Archive for February, 2012

Matt Thornton on "aliveness"

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Matt Thornton on "Skepticism & Spirituality in the Martial Arts":

I came across this video by way of a tweet by, of all people, the atheist philosopher Sam Harris. I'd read a blog post by Thornton some years ago in much the same vein, but hadn't followed him since then.

On Thornton's topic of "aliveness" — I think part of being a good uke is judging how much resistance to give, which means being sensitive to tori.

Even during simple static uchikomi I try to gauge how easily to be pulled off balance, depending on the tori. I may adjust resistance during one session of uchikomi as my partner either warms up and picks up speed or maybe slows down to work on a particular detail. I have no idea if my partners can tell; I just know I try to be actively helpful, not a passive practice dummy.

Hopefully I'll be back on the mat actually practicing what I preach some time this decade.