The Importance of Practicing Awareness as Uke

Last night the focus of our class was more on the uke (attacker) side.   Sensei asked us to think about how we as uke can help our partners be better at practicing a technique.  He said that we all have innate knowledge regardless of the time we have spent on the Aikido mat, and that we can use that knowledge about ourselves to help our partners.  This was a really beautiful practice.

We have many different levels of experience in our daily lives, we are novices, apprentices, experts in so many different things.  But we all have a level of wisdom innate to ourselves.  We are also all connected to each other and we can, simply as one human to another, and regardless of experience, have some understanding of how we can help our partners become better.  This means that we do not just grab a wrist or throw a strike at our partner so that they can do the technique.  We acknowledge the person we are practicing with and search within ourselves to give our partners the attack they need to do the best technique they can.

Sometimes on the mat we are caught up with “we are doing the same technique again and again.” But really, we aren’t.   An Aikido teacher told me recently that every attack is different depending on the partner, the time of day, the weather, our moods, how we receive that attack.  Thus every technique we do is different.  This means then that we are not doing shiho nage over and over again.  We are doing this technique in a variety of different of ways based upon the energy our partners are giving to us, the stance we take, the way we feel at that moment.  Thinking about Aikido in this way deepens my practice so much more.

It’s been a really long time since I’ve added a blog entry.  I’ve done a lot of writing on 750words.com and have enjoyed sorting things out big and small without the need or want to share those things publicly.  I will probably do more of that but plan on sharing more here as well.  Balance is a good thing, and I like to get my wordy posts out and share with my friends and family.