Monday, January 28, 2008

Maybe It's 99.1% Atemi?

Had a good class. The class focused on kazushi. We were mainly attempting to make sure that we had uke off-balance.

We started with an exercise where uke grabs the wrist. Nage does a tenkan. Eventually we were asked to turn it into some kind of throw like a kokyunage or something. My uke for this was someone who just completed the 8 week beginner class. This presented me with an interesting problem. Whenever I went to attempt to take her balance, she would pivot on one foot 180 degrees and recover. I tried but was unable to affect this. She asked me if she were doing something wrong and what should she do. I told her that she was doing fine and to do what comes natural. If I can't take her balance it's because I'm not doing something quite right.

She's so new that she is giving me her honest reaction. A nice change but a tough puzzle. Technique changes after only a few tries so I was unable to figure it out. I had a similar exercise in Beverly quite a while back. They often times stress the same concepts.

Later on we moved on to kaitenage. This is one technique among many that I seem to take mostly from Peter (who teaches Sundays). The fact is, I think I mimic him subconciously more than anyone else. In fact just last Sunday I noticed that there is a certain step when he does his j-step that I seemed to have picked up.

After this we moved on to kotagaeshi (which I really enjoy) . I had Mike as a partner. This is one of those guys who has been around for a long time. I accidently found an atemi. I was apparently so stiff on one side for tsuki kotagaeshi I was bringing a shoulder up for one side as I entered. This led to me moving my elbow a little higher than normal. The elbow made incidental contact with uke's temple. In all the time I've done that technique I've never actually done that. Well, last week I pinched someone. Seems like I've escalated. Uke went to the ground slowly. I'm not sure how badly I nailed him. I don't think it was too bad. He seemed fine and got up to do some more. After we diagnosed it, I relaxed the arm/shoulder to avoid this. Good to keep in mind If I wanted to do it though.

After this we moved on to shihonage. New partner for me. My old one went for water and he mixed in with another group on the way back. Hopefully, he was just trying to spread his experience around. I hope I wasn't abusing him or anything.

My new partner is a 5th kyu. For shihonage he has this habit of taking the arm way out. On his first one I almost had to breakfall out of it. I really tried to offbalance uke during my turn for this. I also remembered Mr. Mulligan to tell me to just cut down with one hand for the yokomen strike(he mentioned this a couple weeks back). Darn shame I don't get to see him teach much. I think he teaches Wednesdays but I just can't make it as a rule due to reasons of marriage. I still make it to Salem 3 days a week on a regular basis though. That's pretty good.

I grabbed my bokken at home. A couple of weeks ago I was able to pick up an informal sword class with the kendo instructor. This guy is amazing. Somehow, my simple cutting stroke has gotten better. I internalized something he said.


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