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#126587 - 07/31/03 12:07 PM Beating up my dojo
Joe Jutsu Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/09/03
Posts: 575
Hey guys, I think that this might be the 1000th post in the Aikido forum, but anyway..


I just felt like sharing some of what I've encountered in training as of late. I sort of feel like I've been accidentally beating up my fellow aikidoka in my dojo. I knocked one of my sensei out during randori, which was actually his fault. He gave me a very strong down and leaned into it just a bit, and as I rolled to save myself from the impending faceplant my foot whirled around and cracked him in the jaw. His eyes went glassy and he went down. I felt awful as I hobbled over to survey the damage, which turned out to be just a split lip and a bloody foot.

Another instance that comes to mind was while working with one of the more martial members of our dojo, who at times applies some techniques pretty tenaciously on me. When it was his turn to take ukemi he complained several times that I was being to rough on his joints, though that was not my intention and I don't believe that I was doing the technique any harder than he was. This is the same guy who love to throw me into breakfalls to even though our dojo is phasing them out.

Anyway, I'm trying to figure out if I'm a new breed of sadistic aikidoka, or if I should take it easy on the old guys? Neither one of these guys are really old mind you, but far from their early twenties where I find myself these days.

Thanks for listening...

*gets up off of the martial therapist's couch and exists the room*

[IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

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#126588 - 07/31/03 01:31 PM Re: Beating up my dojo
the504mikey Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 06/19/03
Posts: 790
Loc: Louisiana, United States
The two incidents you portrayed seem very different to me.

In the first, I think you have an honest to goodness training accident-- a happy one at that, because no doubt it will be a while before your sensei follows someone down with his face again. I got busted for leaning over uke in that fashion just Monday night, albeit in a much less dramatic way...

The second story is the one I think I would spend more time thinking about. If you are consistently causing pain to your training partner, you are missing an opportunity to learn better "feel" for the technique. By that I mean you should be able to snatch uke's arm and apply your technique up to the point where "all the slack is gone" as fast as you possibly can without causing any pain whatsoever. This point is different for each uke, and you will learn to see it in his posture and eventually feel it through his body. Once the slack is all taken out, the lock is established, and uke's posture is broken, what happens next is negotiated between the two of you-- if he resists, he will feel pain. If you apply the technique faster than he can accomodate you with his ukemi, he will feel pain. So you both have a part to play in determining out how much practice is going to hurt. On the one hand, you can cause him pain no matter how good his ukemi is. On the other hand, he can make life harder for himself by resisting the technique.

Personally, I like uke to resist some, and I resist some as uke in order to allow tori to feel something on the other end of the line. Yes, it hurts sometimes, but really, if balance is broken properly it is hard to put up much resistance because you can't get any leverage. Watch for uke's tap, and if he taps let the pressure off immediately.

From what you have said, this particular uke is not that sensitive with his technique or he is just sadistic. In either case, you shouldn't let the quality of your technique drop to his level-- treat him right, and if he can't or won't treat you right then talk to him about that. Heck, for all you know he might think you are cranking him too hard and he may be retaliating to teach you to calm down. These things tend to escalate! You may find that if you learn to "listen" to your technique you will both naturally soften up the right amount without losing the effectiveness of your technique. I really believe that pain should not be the piece of the puzzle you are relying on to make this stuff work, because you never know how someone will react to pain or if they even feel it. My instructor can plant me solidly without any pain at all, just by locking my skeleton and breaking my balance.

Hope this helps some...

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#126589 - 08/01/03 08:48 AM Re: Beating up my dojo
Cato Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 1636
I think mikey has answered your points very well and I have nothing to add to that. However, one thing that I did pick up in your post that concerns me greatly: You dojo is phasing out breakfalls???? Have I misunderstood something? Are you really doing away with breakfalls?

Budo

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#126590 - 08/02/03 01:48 PM Re: Beating up my dojo
Joe Jutsu Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/09/03
Posts: 575
Thanks for your post Mikey. I too have been flattened to the mat without feeling anything, and its an awesome experience. You gave me some food for thought that I definitely will bring to the mat next time I practice.

Cato-

I can't really say that we're phasing out breakfalls altogether, but the shin shin toitso aikido syllabus has changed I believe pretty recently, but before I began practicing. For instance, we don't do kotegaeishi or wrist turn anymore, we do koteoroshi or wrist drop which needless to say does not necesitate a high level of ukemi to receive the technique. I think we do less breakfalls in my dojo than other ki society dojos that I've visited, because that's the word coming from Japan and our cheif instructor is very meticulous about staying up with the new ways things are being done in Japan, which I believe is a good thing for our dojo. But when sensei's gone, things are a bit different. I hear senior students lament the loss of kotegaeishi into breakfall for example. But sensei is abroad I believe putting on a few seminars over in the UK right now, and I got tossed into a breakfall from kotegaeishi the other night for the first time which was kind of cool. While practicing suwari waza? techniques from seiza, koteoroshi is more like kotegaeishi but we let go (or are supposed to anyway) to let uke roll out of the technique.

Of course breakfalls can't be phased out completely, but we are basically being instructed to not breakfall for the sake of a nice high fall, only when it's necessary.

So yeah, that's all I got. [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

Joe.

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#126591 - 08/02/03 02:48 PM Re: Beating up my dojo
Cato Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 1636
Ah. It makes sense now, thanks Joe. I had a few palpatations there for a while but I'm okay again now. [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG]

Budo

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#126592 - 08/02/03 04:45 PM Re: Beating up my dojo
csinca Offline
former moderator

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 672
Loc: Southern California
Get the palpitations going again, I am one of the last in my dojo to have any skill in breakfalls. We aren't teaching them as our techniques really don't require them.

This could lead to a long discussion, but in my experience, the kote into a breakfall is fairly easy to reverse by extending the arm straight and out, usually puts me in a nice position for a rear choke. In the event that I do go over in a break fall, I've got a fist, an elbow and a knee that are looking for your ear on the way over.

On my last test I was asked to throw a visiting aiki-jujutsu student in a breakfall using kote and couldn't.

Now you guys are likely doing kote a bit differently, can you share how you are doing it so that it requires a break fall but isn't readily reversed?

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#126593 - 08/02/03 08:46 PM Re: Beating up my dojo
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
As Chris and I worked on this very topic, I can attest to his view as well. Depending on how one does the 'gaeshi', one may not be able to breakfall from the lock. It boils down to this. If you allow uke to fall where he wants, or you place him where you want. If you place uke where you want and apply the 'kaeshi' a certain way, uke can not breakfall or he will break his own arm. So the question exists, do you need big breakfalls to do martial arts. Note that most Karate-ka don't use breakfalls, neither do Brazillian Jujutsu, so one can make the argument they are not necessary. On the flip side in Aikido you could get hurt without knowing how. My Jujutsu Sensei would not allow breakfalls as if the person did a breakfall you did the lock wrong. Truth of the matter is this, big pretty breakfalls are more for "showin" than anything else. It looks good at demos, and usually get the oohhs and aahhs. It makes the technique look like it hurts alot worse then it did. Try a breakfall against someone like Professor Wally Jay of Small Circle Jujutsu and you may break your own body. My fingers were bent in angles I didn't know existed and the best thing to do was sit down.

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#126594 - 08/03/03 02:37 AM Re: Beating up my dojo
Cato Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 1636
I may have misunderstood Chris, but is not down to whether or not you "float" uke prior to applying the technique? If uke is pinned he will counter almost anything quite successfully, but it is dificult to counter a technique off balance, particularly if the technique is "snapped" on rather than applied in stages.

Budo

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#126595 - 08/03/03 07:05 PM Re: Beating up my dojo
csinca Offline
former moderator

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 672
Loc: Southern California
Cato,

The particular "arm extension" reversal might be counter intuitive at speed and without balance. The kote we do is with the fingers straight up and the elbow taken back and down. At speed I end up straight down on my back (usually upper back taking most of the impact).

In most breakfalls I have taken, even at speed and with the flow, I can get contact with the nage, usually my hand to the back of his head. I smacked the hell out of a guy once on accident while visiting his dojo. The kote came on so fast that my body going down caused some "equal and opposite" to my oputside hand which went forward and then was pulled in... In this case I wasn't even trying to counter.

The other problem we (my dojo) have with breakfalls is that to properly do a breakfall, you need to be able to pivot your body in the direction of the fall and push off. In most cases one foot is usually free to move and accomplish this. Now I admit that we don't practice this and we may not be doing an advanced form, but in all the videos I've seen (including some of the famous shihans), one foot is floating. Anyway, with a foot floating like that, you don't really have the control over uke to take them where you want them. In essence, if uke still has the body control to take a breakfall, he still has enough body control to not take a breakfall...

Just our interpretation, I still do them on occassion as I find them fun in small doses.

Chris

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#126596 - 08/04/03 09:52 AM Re: Beating up my dojo
the504mikey Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 06/19/03
Posts: 790
Loc: Louisiana, United States
We actually do kote gaeshi in two different ways. Neither of them require a high break fall the way we practice them, but I believe we could force one in the second case.

The first is as Csinca described. Uke can hit you with his free hand if you are not very careful with your body positioning, and in light of Csinca's comments I am going to keep an eye out tonight to see if maybe uke can always hit with the free hand. It sounds like he can. I have always assumed the the atemi to the face on entering served as an adequate block, but I am not sure... In the second version, we apply the lock and then throw uke by pulling *away* from him, and pivoting to our rear. Usually people roll the fingers down and to the outside while pulling. This creates a lot of torque on the arm, which can only be alleviated by uke "turning over" to unload his arm. If we perform the pull "slow and low" uke can kind of twist around on his feet and then fall in the usual way. If we perform the pull higher and fast, then uke would have to do a breakfall in order to roll over in the air and save his arm. I think if you did the pull fast enough it would be hard to fall in time, meaning that dislocation of the elbow or shoulder and ligament damage to the wrist are very likely.

Does anyone else apply kote gaeshi in the way I described? Is it possible to force a high breakfall in this way?

PS: The arm straightening counter sets uke up for waka gatame. I am not sure, but it might be a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire if you resist the wrist lock and throw only to trade it for an arm bar. We sometimes try to counter kote gaeshi by bracing the hand that is locked with our free hand and then pulling the arm back to get free. Of course, all counters can be countered, ad infinitum...

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