Monday, April 03, 2006

Late Again ?!!

For the second week in a row I was late for the Sunday morning class. Somewhere in my head I thought it started at 8:30am. It actually starts at 8:15am. The first time I thought maybe they just started early or something since it was a full house. Since I was the last to show up yet again the second time, it was enough for me to question myself... and sure enough..... I was confused. Pretty bad when you can't even get the start times right.

So I came in, on the middle of stretching. I missed the leg stretches and thats about it really. Jim the instructor had pity on me and had the class do some suwari waza kokyuho to warm up. Then we did our ukemi practice. My rolling was fair. I'm still not doing everything perfect but nothing hurts when I roll. My biggest problem is that you want to keep your body facing forward. I have trouble reconciling that with the fact that my arm has to be out in front of me. I used to put it out in such a way that I turned my body a little, which makes me roll sideways/wobbly a little. This is what I'm working on now. I did have one or two that Jim liked.... of course the one he liked the best was when he positioned my body perfectly before the roll. Since he can't follow me around all the time I guess I'll have to learn the correct posture on my own.

We did some kind of throw that ended in a rollout. So nage sort of has uke by the wrist pulling down almost and your other arm was almost palm up and slid up under uke's upper arm(instructor likes avoiding the elbow for now). In this position nage can apply upward pressure to get uke off balance and a little up. Then nage sort of turns the arm into an unbendable arm and pushes uke off. Uke does a rollout. My partner for this part of the class was a beginner who started fairly recently. He's still working on his rolls as well. He wasn't quite getting the technique right. At one point he was taking an extra step and rolling on the wrong side. Then he complained I was holding his arm too long. Thankfully, the instructor came over and told him that he was supposed to roll on the other side. He wasn't picking it up when I was uke. When he rolled on his left finally, it wasn't really great. He sort of rolled across his back and not over at all. I frankly don't think rollouts are a good idea for him at this point. My rollouts weren't great either but mostly because I was not extending and getting down enough.

I think part of my problem is that I am so passive that I am waiting for nage to throw me.... when in fact at some point I need to take over and do my ukemi. In fact, now that I think about it.... John Rogers made the same comment to me when he went to throw me. "I'm not going to throw you.... you need to do the work". Maybe I'll try that next class. Try and take over more when appropriate and not be such a soft uke waiting to be tossed like a dishrag.

Ok.... so now we do something judo like to defend against a mid-level side kick. You sort of step off line a bit to accept it, grab the ankle with one hand. Grab the back of the knee with the other hand and pull. It seemed to me that you're likely going to have to do a front breakfall so I asked Jim what ukemi I should be shooting for. His answer...... "anything you can". My beginner partner was having some trouble kicking high so I lowered my center and tried to keep good posture and did the same technique. On his first attempt as nage he grabbed my ankle/foot with both hands and turned. I sort of turned my whole body as I fell to keep myself safe. After that one he did fairly well.

Next up we did some kind of judo thing which was uke attacks with a yokomen strike. nage gets off line by steeping the back foot off to the side and squats sort of in a hanmi. Then nage grabs uke's ankle and pulls while simultaneously using the other hand like a blade to move across the inside of the knee. Uke falls.

We did some Yokomen iriminage. This was a no brainer for the most part for me as we did tons of this in the past. One improvment I'm trying to make is trying to j-step behind uke so when he's pushed back, he's further off balance by my leg/hip. It never felt right to me as nage. I think I'm missing something there.

Ok... its much later and I'm still have trouble reconcilling in my mind rolling on the unbendable arm and yet still rolling in a straight line. How is it I can extend out... not turn my body and still roll on my arm. I think I'd like to see someone do a correct roll with me in front of them.... so they roll toward me.

DAPI: 1.5
Twinge in my wrist from who knows what. Previous pains all gone 99.9%


At April 04, 2006 12:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should grab one of the instructors or senior students after class to work on ukemi with you. There is a gap in between the first and second classes during which significant point scould be made on improving your ukemi.

At April 04, 2006 1:34 PM, Blogger Poxbox said...

Yes, you're right.... on a normal weekday practice there is a gap. Although this week it was only a few minutes really. Perhaps on Monday I can take advantage of it.

Although I'll be attending the Friday night class, I have to get home as soon as possible so my wife then can leave late to do her thing. So... hanging around even for five minutes is a problem.

I'm sure I could even ask Jim on Sunday morning after class.

I sort of wish I could set a video camara up so I could see what I'm doing. Sure helps diagnose a golf swing.

I have to say though that since the ukemi lesson I took with the beginners class, things have gotten better.

At April 07, 2006 1:10 PM, Blogger Scott Zrubek said...

The senseis at my dojo have hinted that I should bring the camera and film more often so that we can use it as a teaching tool.

Unfortunately, it's my employer's property and I can't really get it on weekdays. On weekends I'm usually too busy to show up at an extra class.


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