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Old 07-13-2005, 02:50 PM   #76
guest89893
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Quote:
Quote:
Gene Martinelli wrote:
You played on different streets than I. Weather it was a sports oriented MA or other sports, I would say some people were as you described and others not so...


Everything meant everything both good and bad, don't you think.


It is a path for some, she might like it. However, I wonder if this issue that Paige experienced may be more prejudicial than competitive? I am glad though Paige that your Sensei came and made suggestions to improve your technique as nage and not just admonish the UKE. It is better for you to improve the technique, and through that your AIKIDO. -fwiw-

Gene
These were responses in part to what Jorgen wrote. Besides AIKIDO guess I can't post right either!
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Old 07-13-2005, 04:53 PM   #77
Steven Gubkin
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

A few observations:
On one hand, this is a great opprotunity for you. I love it whenever someone really resists a technique, because it gives me a chance to try and outsmart the other person. Sometimes this requires suprising them with a technique other than the one you are supposed to be practising.

OTOH uke CAN be wrong sometimes. If you are practising katate-dori shihon-nage, and Uke enters with shomen-uchi, then Uke is wrong. If the technique you are preforming calls for a dynamic attack, and Uke is just holding you statically then Uke is wrong. You need to talk to him about this.

Another point of conversation is what Ukemi is all about. IMHO the reason Aikido Ukemi looks so passive all the time is because it is in preparation for Kaeshi-waza. What is the point of learning about relaxation and blending all the time, if we are not going to act that way while attacking as well? The reason that Uke blends with Nages motion is to put Uke in a good position for reversing the technique.
It seems like your Uke does not realize this. By resisting your motion, he is not putting himself in a good position for an Aiki defense against your technique. Even if you are not practising the Kaeshi-waza, he should still be aware of it, and look for openings in your technique. Also by looking for openings as the technique is occuring, both of you can discuss closing these gaps.

The most important thing to do is to talk to this Uke and to talk to your sensei about it, and try to find some kind of resolution.
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Old 07-13-2005, 08:52 PM   #78
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

yes unfortunately there are a few very few but people who do that. I look to it now as a challenge. to be able to go fast to cope with this aggressiveness
at my dojo there was this guy that joined at the same time i did, and every time i was with him he'd do such hard techniques. I'd struggle to cope with it, and I'd ask him why do you go so hard and fast and he's like because that's how it would be in a street fight, he'd really hurt me because I didn't know what I was doing and he didn't either,
one time after class he came up to me and goes "don't go using your powers for the dark side" and im like eh? And then he goes "don't you think this is just like starwars " and I ask him why is that and he goes well you learn all these dangerous techniques and your supposed to use them for good not for bad "
I was greatly confused by his mental attitude

Anyhow…after the introductory course
He only comes occasionally now …once maybe twice a week
Compared to me who comes like 5 times a week I have become much more advanced and now when he practices with me he really doesn't know what to do…he still tries to go hard but it doesn't work any more. After my first grading…where he didn't come
He was like "wow you're a machine"

As you can imagine that made me feel really good J
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Old 07-14-2005, 07:06 AM   #79
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

I liked the response about ATEMI. Basically, if he's clamped so hard that you can't move, then atemi must become part of the technique. We are often told to use atemi to distract Uke from our true purpose. A well placed punch to the face will get Uke's mind off his wrist in kotegaishi and onto his blocking the move.

I would talk to your sensei about it, and make sure he/she understands why you would be adding atemi to your technique with him. If your school has a martial application perspective, sensei should be understanding, and encouraging.

The atemi should make him think less of his grip and more of defending himself. Be VERY ready to launch into the technique as soon as you feel his grip slip slightly. Now, I'm not a pillar of Wisdom by any means, but I'd take the opportunity to really work Uke over in the technique. Do it hard, do it fast, and provide him with the chance to gain some humility. And while you have him pinned, give him an evil little grin and say "You may be stronger, but I'm faster and smarter". Of course, do this on the last repitition of the move for the evening.

Don
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Old 07-14-2005, 10:52 AM   #80
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Quote:
Donald Alley wrote:
I liked the response about ATEMI. Basically, if he's clamped so hard that you can't move, then atemi must become part of the technique. We are often told to use atemi to distract Uke from our true purpose. A well placed punch to the face will get Uke's mind off his wrist in kotegaishi and onto his blocking the move.
Well, Paige considered kicking uke in the balls, so maybe she had the right idea to start with.

Without knowing Paige's relative size/mass to uke, I don't have a lot to say except that there's usually a way to effect some sort of technique, but if Paige (or some other practitioner) is limited to the technique that the instructor was showing and uke is deliberately blocking her limited options to follow that precise path, the instructor should have said something to uke about knocking off the BS, IMO.

On the other hand, I also think that instead of just running through variations of a technique like this, most dojo's would do well to slowly pick apart the mechanics of how to respond against such a grip, etc. The admonitions to "just relax", "lead his ki", "find his center" are all kewl, but some analysis of uke's center, how to affect it, how to transfer your power to your wrist, etc., would probably help a lot, IMO.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 07-14-2005, 12:02 PM   #81
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

I agree with Mike here. I think it was Chris Guzik that also talked about using one's elbow and/or lowering one's center as a way to respond to such a grab -- a similar point.

When it comes to "solutions," for me, this approach is a lot more effective in the grand scheme of things than "just do atemi." For me, it is also more martial (in reference to someone earlier trying to make such a contrast). In my opinion, Katate-dori is not a grab attack but the presentation of a particular set of angles and energies. While certain energies may not be present or as prescribed because Uke does something strange, etc., those angles particular to Katate-dori are remain nevertheless. As a result, those aspects of one's tactical architecture that are meant to address the angles of Katate-dori are still viable. Having the prescribed energies of Katate-dori go missing only means that we have to be that much better in those aspects of our tactical architectures that are meant to address the geometry of the wrist grab. Without such insight, we often become over-dependent upon the presence of the prescribed energies and as a result we often come to lose the relevant geometries that are vital to our tactic's overall martial effectiveness. Tactically, this is what I am guessing is happening to Paige. This then is a prime moment to reflect greatly upon the angles of one's tactical architecture (e.g. how to bring power to one's wrist, how to use one's elbow, how to lower one's center, etc.). Attempting to generate the energies we are most likely are over-dependent upon through atemi is us wasting such a prime moment.

David M. Valadez
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Old 07-14-2005, 01:13 PM   #82
Dan Herak
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
no matter what uke is doing , it seems like nage gets all the blame

-paige
This would not be a problem at my dojo. The rules are simple: if I am uke, then it is always uke's fault; if I am nage, then it is always nage's fault. Simple enough, no?

I only glanced at all the replies so I apologize if I am repeating something here. One thing that is useful is to shift your perspective. If you ask him to loosen his grip and he does not, then indicate that you are going to stand there until he does. This is not petulant or immature at all if done with the proper attitude. Aikido is about conflict resolution and you are resolving the conflict by removing yourself from it. Of course it is not a physical removal of yourself from the situation as your wrist is still being grabbed, perhaps quite harshly, but a mental attitude that you are removing yourself from his shenanigans.

It might also be beneficial to point out, pleasantly of course, that his perspective that he is grabbing your wrist is one-sided. The correct interpretation is that he is holding your wrist but you are controlling his hand simply by standing there, i.e. he can only grab your left wrist with his right hand by continually keeping his right hand occupied. Given his mentality, he will probably cede first. This reminds me of an anecdote from when I was younger and dumber. Some jerk pushed past me in a revolving door and I said something about him being a jerk. After he made it through and I was between the egress and ingress, he blocked the doors to prevent me from leaving. I stated through the glass "You don't have me trapped. You have us both trapped and I probably have more time." He looked startled and moved on.

This attitude has helped in the dojo. One training partner tried upping the resistance in opening exercises well past the appropriate point. I asked him to ease up and he asked what I would do in an actual situation. I replied that I would punch him very hard in the face and do ikkyo by slamming into his elbow. He eased up.

Another person at my dojo was even worse but in the opposite direction. My sensei wanted us to work on smoothness rather than power. Yet this woman played Ms. Passive-Aggressive with all of us - not taking ukemi but rather just stumbling back. Acting all "I am not sure what to do," like it is all that hard to take ukemi. It was pretty clear to all of us that she was acting for sensei - The rest of us could not quite get it right but, of course, we all cooperated with her as the rest of us do not pull such stuff. Could I have taken her down? Oh yeah! But power was not what the instructor wanted. He specifically wanted us to work on smoothness with the implicit understanding that there would be some cooperation between people to work through things. Also, as I am far more advanced that she, I would have been scolded for being too rough on her (see my statement at the top of this post). Everyone was having serious personality problems with her and at the bar after practice (which she never goes to) the discussion was dominated by our problems and really bad feelings towards her.

One night after this had gone on way too long, I was doing a kokyu-nage on her and she, of course, just stumbled back playing her games. Sensei started to instruct me and I said, again very politely, that this was just the game this student plays with us, that those were her problems not mine and I was not going to allow them to become mine. It was a gamble and I expected to be chastised. But sensei let it play out. Things did not improve all at once but they did gradually when this woman realized that her antics were getting more than tiresome and that someone was not going to put up with it. I am sure it also helped that, via my statement, the focus shifted from my technique to her lack of cooperation in sensei's eyes. Several months later things are much improved.

I hope this demonstrates my initial point. A change of focus is very helpful. Other's problems are not yours and once you realize that you do not have to make them yours, this helps tremendously. This is especially so as, once that mental refocus occurs, it becomes more and more clear that the issue really is on the other person and others start seeing that as well.

Hope this helps.
-Dan
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Old 07-14-2005, 04:06 PM   #83
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Just my two cents here... In my very limited Aikido experience, I have found that inexperience, strength, and ego can at once be a dangerous combination, a frustrating obstacle, and a valuable tool for learning. I try to draw the line (ask uke/nage to chill out) when I feel that there is more than the usual risk of injury, and allow the instructor to address all else of his own accord. One of the biggest challenges I have faced (and still face, to be sure!) is to let go of everything else and just train.
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Old 07-14-2005, 04:30 PM   #84
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Well this brings back memories, except I was the big ex weight lifter glomming on hard. That was what I thought I was suppose to do, sigh.

My thought is that this is a perfect opportunity to ask your sensei how to move someone bigger and stronger when your doing static work. I'd approach it from the perspective that this is an interesting problem, my uke is really strong and I'm a bit lost. That way there is no blame to anyone and you might get some really good information.

Bruce Wells
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Old 07-14-2005, 05:35 PM   #85
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Great thread, great advice(s). I personally have a formula on dealing with not-so cooperative ukes. Some have been mentioned already, but if you do this, you get a feel if their intent is malicious or actually useful practice.

1) Ask them to lighten hold (or slow the attack) the first few turns until you get used to the movement.
2) If they keep doing it, tell them this is movement practice (expecially for kokyunage), and not strength practice.
**At this point, if they haven't honored your requests. Then you should be suspicious of motives. I can't imagine someone at my dojo (or anywhere else) not responding to it.
3) ATEMI is a very good motivator. Even a heel on the top of his foot will bring him slightly forward for a good leading movement for kokyu.
4) If he complains that that's not what you are doing...your response "we werent doing clamp holds either"

But seriously, there are a lot of good points here and one of them is - to learn from this experience. Think about what techniques, points of atemi, etc. you could do when encountered with this problem again.

Rod
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Old 07-14-2005, 07:16 PM   #86
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Quote:
Rod Yabut wrote:
Great thread, great advice(s). I personally have a formula on dealing with not-so cooperative ukes. Some have been mentioned already, but if you do this, you get a feel if their intent is malicious or actually useful practice.
Isn't dealing with malicious intent "actually useful practice"? Or is it only "actually useful practice" to deal with a partner who cooperates with you?

Quote:
Rod Yabut wrote:
2) If they keep doing it, tell them this is movement practice (expecially for kokyunage), and not strength practice.
Shouldn't you be able to do kokyunage against a strong attack? One of the softest instructors I know always asked me to grab him as strongly as I could for kokyunage.

Quote:
Rod Yabut wrote:
3) ATEMI is a very good motivator. Even a heel on the top of his foot will bring him slightly forward for a good leading movement for kokyu.
No offense, but that sounds like another version of "I can't do the technique correctly, so I better try to use some kind of a trick". Why not just keep a blackjack in your dogi so that you can just smack them over the head when your techniques don't work?

Quote:
Rod Yabut wrote:
4) If he complains that that's not what you are doing...your response "we werent doing clamp holds either"
Tit for tat? That leaves you nowhere - just another form of complaining that you can't apply a technique because your partner isn't attacking you "correctly", IMO.

Best ,

Chris

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Old 07-14-2005, 07:52 PM   #87
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
Shouldn't you be able to do kokyunage against a strong attack? One of the softest instructors I know always asked me to grab him as strongly as I could for kokyunage.
Actually...doesn't it work best against a strong attack? Good point...I hate people who don't really grab! It makes the technique so much harder to do when they aren't giving it everything they've got :-)

Chris...I agree with/like the rest of your points, too.

cheers,

--Michael

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 07-14-2005, 07:57 PM   #88
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
Why not just keep a blackjack in your dogi so that you can just smack them over the head when your techniques don't work?
Hmmmmmm. <<makes note to self>>
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Old 07-14-2005, 08:20 PM   #89
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
No offense, but that sounds like another version of "I can't do the technique correctly, so I better try to use some kind of a trick".
From one perspective, that's what aikido (and martial arts in general) is: a bunch of tricks. Stomping on someone's foot might not be the correct trick, but tori has to get kuzushi somehow.

From my understanding of Paige's initial descrption, uke wasn't giving giving her any movement to work with, so it was purely muscle vs. muscle. Tori needs to get uke to move somehow so they have some inertia to work with otherwise it just becomes a shoving contest. Atemi is a very good wayto get someone to move.
Quote:
Why not just keep a blackjack in your dogi so that you can just smack them over the head when your techniques don't work?
I've considered that...
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Old 07-14-2005, 08:24 PM   #90
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

I wonder about this idea of "atemi as motivator." To be clear, I am not sure which Kokyu Nage is being practiced here, but if it's the generic "tenkan and throw" one, I would think that an atemi would either move Uke in the opposite direction (giving less energy to the throw) and/or cause him to lose his grip -- both things in the end subverting the throw. If this is the case, "atemi as motivator" would probably be motivating Uke to provide even less of the prescribed energy print -- making it even "harder" to do the throw.

David M. Valadez
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Old 07-14-2005, 08:53 PM   #91
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

As for "muscle vs. muscle," I think there are some other options here. Mike ended up elaborating upon certain issues that I would say are about bringing more correct and thus more efficient muscle groups to bear. This in my mind is about establishing a mechanical advantage through conditioning and harmonizing tai-sabaki, ashi-sabaki, and te-sabaki. It's about establishing Body Fusion, Directional Harmony, Body Alignment, Back-up Mass, etc., throughout the application of our tactical architecture so as to be able to do more work. However, this is only one half of how we can and should establish a mechanical advantage (i.e. opt out of a paradigm of muscle vs. muscle).

In my opinion, a mechanical advantage can also be established by finding ways of doing less work. In my mind, this is a geometrical issue related to matters of leverage (i.e. having us use more powerful levers and restricting uke to less powerful levers). If we can bring a mechanical advantage to our tactical architecture through Body Fusion, Directional Harmony, Body Alignment, Back-up Mass (i.e. a harmony of tai-sabaki, ashi-sabaki, and te-sabaki) and through our chosen geometries regarding leverage, we do not need to relegate ourselves to a paradigm of muscle vs. muscle. Moreover, particularly in Kihon Waza training, we do require the "necessary" energy that most likely we have been using to hide our lack of a true mechanical advantage.

I am reminded of something that happened to me when I was training in Japan. That was when I first started working for Tozando. As it happened, no one there had ever trained in Aikido. It turned out that one summer they hired on a new fellow who was back from school (university in England). He was Japanese. He trained in Aikido so the VP made a point of introducing us. Through our conversation, I asked him if he wanted to come to train at our dojo while he was home. He just laughed and said, "No way!" Thinking I would be insulted, he went on to explain. "Aikido is too fake here now. People just go flying here for no reason and no one cares. It is not worth it to train here. I'll just train when I go back to school at the end of summer." I said, "I know what you mean, but when it's all you got access to, you make the best of it." I told him of a small group of like-minded folks that I trained with on a regular basis -- doing the Kansai circuit. He was skeptical so he asked if he could grab my wrist. There we are in a crowded office with new shipment making things even less spacious, and, CRUNCH! He just busts the meanest Morote-dori I had ever felt (still have ever felt). He says, "Do Kokyu-ho." So, having to go slow, and having no forward energy from him, I just preceded with the proper geometry (gaining the necessary mechanical advantage) and proceed to take him into a backward stretch against his attempts at resistance. He lets go at that point, saying, "Okay, you're for real." I mention this story not to uplift myself, because as Charles said, this is supposed to be normal stuff. I tell this story because if someone can actually use the presence or absence of a mechanical advantage to determine what is real and what is not then we should probably wonder whether we have this mechanical advantage or not -- at least before someone comes in and grabs us for all their worth and we find ourselves lacking.

For me, relying on atemi in this case is probably one very likely way that we are hiding our lack of mechanical advantage from ourselves.

David M. Valadez
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Old 07-14-2005, 09:13 PM   #92
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Quote:
R. Haruo Hori wrote:

A: From one perspective, that's what aikido (and martial arts in general) is: a bunch of tricks. Stomping on someone's foot might not be the correct trick, but tori has to get kuzushi somehow.

B: From my understanding of Paige's initial descrption, uke wasn't giving giving her any movement to work with, so it was purely muscle vs. muscle. Tori needs to get uke to move somehow so they have some inertia to work with otherwise it just becomes a shoving contest. Atemi is a very good wayto get someone to move.
I agree with A above. And you are right about B, especially for beginners. But, I believe it is quite possible to do Aikido on people who use muscle - I have experienced it against me many times -- where I used muscle in a static stance and got thrown with little 'perceived' effort. And now, I am developing a measure of it for myself. 1. I know it's possible. 2. I have been experimenting this and that movement for a long time. 3. I am getting somewhere = it is possible. What have I found? Well, it goes along with what you say: Tori needs to get uke to move somehow so they have some inertia to work but the trick is in that somehow.

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Old 07-14-2005, 09:32 PM   #93
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
Mike ended up elaborating upon certain issues that I would say are about bringing more correct and thus more efficient muscle groups to bear. This in my mind is about establishing a mechanical advantage through conditioning and harmonizing tai-sabaki, ashi-sabaki, and te-sabaki. It's about establishing Body Fusion, Directional Harmony, Body Alignment, Back-up Mass, etc., throughout the application of our tactical architecture so as to be able to do more work.
Good heavens, I don't do all of that. I often don't even move and just let them throw themselves.

Mike
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Old 07-14-2005, 09:41 PM   #94
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

LOL! To the casual observer, it must either seem like A. magic or B. a "ki" trick or C. a too cooperative uke.

Ignatius
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Old 07-14-2005, 10:03 PM   #95
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
LOL! To the casual observer, it must either seem like A. magic or B. a "ki" trick or C. a too cooperative uke.
It's just like a magic trick... looks unreal, but once it's explained the magic goes out of it and some very clever physical skills stand exposed. However, if that particular type of skill was all that was needed for all opponents, that's all you'd have to practice. And obviously you practice more than that.... telling you right away that good martial arts is a combination of all levels of techniques, not just the cute ones.

Mike
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Old 07-14-2005, 11:45 PM   #96
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Quote:
Rod Yabut wrote:
4) If he complains that that's not what you are doing...your response "we werent doing clamp holds either"
Since I wasn't there, I personally would be a bit hard pressed to offer that as advice. After all, Paige's instructor came over and, according to her, saw her uke doing exactly what he was doing earlier. As he did not see it necessary to correct uke, I would think her uke's actions should be considered OK for what they were practicing at the time.

Personally, I agree with what Chris, David, Rupert, and others have said. If I can't do something after my partner has clamped down on me, then I need to keep practicing so I can figure things out from there. Of course, atemi is always there, but as I usually take such situations (of being clamped down) as a problem-solving exercise. Sure, I could probably reach over and pluck their eyeball out, but, then again, I'm pretty darned sure that if my partner was able to clamp down on me, then can probably also have used the grab as an attack (a la yonkyo, sumiotoshi, etc), too, and have taken me down to the ground. Better, I think, to work on things such as sending oscillations through their body, cycling their footstep, or other methods of using their strength against them. (Of course, such things only seem to work once in a blue moon, but it's something I'm content to work on.)

-- Jun, still a bit sweaty from training

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Old 07-15-2005, 12:57 AM   #97
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Quote:
R. Haruo Hori wrote:
From one perspective, that's what aikido (and martial arts in general) is: a bunch of tricks. Stomping on someone's foot might not be the correct trick, but tori has to get kuzushi somehow.

From my understanding of Paige's initial descrption, uke wasn't giving giving her any movement to work with, so it was purely muscle vs. muscle. Tori needs to get uke to move somehow so they have some inertia to work with otherwise it just becomes a shoving contest. Atemi is a very good wayto get someone to move.

I've considered that...
Of course, there are many ways to get someone to move - the blackjack method among them , if the goal is to put your partner down regardless of the method employed. Further, if you can stomp on someone's foot or apply atemi then they would be able to do the same to you as well (and justified in doing so, I would imagine).

OTOH, it is entirely possible, IMO, to apply kokyu-nage when someone clamps down on you strongly. Even if they give you no movement to work with you have the tension of the grab itself to work with. Why would you apply atemi if what you are trying to study is kokyu-nage?

Best,

Chris

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Old 07-15-2005, 01:14 AM   #98
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
Why would you apply atemi if what you are trying to study is kokyu-nage?
Chris
The misunderstanding of that, is probably the crux behind the original post - not knowing the purpose of why we isolate and train certain things. But, the initial poster could have been on the ball - there's no point clamping on so hard that tori can't move. It's a process of development.

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Old 07-15-2005, 02:04 AM   #99
batemanb
 
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Once again I find myself in agreement with Chris Li's posts.

It looks to me that a lot of focus here is on the grab. It really doesn't matter how hard uke grabs and holds you in katatedori, that is the only part of your body he has, unless you get fixated on it too. The reason that you can't move is that you are fighting against him, and strength always wins here. Forget your wrist, a strong katatedori does not hold the whole body. Move your body leaving the wrist pretty much where it is, once you have moved your body so that you are working with his body instead of against it, things will improve.

As has been said a few times above, this is a good opportunity for you to learn from. Drop the thoughts of atemi (I'm not saying that there's no place for atemi in this technique) or kicking him in the nads, work on your body movement, and work with him as much as possible until you get it right. And ask your instructor for help when it doesn't work, as many times as you like

Keep up te practice

rgds

Bryan

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 07-15-2005, 12:42 PM   #100
aikigirl10
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Re: BS in fellow aikidoka

Everyone i am in mexico right now, i will post about all of your questions when i return on tuesday or wednesday. Thank you for all the advice!

Paige
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