Friday, October 29, 2010

Last Friday Hip-fest

So Friday night at Shodokan we have a fairly full mat. For whatever reason, Mr. Mulligan decides to do an entire night of hip throws. What's worse about it is that we are just supposed to lift and not throw. For whatever reason the partners I end up getting all have trouble judging and I have to work extra hard to not fall. Frequently I ended up taking my free hand and pushing against uke's hip.

By the time the class was over I noticed that my hip joint seemed a little worked. Never had that happen before. Must be a sign of age.
It feels ok today, a week later. Although frankly I'd like to do something not involving the hip tonight. Otoshi.... controls... whatever. We shall see.

Speaking of controls..... Monday night Matt at North Shore Aikikai had a great class with us doing a 1 handed nikkyo. Very tough to get.

Show Me When You are Nage Please

A couple of weeks back I had an interesting difference of opinion on a set of techniques with one of the other students.

A very experienced 1st kyu and I were taking the Sunday class. Peter had us doing henkawaza. So we are moving from one technique to the next.

For one set of exercises uke eventually ends up bent over. From there we are supposed to let uke up while taking them into sankyo. So, I get a sankyo and I let uke up. He doesn't try to rise. I say to him..... don't you want to get up? He says no. I attempt to encourage him to get up by showing him that I can atemi with my knee to his face (no I don't actually hit him). Still no reaction. So I use my sankyo control to get him up(which he can't ignore) and continue the technique.

On his turn he then attempts to show me his way of thinking. I was basically, brought down, not let up at all and was forced to move around quite a bit to keep up with him. From there he takes the sankyo and finishes. After which he gives me an extremely respectful bow. It wasn't abusive but it was very uncomfortable. Luckily, I was able to keep up as he mopped the floor with me some.

Interesting thought by him. I have a few thoughts of my own on that one though. I like to see how other people do their techniques because things can vary so much. His background was from the Chiba line I believe and they don't typically let uke up from this position I guess.

However, if he perceives a hole in my technique such as letting him up then I would rather he get up and show me by touching, tapping, gently hitting me somewhere. You should be a realistic uke. If I let you up(intentional or otherwise) you should get up. His opportunity to show how he would do the techniques can come on his turn. In my mind he is being a bad uke.

Overall, I've come to dislike his aikido. It's full of positive grabs and strength and relies less on his center and on kazushi. I guess the best way to say it is that he's not very flowy. I'm not saying his aikido is bad or wrong or anything. Just not my style.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Kazushi Is King

Went to North Shore Aikido's class. Matt taught. We did taiotoshi, ukiotoshi and something I believe he called kasagarume. I love all three of these. I've done them before. The focus however was different for this practice.

Instead of trying to quickly pound uke into the mat. The idea was to try and grab uke with just a couple of fingers for each hand as an exercise. See how much you can get with just a light gentle grip. Very cool idea because it allows you to really focus on the kazushi. I was a lot more focused on floating uke higher before the throw and so forth. I would love to try this again some time. At the very least if we do normal taiotoshi, I'll be focusing on moving uke for better kazushi.

A few posts ago I mentioned someone threw me on his leg for taiotoshi. I got to see him during this class and I can see why it happened. In fact he threw someone else on his knee but it was minor(no damage). He's aware of the problem as are the instructors. He's having trouble making the correction. I think I see why he's doing it. What you normally might do at the end is sort of blast your foot back as you drop. What he does instead is take a step with that foot and tries to throw uke using his whole body. He sort of attempts to throw uke as if he is hauling a sack of potatos around in a circle. Trying to throw uke to the mat as hard as possible. So after the step if his foot was square at all, it becomes slanted because he turns his whole body including his hips(reminiscent of a hip throw). I think he'd do better if he concentrated on which direction he's really supposed to be throwing uke.

It's an interesting thing. A student can feel a large amount of force coming from his partner and not interpet it correctly. Sometimes it feels harder because the technique is correct. It's not harder because someone is physically throwing you harder.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Friday Night and Sunday Pete Classes

Mr. Mulligan was off on his yearly scaring of the fish this weekend. So Peter was kind enough to come in and teach the Friday night class.

Darned if I remember exactly what we did. If I remember I'll edit this post. I do remember enjoying the class quite a bit. I think we did some kaeshi-waza.

As for Sunday morning. Most of the attacks were shomenuchi. We did a series of techniques, udekiminage, koshinage, iriminage, shihonage, kotagaeshi..etc. The focus was going from one technique to the next and to not worry about hanmi.

Chris M. showed up on for the Sunday class which is unusual. It's really funny working with him and the other Chris at the same time. This Chris is always fighting, resisting and pushing. Whether he is nage or uke, lots of muscle being used. The other Chris is very soft. Sometimes too soft. Actually I had a talk with him about that. I expressed to him that he should trust my ukemi. That he should do a technique to completion and not ease up at the end. I'm not 100% sure but I started getting a little more effort from him. At one point he immediately put me down to the mat with a great nikkyo. I hit the mat with some speed because he was doing it correctly. Then he looked at me and apologized. Sigh.... dude... that's exactly what you should be doing. No apology needed. It's good for both of us when you do techniques correctly all the way through.