Monday, August 24, 2009

Seminar at North Shore Aikikai Sunday

Instructors teaching....

David Farrell, Shihan 6th Dan
David Halprin, Shihan 6th Dan
Barbara Britton, Shidoin 6th Dan


I was very pleased to go to the seminar hosted by NSA this weekend. There was a large turnout. I saw lots of familiar faces. It's gotten to the point where I actually remember a few of their names. Some were from New England Aikikai, some from Portsmouth aikido, some from Methuen aikido and a couple from other dojo's that I recognized including a couple of instructors from these dojos as well. I recognized Sensei Dore, Sensei Ringer and others.

The mat area is very large. Even still it was fairly busy. There was still plenty of room to throw but you had to be careful (seems to be the norm for any seminar). When we formed lines there was tons of room and we were able to throw to our hearts content.

Early on I got to work with Sensei Ringer for a nikkyo technique. I think I worked with one of her instructors as well. I believe his name is Aaron. I always see him up at Portsmouth. He and I were working on a hanmi handache wrist grab. Sort of like a corner throw.

For the most part I tried to partner with people I usually don't see in my regular practice. It was awesome. At one point I had a group of four of us. One person was brand new to aikido, another seemed like he had six months or so under his belt, there was me, and the last guy was just amazing ukemi, black belt, guy. I never got his name. I've seen him uke for sensei Halprin in past seminars. Asian guy of relatively small stature. I wish I could have worked with him more to get more of a feel. After some amount throwing, he and I sped up a bit for throwing each other(we both asked for the speed up) and threw the others in line according to what they needed for their ukemi(one of them was rolling out). The technique for that one was one I had done with Peter in our Sunday classes. Uke reaches for a grab, you deflect the hand a bit and tenkan, grab uke's sleeve on top, lead him forward, up and back(pivoting). As you throw back, go to one knee and use your other hand to push uke's hip as they go over. I love this throw.

There was another partner I had who told me he had only been practicing for 2 months. His koshinage felt really good. He liked to pop you up too. I can only assume that's what they taught him in his classes. It was great. I've never met anyone who after 2 months could do a hip throw that well. I'm wondering..... He had to have had some judo background or something. In case you think I'm kidding, as Sensei Farrell moved through the crowd, he looked at my nage, and said "Nice throw". I had problems with this throw. Your supposed to move uke around in a circle, move yourself in a circle and get down in place for the throw. When I have uke moving around in that direction, my muscle memory wants to reverse and do the hip throw in the other direction. Valid I guess.... but I'm trying to do what the instructor is teaching. After a few tries I finally started doing them on the correct side.

At one point we were forming small groups for line throws again. I looked around and found Matt, Mike, and Mark in a line. I joined in hoping I would get tossed around some. At times people go real easy when they don't know you. particularly when you are still a white belt. Also, I wanted to work with Mark a bit. He left the state to go live with squirrels somewhere north and I haven't gotten to work with him since I was around 5th kyu. I was interested in feeling his technique now that I have half a clue. The technique for this line was grab both hands and do something like a tenchinage reversal, grab the back of the neck with your 'sky' hand, pull the neck/shoulder around in a circle (90 degrees), use the other hand to straight arm uke and drive him in the circle and throw. At least... that's what I remember seeing.

When I got home I had a happy blissfullness at getting a good amount of exercise.
The only injury was my own fault. The first time I got thrown up for a hip throw it felt like I was put up and simply dropped. I had myself in a bad position coming down and my leg came down on my hand, jamming my thumb back some. I have some loss of grip strength and a small amount of pain in it but it will be fine in a week. Today it feels pretty good, yesterday I dropped two items(one was a bottle of water) simply because I couldn't grip the bottle tight enough. After that I took it as a hint to USE MY OTHER HAND DUMMY. Oh... and I didn't even notice them until my family said something but I have fingerprints on my right bicep. I haven't had those in a long while. People going for gi and getting my skin instead.

Brings up a story I think I've mentioned a while back.... a year or two ago I was nage for a technique. I accidently grabbed skin, and knew it. Uke is doing his thing and turning over for a breakfall. So I am left with the choice of no longer supporting, maintaining a connection with uke, or allowing him to twist the pinched skin the whole way around his breakfall. I let uke go as he was experienced enough that I knew he didn't need my support and would prefer to keep his skin intact.

The skin twist..... hmmmm..... maybe there is a technique there.

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