Jonathan Lewis
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Osaka-ben...

cool, I had no idea, thanks.
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Old 01-02-2003, 08:48 AM   #25
akiy
 
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Quote:
Iriawan Kamal Thalib (Thalib) wrote:
Actually Lewis-han, it's not a typo... it's just Osaka-ben...
Nanyanen. Nani yuutennoka wakarahennen.

Don't worry about your sense of humor, Jonathan. That (and your wicked oizuki) is one of the reasons I've liked you...

Thanks to everyone for their replies. They've been most interesting.

-- Jun

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