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Martial art is what we do for fun. We want to stay physically fit and learn to defend ourselves but the thing that will keep us practicing is having fun. Fun for everyone comes from treating our partners with respect.
It is not fun having your partner correcting you. We feel that we are helping our partner if we are constantly correcting them. The problem is that people feel criticized and lose much of the joy of practice. The way to help our partner is to:
- Be careful not to hurt your partner. If your partner tells you something is painful or taps, then back off or stop completely depending on the situation.
- Uke should give the kind of attacks Nage requests, and attacks that are appropriate for the technique being practiced. If your partner asks you not to do something do not do it!
- To help Nage, Uke should take ukemi as though Nage was doing it perfectly. That is, Uke gently leads Nage with Uke's movement. Uke does not instruct Nage.
- If there are problems that bother you call the instructor. Do not say your partner is having problems. Just ask the instructor to explain what you perceive as a problem. You might ask, "Would you explain how to grip the wrist in this technique?"
- Pay attention to how your partner is reacting to you. Be sure that both of you are having fun. If you cannot work things out so that both of you are having fun then do not practice together. You might talk to the instructor for help with how to practice amicably.
- If you want to work on something about a technique that is different from what the instructor is doing, and the instructor is correcting you, explain what you are trying to do. Then the instructor will understand the situation and the two of you can work out a solution.
- Jewelry is not safe to wear. It can get caught and injure either you or your partner. Remove all jewelry before practice.
- Keep fingernails and toenails well trimmed. Untrimmed nails can be torn causing you considerable pain and they can cut your partners.
- Keep your clothes and equipment clean. Do not wear hair grease or anything else that might make the mat dirty.