Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Zanshin for uke

Photo courtesy of Invunche
Zanshin is not just a thing for tori. Uke is learning aikido too, and ukemi provides a fine exercise for improving zanshin.  For example...
  • in junana hon kata, each time tori throws uke, tori should end up moving away near tori's head. Uke, keeping in mind (zanshin) the potential for tori in this position to kick uke in the head with impunity, turns to place his feet between tori and himself, effectively placing tori in a loose, open guard. From here, uke will at least have something to say about it if tori attacks, so tori backs away and uke rises to his feet moving away (sprinter's start).
  • in kimenokata, uke never allows himself to be stretched out on his belly in a prone armbar. This is considered to be a terible sign of weakness - worse than submission!  Instead, when tori is pressing uke with an armbar, uke goes with it until he is on hands and knees and is about to be stretched onto his belly, then he submits by tapping. Uke never voluntarily gives up his last bit of potential by lying on his belly.
These are both aspects of these kata which facilitate improvement of zanshin for uke - things to consider when you are doing kata.
Patrick Parker, is a Christian, husband, father, judo and aikido teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282
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