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The topic of resistance
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I am a beginner to the art, but enjoy it a lot. Sometimes I wonder though, how much resistance should I use. I understand that the concept is supposed to be sort of giving your body to the tori, but how much is too much? I see some people come in to the dojo and they expect you to fall from a 1 or 2 on the 1-10 pain scale. Or they will do a technique poorly, and when I dont fall they get rigid with technique, which kinda hurts for their uke. Also If it is someone just entering in to the art, they may have trouble against resistance, and when you ease up on the resistance so they can figure it out, that sometimes leads people to think the training is not effective before they really get the chance to experience it.

Should I just ask for their preference, or is there an area in the range of resistance that is more in line with the essense of ninjutsu?

Posted on: 2009/12/12 5:31
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Re: The topic of resistance
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im only a gokyu so dont take my opinion as gospel. i personally think the more resistance the better (effective) because thats what your going to deal with in a real confrontation. i find alot of people start with plenty of resistance but, depending on grade i suppose, sometimes you start out at half speed as compared to full speed. of course too much resistance can sometimes backfire and injure the uke. asking never hurts right?

i think this is directly related with the thread on here called " the unspoken contract" from Mr Martin (Papa-San)... i would read that as well

Posted on: 2009/12/12 7:17
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Re: The topic of resistance
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You learn through repetition and practice. First learn the technique. Then learn how to use the technique in the face of resistance. Then learn how to distract to overcome resiistance. For example a quick strike that distracts the uke.

Then learn to apply the technique on the fly with timing and distance that leaves no room for resistance.

Posted on: 2009/12/12 13:29
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Re: The topic of resistance
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I agree with Nicky690, EXCEPT that I feel that henka are more important than achieving a kata technique... in this way you can better flow with your uke's resistance (on the street)... that being said you should try to learn the technique in the dojo.

IMHO ... a good uke is one who doesn't go for the tori but does not resist the technique. Later you can help the tori with suggestions or by showing openings and ways to improve their taijutsu.
If your tori requests that you move faster or slower, or that you resist more than normal, or less than normal you should help them by doing this.

For now consider your role as uke to be helping your tori to learn techniques that will protect them on the street... don't just go for them & let them build a false confidence that will get them hurt on the street. But don't resist them to build your ego.

In addition to assisting your tori's training ... it is very important that you train while you are uke! Use this time to your advantage, practice your ukemi when thrown to the ground. Look for possible openings in yourself and your tori. You could consider this an opportunity to double your training time in the dojo.

You have to keep in mind that resistance would be lessened when you receive a strike or 2 throughout the technique... tends to loosen ppl up a bit. When you train in a technique & improve your taijutsu you will begin to see more and more of these openings throughout a technique.

How many ppl have continued to wrestle on the ground after having a hand put in their face... they aren't aware that that hand placed on their face was in fact an attack to the eyes. Not many have the mental strength and pain tolerance to continue a fight after having their eyes gouged out! But training is a personal ego battle, it isn't important that you let them know you 'won' so long as you understand the effect of your 'attack' so that you will be better able to protect yourself and your loved ones should that burden fall upon your shoulders in the future.

Posted on: 2009/12/12 16:09
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Re: The topic of resistance
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Quote:
i personally think the more resistance the better (effective) because thats what your going to deal with in a real confrontation.


I personally disagree with this, although it seems to be a commonly held opinion.

In most Bujinkan dojo, the instructor demos a technique and then the students work on that technique. In doing so, they know ahead of time what the technique is. This allows the uke to apply an *un-realistic* amount of resistance if they choose to do so, because they know ahead of time what they will be dealing with. This can be a source of frustration in dojo training where a competitive spirit develops between uke and tori. In a "real" situation, the attacker is not going to know ahead of time what kind of response you will be giving, and is therefore at a disadvantage and is able to offer less resistance provided you don't stop and keep moving.

It's more of an issue of spontaneous flow than of resisting a technique, because a skilled defender should be able to adapt on-the-spot to what is being done. There shouldn't be a stop-and-wrestle kind of situation that we sometimes see when 1) the attacker knows what the defense is going to be, or 2) the defender stops in the middle of her/his movement due to confusion, indecision, etc.

Quote:

In addition to assisting your tori's training ... it is very important that you train while you are uke! Use this time to your advantage, practice your ukemi when thrown to the ground. Look for possible openings in yourself and your tori. You could consider this an opportunity to double your training time in the dojo.


Excellent advice! Too many uke think that their only job is to advise the tori on what they are doing right/wrong instead of working on their own ukemi. The training goes both ways. Both people should be working on their taijutsu - the tori on applying the technique and the uke on what they should be doing if such a technique is applied to them - without turning it into a wrestling match.

Shawn

Posted on: 2009/12/13 2:31
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Re: The topic of resistance
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IMHO it depends on the type of resistance, I'm not clear what people are refering to so far. If you as an Uke extend and sink remaining balanced and taut I think is the right type of resistance for most training, but with out wrestling or countering their movements.

But resistance where they resist following where their balance would lead if one was training at normal speeds or wrestling against the tori is generally bad in an already known technique. Since like you said it's unrealistic but a strike or two will lossen most up.

Then there are gumby types who just flop out the arm completely relaxed without any intentions or practicality to their movements which is worst to work with than a wrestling match.

I love seeing how they don't even blink when a shuto goes towards their kasumi and they maintain a blissful state of a cow in India. This by far is the worst, I suppose striking them would be better. When you get no reacting from them it's pointless to bother.

Then you have people that don't wait and don't counter with strength but bounce arround constantly changing their balance rather than being thrown or taking ukemi.

It can be a mess IMO each dojo should probably teach what the uke and tori is supposed to be attacking and maintaining. Because, it makes all the kata training done worthless, since no one can do it without knowing what and where one is attacking.
But, I assume they have been taught how since different types mentioned above runs in certain dojo groups.

Posted on: 2009/12/13 15:41
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Re: The topic of resistance
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Thank you all for your advice so far. I am going to start trying more to use my being an uke to improve my ukemi.

Posted on: 2009/12/14 12:16
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Re: The topic of resistance
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in response to Kouryuu, i meant resistance coming from the uke. as in resisting a technique. i know weve all seen techiniques were the uke throws a punch and just lets his arm float there for the tori to grab and apply something too. i think thats a waste of both pepoles time. when i say resistance im talking about what your actually faced with in a real confrontation where someone is trying to hurt you and will resist all your attemps to stop them

Posted on: 2009/12/15 5:13
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Re: The topic of resistance
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Quote:
when i say resistance im talking about what your actually faced with in a real confrontation where someone is trying to hurt you and will resist all your attemps to stop them


If you want the uke to demonstrate that level of resistance in the dojo then you are just asking for injuries - sprains, hyper-extensions, breaks. Sorry if I'm misunderstanding what you're trying to say.

Dojo training can't be exactly like an actual, real encounter - unless you want blood on the mats every class. You have to make some sacrifice of realism for the purpose of safety and well being - and for a lot of us, safety and well-being is the reason why we're training in the first place.

Shawn Gray
Chiba, Japan

Posted on: 2009/12/15 11:17
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Re: The topic of resistance
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Kudos to you Shawn!!! I'm in total agreement. It seems to me that way too often we seek ego gratification in the dojo and ego should never be part of the training.

Posted on: 2009/12/15 11:45
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