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Old 07-12-2005, 03:31 AM   #26
raul rodrigo
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

When uke holds on so tight that I can barely move into kokyunage, I consider that a gift. How else do I know if I've got it right or not? I learn quite a bit from these incidents. It would be different if uke was trying to crush my wrist or actively moving and adjusting to stymie a technique he knows is coming (and in these cases, there are ways to adjust his attitude). But an honest strong hold is a gift that nage can and should learn from--even if it means in the short term a helluva lot of frustration.
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Old 07-12-2005, 03:55 AM   #27
Zato Ichi
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
Strength really doesnt matter when you've trained in multiple martial arts for your entire life. I could've put him on teh floor in tears, but of course i didnt want to make a scene.
While I completely sympathise with your situation and understand your frustration, I have to say you're deluding yourself if you think size and physical strength are of no consequence.

Next he does it, I would kick him in the balls, or at least give him a good scare. Instant kazushi, and as we all know, kazushi is one of the things at the center of good aikido..
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Old 07-12-2005, 05:15 AM   #28
Amir Krause
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uke is never wrong ???

I would like to disagree with the above comment "uke is never wrong". I believe this comment is only right under specific circumstances, and given the description Paige gave, it was not hers.

When performing a Kata, both Uke and Tori (Shidachi) have their roles to perform. These roles include not only the general action, but also the intent, the directions of pressure and often even the responses to the technique. If Uke is changing the Kata, Tori (Shidachi) will often have to change the Kata as well. This is true to most paired Kata, including the practice of a single technique.

Hence, Uke has a role to play and he can get it wrong. If we look at the Koryu Kata, we will find that the role of Uke is often done by the sensei, due to the overwhelming importance of this role in the practice of kata as a base for M.A.

In Gendai Budo (and Aikido is Gendai no doubt), most practice in larger groups, and the role of Uke is delegated to multiple students at the same time. Sensei must observe them and insure they act according to his wishes, or the progress of the students will be affected.



Paige

I believe you should talk with your Sensei. In my opinion he did make a mistake in not correcting your Uke. Then again, It is possible that he has assumed you have asked for the extra burden (having assisted my sensei, I have seen lots of such cases, mostly from the younger and newer students and there are times one decides to let them be). By letting your sensei know, you will assist not only yourself and him, but the whole group, since it would probably hint Sensei to become more aware of the behavior of Uke and will monitor it.

As for the approach to deal with the person himself. I am afraid I don't have anything to add. The previous post were great eye openers with regard to the challenge this person is placing, and the great benefit from facing such a challenge.

I hope you find the strength to continue the practice and face the challenge in you

Amir
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Old 07-12-2005, 06:24 AM   #29
Mel Barker
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
Im a person who gets along w/everybody.
No you are not. You didn't get along with him. This is probably a good time to learn this lesson. (And beat me by a couple of decades.) There isn't always some perfect thing to do to get others to like and agree with us. Keeping your center is a higher goal and will serve you well though out your life. You will get to practice it frequently in the dojo.

Best of Luck

Mel
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Old 07-12-2005, 06:28 AM   #30
ruthmc
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Hi Paige,

Sometimes you just have to go through a few frustrating classes until you learn to do things differently. It's a good sign - it means that a lesson is ready and waiting for you to accept

It's tough enough being 15 without having to deal with issues in the dojo that older folk struggle with also. However, you can choose how you wish to be treated - if you do not want anybody to grip your wrists tightly just say so to your sensei.

At my dojo there are two 16 year olds ( a girl and a boy) who I train with frequently. Because of their ages and the fact that their bones are still growing, I am careful not to allow them to come to any harm and I would never grip their wrists as hard as I would one of the senior adults. However, this means that they may learn to throw incorrectly if they are never challenged, so I sometimes increase the strength of my attack to make sure that they 'get it'. It is done with sensitivity and if it's too much I lessen the strength of my attack again.

Your BS partner hasn't been training long enough to have learned this sensitivity, and obviously isn't mature enough to be able to help you in your training, so avoidance may be the best policy until you learn how to handle very strong attacks in an Aiki way.

Don't quit and don't die!
(And it's ok to be emotional )

Love and peace,

Ruth
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Old 07-12-2005, 06:42 AM   #31
aikigirl10
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Normally i do get along w/everybody
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Old 07-12-2005, 06:44 AM   #32
aikigirl10
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

As far as the crushing of the wrist goes, It was borderline for 'crushing' . I could barely move my hand in any direction, and i honestly think he did it to prove his strength to me , not to help me out by any means. hes a 5th kyu and i'm 4th kyu getting ready for 3rd.
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Old 07-12-2005, 06:48 AM   #33
PeterR
 
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Now I possibly understand why your sensei said nothing. If there was no particular danger YOU should learn to deal with kohei. Part of the process.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-12-2005, 06:50 AM   #34
aikigirl10
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Also , i have had experiences w/uke like this in the past and have always been able to work something out even if i had to do another technique. But this guy was seriously over doing it. And kokyu nage? Its so hard to do this technique w/force because in this technique you dont really take their momentum very much, you pretty much just move and throw, and it really doesnt take uke's balance either. This i think really does rely on strength and if force is applied it just depends on who is stonger. Had it been sankyo ....
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Old 07-12-2005, 06:56 AM   #35
Jorge Garcia
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

In our dojos, we say that (unless the person is a brown or black belt) when you hold someone, do so moderately and not in such a way so as to stop their technique.Let them practice the motion so they can work with that aspect. We say that a person can hold as hard as they can IF they know the person well and have the kind of training relationship that would allow that. If you go around trying to stop the techniques of someone who doesn't know you, then they could misunderstand your intent. Also, there are such things as egomaniacs that like frustrating beginners. I agree that in a situation like this, it's relatively simple to turn the lemon into lemonade by reacting in a positive way and seeing it as an opportunity to train. Usually, we insist on holding hard in our training but we explain the parameters of the training and those boundaries are the training relationship itself that must be developed. Without that relationship, the proper trust doesn't exist between uke and nage for nage to be able to know if the uke means well.That's the standard for lower ranked people. Higher ranks just take it and train. There is a fine line between good training and a form of abuse at worst or ego boosting at best. Sometimes, higher ranked people take it on themselves to become a teacher to everyone through this method. There is only one Sensei on the mat and if the person is giving help that's not being asked for, that can be inappropriate unless there is a friendly training relationship between the partners. It can become the equivalent of the Boy Scout dragging the grandmother across a street she didn't want to cross.
The other day, I explained this to one of our groups and then we had a session where we all held our nage as hard as we could. I gave the nages several options on each technique as to what they could do. I also explained that the danger in this kind of training is to let it become a contest or to get into that kind of frame of mind. The nature of our training wasn't intended by the Founder to be competitive. It can be hard, even severe at times but its not a competition and when ego comes in, then it becomes about being the winner.
In a worst case scenario Paige, you can say excuse me and quietly bow out and just sit and wait for the next technique or if you have a 'gorilla like' dojo member that is a friend, tell your uke to wait just a moment, go get that person and have them grab your uke as hard as they can and say, "When you held me hard, I couldn't do it, could you show me how to do it when this person is holding you so I can watch?
Best,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 07-12-2005, 06:57 AM   #36
aikigirl10
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

and the only reason i didnt do another technique w/this guy is because sensei wanted us to focus on kokyu nage.
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Old 07-12-2005, 08:14 AM   #37
Dirk Hanss
 
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Paige,
I do not know, if there is a real aspect, but maybe it is just said in other words.

You're right. Especially a kokyu nage can be hard if uke strongly grab your wrist. Even as I am a 170 pound 44 years old man. I am not very strong and have some pain with our 250 pound Judo yudansha. And also with a young boy, who nearly behaves like the guy you are talking about.

I guess, he (my co-student) just tries to find the truth, while it is quite early for a 6th kyu.
Sometimes I just tell him: " We are both students, and I like to learn the move. So if you do not let me I cannot learn it, but just fight."
Sometimes - not with most forms of kokyu nage - I can show him that his strength will lead to his pain. But he is young and he enjoys it obviously.
And if you do not get along with your technique. Yes you should try to improve it, move better, move earlier, what ever you can. You have some experience. Some seven years if I recall right. That is why your sensei was focusing on your technique. I do not think he ever wanted to blame you. He wanted to help you to improve
If that does not help, change the technique. Add atemi. You can tell him then, that he is strong enough to block your kokyu nage, but there is always a way to get along.

And we all train for pleasure. If it is not fun doing the exercises with him, bow out, like you were told before. But talk to your sensei afterwards. He should know about all the problems in the dojo. His advice could be better than all of ours.


HTH Dirk
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Old 07-12-2005, 08:36 AM   #38
Ian Upstone
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Here's quite a good (and hopefully relevant) article on Aikido Journal:

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=175
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Old 07-12-2005, 08:43 AM   #39
MattRice
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Try not letting him grab so hard. Move first, make him chase your wrist. I'm a big strong guy, but there are other bigger, stronger guys at my dojo. If I wait until they get a good hold on me, I'm sunk from the start. Now if sensei is having you start from a static grab, then this doesn't apply: you have to deal. I would be interested to hear what your teacher's criticisms were after you called him over.

I have to second Zato Ichi (above) on the strength issue. Sometimes strength is not appropriate in aikdio, but some things just ain't gonna work on someone stronger than you.
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Old 07-12-2005, 09:00 AM   #40
rob_liberti
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Can you ask the person to post here on aikiweb? We'll ask the person to cooperate in a more level appropriate way. Otherwise, how about: wipe you nose on the back of your wrist before he grabs you.

Rob
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Old 07-12-2005, 09:04 AM   #41
Yann Golanski
 
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Kusushi: break balence. This is the secret of Aikido and you cannot do it without. Does not matter how hard/strong/resistent uke is, you as tori have to find a kusushi that works. Otherwise, you are not doing Aikido.

Sure, it's hard on someone taller and stronger than you. It's hard to do some techniques on small people. Doing gedan ate to someone who is 5 feet is hard for me since I am 6 feet tall.

Of course, in kata practice, you can always ask uke to grab less hard since you want to learn exactly what sensei teaches and not some variation. Randori is where you can practice whatever works for you.

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
yann@york-aikido.org York Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-12-2005, 10:32 AM   #42
akiy
 
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Hi Paige,

To me, at least, this all just seems a part of practice that you're going to need to get through. There is much to be learned by coming up against what you can't do. Isn't that the whole point of going to the dojo -- to find the boundaries of your abilities and then further learn from them? Simply staying where you're comfortable and working on what you already "can" doesn't provide much room for growth, after all.

The fact that your instructor watched what was happening and gave you feedback (rather than "blaming" your partner) speaks volumes. I've trained with your intructor before and found him a warm individual and a more than capable instructor. As such, I'd trust his feedback and work on what he offered, rather than spending a lot of energy finding blame in my partner. If you can't trust his feedback, then there's no need to continue this discussion; better to find yourself a teacher whose thoughts you can trust. There's much to be learned, I believe, in ceasing to continue putting the blame on your partner and starting to work on yourself.

As far as your partner's saying that relying on your strength to overcome his goes, I'd say he's absolutely right. If you could just use your strength as uke to hold him down, then you'd be able to do the same to overcome his strength when you're nage -- something I doubt you'd want to try to practice. Hence, why practice something as uke that you wouldn't want to practice as nage? Also, of course you could have done something different in that situation; but, if you threw out the context of practicing in kokyunage, then he could have done the same as well -- an endless, and hence, useless argument.

On the topic of coming up against someone stronger than you, isn't that the point of martial arts? As my instructor sometimes says, martial arts is for the smaller person; large, strong people have other tools (ie their physical strength) that they can use to overpower the smaller, weaker person. Martial arts gives us smaller, weaker people the ability to overcome such physical power. It takes a lot of practice, of course, but that should be fine for someone who is in the art for the long run.

In any case, you called what you experienced a "bad practice." I'd consider it a part of the learning process, one that we all go through -- regardless of how many years of martial arts, rank, or whatnot we have behind us. After all, as my instructor also sometimes says, an attacker isn't going to say, "Oh, you have a black belt! I better fall down for you!" Better to realize that regardless of your experience (and the inexperience of your partner), you're going to run into situations where you can't just point to the color of your belt to make the other person fall down.

Rather, the process of coming up against something that's difficult to do is, in my mind, the point of practice. How can I go around my partner's strength? How can I use my partner's strength against him? How can I use kuzushi to undermine his structure? And so on. Instead of shying away from it, better to approach it with curiosity and interest.

I feel sympathetic for you in your situation, as I'm sure we've all been through it. I sure have. Yet, I also think it's just a part of practice...

Keep training.

-- Jun

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Old 07-12-2005, 10:36 AM   #43
AikiSean!
 
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Is this the first time this has occured? Also, if you know hes going to grab you hard, react to uke quicker then he can increase his grip, strip him of his balance so quickly that grabbing you hard is the last thing on his mind! As stated, its good practice. Blok Shihan at his last seminar had a very nice way of putting this sort of thing, everything is a gift, accept the gift and use it.
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Old 07-12-2005, 10:48 AM   #44
Roy
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

What a great thread! There are many, really-good perspectives. Although we may not all agreen with everything, we do seem to agree on this; Paige don't give-up! ; But at the same time don't fight back, instead get smart!!. For me at least, I think Matt Rice's idea or tactic is cool, really cool !! As my sensei always says," match uke's strength." So, if uke challenges you, why not challenge him back?
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Old 07-12-2005, 11:28 AM   #45
Charlie
 
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Hey Paige! Ask your Sensei when they are going to teach atemi as part of the technique (if they are not doing so right now).

My point is, sounds like you are practicing the technique from a static start. If this is so AND uke is grabbing in a manner to hinder your movement (strong grip), your not going to win that battle! However, if you surprise him by letting go with a kiai emanating from the bowels of mother earth herself...AT THE BEGINNING OF THE TECHNIQUE...you may be able to "steal his mind" causing him to forget about his grip. Kiai is not just for the end of a technique!

I would normally suggest utilizing a good atemi at the beginning of a technique but if you are practicing a kokyu nage it may not call for an atemi.

Charles Burmeister
Aikido Yoshinkan Yoseikai

"Calmness is trust in action"
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Old 07-12-2005, 11:49 AM   #46
senshincenter
 
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Yes, I agree with Roy - a lot of great advice here!

Another stream running through this is that everyone is saying that such occurrences are part of the learning process - that they are not signs that we should quit our training or that we should question the reason of our training, etc. Rather, folks are rightly suggesting that they are the directions toward which we should keep going.

Folks are saying we have the most to learn when we are emotionally encouraged to wrongly see something as "Yeah, but not that much" "Yeah, but not like that." When we can come to say, "Yeah, for that much too" or "Yeah, for like that too" we will have come to the source of our Self and thus of our training - the place from where true Aikido can spring forth. We know this is accurate advice because there is not one of us that has not trained for an extended period and that has not had to pass through this lesson and this level of self-reconciliation many many times. So much is this part of training, in fact, that if we do not find a way through it, we are either not really training and/or we soon will not be.

It is always easiest to go outside ourselves for what is happening to us. However, the path of the Way is a path that should always travel inwardly. This it should do even under great suffering and great tragedy - how much more so for some frustration and some anger? The dojo offers a microcosm of the living world. It is not supposed to be a greenhouse or a vacuum - something outside of the living world. Yet, because the dojo is partially a constructed reality we can control the level of intensity involved concerning its social aspects (for example). Thus, what could have been an act of abuse, what could have been a lethal attack, turned out only being a really tight wrist grab that worked to mismatch the energy print of the technique being practiced. In short, compared with a fully spontaneous environment, nothing every REALLY gets that bad in a dojo -- it being a controlled space for the most part. Hence, the dojo is the place we should look to for having a chance to reconcile these aspects of our self. It is a place of experimentation -- a relatively safe place where we can try new ways of responding to others and study how we come to function in the social world without paying huge consequences for what may not go as planned, etc. To do this, no matter how much "pressure" we may have to look outwardly, we must opt to look inwardly. If we cannot look inwardly under these idealized conditions, then chances are we will only be able to act thusly under fair-weather conditions -- and what good is that?

It would be nice if our dojo always understood the nature of forms, how both uke and nage have clear and distinct roles to fulfill the energy print being studied. It would be nice if our partners would follow our requests politely and happily. It would be nice if our dojo gave equal time to spontaneous training -- such that forms would not be the measuring stick most egos attach themselves to. It would be nice if we could always be allowed or be able to work on the technique prescribed. However, sometimes, because the dojo remains a living space, sometimes we have to learn to work with what needs work on. In that sense, what does learning something about Kokyu Nage mean in comparison to learning how not to have yourself open up to frustration and anger, and with learning how to travel inwardly when all habitual pressure is having you travel outwardly?

Paige, for your age, and even for your duration of training, your level of insight and your level of introspection is quite amazing -- quite out of the ordinary. Obviously, looking inwardly is a skill you have already had for quite some time. Now all you have to do is take that skill to the next level -- to the level where you can look inwardly even when every emotion in your body is telling you to look outwardly. In the end, this event will be both a small part of your overall training and a huge part of that training. It will be a small part that one uke, one time, back when you were fifteen (with so much time left to train!), mismatched the energy print for Kokyu Nage. It will be a huge part because it will be the catalyst that took your training to an even deeper level of introspection -- one where come what may you remain steadfast in your following of the Way.

What to do? Who to become? Both questions need to be asked, in my opinion. You do not sound like an aikidoka that wants to become a person that would quit their training simply because one kohai grabbed you tightly so as to mismatch the energy print of a Kokyu Nage. So, do not become one. Do what it takes to become a person that walks away from such things learning more and more about themselves. You can do this.

Note: Kohai always grab hard to mismatch energy prints -- men and women. They often do this for two reasons: They do not know the energy print because they cannot feel the energy print; and they are often very scared -- scared of being hurt and/or scared of being in a (pseudo) confrontation. Working with Kohai can thus be frustrating. However, because it is frustrating, working with Kohai can be enlightening. When it comes to Kohai, we should relate to them like we relate to the Sun. We should not complain over the fact that the Sun is a burning fire of poisonous energy and gas. We should learn to harness that energy to bring new things into existence -- to bring new things to light and thus to life. With the Sun, we can plant beautiful gardens. Without the Sun, we can only imagine them. It is like this with Kohai -- through Kohai we learn very real ways of bringing beautiful flowers (i.e. virtues) out of our imagination and into the real world.

Again, hang in there.

David M. Valadez
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Old 07-12-2005, 11:52 AM   #47
Qatana
 
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

You outrank him and he is bigger and stronger. How well I know this. We have a fifth kyu who also grabbed way too hard. Now, I outrank him but he's been training longer than me so it was a very sticky situation, until sensei saw that Robin, a nidan, was having the same trouble with him that I and my kohai had, and told the guy to lighten up in general.
OTOH, my very best friend has been training for about a year, on & off, and she still truly believes that she is supposed to resist with all her might, has gotten injured because of this, and Still has the same belief.
And OTOOH, my sempai are now giving me much more resistance....because at nearly 3rd kyu I ought to be able to get underneath it at least half the time...

Q
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Old 07-12-2005, 12:12 PM   #48
Charlie
 
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

So what are you saying Jo?

Charles Burmeister
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Old 07-12-2005, 12:24 PM   #49
Jack Simpson
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Paige,

If your dojo is the Aikido of Ashland I'm thinking of, I know your Sensei, and know him to be a very understanding individual and an outstanding aikidoka. Talk to him, about this problem or any other. That's what he's there for.

As far as the current dilemma, you could use this to work through, as others have stated, but I'm reminded of advice given to me by one of my seniors: "In aikido you can choose your partner". I'd simply choose not to train with this guy for awhile. I've done that many times. And some people have done that to me, and that was a real lesson. Life is too short to be miserable while pursuing your passion.

Cheers,
Jack
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Old 07-12-2005, 12:39 PM   #50
Janet Rosen
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Paige, you've gotten lots of good feedback here already. I'm going to add the perspective of one who has had to work through from exactly your starting point.
I hated it when big guys (yes, it is almost always big guys who DO it, though of course the majority of big guys DON'T) clamp on hard to both wrists and stand there staring at me. Actually, to be honest, at the moment, I hated them and wanted to inflict bodily harm on them.
I had all the same arguements I've read here: if I cannot move at all, how can I learn? If the technique we are practicing calls for uke's energy to be, say, incoming, then how can I learn the demonstrated technique if the attack is not actually incoming?
Many people senior to me, who are not "clampers" themselves, were very clear in telling me that there IS value in this training, and that if reality IS a clamper who is pushing some buttons, well then that IS the training.
And frankly it took a few years for me to get to a place where I could see the truth in that assertion. The way I look at it now is: being grabbed and held obviously pushes a lot more buttons for me than being attacked. I can accept attacks as they come. The clamp immediately brings me up out of my center into struggle and discomfort and, if allowed, fury. So my training when clamped has nothing to do with technique. It has to do with standing my ground, settling into my center, breathing, extending, allowing eye contact and simply BEING THERE. If I do nothing more than this, well, ok. If I am able to start feeling some movement in the connection between us that allows us to get out of static, better.
Recently somebody I hadn't trained w/ in a couple yrs was at the same class as me. The last time, he clamped down, and we got into an arguement. This time, I looked for partnering with him, knowing he would clamp down. He did. I did my practice, which is all I can be responsible for. A couple of times I was able to affect his balance. When we were done, I thanked him very warmly and sincerely.
I'm a 50 yr old "old fart" and I doubt I'd have been able to do this as a teenager. I applaud you for bringing this issue up and for being willing to keep discussing it in the face of varied and mixed replies you've elicited.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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