Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Test Time At North Shore Aikikai

We held a short class before the tests. We did an abbreviated warmup. Then Mike had us all line up on the mat and all do our ukemi in a straight line right next to each other. I had experienced people on both sides of me so I didn't have to worry too much about one of them rolling off line and coming into me.

Started class with a tsuki sumi-otoshi. We also did some kotagaeshi. The version where it feels more like an ude-garame. Uke strikes, nage steps deflects incoming strike with opposite hand. Get a kotagaeshi grip with the other hand, turn your hips and throw. My biggest problem with this is I was throwing people down instead of out. I can feel the difference myself. I think I know how to fix it at this point but I would need more practice at it to get it right. Rob was doing the technique and not just throwing me out... but then floating me as well. I could see exactly what he was doing. Again, I think I just need a few more repetitions to get closer to what I want.

Oh... one thing during this class that was cool. At one point in practice when I went to do my attack, nage didn't have me but went to put his fist up into my face to make me back off. Without even thinking about it, I deflected the incoming first with my other hand. This is probably from all the jodan tsuki practice we've been doing in Mr. Mulligan's class at Shodokan. Very cool. No thought to that. I just reacted. So there is a chance that if someone threw a punch at my face I might do something other than stand there and take it. It was nice too... I didn't push the fist over too hard but with enough force to miss my face. I think part of the reason I actually reacted to it was that I wasn't expecting it at all. If I saw it coming slowly I may not have reacted as I know he wouldn't really hurt me.

We wrapped up and set up for a test. I took another quick look at the test list. Didn't see anything squirrely so I was happy.

I got to uke for the 2nd kyu test. The tests went well. One of the guys who took his 5th kyu test looked really good. There were a lot of little things he was getting right that you don't often see in a fifth kyu test. Pretty cool.

My nage did great for her test. We kept it at a reasonable pace. I was wondering if I was going to have a problem keeping up but it was no problem. I tried to focus on my breathing and took momentary rests where I could. I was pretty psyched that we blended so well for the test. We hadn't practiced together in weeks. The test went by fast actually. By the end of the test I was in a groove.

I guess for a couple of throws she was really tossing me. There is a chance that someone got it on video. I'm hoping to see it. I'm curious to watch the test. Sometimes when I'm uke I focus more on my ukemi(attacking, being there, staying with her as best I can). I don't get to pay attention to too much else.

I keep meaning to bring a video camara in to a class but I never quite get it there. I'm wondering if I'll see stuff that needs fixing that I had no idea I was doing as nage or uke.

We then watched the other testers do some ukemi.

After this we did the randori portion for the 2nd kyu test. I frequently had a body thrown at me so that I had to hop back. When I did attack I didn't always telegraph it. I waited at times until I was right next to nage and then attacked. It's a little tougher when people do this to you but I knew she could handle it fine. I think all the practice they were doing for freestyles was really helping. I know it helped me improve.

Anyway.... congratulations to all the people testing last night. It was great fun.


At April 06, 2010 3:19 PM, Blogger Scott Zrubek said...

Got your note about the videos. The aftermath of the outtake was interesting. That technique was at the end of one set of techniques, so we bowed in front of joseki. One of the Sensies was having a very, very difficult time not busting out laughing. My uke, seeing Sensei Frankie turning bright red, had troubles not laughing himself. If you look very closely at the full video, you can see a smile creep on his face.

At April 06, 2010 8:12 PM, Anonymous Diana : ) said...

Thanks so much for all your help yesterday, Eric. You did great!


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