Monday, March 31, 2008

April Fools

I was unable to get to the 6pm class in Salem tonight as I was needed at home. I was however able to make it to the 8:15 class in Beverly.

Mike taught tonight. In honor of April fools, we did reversals. We did shihonage, sankyo, and nikkyo. We learned one way for each to do a reversal. They ended up being, kotagaeshi, nikkyo, and some kind of otoshi or something for a throw.

I worked with a relative beginner tonight. He's really interesting to work with because he tends to act more honestly, then someone trained. It's been a while since someone gave me an absolutely straight arm when I'm trying to do nikkyo. Now... in real life if I had to work that hard, I'd just go with something else. He also does things like.... turns his back on you for ikkyo and so forth. Very interesting to wotk with someone doing these things.

On the way out I mentioned to Matt that I was interested in taking my 3rd kyu test in Salem maybe in the fall. I was wondering if folks at Beverly would help me brush up on some things.
At this point I need tons of practice on everything. I'd like to start early so I can give a good demo when the times comes.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

I Need An Instant Replay

We did a bunch of stuff as usual. One particular technique/exercise I'd like to focus on a bit. It had a yokomenuchi strike. It ends with you basically grabbing uke's striking arm (well the wrist really) and pulling down as you go down to one knee. You could do a variation for not going down for those of you who don't like the idea of going down.

The part that I was thinking about after practice was .... as you throw, I stepped forward and went down on a knee. I did this because it felt natural for the spacing. But.... I was wondering what it would feel like if I forced myself to not take the step. What if I instead, just went straight down right there. I'll have to try that out some time. I have no idea if the instructor was taking a step. I always want to watch it again.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tonight Was Test Night

I don't often get to class on Wednesday's due to reasons of marriage. When you figure I get in 3-4 classes a week thats really not that bad a concession. The biggest bummer about it is that it is Mr. Mulligan's night to teach the regular class. I really enjoy his classes and I've had little opportunity to go because of the conflict.

Anyway... we had a good class before the test. We started out with tsuki iriminage. This was a bit of a surprise as we seldom do test techniques before a test. As it happened I had Kim as my partner so we got a little more practice in on this before he had to test.

After this we worked into a strange thing where you enter, bring your hand in around the front of uke's neck and instead of grabbing the collar as is often done for a choke, we used the back of our hand to push against uke's face and turn him. Your other hand is on his wrist. Take a big step back and kneel and you have uke on the ground with the head kind of pinned and in an armbar.

We did a couple variations of this and at the end moved into a 'simple' kokyunage where you irimi, drop your hand on uke's arm and turn with your hips just a bit. Uke goes to the ground.

After class we set up for the test. We usually bring a table onto the mat with chairs so the instructors can see everything well enough.

Between classes I tried to stretch out again (a good idea since I was warmed up from the first class). Then I did some centering exercises. Even though it wasn't my test I noticed I was a little too up so I sat down and relaxed for a few minutes before we needed to line up.

We were first up, bowed in and began the test. Kim did well enough. I think he was a bit nervous as he tended to do better during our practices together. He wanted to practice things from static and yet didn't turn around for the ushiro techniques so I just ran around him some. Maybe that's what he wanted. We didn't talk about it much. I figured, no big deal, just go with it, give him an attack. Something like that occurred earlier too. I saw Kim take a hanmi. So I took mine.... then he changed. Rather than me flip my feet around I just attacked him with the correct hand. Instead of a step I just slid in. So basically he got the same attack he was expecting. He probably didn't even notice. I did this to avoid the hanmi dance you see sometimes.

Kim did pretty good for the suwari waza. He has bad knees so doing anything like this is tough for him.

My favorite ukemi I did for the test was..... no... not the kotagaeshi breakfalls... it was a simple slide to the ground for one of Kim's ura techniques. A couple of times I managed to slide down smoothly and almost silently. That was kind of cool.

After we got to watch the nikkyu test. The guy did real well. I could go on in detail but I don't think I could do it justice.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I've Been Helping My Dojomates Again

Dojomates? Hmmm Is that a word? Anyway....

Aside from spending time with Kim just being there as a partner so he can get more practice time in, I've been working with Eric for his 4th kyu test which won't be for another 2 or 3 months.

When it comes to helping them prepare, my current thinking is to just be there to practice. If they have a month or so I might be more apt to make a suggestion but as time has gotten closer, I basically just shut up and let them just do their thing. People are going to do what they've learned up till now and I think last minute tweaking would only confuse things.

I think Kim noticed this and although he won't ask me a question he has asked me to do a technique. He watches and then takes a turn.

There is still a question in my mind as to how a particular technique needs to be performed for Kim's test. Kim asked the question and got different answers from different instructors.

One of the instructors suggested that Kim show multiple variations of techniques but to be sure to do one for each side so it's obvious that its purposeful.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

I'm Tender and Delicious

Lucky Kim got a 4th kyu technique to do in Friday nights practice. Frankly, I think it helped a lot. From what I recall, we did ushiro tekubitori sankyo, a line technique for kaitenage, and then moved on to 25 minutes of koshinage.

I have to say that basically, I haven't had anything resmbling an injury in a real long time. Maybe a bruise or two from a pinch. This class however was non-stop hip throws for 25 minutes with Kim tenderizing me. About half the time he wouldn't let go of either hand. He would go out of his way to capture both my hands not allowing me to slap the mat. He was aware of it too and working on it but he couldn't help himself. Add to that a set of bad knees so he tends to take a wide stance and occasionally there is no hip to go over. After I started to get tired I actually relaxed more for the fall and overall did fine. I didn't realize it until class was over but the muscles on the back of my upper legs were pounded on to the point where there was a deep ache in the muscle. After a nights sleep they feel remarkably better but there is still some ache there. I'm trying to work it out by getting my knuckles into the muscle some. I should be as good as new by Monday night's class. Until then, I declare myself to be tender and delicious.

Wednesday is test day and coming up fast. Aside from Kim's 4th kyu test there is someone doing a nikkyu test I'm told. I have no idea who is doing it. It should be fun to watch. I'll have to look at the technique list to see what that person has to do.

I was wondering if I would get called up to help with the rondori portion. And .. if so, how nuts do you get with that. I can attack fairly aggressively if needed, but is it desired for these things. I have no clue. Never seen a nikkyu test before.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Effective technique

I hit class Friday night but I missed Monday as other things came up. So, I managed to get in tonight. For whatever reason I am full of energy tonight. A far cry from class last Monday where I was actually tired.

The whole class centered around moretetori attacks. We had nikkyo, sankyo, some kind of otoshi, ikkyo, kotagaeshi.

The best part of all this was that I got to work with Christina. What I like most about her is that she practices at a faster pace than most people. Also, her technique is strong enough that I actually had to really be with it ukemi-wise. Always fun to practice with different people. With her I had to be on my toes. For nikkyo, she applied it very well and very quickly so I had to react quickly to avoid pain.

Super fun.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Dawn Is Back

Some yudansha who currently resides in Oregon showed up again. I believe I saw her a year ago. She has some history with Mr. Mulligan and the members of the dojo.

She led us through ukemi warm ups one night. She emphasized soft falls. It was interesting. Always cool to get exposed to new ideas.

Well, if you're into art here is a link to some of her work.

http://www.dawnemerson.com/Portfolio-NW.htm

I worked with her during Alan's class on Friday. Actually, come to think of it, I got to take ukemi for Alan. He asked me to work with him for a moment and then asked if I ever did a breakfall for this technique. My answer. No. Alan: Want to try? Me: Sure. We did a couple of throws and they were actually quite comfortable. Not a tough technique to breakfall out of. So I took ukemi for the technique. Very fun one for ukemi.

As for Dawn. Love to see her come by again. I wonder if she teaches where she lives?

I Started Practiciing With Kim

A couple weeks back Kim told me he wanted to test at the end of this month. Also, that he wanted me to take ukemi for him. I was surprised but told him I'd be happy to. It was not too long ago that he told me he would likely not test again because of his knees. I guess he had a change of heart.

We worked together last friday night after class. We got permission from Mr. Mulligan to take a corner on the mat during his Friday night class.

Kim and I worked on multiple techniques for his test. I had an interesting moment during this. Kim asked me to do a technique and I told him I didn't remember it. He said just try it. Apparently, it was in muscle memory. For suwari waza nikkyo, there was an atemi, and we sort of slide the back of our wrist/hand down uke's arm drawing him down. Kim wasn't doing this at all. We both realized the difference and he started practicing that way. So, Kim was learning from taking ukemi and paying lots of attention. Oddly enough this is the one technique I was unhappy with on my own test. Kind of odd that I do it better now and I don't think we've been practicing this one much.

Kim had a similar aha moment when we were taking turns for shihonage ura. There was something he said his instructors kept telling him trying to get him to use his hips. He finally figured out it had to do with his footwork.

Both he and I feel as though he's benefitting from the extra practice. I made some suggestions to make sure he knows all the techniques in the test.