So I guess I have been leading up to this question for a few days - what does it mean to float? Every definition I have examined I thought is too limiting. But let's go through the classical definition.
I believe the classical view is that a Uki technique means you are raising the uke on their toes. You might even say you are raising, or floating, the center of uke. The toes are really a by product of this center raise.
I am pretty cool with this definition...except....except that if raising the person on the toes becomes dogma, it becomes weird. People use leverage on elbows, use extreme joint locks...etc. to cause a rise in uke's center.
So let's go back to the poetry idea I had a few blog's ago, to really capture the spirit rather than bio mechanics.
What if floating meant...
to rest or remain on the surface of a liquid; be buoyant, drift along, to move lightly and gracefully, to be free from attachment or involvement, to move or drift about: to float from place to place, to be launched
Sounds more like a spirit than just saying "put uke on their toes"
So I put this question to my Judo teacher Matl Sensei - what is uki waza?
Matl in his thick Czech accent responded "It means it is supposed to be easy."
That's it. Easy and effective. Maximum efficiency with minimum effort. That is truly the meaning of all we do.
Uki waza are supposed to be easy.
I will write more on defining these throws later. But I think, "they are the easy throws" needs to soak in. Using this as my intent, rather than floating the person's center, really transformed the effectiveness of my technique. Maybe it can do the same for you.