Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Role Of Uke In The Martial Arts


In learning the Japanese martial arts we have both the role of uke and tori- often though of as the attacker, and the defender in practicing a technique.
Uke is the one who initiates an attack, and tori is the one who does the technique to them.
Seems simple enough, and on a surface level it is, but taken a bit deeper the role of uke is VERY important.
Being a good uke will not only improve your training, it will help push the class and group forward so we can all learn more advanced stuff.
Ideas on being a good uke?
A checklist?
The first is to deliver a good attack.
Often as uke, you know what the technique is going to be and what is going to happen- having watched the teacher or class instructor introduce the technique.
Even knowing this, uke needs to attack with commitment and determination. Giving your training partner a good, strong, committed attack will allow them to properly respond and execute the technique.
A good attack *forces* them to respond- or else get hit, grabbed, thrown, etc.
When tori applies the technique (waza), uke needs to be adaptive- not resisting the technique full force, but at the same time not going down for the sake of going down.
Just taking a fall prevents the feedback of the waza working, and fully resisting means, in a full on situation tori would have to shift to another technique- using the idea of nagare (flow).
This heavy resisting is fine for randori (free form sparring/movement), but not in learning martial arts techniques in practice, as tori will have to shift to something else, and then is not practicing what the instructor is trying to have the group master.
When uke has the technique done to them, being relaxed and open to the experience is KEY. 
FEEL what it is like to be thrown, see how it shuts down your ability to move, how does it make your body comply? This feedback as uke shows you what happens when a technique is done- feedback you are going to use in your own training.

Each week we aim to post training highlights from recent classes as a way of sharing the expressions of budo, while giving those interested in pursuing training insight into some of the movements and philosophies explored in each class.

...