Are you a good Uke?

Xue Sheng

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One night in class one of the senior black belts was having trouble performing a technique on me..I finally realized that when I was grabbing him I was not doing it like some street punk, but rather like someone who spent 30 some years in the arts...So the next time I grabbed him I did so like a untrained person, no attention to stance and balance and he had no problems...Anyone have any similar experiences

I am likely a terrible Uke.

Grab me I automatically relax and that messes up a lot of people and no matter how hard I try I can't tense up for them. To much Taijiquan I guess
 

tshadowchaser

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I try to be a good uke. I learn much from being on that side of the demo or practice and usualy enjoy the experence (even if it hurts).
But as a few others have said i some times forget to act or react as a street person
 

Pacificshore

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I really think that the biggest mistake or disservice that an Uke can make is being too wrapped up in the "realism" aspect. It is important to give resistance and train for reality....but when someone is first learning a technique, it is more important to be a bit pliable and allow the person to work the technique and learn it. Once the movement is down, there will be plenty of time for resistance training.

Another mistake that I've run into many times is the Uke not communicating. It is extremely important just to say little things like "ok, that's not working" "Maybe rotate a bit to the right" "Now you have it," etc.
Agreed. Also on the flip side when providing some resistance, the Uke must be prepared for the technique to be applied to as near as full force in order to obtain the proper reaction you want out of them for the technique to work. This will also allow the giver to see the different dynamics a technique may have given the amount of resistance it receives.
 

ChingChuan

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For me, it depends... ;)

In terms of resistance etc, I guess I'm a good uke - I don't mind falling etc. at all so usually, people don't have difficulties with training with me.

However, the problem is that everything works 'too good' when performed on me... For some reason, my nerve pressure points are quite 'sensitive' so if you try to sweep my leg, you don't have to do it 'correct' in order to get it to work - even when the movement is slightly off-target, I'll still fall. I haven't heard anyone complaining about it, but personally, I think it's a bit annoying... After all, most people you're likely to encounter 'out there' won't fall / comply as easily as I do...
 

bluemtn

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Well, sometimes I give a newer artist a hard time without meaning to. If it is or was a move I expected, it seems like I automatically do something so it doesn't hurt much at all... For example, arm bars. I always wind up relaxing my arm just before they could get a decent one in, which resulted in me being able to move my elbow or shoulder a bit better, and I don't tap out. I could feel the other person get aggrevated because they "can't" get it right. I have to remember that it's ok to let them get something like that in on occasion- like just learning the technique.
 

Fiendlover

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I hear ya..It takes a bit of concentration for me...
Yeah me too. I've tried some arm bars on my brother but since he knows it's coming he stiffens up and becomes exactly the opposite of what a person on the street would do. (he's not in an MA btw and does this to say that nothing I've leaned works). Lol but in class I tend to do that sometimes too.
 
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Drac

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When doing our techniques I now remind the Uke's to grab the Tori's like some beer goggle wearing street punk and THEN like someone who has had some sort of training..The results are real interesting...
 
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kaizasosei

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I think i am a good uke.

Providing resistance is done by feigning or 'thinking up' resistance, at best various types, not by truly resisting. Resisting, only to submit in the end. Otherwise, it ceases to be practice and is actually sparring. Anything that is half-way or halfhearted, is fraud. Sparring must be hard to a certain degree, and pratice should not be too hard or anything more than is needed to get the point across-there are no almighty masters in any temples or rings, we are all human and must win the hearts of others through fairness and good will as well as skill in teaching.


if the dimensions of winning/loss and pride fall away, one can see what great obstacles they are not only to learning but to true communion of souls. Also, it tends to be dangerously destructive and uncontrolled to not be aware of such lines.

j
 

MBuzzy

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Well, after abouth a month of Aikido, I now have a VERY different world view on being an Uke. I still agree with the things that I said earlier, regarding the appropriate amount of resistance, but I now know that I am now and was a VERY BAD Uke (Bad Uke, Bad Uke).

As my Sensei says...the most important part of being an Uke is being committed to the attack. I have many problems in my Ukeness. For example, I try to adjust my body weight to say on balance, I readjust my body as the technique progresses occassionally, I release my grip too early, and probably worst of all, I anticipate the technique and take Ukemi before the throw is actually executed. Now, this is all after only a month of Aikido and I come from a style where Ukemi is not taught AT ALL, nor are the fine points of being an Uke.

I have plenty of time to learn, but there is much more to being an Uke than I EVER imagined. Being committed to the technique and providing realism means that you perform the grab or attack, follow through, but also allow your Nage to do the technique. The conversation that I had last night with Sensei was enlightening in this aspect. We don't always do the technqiues full speed and we have the advantage of knowing what is coming....a real attacker won't. They theoretically won't have time or know how to adjust their body to regain balance (or in the more advanced techniques, when they readjust, it only helps the technique work better). They will also be grabbing hard and won't let go right away. So we simulate speed and an attacker's lack of awareness by being "committed" to the attack. Resistance comes with time and experience.

And all of this on top of knowing how to fall without getting hurt...because of course, Ukemi is 50% of aikido....

There is just so much to learn.....
 
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Drac

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Having worked as a bouncer for a number of years I have seen every bar fight imaginable..When we work on self defense techniques I remind the Uke's that they are a some punk in a bar that holds all his air in his chest to expand it and make himself look bigger and knows nothing about Kiba-Dach stance...
 

Cirdan

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Actually I have no problems whatsoever playing the drunk bully. Should I be worried?

There are different levels of compliance and resisting with strength or technique. I try to be the uke my partner needs while staying within whatever the instructor is teaching at the moment.

Resisting all the time is a bad idea since it makes it extremely hard to learn the details of good technique. Imagine trying to listen to Mozart in a steel mill.
 

Blade96

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I like to think of myself as a good uke. Some time ago i was paired with a white belt and sempai told me to block easy, cause he was just learning. 'Osu, sempai' So I did. He punched, usually I block hard and sometimes hurt people cause my blocks are hard. With the white belt though, I gave him easy blocks. When I punched, and he was the uke, I went slowly because he was just a little white belt.
 
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Drac

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Actually I have no problems whatsoever playing the drunk bully. Should I be worried?

Then I should be worried too....LOL

There are different levels of compliance and resisting with strength or technique.

True

I try to be the uke my partner needs while staying within whatever the instructor is teaching at the moment.

In the begining I offer little resistance..As they progress I will tell them that if I dont feel the technique I will keep resisting...

Resisting all the time is a bad idea since it makes it extremely hard to learn the details of good technique. Imagine trying to listen to Mozart in a steel mill.

Amen
 

zDom

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A REALLY good Uke knows what the person needs at that training moment and provides it.

For example, for someone practicing a shoulder throw:

are they very new to the throw? I shouldn't resist, but I need to make them pull me off balance so they get the feel and timing;

or are they more experienced and need to build strength in their legs? I should lower my center of gravity a bit, make myself "heavier" as we go through reps;

or do they need to build the strength of their pull? I should provide just a bit of resistance to the pull, make them exert some effort to pull my balance forward;

or are they much smaller than me and need, at this moment, to build confidence in their ability to do the full motion? I should make myself light as I can, allowing them to easily throw me;
 
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Drac

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Since I got over my bout with depression I started attending classes and assisiting Master Steve with teaching. I often find myself working with one of our youngest female students. She just started High School and is concerned for her safety. When I Uke for her I tell her to " pour-it-on ", my reasoning is if I feel it then some oversexed high school student will REALLY feel it..

Other Combat Hapkido students here are familiar with our BLOCK, TRAP and STRIKE drills. Her face strikes are nowhere near the face and it is becoming a bad habit. So I allow her to give me and open had strike to the side of the face, I want her to feel contact with flesh. The same thing when she is delivering a gut punch. I tell her to HIT ME. When she gives me the " I cant" speech.. I tell her not to think of me as Drac the Instructor but some HS punk with wants to get under her skirt.
 

tempus

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I know I am a different Uke depending on the experience of the person I am working with. As the belt level goes, up so does my resitance should they make a mistake or if they make a big mistake and do go into anotther technique I will counter with another attack. Low level belts I make sure I give them enough energy\speed so they can fell the technique and process what they are attempting to do. I know when I first learned I had to step things out in my head and was robotic in the beginning.
 
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