Last Friday, Alan was out so Sensei Mulligan taught. One of the more amazing things we did that night was a nikkyo. Just do a crosshand grab. Instead of cutting over and down back toward you, he had us just simply turning our hand over uke's in the same kind of motion. You wouldn't think it would be very strong but it was devastating. Worse still when its in place you can't just go to the ground and move in to alleviate the pain. It doesn't help any. There seem to be no help. The funny thing is... now that I've seen this in a class, it occurred to me I saw children doing this in a youtube video in their aikido class. Neat.
Another cool thing that I want to remember to practice... For a sankyo I had an inexperienced uke and I was just trying to use the sankyo to get him to stand up before I continued the technique. Mr. Mulligan thought I was just getting it wrong so he makes a motion like you are swinging a bat and says to me to do this. I know this uke would have trouble with this so I take a half swing. Guess I didn't do the fellow any favor. Mr. Mulligan looks and says... no no... like this. He grabs uke and does the full motion. Uke comes up rubbing his hand and wrist a bit. He took it better that I thought he would at least. I don't think I've ever seen anyone show me how to do a sankyo that way. It looked real effective too. Nice.
Friday Night class. Alan is still out on vacation. Bob showed up to teach.
Worked on a wrist grab. Slide in while turning a bit, use your other hand to aid removing your hand, iriminage. Then we did a kotagaeshi.
For the iriminage I had this big guy John for a partner. John isn't flexible in any manner. He is also built large and solid as a fireplug. I had a heck of a time breaking his balance. Even laying my hand/arm on his shoulder and back didn't do much for me. It was his opinion that they only way to break his balance was to push down on his lower back. I tried and and he claimed it helped but I didn't feel the difference. I think John is one of those guys that you have to be real dynamic with.
During practice, Bob pulled me aside to do a technique(I was in a 3 partner exercise so I was free). I think he might have been testing my ukemi for it. It's basically grabbing uke's arm and move it in a big circle behind them. You breakfall out of it. I had done this a few times in the Sunday classes so it was familiar.
Later in class he called me up to demo it. During the demo I felt the technique change a little bit. I'm not sure if he wanted to see a higher fall maybe or was just trying to support me. In any event I was fine. One thing he did comment on was that this was one of those pretty looking not so useful techniques. We practice it occasionally on Sunday's. I like it a lot for ukemi practice. It's fun. It's also a good timing exercise.
At the end of class we did a freestyle. As I've said in the past, every time we do one of these I think I come away learning something. On this occassion, I managed to not freeze up at all. I was pretty much just reacting to things and not really planning stuff. So as a result, I managed to do a variety of techniques. At one point I found myself in sort of a kokyunage kind of position. My instinct was to throw an elbow. Quite frankly, it took a large amount of my control to stop the elbow short.
After class Bob mentioned that if you are going to throw an elbow you want to make sure you do it from a position where you are on balance and can really smash the opponent. I was definitely not perfectly on balance but I think I could have had a good effect with it had I meant to connect. I was sort of going to elbow in an uppercut sort of direction. This uke was taller than me. One other comment he had, assuming he meant me I'll take to heart. Sometimes uke's move for you because they are supposed to or they are afraid of you(newer person) and that some things appear to work only because of the speed of the technique. I was definitely screwing around too much. Rather than simply letting go of uke, once or twice I tried to adjust him to get him to head towards the other uke.
I redirected a kaitenage and a nikkyo/ikkyo towards another opponent. Likely, I couldn't have gotten away with that if I were working with people who were not trained to move a certain way. So I have to work on my technique a little and maybe screw around a little less.
I think the biggest thing I took away from this freestyle was that I probably work harder than I have to. Sometimes just moving out of uke's way can be enough. No need to square off on every uke and do a technique on him.
All this aside, I think this was a great freestyle experience for me.
One of our more experienced members had his freestyle. The choices of attack were limited to tsuki and wrist grab. He had long finished doing a technique to his last opponent. I was the only one moving in to attack. I do a tsuki with my right hand and ooooommmpphhhh. Oh hell, I just hit the guy in the stomach. It wasn't a full speed/strength strike but it wasn't mamby pamby either. I actually felt some abrasion on my knuckles and his gut was tight. This is only practice, not some kind of test, so I backed up a little, saw he was ok, and repeated the strike. He did some kind of technique and moved on to the next guy. I felt kinda bad but thought since he wasn't really hurt it was a little funny too. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect him to just stand there. At least we know I can give a committed attack. Part of being uke is to trust nage to take care of things. Sorry man. I checked with him after class, he was fine.