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"Ideally, your self-defense will never get physical. Avoiding the situation and running or talking you way out - either of these is a higher order of strategy than winning a physical battle." - Wise Words of Rory Miller, Facing Violence: Chapter 7: after, subparagraph 7.1:medical

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What are the benefits of a cooperative uke vs one that is not (Cooperative vs. Resistive Tori/Uke Model)?

A question asked by a Mr. Milner on the Karate Friends FB Wall dtd Tuesday November 4, 2014 at 6:30 AM. This was my comment to him on this most excellent question. 

This is a pretty darn good question. I believe there are benefits in everything within a system of martial practice. As to the specific of a cooperative uke vs. resistive uke I believe both are critical tools for an MA in order to train the mind for defense. I feel strongly that a cooperative uke is the stepping stone to the resistive uke thereby creating the knowledge necessary to take it to the third step in a more free style practice with partners that include kumite, sport but more importantly the defensive aspects of MA.

For me the defensive aspects are primary along with the philosophical, theory and physiokinetic aspects making my practice and training holistic. 

Back to cooperative vs. resistive uke. In order for beginners and novice practitioners to gain the knowledge and encode it into the depths of the mind a cooperative uke is very much needed. I believe once a certain drill is learned adequately in this cooperative uke model then for that drill, that drill alone while newer drills remain in the cooperative state the tori must begin to experience resistive uke in such drills. This actually takes the tori/uke relationship a bit higher since this type of resistive uke training is actually fluid where both parties will actually take on the roles of both tori/uke. 

It is also my feelings that the tori/uke training model go back and forth between cooperative and resistive along with sessions that will actually take it more toward a reality based training model. Finally, the time when you pass from the tori/uke cooperative and resistive training models is when you take your defensive training to a group that can provide a “Reality Based No Bullshit” type of training where stress induced adrenal flooding occurs so that the encoding of the lizard brain will assimilate such training and superimpose that over the more human instinctive reactions. 

Finally I also recommend that the cooperative and resistive tori/uke model also introduce practitioners to the SD model, i.e. the full spectrum of self-defense as presented in the knowledge shared through the efforts of people like Rory Miller, Marc MacYoung and others, i.e. their books listed on my bibliography page here: http://isshindo.blogspot.com/2013/11/bibliography.html

Most of all, since you seem to prefer the resistive uke model for training, I would recommend the above simply because you are pushing your preferences on others by insisting (it seems that you are insisting from the way you describe your feelings, I could be wrong and if I am I apologize) to remain in resistive uke mode. Remember, as a Sensei or Senpai the dual cooperative relationship in MA is about learning and teaching each other equally and that means although you may be at a level where remaining in resistive uke mode is adequate for you the partners who train with you may still need to work the cooperative uke mode. Either way, even if it feels like the cooperative uke mode is not needed in your personal feelings that model still has a ton of stuff to teach even if it feels like it doesn’t - let it happen and I guarantee you will suddenly get this “Oh crap” feeling one day and gladly get that feeling that all of it was worth it. 

The benefits of cooperative tori/uke is it provides time and experience to teach and learn how MA fundamentals work, i.e. the fundamentals principles of martial systems (theory - physiokinetics - techniques - philosophy). It also benefits practitioners by laying ground work and experience that allows them to have some knowledge for the body, mind and spirit to tap into as they gravitate toward the resistive tori/uke models and is one reason why using both consistently and diligently contribute toward encoding it deeper than simply knowing the moves. 

The benefits of resistive tori/uke is to teach the mind and body how to extract what has been learned in a more fluid and opportunistic manner, i.e. in other words break the patterns in a kata two person drill type rhythm and allow the lizard brain to pull and parcel different appropriate responses without thought, instinctively. This benefit also is about preparation when the training goes the distance toward the reality based training and finally puts the frosting on the cake when you add in the SD knowledge and training for civil self-defense. 

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