Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Promotion Requirements

Matt was aware that I was interested in taking my next test at Salem. Since he was teaching last night he put a couple of my test techniques in the mix.

Yokomenuchi kotagaeshi. Everyone does their aikido a little different. Sometimes it's from their teacher but often times it's from body type or just making aikido your own. For my kotagaeshi, I am used to a cutting/blending uke's hand down to my center, doing the hand change and then doing a tenkan as I do the technique. Perhaps I might sidestep to keep the circular motion going and keep uke moving/offbalance. Matt had me try doing it a different way. Once you have uke's hand in front of your center, move, drawing uke with you. They take a stutter step. As you are moving draw uke down and then when you come back up you finish the kotagaeshi. When done this way, it feels more like a throw as uke has to move to keep up. It's less on the wrist and more on the whole arm/elbow/shoulder. I'll have to try it a bit more. The ukemi for it is certainly more fun. I have a feeling though that although I like practicing this, it isn't going to become my 'goto' way of doing it. I'll give it some more time. We'll see how it works out.

Yokomenuchi iriminage. Once again, I get uke's arm in front of my center but instead of keeping it moving as above, you reverse uke's arm direction, enter behind uke. Now here is the difference to what I was used to and what Matt was showing me for this one. At this point I was cutting straight down with my arm, right in front of my center. Because I'm cutting right in front of me, I'm in a perfect position to exert force on uke without my using much force. Then I get uke's head leaning in to my shoulder so I can use my whole shoulder to finish the iriminage. What Matt showed me for his variation on this was just plain cool. instead of the strong cut down, you grab uke's sleeve or arm, lead them forward just a bit and around. If you do it right uke, ends up right on your shoulder and you've done very little. Uke is just plain off balance and you essentially are just leading them around. Absolutely sweet. I'd like to practice this a bit more.

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