Saturday, March 24, 2007

Friday Night Ikkyo

Ok.. this is scary... Friday was just last night and I have no clue as to what we were doing....

Hmmm we did suwariwaza ikkyo.... We did a standing version.
We did suwariwaza sankyo. I needed more practice on this than I thought. It's been a while since I did this. Sensei Bob showed us a good exercise from the kneeling position where you just step from side to side. I think I ought to be doing a little of this before class. Being a little more fluid on my knees would be a good I think.

Thumb still hurts from 2 weeks back. Gotta be a sprain.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Sunday Morning and Monday Again

Sunday morning was a surprise where we did a whole bunch of stuff started with wrist grabs. At this point I can’t remember much other than it was just Tony and I. We did a bit of Nikkyo. A few throws. The iriminage I can never get my head wrapped around. It’s one where you sort of wrap your arm around uke’s around to the front of him and rotate 180 degrees to throw. You sort of push uke’s arm to his own chest. Pete did have us do 30 seconds of freestyle at the end of class. Usually I do better but I was spending too much time trying to figure out how to throw uke into the other uke. Way too much thinking. In some ways, responding to a shomenuchi or tsuki was easier.

Monday the wrists grabs continued. Buddy stretched us out. For whatever reason he started lingering on the stretches more which is nice. Then kept us busy doing ukemi practice. After the usual rolls, since he was just filling time before Bob showed, he did Alan’s favorite forward roll that doesn’t use an arm to roll and then does a slap at the end instead of rolling. Then after that he did a couple rounds of weeble rolls. Since I hadn’t seen one of those in a while I was rusty but ok. Then, he started to mix it up a bit. He did a forward roll with a tenkan followed by a weeble roll. After a couple of this kind of thing, he moved into a position to throw a line. That’s when Mr. Mulligan came over and stopped him.

Mr. Mulligan then had the whole class doing that basic exercise of a wrist grab, do a tenkan (you end up next to uke). This is the same exercise we did tons of with Francesca back at Cape Ann. Mulligan had us mix in with the new beginners so they could learn.

Bob stepped on to the mat at this point… He had us do a single technique…. Then he added to it…. Then added to it… then added to it. By the end of class we were doing something like 4 techniques in a row to uke. It was something like… Tenkan with a j-step which will swing uke around(atemi to the face), Kaitenage, Iriminage, Sankyo. The hope was that you maintained contact with uke the whole time… so you do the kaitenage but don’t do the throw…. Do the iriminage but don’t throw…. Come under uke’s arm instead and do the next one (sankyo).

The whole concept of this kind of practice had a name that I can’t remember. Reikiwaza…. Maybe? All in all it was a great class. Also, I have to say it was amazing to watch the younger students pick up so many sequential moves without getting confused overall. I think at their level of experience I wouldn't have kept it straight.

I’m a little bothered in the Monday classes of late. I don’t get corrected much at all. In fact... I saw Bob go up the line and had a correction for pretty much everyone except for my partner and I. I think overall I’m doing ok but I can’t believe that I’m doing things 100% right all the time. I don’t know if Bob is thinking ‘good enough’ for now but I have no idea how I’m supposed to improve if he doesn’t push me along. I sort of have that stalled feeling for learning again. Makes me want to do a double class if I can manage it physically. Keep in mind that when I started, it was in a small dojo with very few practitioners. Feedback was constant. Perhaps looming in the back of my mind is that some day I may be asked to test. Since I have a ton to work on right now, I don't feel even close to ready. I may be getting way ahead of myself here. Also, I'm not oblivious to the fact that just because we aren't focusing on test techniques doesn't mean I'm not learning.

In case I hadn't mentioned it.... this was another night with something like 18 people on the mat. I think there is a good 8 people in this beginners class.

Thumb is much improved. Range of motion is 99% there. My grip strength is almost all back. I have some small amount of pain just using it. Somehow when I first did it, my kids managed to hit it at least 5 times in two hours.

Friday Class and Some Monday Class or Other

On Friday nights class we did a bunch of hip throws.... then a few suwariwaza ikkyo, then ... back to the hip throws. I was very lucky that I had Sam for a partner for this. I hadn't seen him in a while. This guy has more martial arts knowledge than I can articulate. I believe he is our Kendo Instructor. Normally I may complain about the 'talking partner' but this is like having an instructor for a partner. With just a little bit of help I was doing some really decent hip throws.

Unfortunately, one hip throw I took I landed badly. I landed on my own hand. My thumb hurt quite a bit as if I'd extended it in an unnatural position. I don't think I popped it out or anything but I do believe it was sprained.


Buddy warmed us up. Buddy doesn’t seem to linger on any stretch and just seems anxious to move on to the next one. I really wish he’d slow down a bit. Then they had us just doing our own ukemi width wise. It looked like the latest beginners class started rolling some. The newest 5th kyus that just took their test are looking pretty good.

Mr. Mulligan started us off with that simple ki exercise where uke grabs your wrist and you just tenkan. Then he had us do the tenkan and move our partner around with our center by moving our bodies and keeping the hand position. Mr. Mulligan asked us to work with the new students so I worked with Jose. He doesn’t speak much English but it doesn’t matter much really.

I had Joanna for a partner for the next chunk of class. It’s been a while(months maybe) since I got to work with her.

Finally Bob showed so he added on to the tenkan concept a bit. He had us do the tenkan and then make a circular motion with our hand so uke can take a roll. We did this for a while.

Then, he had us do a tsuki strike and asked us to just do a tenkan and lay our hand on top of uke’s. This reminded me of the tsuki kotagaeshi we did for 5th kyu. I noticed though that Bob was more going backward than back to back. Noticing this doesn't mean I managed to replicate it exactly.

After doing this he had us tsuki and then step back and a little offline over and over. Then he had us tsuki strike, step off line and had uke tsuki strike again with the other hand where we again moved off the line and put our hand on top of uke’s. So, it was kind of a punch/punch combination.
Then I ended up switching partners and worked with Buddy for a while.

Bob then modified it so we did the punch, punch but the second punch was either met with a kotagaeshi or you did a quick move where you sort of grab the front of the fist, use the other hand to push down on the arm a bit offbalancing uke and just gently push uke back by turning your center and watch him fall down.

We did some more of the combination stuff. Then we did a punch, punch, front kick. So nage had to move back slap uke’s hand down, move back slap uke’s hand down, tenkan and catch foot. Then do the same push with the foot that we were doing with the hand.

Then the warm down with suwariwaza, although he stopped us and asked us to really practice getting around the force and not bother do much with trying to do anything fancy.

I was putting my shoes on out front and Mr. Mulligan commented how soft I looked during class. I told him I tend to be more relaxed when I have a Monday following my three day weekend. Therefore…. Work must be bad for you. He liked my logic.

Thumb still hurts. Although I now have range of motion improved.