“Mastery through ukemi,” by Gregor Erdmann

“Remember that training in class is not the same as ‘on the street’ combat. The Dojo is place to perfect your technique and discover a better way to achieve all things in life. It is a place of study and research, in which you need to throw all of yourself to make progress. Taking the position of the thrower and the thrown are both essential to understanding the mechanics of aikido.”

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  1. bruce baker says:

    Ya know, I was thinking about this over the New Year’s weekend, that the application in the street will mean different angles of throws, such as towards the ground to intentionally cause injury, or over cranking enough to cause pain and injury, are the street application compared to practice application.

    I know .. not politically or lawfully correct, and even to talk about it is taboo as it opens us all up to a lawsuit possibilities by some smart guy, but then our protection is that we are just meeting the level of violence with the LEAST amount of force necessary to neutralize an attack, right? (no kidding, the least amount of force necessary.)

    But, if you are paying attention, to not only the technique but the amount of impact each technique will have as you increase your intensity, a code word for causing pain and injury that shuts down the attacker’s body as his life functions attempt to preserve life, then you begin to understand what are attempting to learn though safe practice.

    Each technique is sending signals to the brain that are interpreted and then signals are sent to the human body where we view the results in a physical response.

    Please don’t argue or respond that obvious physical injuries result in obvious results, because without the nervous system and the brain’s interpretation of data there would be no pain, let alone the body would continue to activate movement until a complete physical failure has occurred.

    Bottom line, learn to disrupt the brain and the body’s functions in some way, shape, or form, and you get the mechanics of Aikido.

  2. Since I started flying a few years ago, I have been attracted to the aerial dogfight analogy for aikido.

    In the air there are basically two styles, energy fighting and stall fighting. The first uses superior altitude, airspeed potential in a dive or rate of climb to “shoot and scoot”. The energy fighter only initiates an attack with superior energy. The stall fighter uses superior maneuverability, lower stall speed, to suck the energy fighter into a level flight turning contest. (if anybody wants more information on aerial dogfighting, a concise summary of P40 v. Zero tactics is in “God Is My Copilot”)

    The analogy extends to aikido as follows. The energy attack is anything that can deliver a decisive blow at once: shomenuchi with sword, tsuki with tanto, perhaps some of the kicks. The alternative is attack which intends to wear down the opponent, like boxing, which only rarely succeeds at once.

    Ukemi in aikido is analogous to diving away from a maneuver fight. The analogy only holds when techniques like mune-tsuki kokyu ho, or shomen-uchi kokyu nage are seen as atemi. By extension, rolling away from atemi can be seen as a central doctrine of aiki ukemi. Once that concept is under control, the follow-on is that ukemi is central to kaeshi-waza. There’s an aerial dogfight analogy here, too, but I’ll leave it at that.

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