This Week In Nihon Goshin Aikido ~ #14
July 3, 2014
Greetings Nihon Goshin Aikido Aficionado!
I hope all is well with you at your end of the great blue aikido mat on this outstanding Independence Day Weekend (that’s July 4th weekend to all you unpatriotic aikidoka)!
Aikido Topic Of The Week
The Perfect Uke ~~~~
In a recent conversation, Sensei Carter made a great point about the “perfect uke,” that I had intuitively been attempting, but he described it so eloquently, that I thought I’d share it. He said, “To be the perfect uke, you must put your nage in the position to be successful.” I believe we were considering the first wrist technique. He said, “Grab my wrist in a cross grab, and don’t let go, but don’t do anything else.” Then he moved his wrist into the proper position it would be in had nage expertly applied the First Wrist Technique. Then he simply said “that’s ideal” ~ and it was. The idea is as uke you are so far ahead of the technique that you would do it “for nage” if he didn’t do anything. In this way, the “heavy uke” that you must literally drag through your technique is eliminated because he now is literally trying to do the technique for you.
As I typed this out, I was reminded of another Uke question. About 6 months ago ~ dealing with a similar theme ~ specifically, uke responses. I was trying to point out the differences between “feeding additional techniques” versus attempting to “defeat a technique.” The small group had a couple of senior yellow belts, a blue belt and a couple of green belts. The application was an Elbow Chop from a round house punch, and everyone was doing well with it, so I decided it might be good to go a step further. So rather than just lay on the ground after the technique was over the next time I served as uke, I took the fall, then ~ without breaking the grip, stood up and faced nage. He was now holding me in a straight grab, and as he looked at me (not sure what to do), I proceeded to Elbow Chop him. At which point everyone laughed, and I commented, “it would have probably been better if you had made sure I didn’t stand up.”
So with this new condition of possibility, that the uke might stand back up, I took a second fall for the Elbow Chop from the same nage. This time, when I attempted to stand up ~ without breaking the grip, nage immediately switched to a Peel Off, and I went over and down again. Without breaking the grip, I attempted to stand back up, and at that point, he rolled me over onto my stomach and applied an Arm Bar ~ and I was done. Now in my mind, that is “feeding technique.”
Feeding Technique is different from trying to defeat a technique because uke is not resisting or failing to follow nage’s lead. Uke is going with everything, he is just offering “more” after he arrives.
Defeating Technique is totally different and might include examples like backing up and in a circle to prevent the handshake lock from coming on or refusing to hold on in a technique that requires uke to hold on, etc. Consider the 2 Hand Grip from the Rear Throw to the Side, Classical Technique as an example. How many times have you heard a student say, “This will never work because I would just let go” ~ and they attack you in a Randori situation and then they let go ~ so there is no longer any engagement between uke and nage. In my mind this is an uke who is trying to Defeat a Technique. That said, letting go is not altogether bad (as there is temporarily no attack), but nage must understand that he can not leave uke behind him. Perhaps a simulated side thrust kick to the rear when uke lets go on a 2 hand grip from the rear attack would send a message that uke is in trouble ~ no matter what he does ~ so it might make sense to hold on. Just thinking out loud here....
Sho-Dan Promotion in Lexington, SC
Congratulations to Kevin Hovan ~ the latest sho-dan to enter the SC Yudanshakai. He tested brilliantly two nights ago (2 July 2014), and was promoted on 3 July 2014. On 6 July, he will be traveling to Korea where he will be defending our nation’s interests for the next year. Keep he and his family (who have to stay behind) in your prayers. By the way, we intend to interview him while the testing process is still fresh in his head. So look for that link coming soon.
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Let's meet on the mat together soon!
Sensei John Carter and me
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Two Senseis combined to create one shod-dan in this instance.
Kevin Hovan (c) with Joe Beckham (l) and John Carter (r) after completing his sho-dan self defense line.
Kevin Hovan the 19th Sho-Dan to come out of the Lexington, SC dojo.
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