Saturday, May 03, 2008

Friday Night Freestyle

We worked on a few answers to a yokomen strike. One was a kotagaeshi, another was an iriminage, and the last was something I hadn't seen in over 2 years. I saw Bob do this once in Gloucester. I had lots of trouble with it back then but I had fewer problems now. What was it?

It's a direct entry. As uke comes in, you catch the yokomen arm early, almost spear hand to stop his arms movement and off balance him. You then use your other hand on his shoulder/chest area as a strike to push him the rest of the way. I did a few rounds of it with someone who then asked Alan a question about it. I'm so glad he asked a question, because at that point, Alan used me as uke and I got to feel it. It felt different from what I saw. I didn't realize how much that first arm was there to unbalance. At first I thought it was mostly to stop the strike. Feeling this difference I started doing it differently. I was able to really affect my uke with no need to batter him in any way. One time I even accidently managed to get him so off balance with that one hand that he fell before I could hit him with the other.

I definitely did this technique better than when I first saw it. One other interesting thing. On several occassions as uke I found myself automatically putting my other hand up to stop the atemi to the chest. I wouldn't even think about it, my hand just would come up. I had to actually stop myself from doing that so my partner could practice.

After practicing these three possibilities Alan asked the more experienced of us to move to one side of the dojo, form a circle around one nage and allow him to do a technique to each of us one at a time. He would make eye contact with you to let you know it was time for you to attack. So it wasn't a rondori practice.... but it was good in that you got multiple attacks in a row with no break in between. They came fast, one by one.

Overall I did well for this but my kotagaeshi which I did well earlier fell apart a bit. That direct entry technique was excellent. I did it to Eric who wasn't expecting it and he went down quickly. There was some laughter, and then I moved on.

After class I asked him what people were chuckling about. It turns out he really wasn't expecting that technique (even though it was one of the three we were supposed to do) and he was caught so unawares he was disoriented. Afterwards he made a face just to be funny. He said he was standing there one moment and found himself on the mat the next. All I saw was him taking a normal ukemi so I moved on the next guy.

Class ended with some kokyuho exercises.

I stayed after to help Eric study for his 4th kyu test. We did a few of the test techniques and then left the mat so the Friday night class could warm up. We moved to the karate dojo space and we worked on the sankyo portion of his test a bit. Usually, I do my best to just take ukemi and let people practice but when I can say something simple and it's not class time I try to give them something to think about.

I basically told him that once he has a good sankyo, keep it. Keep the pressure nice and consistent. Don't even let it up for the hand change. I did a sankyo to him and asked him if he felt me let the sankyo go loose for the hand change. He said "No!". He'll either get it or he won't but he may be mindful of it during a practice and figure it out. I'm not likely going to bring it up again as I'm sure he'll eventually get it.


At May 05, 2008 9:15 AM, Blogger Scott Zrubek said...

I think the technique you're doing is what Tomiki folks call Shomen-ate.

At May 21, 2008 3:17 PM, Blogger uchi deshi said...

I think you're right - you can't rush someone else's learning. They'll get it when they're ready if they can't get it now.


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