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Old 03-02-2006, 11:24 AM   #51
Dojo: Wokingham Aikido
Location: Reading, UK
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 393
United Kingdom
Re: Powerful

Didn't mean to open a big can with his one!

Re: Mr uncooperative 4th kyu, the technique we were doing was a back stretch. These things require a certain degree of cooperation from uke, otherwise he lands on the floor (in my experience). Then tori gets told off for throwing when it's supposed to be a back stretch


He didn't lock down on me, he matched my movement and blocked me at every turn. I'm not good enough to cope with this kind of attack yet. Straightforward true attacks - yeah - bring 'em on! Push-me pull-you mucking about - I have no clue. It's not an attack, there isn't enough energy to play with, and it's just frustrating. Any uke can do this to you if they know what the technique is!

My Aikido works best against a true attack where uke has a clear intent - in fact it's easy, I don't have to do much . As soon as uke starts being clever, twisting and turning, it seems to turn into a speed and agility contest. Then the egos come in and the Aikido blows out of the window

Sure I could have kicked him, head-butted him, swept his legs, whatever. Hurting him is not the answer, that's why I didn't do it.

If I were Saotome Sensei or Endo Sensei, I'm sure I could have achieved the backstretch without any trouble. But I'm not always able to move without uke being able to feel what I'm doing, especially when doing a technique I'm not too familiar with yet.

I'm working on my invisible movement, but I'm a long way off that level of attainment at present.

But you're right, I shouldn't have allowed it to get my goat

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Old 03-02-2006, 01:25 PM   #52
Dojo: Boulder Aikikai
Location: Boulder
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 136
Re: Powerful

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've long been under the impression that the back-stretch is just a partner stretching exercise, not a martial technique (or maybe I'm just confused because I've heard people purring while getting their backs stretched...). It sounds like this particular 4th kyu has some ego issues he needs to work on.
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Old 03-02-2006, 03:07 PM   #53
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
Location: Wisconsin
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,224
Re: Powerful

The back stretch is an exercise, a simple exercise, and not about resistance or control.
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Old 03-04-2006, 03:33 AM   #54
Rupert Atkinson
Rupert Atkinson's Avatar
Dojo: Wherever I am.
Location: New Zealand
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 997
United Kingdom
Re: Powerful

Done properly, the entry for a back stretch is like that for ryote-dori shiho-nage. So, it can have all the elements of good technique.

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Old 03-07-2006, 05:51 PM   #55
Location: Burlington, Vermont
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 21
Re: Powerful

George S. Ledyard wrote:
This is just another training opportunity... he was being a butt... you get pissed off. You are pissed, not really because he was a jerk, but because he showed you that you aren't yet as good as you'd like to be. If you were better, he wouldn't have been able to do that to you... This isn't a failing or a value judgement, it's just a statement.

He got you on two levels... first, he got you on the technical level. You couldn't move him. Depending on the level of experience you have and the relative size and strength mis-match he presented to you, that might have been completely expected.

But he also "got you" on the emotional level. You "contracted" around the emotional attack he gave you by trying to make you smaller. You got pissed off because you bought into it, you let him and now you are mad at him. You talk about people "taking advantage of your good nature". That's just a relection of your own perceived vulnerability. If you are confident and centered in yourself, his being a jerk simply means he doesn't "get it". It should have no effect on you since it has nothing to do with you.

These interactions, which we all have, are opportunities to see what we need to work on to be better.

I really hate quoting the entirety of a large post, but this is a great point.

It holds true regarless of Uke's intent. It's an opportunity for practice whether or not Uke's being a jerk, trying to teach you something, or stiffening from panic. Uke is actually irrelevant. For me, this sort of situation is one of the best things aikido forces me to work on. When something like this happens, it shows me that I'm off-balance or out of center, based on the fact that I get upset. If I was centered, I wouldn't be bothered. So as much as it makes me sound like a dirty hippy, I'm grateful when I get stuck like this, because it reminds me that it's not about the ego, and it forces me to acknowledge that I'm not beyond my ego, however enlightened I may have tricked myself into thinking I am ^_^

Last edited by Dillon : 03-07-2006 at 06:04 PM.
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