Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What Was That?

On Sunday mornings the Arnis class runs at the same time on the wood floor. Usually, I hear music and smell incense burning and so forth. Last Sunday I am warming up doing ukemi practice when out of the blue I hear....

"Grab that weapon like a naughty circus monkey"

What are they doing back there?

The rest of sunday's class was good stuff. Peter had us do some kaeshi waza (reversals). Although in the past I remembered doing these before but for some reason I was really stiff as I did the reversal. I tried to soften up a bit.

Monday night I went to North Shore Aikikai. We started with our ukemi practice. We did some tsuki sumi-otoshi. Then we moved on to other things. My favorite of which was a cross between a tae waza and a kokyunage. Yokomen attack. Nage matches uke by stepping in at an angle. Your hands go to the inside of uke's elbow and arm. Allowing uke to complete the swing you encourage the attacking arm to continue in the same direction. Then you bring the arm down and back (you go to one knee and slide back on it). This forms the circle that uke will follow. I love this technique.

From there we did kotagaeshi, iriminage, and other things. All of them flowy and effortless.... at least if you do them like Mike is showing them.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Pulling The Rug Out

Sunday, Peter did a really interesting class. We did a bunch of techniques from two different entries. Eventually we came to koshinage. He had us doing the garume version where uke goes across your belt line and your lined up pretty much perpendicular. We've done this lots before. What was different? Somewhere in the middle of the throw you start moving your weight from one foot to the other. Before that totally happens you withdraw the foot.
The affect on uke is that you go straight down. The ukemi feels more like something you'd take from an uki-gosh. Nage just disappears.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Deja Vu..... Or Maybe Not

Ok... so Monday was amusing. I went to Shodokan. We started off with some backstretches, went to iriminage and then moved to aikio toshi. Had a good class.

After that I went to North Shore Aikikai. We did backstretches, iriminage, and then we did sumi-otoshi. Ok... so it wasn't exactly the same but it was.... and yet... it wasn't.

This is the best part of seeing other instructors points of view on a given technique. You can have the same exact technique but when I see it done a couple of different ways it will at times get you to thinking, what part of this works and what part doesn't for you.

Rob taught the class at NSA. For the sumiotoshi I tend to take the arm and move someone at that point with my whole body. It can feel clunky in some ways but since I have extension, and am using my whole body and not arm strength I always regarded it as the way to do it. Somewhere after feeling Robs version I realized that there is another way. You lead uke more which requires less effort (even if it's minimal effort using ones body) by offbalancing uke more. It's definitely softer. Just as I threw Rob on one occassion I realized how jarring that was to uke in comparison. I didn't quite know why. When Rob made the rounds again he demonstrated the difference and this time I picked up on it and used more unbalancing. Now.... there is nothing particularly wrong with how I was doing it before but it lacked a certain amount of subtlety or softness.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Resistance is Futile

Went to class Tues, Wednesday, and Friday this week.

Wednesday night at North Shore Aikikai I caught most of Rob's class. He apparently was looking at some old footage of a sensei who used to visit every year from Japan. The exercises/techniques stressed flexibility and strength of your core. Getting ridiculously low was a requirement.

On Friday night I paired myself off with one of the new folks. I was curious how he was coming along. It was excellent practice for me. I had to keep the techniques at a pace he could follow. He didn't seem overly comfortable taking even basic ukemi. For nikkyo when he would go to the ground there was quite a bit of grunting going on. He wanted to resist everything which oddly enough I didn't notice right away. I pulled him aside after class. I suggested to him that at this stage its hard enough for someone to just remember where to put your feet and hands and so forth without worrying about what to do if someone is fighting a technique they know is coming. Then I had him do an ikkyo to me and showed him the difference. The first time I offerred some resistance. The second time I just blended with him like butter.

For those of you just starting out. Your best bet is to offer no resistance at this stage. There isn't a lot of benefit to it right now for uke or nage.

The second class Friday night was a sharp contrast. Mr. Mulligan had us doing some koshinage. I had Tony and Sam for partners. Tony was doing his usual, tossing me around like crazy. Sam too. By the end of the night I was pretty well cooked.