Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What a Great Monday Night

I managed to get two classes in Monday night. I like to get two in a row in whenever I can. Both classes were excellent.

First class in Salem was interesting. We did a good amount of suwari waza. I found the iriminage almost easy to do which means I'm probably not noticing my mistakes. I found doing the armbar easier on my leg. This is what was being taught. A couple of times I tried to do it across my center and bring it forward for the armbar. It seemed harder for me to do.

We actually had an injury in Salem. This is relatively rare. I mean, everyone gets a pulled muscle or bruise once in a while but it's not often a student has to sit down and rest something. This particular student had a history of hyperextending his knee. He tried to take an ukemi on the left when nage was throwing towards the right. He ended up passing left and partly over nage but his body was twisted a bit and he couldn't take the forward roll he was comfortable with. He fell kind of sideways. He had a look of discomfort on his face and when he tried to get up, it was with great pain and effort. A good number of people were watching him for a few seconds and sort of just stood there. I reacted first and moved to him to support his weight so he wouldn't have to fall or step with the injured leg. After that, people sort of snapped out of it and someone else came over to help me get him off the mat and into a chair. She may have been headed there anyway but I asked one of the other students to fetch an ice pack.

He sat there for the class just letting the knee and leg rest. I'm wondering how long it will be before he's able to come back to the mat. Something like that can be easily annoying for a couple weeks or longer depending on how much he tweaked it. I guess since he's done it before he's sort of used to that kind of injury at least.

After he was settled in I went back to the line to practice. The interesting part about that line though was that I could have used it later in Beverly. It was a 2 hand collar grab from the front, nage would do a tenkan on uke's forward foot while using your arm and move/extend forward. When Serge(our blind student) had his turn as nage, I grabbed him aggresively and he smiled. I told him it was me (so he knew he could throw harder if he liked). He did the technique so well, I had to do a breakfall. I landed fairly well and even was able to continue the ukemi after the fall to roll to my other side and come up in a ready posture.

Not related to aikido or anything but this reminds me of a story. While in college, my roomate had some friends come up. One friend was his partner for a landscaping business he ran at home. He and his friends were in our apartment for 10 minutes, cracked open their first beer when the landscaper friend decides he needs to sit down....... on our glass table. He of course falls right through and the glass cuts his leg pretty badly. They are all standing around scratching their heads thinking drinking more is the solution, so I go to my room and grab a small clean towel and bandage for him to apply pressure on it. It was soaking through the bandage... through the towel and it still didn't register to these guys that this needs stitches. So I tell the guy to keep pressure on it while I drive him to the local emergency room. As soon as they saw the amount of blood, he was fast-tracked, got a bunch of stictches and headed back to the apartment to continue where he left off. Certainly not life threatening but how much do you want to bleed.... really.

Come to think of it, I've also seen a knife wound to someones hand(nasty slice) because the place I worked at got robbed. I spent time applying pressure on that one too waiting for the ambulance to arrive. Interesting thing is... the local newspaper beat the police and the ambulance to our theater.

Anyway... enough of my mind wandering... back to aikido....

Also in Salem I had John for nikkyo practice. The problem I have with John is that he is a huge, strong, inflexible guy. he doesn't really do smooth ukemi. He just can't get to the ground easily.

So if you are trying to do a nikkyo ura. The first problem I had was that I would get the arm, do nikkyo and try to take him around in a tenkan. At this point he would straight arm you and turn his back to you. Now, I know that in a defense situation he's just offerring me lots of tempting targets but I really want to try and figure out how to move someone that resistant to where I want him to go. So I feel like I'm left with two choices. Either make due with what he gives me (apply pressue to the elbow, etc), or push, off balance him, and move fast enough so that he doesn't attempt to immediately regain balance. Of course if I do that, he will most likely take a hard, not so smooth fall. So, I've been making due rather than hurt him.

Later on we had a hip throw to practice. At one point he started resisting me just to mess with me. So, I put a light nikkyo on him to get him down just a bit, and then let him up. As he was coming up I used that up motion of his to do the hip throw. Definitely a tough guy to work with at times. I do like it once in a while. Someone has to keep you honest. One thing that was mentioned by Bob in this class that stuck with me. He spoke about leaving some space between you and uke so he is falling towards you for the hip through. I was aware I wanted that motion. It didn't occur to me that it's easier to get if you are not right next to uke. A little space is a good thing.

Afterwards, I headed off to Beverly for a class. We focused on rondori. This is actually only the second time I've ever specifically practiced this in Beverly. The first time was just one brief exercise.

Mike started us out just learning how to slip past attacks. We practiced getting past shomen, yokomen and tsuki strikes. He wanted us to start with the basics. Then we all got on the mat and one person in the middle tried to get past his attacker, staying in his blind spot and reengaging or moving on at a good clip away to face someone else.
After this he added the beginnings of a technique and had us practice this, with the suggestion that we use the first exercise if we get stuck at the edge of the mat or even worse, in a corner.

After this we moved on to trying to do techniques while trying to stay out of harms way. A few of us would have taken shots to the back or head had this been real. I cornered myself against the mat at one point. Salem has done rondori practice. For a while we were doing quite a bit of it and I even had a class or two where I felt I did ok at it. At Beverly, for some reason I was totally lost for a technique. I couldn't really think of anything to do at that pace so I mostly just slipped past people as best I could. There was one moment when Jim grabbed my collar with two hands from the front. Where the heck did that line technique go from 2 hours before I have no idea. I seemed to remember a class where you could wrap an arm around uke's two arms and throw him but I couldn't do it. I think I would have been better off to either do a kokyunage or ignore his second hand and go for a quick nikkyo. Easy to come up with ideas 2 days later.

I will say this for myself though. There were more people on the mat then I am used to having to keep track of and the pace was a little quicker than what I've done before. So, I'm not overly disappointed. I did well enough and I had fun.


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