Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Principles in Play

 New student's can often become frustrated with their level of performance when initially attempting to perform Tuite. This aspect of Oyata's art, is one that requires a large amount of time and practice dedicated to the performance of each of the instructed techniques.
 Towards that endeavor, we have encountered a number of different (teaching) methodology's being employed (for the instruction of students).  
  In order to correctly apply a tuite technique, one must understand the required motions of the technique, as well as being able to decipher the “feed-back” that is being provided (by the uke).  
 Without this feed-back, the individual has no perception of the necessary directions and pressures to apply to the uke's limb(s). Proprioception is the internal “awareness” of one's limb positions and (muscle) pressures.
  Proprioception doesn't come from any specific organ, but from the nervous system as a whole. It's input comes from sensory receptors that are distinct from the tactile (touch) receptors — nerves from inside the body rather than on the surface. One's Proprioceptive ability/awareness can be trained, as can any anatomical motor related activity. 
 This "perception" can be extended beyond one's own body, to include another (person) with whom they are in physical contact with. Though (hardly) all-encompassing, (with experience) one can "feel" the other individual's motions, and (often times) intended actions (which can be countermanded accordingly).
  Through the repeated practice of applying the instructed tuite motions, the body's perception/awareness of those applications will develop into a repeatable action (that can be further applied to numerous similar actions). The student must initially develop their visual awareness of what constitutes the correct (visual) feedback (from/through the uke), of a properly performed motion (technique). The physical aspect of doing such (as described earlier), will come with practice as well. 
  That “feedback” is not (always) only that which is acquired through their own body, but through the physical contact of the uke also. Visual perception is a relevant factor also during a techniques application. It is necessary to “face” the uke to obtain a correct response (from an applied technique), and is most dramatically evident if/when that technique is being applied slowly.
  Incorrect technique application can occur because of numerous related factors. Most commonly, it is the incorrectly applied direction, or manner of (physical) force that is being applied. It is because of this (required) “awareness”, that these manor of techniques cannot be adequately learned through the written medium. 10 people reading the same application description, will perform that written technique, in 10 different ways (each similar, but different none the less).
  Those differences can emanate from any physical “size” differences, height (a very relevant factor), weight, strength etc., or just from their own reading comprehension abilities (which can vary, from day to day).
  It is our belief, that a one on one, instructor/student interaction, coupled with having a multiple uke training environment provides the optimal conditions for the study of tuite. When either of these factors are removed (as the provided options in one's study of tuite) the student's ability/knowledge level suffers.
  Having the correct awareness of the desired (if not required) “response” by/from the uke (as a result from the application of a tuite technique) is required as well (if the correct practice of the instructed techniques is to be expected).
  When a student has (the basic) knowledge of the limbs R.O.M. (Range Of Motion), they can vary the technique's application (in whatever manor is appropriate to/for the situation). 
  These concepts are explored further within our instructed methodology (the interrelationships are unavoidable). The understanding of how, as well as why the body moves (and reacts) to various applied stimuli is (undeniably) required to utilize the techniques and principles taught within Oyata's methodology. 
 Though not (too) heavily emphasized upon all of our students, for those that do desire to teach their own classes (in the future), having a working knowledge of these concepts will determine the level of understanding that they can convey to their own students. 


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