Monday, July 24, 2017

Helped Chris With His Next Test

Sunday morning had the usual class.  It was good.

At one point Peter pulled Chris and I aside so he could work on his test stuff again.  This is always a good idea before a test.  I also stayed late to help him practice.
No idea how he feels about it but he really shouldn't be testing yet.  I think he tests next week.  Not sure if he feels he's ready or if the instructors think he should be testing.  Not sure who's driving this.

Anyway.  It's really none of my business so I stay out of it.  If he's testing that's his business.  Not mine.

Even though I'm not 100% physically up for it, I agreed to uke for him for the test.  If I need to take a break I'll let the judges know.  I already warned Mr. Mulligan.  Chris does so much for the dojo that I couldn't say no.

The uke part will be interesting though.  I expect there will be many unfinished techniques where I will be expected to launch myself away from him and roll.  Anyone who really knows what they are looking at will see it.  A good part of it stems from the fact that he thinks that finishing a technique is 'rude'.  He lacks confidence in his ukemi(which is mostly fine) and thinks others have the same problems.  So as a result he doesn't want to push people too hard.  A nice sentiment but he backs off far too much.  More often than not he won't finish techniques.  Which... is a shame because he does a lot of things really well.  What do I mean by finish?  Well... he'll start off a technique and go to do the throw and not do anything at all to make you move.  Or.... not take your balance anywhere within the technique.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm not saying I always get this as well.  What I'm saying is that he doesn't try, because that is rude.

He's fun to work out with but where it's bad is when he teaches.  The beginners class that came out a while back clearly had his influence.  Took months to undo that.  I also wonder if an experienced martial artist who started aikido would bail on our school because the first exposure is to someone who doesn't really do anything to affect them.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Hot Night

Shodokan was baking today (about 94).  Despite the heat it didn't seem all that bad really.  We kept class light and did lines all night.  Sean taught tonight.  For the most part we concentrated on Tony's test.  So we were doing one attack and as the line came through you did something different for each person.  It's good practice for me.

The pace was excellent but I felt like we could do a much longer class.  I was all warmed up.

Nothing much in terms of learning but it was still a good practice with excellent opportunity to work on flow.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Still At It

May not be putting many blog posts out but I'm still getting in 3 classes a week.

The class that has stuck out the most for me was one at North Shore Aikikai.  We were doing ikkyo again.  Why was it interesting?  Because it was just ikkyo, after getting ikkyo buckled over, nage steps around in front of uke then to the other side to do another ikkyo.

There is a Donovan Waite video somewhere up there where you could see it.  Problem with it is that every time he does it, his hands are hidden from the camera position.  So the hand change is still a little bit of a mystery.  But the people he was showing it to .... saw the demo.... then heard him just say ikkyo at the end.  Yes.... that's all it was.... just ikkyo.  People in the room laughed because it was ikkyo but had an extra component many would find challenging.

Made a Tuesday night class at Shodokan this week.  Very unusual.  Haven't been to that class in quite some time.  Peter taught.  Was fun to work with the latest batch of newer people.  I don't often get to see them.  Peter did a mix of stuff from a shomenuchi attack.  Aside from the newer folks I got to work with Ryan.  I don't see him too often either.  Ryan's aikido is very tight.  He uses a lot of muscle which he has plenty to spare.  He also gives uke very little room.  Working with him is uncomfortable.  Reminds me a lot of an MMA guy that I worked with a couple times in the past.  One thing I noticed is that his pin was loose (he wasn't pinning the shoulder down).  So I showed him where it was weak and told him how to fix it.  He was able to immediately make an adjustment.

I have no problem working with Ryan but I ran into another student last night who was sitting on the sideline while class was going on.  After speaking to him I found out he had a long outstanding back issue.  This was exacerbated when he worked with Ryan.  His ukemi isn't up to handling him on a normal day.  I feel like I need to talk to Ryan to tell him to have a little more control when working with people like that.  I already spoke to the injured guy about ukemi and staying ahead of the technique if need be and speaking up for yourself if you can't do something.

I would liked to have gone Wednesday night to work with Joanna but it's a bad night for me.  Too much going on.  It will get better after the summer schedule is over.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Yay Ikkyo

Had an awesome class on Monday at North Shore Aikikai.  We worked on an ikkyo variation..... actually it wasn't the ikkyo itself that was interesting.  We were mostly working on the entry for it.  I think I was getting most of it although I still need practice on this.  This is one of those times where it's good to have no muscle memory getting in your way.

The attack was a yokomenuchi strike.  You enter on the open side with a tenkan.  You blend with the incoming strike (right on right or left on left) with your palm down.  Then you draw uke up sliding what was the blending hand down to the wrist as the other hand guides the elbow for the ikkyo.  I'm leaving out a bit of detail here but this is the gist of it.

This was very fun to work on.  Never hurts for me to practice blending.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Yay Pete Is Back

But one of his knees isn't.  He's having some trouble with it.  Hopefully he gets better soon.

Today he did a variety of techniques.  At one point he had us do tsuki sumiotoshi.  This was a technique I did when I taught in order to stress the j-step.  Was hoping everyone was mindful today.  I had Peter as a partner.  He's got about 2 years under his belt.  He was doing the version where you throw down instead of the projection.  I started to suggest to him that Pete showed it as a projection and he may want to try it that way.  Then Pete came over and said we should throw down so that Peter can practice his breakfalls.  So we do a few.  I would love for him to get a chance to do more but class ended.  He really needs the practice.  One side was ok but needed work.  The other side was barrel rolling time.

I don't like to say much when Pete is teaching.  He is very traditional and doesn't like it when someone else presumes to teach when he is leading class.  Out of respect for him I typically keep my mouth shut but I often want to help my fellow students on techniques or ukemi.

Friday, June 23, 2017

88 Degrees and All Is Well

Dojo got pretty hot tonight.  I can say though that this dojo is way better than the previous location.  That building got much hotter since it had no windows to speak of.

Bob taught tonight.  There were only 5 of us on the mat tonight but I got to see some faces I hadn't seen in a while.  That was good.

Bob kept things on the light side because of the high temperature.  Probably a good idea.  About halfway through class though I had adapted.... wouldn't have minded picking up the pace some.  Not sure how everyone else would have done though.  I'm massively out of shape right now.

Tonight we worked on a kaitenage ki building exercise..... a kokyunage and a sumi otoshi kind of technique.

At one point John was my partner.  He was concerned that doing the technique would make nage susceptible to a punch from the other hand.  My thought was that if you got proper kazushi than this wouldn't be a problem.  He disagreed and was going on at length.  So I simply listened.  Is he right?  Maybe, however, I want to practice the technique being shown so I can understand it.... not change it right on the spot because I think I see a hole.  Maybe Bob can do the technique without the hole.  That's why we need to practice it.  Not immediately judge it.  Good thing to be mindful of this kind of thing during practice but you shouldn't in my opinion stop you from trying to explore a technique.  maybe I have a hole but the instructor doesn't.  Maybe John saw the hole with his own technique.  I have no idea.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Easy But Not

Last night at NSA we worked on a simple kokyunage.

Its the typical one, started with a ryotetori attack.  We were really focused on uke's body position and reaction as we did the technique.

We started out by bringing the hands out just a little to make a connection as we enter to the inside.  Then we draw the elbows down which causes uke to move into you.  Then just pivot.

Those are the major parts.... but there was actually a bunch more details that we were looking at.  What was most interesting was that we all react differently as ukes.  So the distance for one uke isn't the right distance for another.