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Thread: Skoss III

  1. #1
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    Default Skoss III

    Hi Ellis,

    Wondering if you'd be willing to address a question or two on your Skoss III essay material here? Please let me know if that'd be ok with you.

    Thanks,

    Mark
    Mark Tankosich

  2. #2
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    Default

    Hey Mark -

    Sure. I don,t have daily internet access, so may not reply the same day.

    Ellis
    www.ellisamdur.com

  3. #3
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    Default Uke

    Hi Ellis,

    Thanks for responding.

    Mainly I wanted to ask you about your (intriguing, at least to me) statement that "one's teacher is always functioning as uke at every moment of contact." Could I ask you to please elaborate on what you mean by this?

    For example, are you saying that a (good) teacher is always consciously working to interact with his student in a way that helps the student to grow? (I just realized as I wrote that that I may be being overly influenced by Nishioka Sensei's conceptualization in Skoss II: ""Uchidachi must have the spirit of a nurturing parent." "Uchidachi leads shidachi by providing a true attack" "If uchidachi is the parent or teacher, then shidachi is the child or disciple." ) Or did you simply mean that the student always needs to think of the teacher as an "aite" who demands constant sensitivity / vigilance / awareness? Or am I completely missing your point?

    I've got some other follow-up things I'd like to ask, but I think I'll wait to see your reply first.

    Again, thank you for taking the time to correspond.

    Best,

    Mark

    PS As I assume you know, JH Sensei picked up the books. Turns out he lived right near there as a boy (small world)!
    Mark Tankosich

  4. #4
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    1) In an ideal relationship, the teacher is consciously, effectively, and appropriately acting as uke. This ideal is never realized, but it is easier to come closer when roles are mutually determined by a shared culture that is slow to change. In short, like Japan used to be.

    2) Existentially, one's teacher is always functioning as uke, whether either student or teacher is conscious of it - this is, by definition, the teacher-disciple relationship. Thus, let us imagine a teacher who is embezzeling money, and the student becomes aware of it. The teacher, without any intention, has provided the student with ukemi - and what "waza" does the student apply to the situation. Whatever he does will have implications on how he learns from the teacher. This is true whether the art is for the purpose of aescetic training or for combat.

    As a teacher, I cannot claim to come close to the former, conscious role. Sometimes I'm on, sometimes I miss the boat, and sometimes I'm not even trying. But existentially, the second always is operating.

    Best

    Ellis Amdur
    www.ellisamdur.com

  5. #5
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    Ellis,

    Thanks for your explanation. You even managed to answer some questions I hadn't yet asked.

    On reading your response I'm struck by 2 things: 1) the similarity with the therapist / client relationship (though I guess that's something that should have been obvious), and 2) the immense responsiblity that any good teacher should feel.

    Anyway, thanks again,

    Mark
    Mark Tankosich

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