Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Ukemi Begins With Uke

During one of the techniques..... kotegaeshi I think..... I was told by the instructor that I wasn't being active enough. Passively allowing your partner to move in a direction isn't good enough. He was saying that during the kotegaeshi.... most people feel the shoulder pull over and move with nage. I can just bend that way and its still comfortable so I don't move enough. The problem with that is... when he does the tenkan and flips your hand over, I'm in the wrong spot and it makes my ukemi harder for me. I stopped doing that and things got easier for me. So I got a nice lesson in being a better uke for this technique.

For this class.... we covered, Katetori Shihonage omote and ura. I learned a lot from Diana on these. Mostly how to free my hand up and making a nice even flowing movement for ura. Also, more practice on timing to keep uke's hand in front of me as I turn. It was so hard to get that low for my shorter practice partner.

We also did, Tsuki Iriminage, and Ushiro Ryokatetori Kotegaeshi.

Rolling was so-so again. I always feel like I'm holding up the group when I roll, but I really still need to take my time to do it well. I feel better about the rolls at least since I took the rolling class. We did some backwards rolls.... I have no idea whether I am doing those right but I can at least get all the way around 98% of the time now. We also did some kind of a standing roll where you sort roll along your arm shoulder and end up in a sitting position on your butt. You start the roll by falling sideways... almost backwards. This killed my lower back as I wasn't doing it quite right.

Usual loose shoulders story. I know I've been told that my shoulders are loose but it is only now that I realize to what extent. The young guy I was pinning was tapping out before I could even get his shoulder pinned to the mat. When he went to pin me he was having trouble getting me to tap so the instructor Matt came over and said..... with guys who are loose like Eric, you can't rely just on shoving the shoulder down, you really need to attack his wrist as well. he then stepped over and did a quick nikkyo to the wrist which instantly got me tapping out. Just for practice sake I would tap out early after taking the stretch for a couple moments. My partner actually said.... "You're just tapping out, out of boredom aren't you?". Although it wasn't boredom, I sort of thought that simply frustrating nage's efforts to get me to tap doesn't accomplish much. Most people would've tapped at that point too. Also... I wanted to give my shoulders a rest to see if they heal up faster.

I don't know if I mentioned this before but one of the leftovers of our training with each other exclusively at the last dojo came to light recently. Whenever Kim would do techniques to people he was getting complaints that he was hurting them. Since he and I were the only two people left at the Cape Ann dojo, we always practiced together and he attacked my wrist and shoulders harder than normal because that seemed normal. When he started practicing with other people he realized he had to take it easy because not everyone is built like me.

In any event, this is the first class in a while that I came home totally jazzed in a while. I was super happy.

No new damage, still healing up old stuff

Monday, March 27, 2006

Woof, Woof !!

It was kind of a nice class as they seem to focus on promotion requirements again which means I get to work on, and remember and improve.

At one point we were doing a Morotetori Kokyuho and it wasn't until the end that I started remembering that I was doing the footwork wrong. By then.... Jim noticed and commented just as I was working on it.

We also worked on Shomenuchi Nikkyo which I did so so on..... Tsuki Kotegaeshi which I did ok on, and some kind of really fast iriminage.

Overall it was a good class for me. I partnered with one guy at one point that I had never had before. He was great. His technique was good enough that I could feel the difference between him and others. I loved this guy. I hope I get to partner with him again. I think part of the reason I liked him is he seems to have a grasp of what I'm trying to learn now. I'm guessing he's a 4th or 5th kyu. It's all fresh in his mind.

If you're curious about the rolling report.... I did better overall and they were almost all comfortable. That wednesday class helped lots. Although at the end of class Jim mentioned that he thought I needed to not bend over as much and extend more. At least I'm using two hands and pushing off well now. Also, some of the ukemi practice we do is sort of a judo roll where we roll but sort of unfurl at the end and lay out flat slapping the mat. I did a little better at this then I had in the past.

Woof woof.... Some guy keeps bringing his cute dog to the dojo. I like the dog but was curious why bring it at all. I know some people that treat pets like people, bringing them everywhere... other's still are just scared that their pet would trash their home if left alone too long. He asked if I would walk him for 5 minutes to shake some of the boredom out of him. Although I did have somewhere to be.... I said yes as I had nothing urgent. I wanted to help since I think he was staying for a little extra help for the promotions test coming up. Unfortunately, the dog wouldn't go anywhere. Call it loyalty, fear of abandonment, who knows.... that dog wouldn't move 2 feet from the outside of the dojo door. So I sat on the bench outside in the beautiful weather as long as I could. Also... the dog was starting to bark endlessly.

Then I got to wondering, is it typical to bring an animal into the dojo? I mean.... it can't take it's 'shoes' off. The dojo does have a cat.... but it's an indoor cat as far as I know. And... for some reason, the two times it(the dog) started barking the most was when we were bowing out. One time sensei Mulligan looked a bit peeved as he was trying to speak and no one could hear him over the noise.

Shoulder and left wrist still hurts related to injury from a while ago. No new injuries.
I tapped out a little early on the left side out of paranoia. I'm getting tired of long lasting pain.

Friday, March 24, 2006

I Must Heal Slow

I'm skipping class tonight to give my body a rest. I used to go to class 2 days a week with people who knew me real well. Now, I'm practicing with lots of different people a little more often. The result is that the pain I feel in my left arm and wrist is slow to heal. Just when it's getting better, it seems I'll take a particularly bad throw which aggravates it.

I'm planning on catching class on Sunday.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Ukemi Class Fixed Up My Rolling

Before even starting the class I had aches in both my right and left arms... and my left wrist. Somehow after warming up, I forgot all about any aches and pains and focused on the lessons. I was so initent on learning that I totally totally forgot that I was hurting.

The new beginners start just occurred. Because I never got the lesson on rolling, I was invited to sit in and participate in the beginners class for ukemi instruction. Boy, just a few words said the right way made a huge difference. I rolled better than I ever had. Now... a couple on my left weren't as good as the right side but they were still good.

I always managed to keep my unbendable arm. I came back up with control. I never crushed my shoulder. I pushed off with my feet. Now.... I'm not sure they were perfect, but they felt good. Unfortunately, we got the abridged version as sensei wanted the beginners to move on to nikkyo.

So, the ukemi lesson broke up and I am happy as can be that I felt like I had learned something. Kim and I then go to join the regular group for training. We started with Shomenuchi Ikkyo, omote and ura. It's the first time in a while that Kim and I trained together. He seemed really tight overall. Not an improvement. He seemed looser and more relaxed in the past. He was up to his old tricks again too. He didn't like how I was doing something so he offerred resistance. For good or bad, since I had his arm in front of my center anyway, I just gently inexorably, lowered him down for the pin. Although, I had to use a little muscle, I took this as an opportunity to work with someone who 'didn't want to go there'. Bascially, Kim will get better treatment from me. If he tries that at a seminar with the wrong person, he could very well end up getting injured.

Anyway.... the omote and ura version went fine. I got a good extension and took uke's balance. Kim was so stiff, it was actually a little more difficult to do the ura version. I felt like I was moving a sheet of plywood.

Then we changed partners and moved on to Katatetori Shihonage ura. Oh... and by the way, the plot continues. I was shown a fourth way to start out for shihonage. This instructor asked us to move ukes arm in the same sword drawing motion I've seen in the past but only a little.

Followed all this up with Shomenuchi Iriminage. I need a little more work here I think. I thought I had done better with these in the past. My partner had an injury from outside the dojo that may have been a fractured rib. As a result, I couldn't really do the throw like I would have liked. I went really slow to keep him as safe as possible. It was hard for me to tell if I was doing this right because of uke's limitation. I know I improved a bit from watching him throw me. He has a wider frame then most of my partners so my irimi had to account for the different body type. If always had to deal with taller or shorter. I've never had to deal with someone with a large frame (his bones must be huge!).

Left wrist still hurts a bit from last week. Woke up a little stiff in the shoulder but that's gone now.

Monday, March 20, 2006

I Got a Beginner as a Partner

Sunday was a great class as usual. I actually had one of the worst rolling days ever in a while. I noticed that when I'm tired I do worse. Maybe I need to try to get a full nights sleep in before class. This is hard to do as I have so much to do usually. I batterred myself a little hard for the rolls. Between that and the heat coming on full blast I felt physically ill. I think it was the heat that really got to me. You can get me as cold as you like and I'm happy. I don't do well in the heat. Lot's of AC in the summer for me whenever possible.

So we worked on shihonage again and I got to work with a guy who has only had one class previous to this one. It gave me an interesting perspective. I've never worked with anyone just starting out before. My first throw I threw him at a slow/medium speed. The instructor came over to remind me he was a beginner. Now.... unlike the guy I had to work with Friday night... I actually listened. From then on I'd take him to the point of unbalancing and slowly let him take a fall.

I kept my mouth shut and let him work his way through the techniques as best he could and I let the instructor correct him. I feel as though I did a good job as uke for him.

Another partner I had was a very experienced girl who likely had a promotion or two under her. I can't really tell. She was very helpful, in that I could watch her do the technique and learn from it. We did some morotetori kokyuho. Moving her was kind of hard. I bend the elbow and lower myself but I don't think I'm using my hips as well as I should. She also felt like she was working hard. Maybe I was subconciously resisting or something? I hope not. Then again... I've felt other people do the technique who just bowl me right over.

I'll be skipping tonights class. I decided that I want my left arm to heal up as much as possible before wednesday. Thats the ukemi class I want to take. I want to be as fresh as possible for it. My arm/wrist doesn't hurt except in certain positions (sankyo, unbendable arm, etc). Also, the arm feels a little weaker than normal. I'd rather skip a couple classes and get a good ukemi lesson in than try to learn the ukemi while injured.

Left wrist originally hurt last week on Sunday class, was healing up fine until Friday nights beating. So now it hurts again. I don't think it got any worse because of Sunday. It got better.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Promotion Time Means Learning

Although I'm not going to take the promotion test coming at the end of the month I've really enjoyed the classes lately. They focus quite a bit on different promotion techniques. This means I get to see the same techniques quite often which means I get to improve them.

So, when I started the class, my left wrist only hurt a little from last Sunday's class. At this point its a little more sore today but not horrible.

The instructor set me up with a very experienced person. The problem was my partner didn't seem to understand what beginner means. I don't even know what he was thinking during class. On one hand he would take the time to try and teach me lots of stuff. Everything from how to do an effective suwari waza sankyo.... to being a better uke. Then he almost put me into the wall for a throw, and soon after that, he all of a sudden did his kotagaeshi at what felt like full speed. So.... since I wasn't ready for that kind of speed and frankly, my ukemi isn't up to that level of practice, I got my right wrist torqued pretty badly. It hurt like heck for a minute or so... then settled down enough for me to continue. That's the first time I ever had to stop practicing from feeling pain. The next day it felt fine though.

Also... he spends a whole bunch of time on how to be a good uke by keeping contact with him at just the right pressure. Then.... he changes how he holds me such that he is doing it wrong according to him.... weird.

If I didn't do the technique correct enough he would stop me or resist. I've learned a lot from partners who resist... but usually they are resisting out of ignorance. This guy was doing it to 'teach' me. A bit of ego going on here obviously. I don't think of this guy as a great partner.

On another occassion we were doing nikkyo pins... when the clap occurred to signify the end of the technique, my partner quickly switched to a nikkyo that was more intense and he tried twisting my wrist very intently. More than every other time he pinned me. Now since my wrists are generally ok for nikkyo it didn't hurt that much really but I sort of got the feeling he wanted to make me feel lots of pain. On one or two occassions where I tapped out... instead of releasing me, he backed off and then did the pin again harder forcing me to tap out harder.

I was wondering if I just pissed this guy off somehow or maybe he doesn't like working with beginners. Given the choice I'd rather avoid him as a partner. He helps a lot with the techniques but he can't seem to control himself. Whether its just a matter of his movements being automatic and done at whatever speed he's programmed at or perhaps he just purposely likes to hurt beginners to weed em out. I just can't trust him. No one has ever batterred me quite as much as he did. I frankly think that 90% of it was all intentional too. Maybe in his country this is considered normal practice but I think there is something else going on here.

I'm not overstating things here..... the instructor came over several times to 'remind' him that I was a beginner and he needed to take it easy. Particularly when I was almost thrown into the wall.

My next partner was awesome. Threw me at just the right speed, was silent the whole time. He was obviously a few promotions up the ladder in experience. This meant I was able to pick things up just by observing his technique. It was great. I hope to have him again as a partner.

Matt caught me on the way out. The ukemi class I couldn't go to on Wednesday got cancelled. I'll get to go to the next class though because my wife is sacrificing time for me. I really appreciate it too. For those people who never had kids, I can tell you that they drain your brain cells. The way to recharge is to have some 'me' time. My wife is sacrificing the one night a week she has to relax just so I can get better at ukemi.

Left wrist hurts again

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Great Class on Tuesday

I didn't get to the Monday night class. My family needed me so I couldn't really go. So.. I ended up going Tuesday night.

Since I got there early I stetched out extra just in case. I've never been to a Tuesday night class and since it's only an hour I was concerned that the warm up might be abbreviated. It wasn't but I'm glad I stretched out anyway.

Ukemi practice was short but we did a few sets of rolls. Although slightly improved over Sunday's class, I've rolled better. No damage to my shoulder though.

Mulligan sensei stepped in to teach class last night. It was fantastic in the sense that he had us do a bunch of different promotion requirements. We did techniques for a range of kyu tests. We even did shomenuchi shihonage which is from the 2nd kyu test.

My shihonage started out a little rough. I had a taller partner for most of the night. It's easier to duck under but for some reason I was really extending them out which can be quite uncomfortable. Worried that I may hurt my partner, sensei kept a close eye on me until I started doing them more safely. I got a few corrections.

Things I learned.....

- My morotetori kokyuho needs work. I kept using muscle and not using my center. I did a few ones that I thought were better.

- My tsuki iriminage was fine. This is one of the techniques that Bob drilled us at back at the Cape Ann dojo. We did lots of this so this didn't need much work. I didn't get any correction from Sensei Mulligan for this at all.

- My shihonage needs work. Toward the end I was doing these well enough that sensei chose not to correct anything. That doesn't mean I was doing them right. That just means I was doing them right enough for now. Maybe he was just satisfied with my not abusing my partner.

- We did a knife disarm sort of ikkyo. Since I did this only 2 months ago maybe with Matt back at Cape Ann, it was quite familiar so after getting the hand grip correct again, I did fine. Even the nikkyo against the mat to strip the knife I knew already.

The partner I had for most of the practice seemed quite distracted most of the night. It was fun working with someone that tall. Later on, I had the opposite, I had a shorter girl as a partner. Overall, I like switching partners around. I learn from them doing things right and when they get corrections, I try and learn from their mistakes as well.

My wrist still hurts a bit from Sunday. I haven't taken any ibuprofen since yesterday morning. I was tapping out insanely early for that wrist just to make sure I didn't stress it at all. My apologies to my partners but I have to make sure I take care of myself.

All wrist pain from Sunday. No new pain.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Don't Listen to a Thing I Say

Well. I went to class Sunday morning. I don't know if it was the 6 day break between classes or what but my forward rolls had a bit of a backslide. I couldn't even maintain an unbendable arm half the time. I'm not sure if it's because I was just thinking about it too much or what but it wasn't pretty.

As to todays title... don't listen to a thing I say....

At one point we were doing some ikkyo. I thought I had ikkyo down fairly well at this point but Jim made a correction for me that I remember Bob mentioning a long time back that I seem to have forgotten. After stopping or grabbing the arm, you are extended. At this point you can sort of pull the wrist down and push the elbow sort of into their own head and they are really off balance. Doing it this way you can come through uke. I was sort of giving uke's arm a twist and Pushing off to the side.... by pushing the elbow a bit you can extend and really take up uke's space. You go right through him. So.... even though I thought I had Ikkyo down pretty well, I didn't. So you probably can't believe a word I say. At the very least you are getting the beginners point of view which means what I say is suspect.

Now that I've fixed that aspect of my ikkyo, I do them perfectly. ;)
Errr... as far as I know.

Unfortunately, during one of the ikkyo pins.... somehow my partner attacked my left wrist to the point where it got hurt. It didn't hurt that much at the time, and on Sunday it hurt a little. I was ignoring it until today I woke up and it hurt like heck. So... I popped some ibuprofen. It's much better now. It only hurts in certain positions. I was going to blow class off tonight but I think it feels good enough now to go if I baby it a little. To give you the frame of mind I'm in.... not once was I concerned that a technique would hurt me. I was worried that the hurt wrist would impair my already poor rolling ability. The thing of it is.... I didn't feel lots of pain at all at the time. I think I need to tap out earlier or something.

At the end of class, Matt(who taught Monday's class) made me an offer I can't refuse. The new beginners started at Shodokan recently and he's going to give them some ukemi lessons. He suggested that I'd be welcome to come and that at this point he could spend time trying to help me out. Unfortunately, its the first 20 minutes of the Wednesday class. This is the hardest class for me to get to. I'm hoping no one gets bent out of shape but I'm planning on going and taking the ukemi section of the beginners class and then leaving immediately. Otherwise... I simply can't go at all. I'm so into improving my ukemi however that I don't want to miss this opportunity. This is my chance to get the instruction that I missed out on. The situation back at my previous dojo meant that my rolling was almost all self-taught. Jim spends a little time on Sundays to work with me and thats a help but I'm curious what will be covered in Matt's class.

Oh ya... btw, I took a shot to the chin on Sunday too. Nage's elbow slipped forward and nailed me in the chin. It didn't hurt too bad really. I told my partner not to worry, that my tongue cushioned the blow between my teeth. Yep... I bit my own tongue somehow. Luckily it was a glancing shot so no blood was spilled.

Lets see... we also did some kind of irimi. Where you start off stopping a shomen strike like you would for an ikkyo but then you grab the wrist in one hand, slide your other hand to the inside of the elbow sort of step under like in shihonage. Then you pull down on the inside of the elbow so uke is down. As uke comes up, you throw using the back of your arm and turn at the hips.

(Left wrist is hurting.)

Friday, March 10, 2006

I Know It's Been a Few Days

I won't need to post again really until after Sunday. My wife re-arranged her plans to allow for my disappearing on Tuesday and Thursdays. Because of the dojo change, there are no classes on Thursday and something else came up to make Tuesday not possible. After a while we will readjust schedules to make it easier for me to come. I'm planning on hitting the dojo at least on Sunday. I don't function well that early(as I'm a night owl), but the learning environment is so different from other days, I can't resist going.

I have to look at when I can go next week. I want to go a few days if possible.

As a side note, Kim attended a class on Wednesday night that we both thought was supposed to be a basic class(according to the web site). We now suspect from his experience that it was an advanced class. They were nice enough to work with him in every way possible. He was able to do his forward rollouts where everyone else was doing much more advanced ukemi. They even encouraged him to come to another class. I think that's terrific. No idea if he'll go or not.

I thought doing the roll outs for the basic class was challenging enough. I'm hoping though in a few more weeks, it will much easier for me to roll out of a technique as I'll have had more practice in general.

Monday, March 06, 2006

It Must Be a Plot

Ok... I'll update this tomorrow for the pain update but I had to write some of this down tonight.

Here is what's vexing me somewhat tonight. Three shihonage's..... that's right... three. From three different black belt instructors I've seen three different ways to do shihonage. Which way do you do it?

The way I learned it from Bob was to feed the hand into the cross hand and do a 'sword drawing' motion turning uke sideways to you practically and putting him/her way off balance. Then irimi and turn and cut.

On Sunday, Jim had us take the hand, and irimi, moving the hand/arm low and then out past uke. Your sort of stepping past him with his arm so the arm is not drawn to the side like the above method... instead it is simply moved forward and low. Then turn and cut.

Tonight, Matt had us step back offline and then irimi keeping the arm out at a marginally uncomfortable angle for uke. Irimi, turn and cut. I've seen the stepping off line for a response to a yokomen strike but not for a wrist grab.

Now... are they all correct but different? If I am to take a test someday, what version am I supposed to be doing? I'm sort of partial to the way I originally learned it from Bob but you have to make sure you really swing uke out. If you mess that up you leave yourself open.

Other fun tonight. We did what I consider to be a short segment of warmup and stretching. Then we did ukemi rolling practice. The few times I've taken classes at Shodokan they did two sets of rolls from kneeling. Then two sets standing. Then maybe some backwards rolling. Tonight we started right away rolling from a standing position. Did a few sets of that trying to improve things as I went. Matt was telling us to be mindful of different things. Mostly I think he was trying to help me. Then he asked us to do a big diving roll. So... I took a few big steps and whoosh... actually flipped myself over with so much energy I don't believe I landed on my arm at all. I think I landed on my shoulder. Overall it wasn't a horrible roll. Maybe not correct but I did roll and I didn't hurt myself.

We did a bunch of stuff, again... I've had better nights trying to figure stuff out... and once I got something down... it seemed we moved on to something else. I would've preferred to drill the exercises over and over. To make sure I have things correct.

Towards the end of class we formed a line and did a technique where it starts with a wrist grab, do the same motion as the shihonage, keep the wrist down but put the free arm under uke's elbow raising him up, then throw with a step. I didn't do great on some of the rolls. One of them nailed my lower back but didn't really cause pain. A couple others were just bad rolls so I hurt my shoulders a bit. I didn't crush them... but it smarted a bit.

Matt had us switching partners frequently so I partnered with just about everyone. At one point we did a little nikkyo. There was one guy who was in incredible shape who was my partner for this. He helped me out somewhat on this version. He noticed that my shoulders are loose but refused to push the pin to pain. He said he was concerned that even with loose shoulders if you go to far you could permanently damage something and always have pain. If he's right it sounds like I should tap out before I feel pain from now on.

We closed the night with suwari waza kokyuho. This same experienced partner had done something and I accidently let him go. My grip slipped. He gave me a couple of soft taps on the neck area. Never had corporal punishment for being a bad uke before. He didn't hit me hard so it didn't hurt. Just sort of tapped me. Was kind of strange. I let go one other time and got the same dope slap. Now that I'm back in my home, I wonder how'd he react if I purposely broke his grip and tapped him on the neck? I'm not like that really. I have no need to play games of tit for tat, but I am curious how he'd react to someone tapping him on the neck. Would he go nuts? I'll let someone else figure that out. Overall ... he was a good partner, trying to help, if anything a little too much. I don't think he should be tapping anyone's neck. Maybe they did that where he trained originally. No harm done. I'd gladly train with him as a partner again.

My goal was actually to do both the 6:00p and the 7:30p class. I've done seminars which were three hours in a row so I thought it was doable. After the first class, I decided I was tired and the rollouts caused some mild discomfort in my shoulders. Doing another class would either hurt me or maybe my partners so I chose to go home instead. A fellow student told me that the mixed class is a little more intense with more lines being set up. This makes me wonder if I could ever attend a mixed class anytime soon. That would be most unfortunate if they can't take it easy on the lower end of the 'mix'.

DAPI: 3 (Light shoulder ache, will be gone by tonight though. It already feels better)
Hurt my shoulder a bit rolling out from the techniques. Neck feels a tiny bit tighter than it should today.

Sunday Morning Shihonage

I took the 8am Sunday class. I was really wondering if I would be awake enough to function but it went really well. Sunday morning is likely going to be a regular day for me. The class is small enough that lots of corrections can be made. This is one of the positive aspects of the tiny class size at my previous dojo.

Before starting, the instructor running the class asked me about my background. Since I was new he wanted to know what I could and couldn't do. I of course mentioned that I'm only now learning how to do a forward roll. He had me do a few before the class started and said they didn't look too bad. I think I've really come along in this area. They still may not be 100% correct but at least they are safe. He mentioned I need to look where I'm going and tuck my head in last minute. I was doing the whole roll with my head tucked in. The other thing he mentioned was that I don't use my other hand. Although you don't need it for a roll, it's still safer to have the other hand out in case you need it.

During class he had us focus not only on rolling but thinking of what line we are rolling on. Basically, trying to get us/me to roll in a straight line. I never thought about it much until he mentioned it. My backwards rolls are horrific but you have to start somewhere.

Not in any particular order.... we did a quick grab nikkyo which I love. He was showing a different way of doing it then I was taught. Rather than worry so much about jamming the hand into my chest correctly, he seem to focus on our using our other hand. So with two hands moving an inch you can bend the wrist. There was one cool thing he covered regarding getting the nice Z on the arm. Rather than moving uke's arm into position by sort of whacking the inside of the elbow, he showed us how effective it can be to take a step back. When you step, uke has to step into you and just forms the Z for you.

We did some shihonage at one point. This seemed to be about the same for what I've learned in the past so with a few corrections here and there I was doing this ok. There was one difference that sticks out on my mind for this technique. Now.... keep in mind, I'm no judge as to the 'right' way of doing things. It could be that they are all correct.... just different. What I was taught was once you have uke, you make a large motion out as if drawing your sword. This puts uke's shoulder to you, takes his balance and turns him some. What he had us do instead was move the arm down low across the front of uke and step in for the shihonage at the same time. So the arm swings down and then out behind uke. The reasoning for this was I was told that it will more effectively turn uke. This method seems more practice friendly at least as the shihonage is starting out close to uke's body and would be more comfortable.

Now that we were all experts in shihonage :P he pulled out the practice bats. These are well padded baseball like bats. So we did a yokomen strike with the bat at nage's head. I was doing fine with this too. I guess some people get hung up on being attacked with a weapon even in a practice environment.

We then did some kind of simple judo hip throw. Since I've never done one the instructor (Jim) partnered me up with someone with a lot of experience. This was a good idea. One of my throws I didn't bend down enough and it was all air for uke. Not good. His ukemi could easily deal with my occasional errors. Jim asked my partner not to actually throw me because he didn't know if my ukemi was up to it. Nage would take it right to the throw and stop. Jim came over to look to see how comfortable I was and commented he thought I looked quite calm about almost being thrown. I told him I was quite fine and I'd be happy to take a throw. I felt pretty comfortable actually. I think I would have been fine. Now.... if I had me as nage to deal with... maybe not.

(Everything Okey, dokey)

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Started at Shodokan Friday

Ok.... I feel like I'm just starting out again. You'd think I'd never done a kotegaeshi before. For some reason my brain was switched off and I felt like I had to relearn it from scratch. I've sort of seen this to a lesser degree when I took a class at different dojo. Every dojo seems to do the same techniques.... only a little different. So first I have to watch to see if I recognize the technique. Then I have to unlearn what I knew and relearn all over again. Or perhaps.... we hadn't focused on some aspect of the technique as yet. While learning something it seems to me that the instructor can correct only so many mistakes at one time. One thing that was stressed at Shodokan was extension. Something I always have to pay more attention to. There was lots of extension in their version. I could see where it would work better doing it that way.

My rolls were actually quite good for me, which means the forward rolls were ok. I of course still can't do a backward roll... but you can't really jam yourself on a bad backward roll so there is no mental aspect to it for me. It's simply lack of practice. During the practice we needed to do a forward roll as uke. I did a horrible one as I usually do and the my extremely experienced practice partner looked at me and said ... "Just do the forward roll. I know you can do one I saw you do them earlier". So, I did a little better on subsequent throws. Although I wouldn't call the roll a good one, at least I wasn't just crashing to the floor like I've done in the past for a rollout.

At one point I was partnered with someone who was obviously experienced. Not knowing what I'm capable of he was extremely gentle with me at first and slowly started cranking me around a little harder as time went on. He never went too far. I think he was paying lots of attention. I don't believe this was anything other than intentional.

One thing I noticed for class was the sheer number of techniques covered in a single class. Shodokan's normal class seems to cover quite a few techniques. Back at Cape Ann, we tended to keep it to a few techniques and just practiced them more. Couldn't begin to tell you which I like better. It's easy to sit back and say that I liked it better at Cape Ann. After all, I started there so obviously I was most comfortable there. Time will tell. If nothing else, I loved practicing with different people.

I'm going to try and make it to tomorrow mornings class. I was going to go today but family cut into that plan.

I am a night person so getting me to think in the morning ought to be difficult.

DAPI: 2 (more like one and a half really)
Worked lots of muscles and tendon in right arm. Slept great and woke up feeling real rested.