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Old 04-23-2001, 06:45 AM   #1
Matt Banks
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Talking

Hi I just want to talk about the poll.
It went along the lines of ''Do you think having good ukemi and being a good uke, helps you to be a good tory''.

I expected a 100% yes vote. But there were some No answers also. I cant understand the reason for peoeple voting no. Could anyone own up too answering NO to the above and explain your views.



Matt Banks

''Zanshin be aware hold fast your centre''
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Old 04-23-2001, 07:07 AM   #2
PeterR
 
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Then why bother asking.

I believe that if Tori has a good uke his training will be enhanced and since both want to get something out of the training the roles will have to be reversed. If your uke is not up to scratch your partner will probably look elsewhere.

Are the skills of uke directly applied to the skills of Tori. Not really. At the most simple level, tori's job is to maintain balance, uke's is to lose it.


Quote:
Originally posted by Matt Banks
Hi I just want to talk about the poll.
It went along the lines of ''Do you think having good ukemi and being a good uke, helps you to be a good tory''.

I expected a 100% yes vote. But there were some No answers also. I cant understand the reason for peoeple voting no. Could anyone own up too answering NO to the above and explain your views.



Matt Banks

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 04-23-2001, 07:08 AM   #3
JJF
 
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Just guessing!

Hi Matt!
Like you I voted YES to the poll, and like you I wondered how anybody could vote no. Perhaps they misunderstood the question and thought it was just about ukemi in the sense of 'falling' and not in the broader sense of being a good Uke.
A little related story: My sensei once quoted Nishio Sensei for saying that being a good uke is the most important part of learning Aikido. If one learns to be a good uke then the rest will follow. Made me think a bit.
I'm really looking forward to read any answers to your post.

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

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Old 04-23-2001, 09:08 AM   #4
Moomin
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Stating the obvious

I've been told (and I agree) that in order to take ukemi I have to understand the technique; if I understand the technique I will be better as tori. I can't do foward rolls for toffee, and I also can't throw people foward nearly aswell as onto teir backs, so there maybe something in it.

Greg
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But he still pounces
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Old 04-23-2001, 09:21 AM   #5
Chuck Clark
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by PeterR
Are the skills of uke directly applied to the skills of Tori. Not really. At the most simple level, tori's job is to maintain balance, uke's is to lose it.
Hi Peter,

I disagree with the comment above. I may be "splitting hairs" but perhaps not.

Uke's job is to give a sincere, committed attack and attempt to regain balance when it is taken by tori. This gives tori the chance to learn "fitting and timing" within the kata. Tori's job is to have good posture, movement, etc. while "taking" uke's balance and fitting the technique with uke's recovery attempt. This enables both participants to learn by "feel" the real principle of "using the opponent's force."

The ability of uke to do this in a relaxed manner without worrying about the "fall" leads to sensitivity in feeling what is happening. This, in turn, leads to learning how to be tori by taking ukemi from tori.

Regards,


Chuck Clark
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Old 04-23-2001, 09:39 AM   #6
PeterR
 
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Hi Chuck;

Like I said at the most simple level. I did not mean uke should actively seek to throw his balance away and yes, without a sincere committed attack what does Tori have to work with.

By the way - in my view once uke can actively resist and counter then the distinction between the two (tori and uke) becomes blurred.

Hey I was playing devil's advocate. Why would someone answer no to a question where the author expected a 100% yes response. Again in my view we should train as hard to be good uke mainly because tori then has a chance to maximize a technique's execution when you are uke and hence you can make the same demand.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 04-23-2001, 10:38 AM   #7
Aikilove
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I thought long and hard about the poll and without looking what the rest of you had voted I finally decided no! The reason for this is:

As you all have stated it should be obvious that being an good uke helps your training in the long run (you give better training to more nage who in turn give it back to you etc.), but have you never trained with an aikidoka that had wonderful ukemi, the best, but then turned out to not follow it up with remotely the same skills as tori. That goes both way. There are them that can throw you like a glove but can't take a decent brakefall from shihonage. I don't want to step on anyones toes, but this is my excperience. Since the Q in the poll was given(my interpretation) the correlation between being able to fly and being able to send someone flying I have to say no. However! It turns out that the really good sensei's out there all performe (or have been performing) marvelous ukemi, because in the long run it helped them train well enough to develop skills that they all are famous for today.

This is without saying MHO!

Jakob

Last edited by Aikilove : 04-23-2001 at 10:45 AM.

Jakob Blomquist
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Old 04-23-2001, 11:39 AM   #8
Chuck Clark
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by PeterR By the way - in my view once uke can actively resist and counter then the distinction between the two (tori and uke) becomes blurred.
Just so there's no misunderstanding, I didn't include (for kata training) the intent for uke to "resist and counter" at this point.

Along with a sincere, committed attack (at whatever level of energy the two have agreed to work with)uke should not interfere with their own automatic response (natural recovery)to being off-balanced.

Adding the intent to counter tori by being "creative" in their balance recovery by stealing the tori's sente at the same time as the recovery and then making their own waza happens in drills and randori.

"Resisting" is a word I don't use much. Changing what the opponent is doing to make a technique is not resisting in my book. Here I go splitting hairs again!

There should be no "resisting" in kata practice. Just natural committed attacks by both partners, taking the sente with kuzushi (at first touch), natural attempts to recover balance when lost, tsukuri (fitting), and then the finish of the technique.

I think the principle of "kobo ichi" is lost in lots of folks' practice. Kata practice and then randori as described reinforces this principle.

Take care,

Last edited by Chuck Clark : 04-23-2001 at 11:41 AM.

Chuck Clark
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Old 04-23-2001, 02:21 PM   #9
George S. Ledyard
 
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Ukemi

People generally misunderstand the role of ukemi in Aikido. Especially Aikido folks themselves. There are three aspects to ukemi:
1) as part of the "moving meditation" that contains many of the spiritual lessons of aikido; in this aspect it is non-competitive, non-violent and focuses on connection as having value in and of itself. As moving meditation ukemi is absolutely equal in importance to the Nage role since one can't exist without the other and the sophistication and complexity of each role is only as good as its counterpart. There was a reason why O-sensei tended to use only the best ukes... It was the only way he could show the best of his technique.

2) as preparation for martial application ukemi is crucial for it is in this context that students learn to connect with a partner and stay connected through complex movements. This is the most misunderstood aspect of Aikido. People who do other martial arts can see clearly that our ukemi is cooperative and they feel that the techniques are fake on some level. What they fail to understand, and Aikido folks do not do a good job of making clear, is that the cooperative method of ukemi is in preparation for effective undertsanding and application of kaeshiwaza (reversals). Every technique has certain points (I call them crossover points) at which a technique may be taken over by the opponent if you leave them the slightest opening. But in order to take advantage of those "cross-over points" you have to be connected and centered at that precise instant. If you are not absolutely locked in with your partner's movement he can make a mistake and you won't be in a position to take advantage of it. Basic Aikido ukemi is designed to prepare you for this next stage.

3) Finally, and this is also connected with martial application, there is the defensive aspect of ukemi. It goes without saying that in a fight, if you are falling, you have already made a mistake and are in deep trouble. The defensive aspect of ukemi focuses on how to avoid injury when taking falls that are designed to injure and maim. This is another aspect that gets short shrift in standard Aikido because of the way the techniques have been structured specifically not to injure. I admit that even with my own students this is a weak area as we don't practice the really dangerous and rough throwing techniques that much. If I thought my students were preparing for combat I would necessarily place more emphasis on this area but it would almost certainly result in more injuries on the mat which comes any time you push the envelope. We place a martial emphasis on our training but most of my students are professionals with families and I don't think it is necessary to take them quite as far as i might under other circumtsamces. I admit that my own skills in this area are not high as in all the years I have trained with Saotome and Ikeda Senseis I have never been thrown in a manner that was less than totally clean and clear (no matter how hard) and the ukemi was facilitated by that fact. In 23 years I have never had an injury taking ukemi from my teachers and I've taken some pretty hairy ukemi for a guy my size. So I suspect that my ability to protect myself when my partner does not have my best interests at heart could be better but I am too old to worry about that aspect of things now. that's one for when you are twenty and are still indestructible.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 04-23-2001, 02:31 PM   #10
andrew
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Not specifically on subject but closely related, an interesting essay on dynamic practice...
http://gargas.biomedicale.univ-paris...ts/ukemi1.html

From experience, I expect at least that I'll end up with the impression that this link has been ignored. Who knows, one of you might read it...

andrew

(Oh, and thanks for the pointers above too, George.)
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Old 04-23-2001, 09:18 PM   #11
sceptoor
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WHAT POLL??

C. Martin

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Old 04-23-2001, 11:08 PM   #12
guest1234
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i cannot say this nearly as well as others, but in addition to the mentioned relaxation and connection for reversal and self-preservation, i would also add that when you are relaxed and connected you feel the technique better than when stiff, either from resistence/ego or fear of the fall. i don't think you learn as much; but then, my views are usually seen as heresy.
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Old 04-24-2001, 04:05 AM   #13
andrew
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Quote:
Originally posted by sceptoor
WHAT POLL??
You know, when I posted on it, I could still only see the previous weeks poll too.

andrew
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Old 04-24-2001, 05:43 AM   #14
ian
 
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I said yes for completely different reasons to the above. To me ukemi practise is very similar to being a nage because you 'blend' with the floor. I also think it is important to get the feeling of extension during (rolling) ukemi, which distributes the weight evenly around your rounded body, rather than landing on your shoulder. I think extension (& technique) and ukemi compliment each other and improvement in one helps the other 'cos it is the fundamental concepts which we use in everything.

As far as resistance is concerned I like neither the 'cooperation' camp nor the 'your job is to try to resist the technique' camp. All dojo practise is unrealistic, but to me the aim is to improve technique to the point where it becomes as useful in real situations as possible.

Therefore I advocate the concept of 'mild nage frustration technique'. i.e. As uke it is your responsibility to encourage nage to learn and develop effective aikido. By blocking him, countering or resisitng a throw repeatedly nobody learns anything. It can be thought of as stages, though it is obviously catered according to the ability of the nage with the specific technique, and whether this is the first throw with the partner of you've done several and are into the rythm of it:
1. you go through the motions with nage so they learn the mechaniscs of the technique.
2. you attack hard, with no feeling of 'regaining balance' (which is quite realistic in most cases, as people on the street rarely know you are going to do any aikido technique, let alone a specific technique).
3. you attack hard but try to retain your balance (but without any counter movements). This is often necessary when you are relying on ukes reaction to protect himself to perform a certain techniques.
4. you attack hard but gently push nage or regain your centre or regain control of your own arms (during applications) or use strength to remain unmoved to illustrate areas of weakness in the technique.

And only as part of the class instruction:

5. You break off or roll out of a technique (to show areas of limitation which may be intrinsic within the technique) - this is best accompanied by additional techniques for Nage to react to such a response by uke.
6. Counter techniques.

I call it 'mild nage frustration technique' because Nage should constantly be recognising limitations of his technique, but should not be discouraged to the point of actual frustration; otherwise they never get in to the real movement of the technique.

Ian
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Old 04-24-2001, 08:02 AM   #15
Aikilove
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I agree with most of you all in that good ukemi is essential in aikido training, but again my understanding of the poll was if there is a clear link between being able to take good ukemi (to be good at all the above stated things, e.g being able to not hurt yourself no matter who's the nage) and being a good nage (skilled, precise, sharp, loving, hard, soft etc. etc.) As I see it that isn't necessarily the case. As I stated before, I've met people with great ukemi but with no nage skill at all and maybe more important I've seen or trained with people that are fantastic nage, with technical skills that I dream of being able to reach some day, but can't take a descent fall.


Jakob Blomquist
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Old 04-24-2001, 03:15 PM   #16
[Censored]
 
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Re: Ukemi

Quote:
Originally posted by George S. Ledyard
Every technique has certain points (I call them crossover points) at which a technique may be taken over by the opponent if you leave them the slightest opening. But in order to take advantage of those "cross-over points" you have to be connected and centered at that precise instant. If you are not absolutely locked in with your partner's movement he can make a mistake and you won't be in a position to take advantage of it. Basic Aikido ukemi is designed to prepare you for this next stage.
In all the Aikido technique I have seen, the entire movement is one big crossover point, except perhaps for the last second. This is especially true if uke is not looking for the big score (a clean throw or lock) but just wants to thump you before returning to a neutral position.
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Old 04-25-2001, 03:28 PM   #17
Chocolateuke
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I aggree that the better you are at tori you will be better at being a good uke 90 % of the time. but then there are people like me who are better ukes than Toris. yes they are entwined. lately by wrist are getting more flexable and my balance is better so people have been having a harder time doing kote gashi. even the sempies ( 1, 2, 3,4 kuys) are having a harder time. at frist they thought I was competing but then they whee twisting my hand and not using there body. I told them to use their bodys and it gets closer till they really use there whole being. me I have learned to bee a better uke, and also my tori has improved because of this!! it is facinating. My sensi tells me to make sure the sempis do it right ( he says that he is having a harder time throwing me and says I am not competing and I am not) so... but the fact is you learn your tecnuqe with both roles.

Dallas Adolphsen
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Old 04-25-2001, 03:30 PM   #18
Chocolateuke
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Talking

when i mean my tori i mean that my throwing has improved and also the people who throw me!! by the way whee is were.. sorry

Dallas Adolphsen
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