Sunday, September 24, 2017

Super Fun Sunday Too

Peter taught a class today.  It was actually only Chris and I.  Dave started Arnis and goes to that class during the same time period.  So he doesn't come Sunday's any more.  Peter has been training long distance running again so hasn't been regular on his Sunday's in a while, Tony's back has been shaky so he's been missing days.  Everyone else is just spotty on a Sunday anyway nowadays.

The scary thing is that Chris lives in Salem and if you don't know the area Salem is huge for tourism in October.  Chris usually avoids class for that month because of the traffic and general insanity in his area that month.  Even getting a parking space is difficult.  So, I'm wondering what the next month is going to look like.  May be an opportunity for me to practice my jo kata, ukemi and hit up an arnis class if I'm the sole student on one of those days.

Anyway, everyone missed out because Peter did a bunch of stuff from ryotetori that was fun.  There was a koshinage, a kokyunage, sankyo, and this.....

Look around the 1:00 mark for one of the variations he did...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cP4XoEDKXQY

Then Peter also did something.... to me it looked so much like ktata hiki otoshi that this is what I turned it into.  Peter's start was a little different but it essentially was this....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZxaFSZrzCw

Peter didn't correct me so he either liked it enough not to want to 'fix' me or that was what he was doing.


Friday Was a Fun Night

The best part of it was that lots of people came to class that night.  There were a few no shows but there were people that I hadn't seen in a long while.  It was nice to see everyone on the mat.  Wish the class lasted longer (it flew by).  I worked with Alex for a lot of the class.  Our aikido couldn't be more different.  He's one of Serge's students.  So, all his aikido is very tight, with lots of opportunity to break joints and so forth.  Interesting thing is that although he is good and I've often been happy to say that if something happens I'll hide behind Alex(he's in great physical shape), there is a big difference in his aikido and Serge's.  I felt holes in Alex's aikido.  Momentary spots that I could fight him if I wanted.  There were small and frankly he moved through them quick enough that not many people could exploit them.  Serge has no such holes.  It's a matter of experience.  So I spent a good chunk of time with Alex pushing things to the edge.  He's good enough to know when to back off.  So I never took damage from his aikido, but man was it tight.  That style of aikido I think of as effective but useless if you are trying to not hurt someone who will struggle against you.  Anyone struggling will simply be hurt.  And... there are many spots to struggle at.

One thing Alex did that was interesting was yet another shihonage variation.  Instead of two hands on someone's wrist, he had one of the wrist and one on the elbow.  Although this isn't natural for me, it may be something I noodle around with for a while.  It felt interesting.

The reason folks all came out of the woodwork for this class was that we were holding a special class.  Mr. Mulligan was going to teach.  He's been stepping back a little the past year or so.  It's my understanding that he's finally going to cut back on his hours a bit.  Maybe not show up every day the dojo is open like he has been.

If he steps back I'm assuming that Bob will take the lead for directing the aikido program.  There was no official word but knowing Mr. Mulligan this is definitely his plan.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Small Changes

Sunday was quiet.  Not too many people.  We did all kinds of fun stuff but one thing sticks out in my head.  Peter had us doing something like an udekiminage.  But... there wasn't a forward throw.

One thing I noticed right away was that the way we were practicing it uke could just simply walk right out of the armbar.  So, I noodled around with it and pretty quickly I figured out how to change the angle of things so that uke is more jacked up than out.  Changing it in this way made it so if uke moved forward they would only increase the pressure on the armbar.  What I'm happy about is that I figured this out fairly quickly.  My understanding of boy positioning and mechanics has improved somewhere along the line.  I may not be able to figure out every puzzle but I do get some of them.

Had a great class.  I go to work with Chris and Buddy.  Buddy is great because he makes very strong attacks and keeps a solid base.  Chris has excellent timing and can blend well with attacks.  He and I had a conversation about controls and my role as an uke.  I asked him to crank harder on his controls.  That he needs to trust me to tap out or trust that I will appropriately move to protect myself.

When cranking on someone for sankyo for instance, it's important to feel the slack come out of uke's arm as you crank it.  Be sensitive to what you're feeling and crank an appropriate amount.

For the most part I can feel (as lots of people in aikido) how much I am cranking someone.  Some times I get an overreaction from some people and I immediately let go.  Although I know deep down I'm not cranking hard enough to cause that kind of reaction, you have to let go just in case.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Friday Night

It was only Tony and I at Shodokan for Friday night.  His back has been really tricky so we kept things light.  Instructor got tied up so it was just us.  We started going over his Shodan test requirements.

I let Tony do whatever he wanted for each attack.  Then after he did a bunch, I did a few techniques.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Great Class Monday Night

Rob taught at North Shore Aikikai.

Great class.  We did a progression of techniques/exercises.  Not sure... I think the last one was a soft version of taiotoshi.  A lot of emphasis on making sure uke is thrown in the direction they are headed already.

I was pleased that there was a portion of the things you needed to think about in this class that I already had in my head.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Wednesday Night Practice

Joanna and Chris M were in class.  Not my kind of class.  We didn't focus much on aikido.  Seemed more like an exploration into street fighting with machete, knife and or "walking sticks".

Meh.


Monday, September 04, 2017

Very Fun Sunday Morning

Peter had us doing henka waza.  We started with an ikkyo and then went into all kinds of things.  Some of it common, some of it less so.  On one of the iterations we were doing for a while I said to my partner.... I just have to get this out of my system.  And did a different one than the one we were working on.  I don't do this lots but sometimes you see something while practicing and I didn't want to wonder about it for the rest of the day.

Turns out, Peter was watching me.  Decided he liked it and wanted to see it again.  As soon as I finished he claps for the next technique and announces.... "Eric will demonstrate".  So... what I did was get the ikkyo.  Step behind uke as I underhook the arm, tenkan and then j-step for a sumi-otoshi. (The underhooked arm pulls around high)

It's flowy and fun.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Wednesday Night

I had the time so I popped in for a Wednesday night class.  For whatever reason it's not a highly attended night.  In fact... I called Joanna to let her know I was coming.... It was just the two of us.  She hadn't practiced in a while.

So... we just did a bunch of random stuff.  No point to any of it... Except....  When I'm on the mat all I think about is the aikido I'm working on.  I don't think about work, home life, the kids, or anything.  So, as a result, when I do aikido it's relaxing.  It's a total reset.
Joanna kept talking as we practiced and her mind was often on the myriad of life events she has to deal with....  work, home improvement... etc.
When you get her working on aikido she would start back in again.  She's not leaving that stuff off the mat.  I tried as much as I could to distract her from her problems.  I had her try out what I knew would be techniques she didn't know.  Sure enough she had to concentrate on them for a bit to do them as they weren't things she did every day.  She stopped talking for those periods.  Invariably, she would show me a technique she wanted us to do and she would drift back.... talking about life issues.

When you get on the mat it's a huge opportunity to leave behind all your problems.  If nothing else, you should keep your mind on what's happening so you can continue to learn.  Or.... focus on your ukemi so you don't get hurt.