Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Uke Like A Rock

Mr. Mulligan taught the class tonight. He started off with a statement that if you want to do test techniques, you are free to do so after class. D'OH.

At first I had this new guy as a partner. I specifically picked him because he’s new to the dojo and I like working with new people, experienced or not. This didn't last long.

After the first exercise, Mr. Mulligan moved the line so that I had Mark as my partner. Mark is that really solid insanely strong boxer. He’s real hard to move and won’t move unless you move him. But… because he resists, when you do the technique correctly, he gets slammed a lot of times. Sometimes beyond his ukemi. This is why it's difficult to work with him. Depending on the technique you may be in the position where you can't make a technique work unless you crush him. I did this once a while back by accident. I never thought about it, we were just simply doing ikkyo ura. He was stiff arming me so I instinctively took a step in to get around his power and SLAM. I thought he'd land more gently for an ikkyo. But his arm was so stiff it just acted to accelerate him to the mat. I think he avoided me for a while and now that he's willing to work with me again I don't really want to hurt him again. He ended up being my partner for the whole class. Worse still, he has a bad shoulder(torn rotator) that he let me know about so I modify some techniques for his right side.

Mr. Mulligan had us doing a couple of mysterious kokyunage. After the class ended I finally figured out the second one that he had us doing. The attack was a collar grab with both hands from the front. Nage grabs uke’s elbow and sort of pulls down and in. While this is going on you take your other hand and do a spear hand across uke for the throw. Sort of a pull and push at the same time.

Later on he has us doing a nikkyo version for the response. We also did a Kotegaeshi response to the attack. Toward the end he even had us do a koshinage response. Where I was fumbling around for the kokyunage, I did fine for the koshinage. It was similar enough to others that I’ve done. Mark didn’t want to take throws or give them for a good part of the practice. That was kind of a bummer but perhaps a welcome relief for the koshinage. I've been seeing a lot of that lately. He wasn’t getting right all the time. One time he had me coming down in such a way as to slam my foot down and hurt my ankle a little. If he had just committed to the throw I would have been better off. He was just trying a lift and missed. It felt fine after an hour or so.

One of the techniques was a collar grab with both hands. You are supposed to do a no hands throw. Spin in place tightly, then suddenly reverse direction and kneel down. Moving Mark around was crazy difficult. On top of that, he didn't want to take ukemi for this and I'd say I managed to get him to roll off of me maybe once.

I was hoping to pretest this night but Bob got called away. I seem to be the only person even concerned about the upcoming test. People seem laid back about getting pretested... getting the paperwork in and about the test itself. Last year, the group of people testing went to practically every class for the last two weeks before testing to get more mat time in. This year seems different to me.

Once I realized I was out of luck I headed off to Beverly. They had a new beginner start recently. This was his third class I think. Third class and we did….. jujinage, koshinage, tao toshi. The beginner did terrific.

For the first time in a while I took a shot to the face. There was very little I could do about it too. The attack was kate menuche or something. Basically, you grab the collar with one hand and do a shomen cut to the head with the other. So I couldn’t protect my face when nage’s response was to accidentally miss the shomen block and come straight in at my face. Although I pulled my strike….. nage was more committed. It wasn’t that bad of a hit really. Next time maybe I shouldn’t pull my strike. It might have slowed nage down. Got me right on the eye socket. Felt it for about 20 minutes.


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