Tuesday, August 03, 2010

True Story About the Nature of Practice

A few years back a friend of mine related this story to me. I see this friend a couple times a year. We head off and flyfish every year. Anyway.... He's a black belt in Taekwondo and has been for many years. He told me that they occasionally do sparring practice in class. During these practices they tended to hold back some. Full strength contact isn't necessary. During one of these sessions he was paired off with a very talented woman. She was known in the dojo as being rough on her partners. During the session she predictably was using more strength then was needed for the practice. My friend was tired of this and pulled her aside after class to have a chat with her. What he basically told her was that she's good, everyone knows she's good and that she has nothing to prove to anyone. That she doesn't have to beat the crap out of her fellow students to prove anything. Well, after that she seemed to calm down. She still sparred and still did well but held back so as not to unduly hurt her partners. People stopped avoiding her and got the benefit of working with a skilled person.

During an aikido practice when you have someone in a control or in a position where you have kazushi it isn't necessary to abuse your partner. I'm all for a vigorous workout. I'm happy to do a smooth (even fast) ukemi to keep up with my nage. It is a different matter however when nage takes uke into a position attained through uke's trust and abuses his position.

An example of this would be if someone pins uke and then after uke taps out, nage continues to apply perhaps even more pressure. This would be one example of abusing uke's trust.

Another and more recent event would be when you take uke into shihonage, stop the technique at the point where nage has kazushi. Uke is bent over with arm curled back to his shoulder for a tanto takeaway. At this static position, after a few moments of nage talking, that is not the time to suddenly (and at speed) wrench uke's arm away from his shoulder and outward in an obvious (and successful) attempt to cause discomfort.

If you really want to show me that you know aikido, show me that you can do the technique with some control.


At August 04, 2010 1:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent points. We are here to help each other learn so best not to injure your partners or they won't be there anymore to practice and learn with. Send this post to John Rogers, See what he thinks. Rob


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