Sunday, November 25, 2007

Apparently a Test Is Coming

I won't be testing as I just tested in August or so. I know there is a 3rd kyu and a 4th kyu test. I think it may be Wednesday this week. This morning's class was excellent. We did some freestyle training. Instead of using one attack and trying different responses. We tend to focus on multiple attacks with a varying response.

So... we did Shihonage, ude kiminage, kotagasehi, and a couple other techniques.... all in response to a yokomen, shomen and tsuki strike.

Not the best freestyle I've ever done. I had a couple moments where I paused. One of the pauses was not actually my wondering where to go. I had a tsuki strike. I moved off the line, slapped my hand on top to end up with a nikkyo grip and was ready to move in for a hip throw. Unfortunately, this was all done without much thought. We just covered this kind of thing in Beverly and I guess some f it stuck. I never completed the throw because the person doing the attack has had a bad back. I didn't want to complete it. I suppose just for practice I could have at least lifted him. Still, I've done better in the past.

My biggest problem was trying to anticipate an attack and a response. When a different one came I locked up. I definitely need to stop anticipating and keep practicing.

The holidays this past week combined with my relatives visiting messed me up enough that I've missed a couple classes the past few weeks. Definitely a bummer.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow night.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Monday Night - Oh Gosh!

Actually it was ogoshi I believe. Lots of them. Mike doesn't often hang around on one technique for a whole class but he felt as though driliing basics is important once in a while.

So we did this from a wrist grab, a collar grab with a nikkyo, and a tsuki. Usually, you eventually end up with a cross hand grab. Turn uke away from you, taking their balance, move in for the throw.

At one point they had me throwing Matt so they could watch carefully and give corrections. I had him in such the perfect place that it was throwing a feather. I wish I could do that every time.

I did fairly well compared to the past. So there was improvement. I still need practice here though. The past few months has been the first chunk of time where the thought of having to do hip throws didn't fill me with some apprehension. I just didn't like the ukemi for that. Nowadays I'm much more comfortable with it. At least I didn't have any problems with someone keeping my slap hand.

We've been doing hip throws in Salem quite a bit too. Bummer is that more often than not my partner doesn't let go of my slap hand. Recently I had Eric grab my slap hand and wouldn't let it go dumping me flat on my back. He managed this twice. While it is true that he is newer, I've had the same thing happen to me a while back with a more experienced member of our dojo. For whatever reason, he didn't let go either on our first throw. As soon as he let go, I slapped the mat hard with that hand and realization washed over his face.

In both cases my partners were apologizing like crazy. No real harm done. Although, I would think it would be harder to remember to support your partner properly than to let go of a slap hand.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Face Hurt? I Wash My Gi In Sand

Lots of techniques tonight. Alan typically sticks to maybe three versions of a technique. This gives you the chance to really pound away on trying to improve things. Tonight was unusual in that we did maybe 6 or 8 techniques. It was a good class though.

At one point we did a form of iriminage. As I swept my arm up, the sleeve of my gi apparently made contact with my uke's face. He mentioned that my gi felt kind of rough. My reply, "I wash my gi in sand". He couldn't keep a straight face for the rest of practice.

We also worked on koshinage. My partner started off kind of rough, not letting go of my slap hand at least twice. One of those times he dumped me flat on my back. It knocked a small amount of wind out of me. Not too bad. I'm happy to say that by the time we finished, both of us improved a great deal.

Oh Heck... It Stopped

Started class off with the jumping over the jo exercise. They have a student that started aikido about 2-3 months ago. He took his turn holding the staff. Now, what you’re supposed to do is put the tip of the staff at a height that is good for the person who is taking the ukemi. For beginners you put the tip of the jo close to the floor. Experienced folks higher off the mat and for the black belts you can go even higher. He does a couple people then for my turn I lean on the jo and it’s not moving. It’s almost 3 feet off the ground and it stopped. I pause a fraction of a second to get used to the idea that the damn thing isn’t going any lower and take my fall.

It was a fairly high breakfall but I landed fine. I got a couple of wow’s from the line. Shira commented on how high that fall was. So ok… I had a nice fall. We continue the practice and then it’s Shira’s turn with the jo. Everything is normal and then for my turn…… umph… the jo stopped again really high. So I took my fall. She smiled gleefully and said she wanted to see me take that fall again so she set the jo high. I wasn’t totally surprised. Shira’s done that kind of thing in the past. Pretty funny. So I got some good falling practice in.

We moved on to kaitenage. Uke goes to grab, with palm up you tenkan and take uke around low in a circle, sweep the ground, get one arm on uke’s wrist and another on the neck, tenkan and throw (with a step). I was having some trouble getting the arm low so that uke's arm gets fed in properly.

We did the 5th kyu test techinique tsuki kotagaeshi.

Salem Monday

Salem started out with rowing exercises. Bob had us do a few shihonage.

Later on he did some kind of pressure point on the neck thing. Either from shomenuchi or judo grab (grab opposite collar and elbows). You basically end up putting your arm under the attacking arm and grab uke around the neck. You clasp your hands together, pull uke off balance, and bring your hands in with the edge of your thumb going into the side of the neck. For the most part I was getting the right spot right away.

At one point during practice Joanna asked me to switch partners with her. I was puzzled but said ok. I asked why and she said she couldn't get Rachael to tap. After about three tries I found the spot on her. It's almost as if the nerve or whatever it is we press on was smaller for her. It was tough to hit.