Small Conceits

Musings. Stories. Poems.

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Quinn-Sensei <demonstrating, with Chris taking ukemi>: “You want to get their hand and expose their wrist so that they…”

Chris wickedly doesn’t go down, preventing Quinn from finishing his instructions.

Quinn <twisting harder>: “Hey! I said so that they…”

Chris smirks and subtly messes with Quinn’s defense.

Quinn <breathing in and finishing the move — and his sentence> “…don’t have anywhere to go but down.”

Quinn pauses, signals Chris to stand up again. Chris complies.

Quinn: “So, again…get their wrist exposed and turn them…”

Chris <shouts & drops, laughing>: “OK, you got me that time.” <shakes his hand to stop the tingling>

Doug <raising his hand from the sideline>: “Sensei, I don’t think I quite got that. Can you do it again?”

Quinn: “Sure. You’re with me.”

Doug <opens & shuts his mouth, smirk sliding from his face>: “OK, that didn’t go as planned…”

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First, a bit of background, from the dojo handbook:

“Ukemi: Techniques of falling. The art of protecting oneself from injury.”


Joe-Sensei: “OK, so I want you to stay loose. Uke can do anything they want to you. You have to stay loose to be responsive.”

Doug knits his brow, opens his mouth, then shuts it again.

Joe: “Doug, you have a question?”

Doug: “I was just thinking it’s like marriage. You never know when they’re gonna attack, or why. They just come right at you, and you have to figure out how to roll with it to keep from getting clobbered.”

Class laughs.

Doug: <shifting a little uncomfortably> “Katie would kill me…”

Joe: <not missing a beat> “OK, everyone! Marriage ukemi. Go!”