Monday, October 31, 2011

Scary Night

Shodokan was closed for Halloween so I went to....

North Shore Aikikai.

Small class as expected but still had a good class. We did some sumi otoshi. Some other stuff. Then Jim was kind enough to go over some of the tougher 2nd kyu requirements for me. I'm so out of practice that I need it. Don't get me wrong, I've done lots of aikido. I just haven't been doing the test requirements. They don't usually get taught in the normal classes.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Friday Night

Went to class at Shodokan. Mulligan taught the class. Did some unusual attacks where someone grabs the back of your collar and sometimes pulls or grabs and strikes.

Other attack was a punch to the face. I can't get enough of this attack. Why? Cause it's the most likely thing you're going to see.

Did some ikkyo, kokyunage, udekiminage, kaitenage as responses. The kaitenage was an uchi version. So... you go under the arm. The tricky part is the magic hand rotation at the bottom so you come up with your hand in the right position. Ever since working on that one night at North Shore Aikikai I usually can get it.

We also did some aiki-otoshi. I do this regularly. I work with Tony on the mat on Sundays. When in doubt, he does this technique.


Monday, October 24, 2011


Took two classes tonight.

Got to Shodokan. Mulligan was teaching. Dave warmed us up and grabbed a jo. He started us off with some ukemi

A real strange group of techniques. One was where nage was on the ground. Hook the back of uke's ankle, use the other foot against the hooked legs knee to send them off to the side.

Another one on the ground is where uke is reaching down. You grab the reaching arm, use your foot to flip them off to the side.

We did something that looked a lot like gokyo.

The least favorite technique of the night for me was an I don't know what.... uke can do a tsuki. Rather than doing a tenkan taiotoshi which would feel natural to me we step in and turn on the open side(which doesn't seem safe to me) take the arm and come down and back to the inside knee. I was trying to get some float out and some projection for uke. It was still ten times harder than a simple taiotoshi.

Class ended.... I booked out and went to

North Shore Aikikai.

Jim taught this class. He also had us going in on the open side. The techniques we did were interesting. One was grab uke's wrist... pull him around for a j-step and udekiminage. Another was grab the wrist... grab the elbow with the other hand, bring them to your center pretty much hugging it to your chest and turn.

Later in class was the terrible part. He did what I think were two 2nd kyu requirements. It's been SO long since I did anything resembling a test technique. I was beyond rusty one these.

I need to have that discussion with Mulligan about the paperwork someday soon. It would be nice to be able to test again someday. I probably have over 300 hours built up since my last test. I think I only needed 200 hours to take the next one.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Quiet Morning

Sunday mornings at Shodokan usually involve a fair bit of noise. The arnis folks practice on the wood floor behind us. It's not just the clacking of sticks or talking that you hear. You usually hear some really odd(eclectic) selection of music accompanied by incense. I actually don't mind either. I don't even hear their music most of the time or them practicing. I've screened it out. As for the incense... I don't mind it at all. It smells nice. It's way better than the fetid cigar stench from sensei that lingers in the place for days at a time. Friday night I had to dump all clothing immediately into the laundry and take a shower as soon as I got home to get the stench off. Kind of like dealing with toxic waste. Actually, I had my kids in a couple of times a full day or two after the cigar smoking occurs and my kids complained about the bad smell. I told them what it was and that I can't take a full breath in the place at times.

Anyway.... The arnis folks weren't around that day. It was too quiet for a Sunday morning. A newer student showed up who I hadn't seen in a bit. She seems to be about where she left off when I saw her last. I'm guessing she hasn't been able to come regularly. Kim, who usually does arnis, took a class with us. It was nice seeing him again. He and I started together. At one point Peter had us doing a koshinage. Kim asked me to throw him instead of doing lifts. So we tossed each other around for a bit. I had to make adjustments in position because some of his technique was a little off. He doesn't do aikido regularly any more I think. Alos, some of it is from a bad shoulder. He can't put his arm in a certain position without pain.

Anyway.... a nice laid back class.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cool Kaitenage

Went to North Shore Aikikai's Wednesday night's class. Did a bunch of jo disarming stuff, That was interesting. The last thing of the night though was really cool. It was a kaitenage. Uke does a yokomen strike. Nage enters in. While entering... instead of a normal atemi you might do, you grab the neck/shoulder area of the attacking side. So, if uke strikes in his right arm, you step in, deal with the strike with your left hand. At the same time your right hand goes to uke's right neck/shoulder area. From here you can step across in front if him bring his attacking arm up in a kaitenage like motion and throw.

I really liked the technique a lot. There is a bit of fun you can have trying to get uke off balance right after the strike. You can lead them forward just a bit. As they fall forward into the hole you create you can do the kaitenage.

This looks similar but I specifically remember the hand going on the opposite shoulder.

I could have played with this one for a while.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Got To a Double Monday

I don't often get to the early class at Shodokan during the school year. Life is too busy. I got there last night though.

Serge was out with a pulled muscle so Mr. Mulligan taught instead. Class was fine. I was able to make some corrections when Mr. Mulligan mentioned them to me. For the most part I did ok.

After that class I went off to North Shore Aikikai for their Monday night class. Jim taught. We did a number of techniques. A couple strange ones where you need to grab someone's head, step in front of them, past them a bit and pivot. The first time I did this to Kevin he went flying. It looked ugly. There were hands, arms, elbows and so forth everywhere. He's a young guy and really relaxed so even though he took a tough fall he didn't get hurt by it. After that I took it more step by step with him and we worked on his ukemi for that technique. He has a good natural ukemi most of the time. It didn't occur to me he would have a problem with this one.

We did other techniques including a knife take-away with kotagaeshi.

It was a good night.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Well..... Nobody Died

Peter wasn't around to teach today. The above title was a quote from Chris who did teach.

For the most part the attack was a punch to the face today. We did an entry where you enter, as you deflect or capture the attacking arm. Responses were udekimenage, some kind of kokyunage, iriminage, kotagaeshi, shihonage, a choke, and so forth.

We did one technique that was a little less aiki then the others.
You enter, block by smashing at the inside of the elbow with the opposite hand (make him think you are going to break his elbow), then enter by getting one foot under the attackers arm, step behind the attacker with the other foot and as you are turning give uke the elbow to the face. All of this is all very good.... however, at the end I experimented instead with bringing my arm up high and sliding forward for a kokyunage like finish(instead of elbowing the face).

Relatively mellow class. Felt good to move around in the morning.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Class 4 Of The Week - Friday Night

Well... Somehow I got to 4 classes this week. Tonight Bob taught. We did some sumiotoshi, ushiro jujinage, kaitenage, sankyo, and more. We did most of the techniques in a line all night. The line was short enough to keep things moving. The advanced class only had about 6 people tonight.

At the end of the night we did some freestyle practice. I feel as though I did much better for this one then the last time. I was aware of where people were, generally threw my uke at someone to tie them up, and adjusted my position on the mat when necessary to keep my ukes lined up. I only did one 'surprise' technique. Usually for this exercise to keep people safe they limit the attacks and responses to things we did that night. At times I am all over the place just doing whatever. Tonight I managed to keep it to what we were doing in class. The only 'new' technique I did was udekimenage when someone attacked very quickly and I just reacted. His energy/line of attack/whatever just fell right into it. I paused a short moment to let my uke get his bearings before I completed the technique.

Had a good class overall.

Class 3 of the week....Wednesday Night

Mike taught. Hadn't seen one of his classes in a while. He used to teach Monday nights but as long as it's football season I doubt I'll see him for a class very often.

Anyway... we had a great class. Did some great throws. I took some throws for some demos which was nice because I got to feel the technique.

The variant of taiotoshi was harder for me. If I did a direct throw I had no problem. But Mike was showing a version where you turn 270 degrees. Uke gets thrown 90 degrees from his position. I did it successfully but I wasn't consistent.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Yay Yonkyo

I managed a kidsitter tonight so I got to North Shore Aikikai for a class tonight.

We practiced certain types of ukemi tonight. Going over a jo, doing a few line techniques to practice.

The last thing of the night was a grab attack, step off to the side a bit taking uke's balance, do a one handed nikkyo, as uke comes up tenkan and change into a one handed yonkyo. The nikkyo wasn't too hard to get but one handed yonkyo is real hard to get effectively.

We had a couple partners for this one. When I got one of the less experienced members of our group he was totally missing the yonkyo. I spent about 10 seconds with him so he would get the gist of it. He's amazing. He got a reasonable yonkyo right away. Awesome.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

That Was Different

As usual, Peter had an interesting class. He started us out holding a bokken, attempting to swing it while balancing on one foot. We did both sides a couple of times and then moved on.

He has us doing a different opening. The class was all jodan tsuki. The reply was either a deflect enter, or tenkan pull-around or a hand snatch tenkan kind of thing.

We did kotagaeshi, iriminage, koshinage, nikkyo, udekiminage, kaitenage, kokyunage. I think the kotagaeshi was the most interesting for me. Normally we don't want to attempt to snatch a hand because you may miss. Peter had us snatching at the attacking hand to slap it down as you tenkan, keep hold of it and you do a nice kotagaeshi. I was trying to not just slap but pay attention to making contact and sliding down to where I needed to be.

The nikkyo was a natural for me. No surprise there.

The koshinage was a garume type. For that one I was attempting to keep uke moving in a particular direction be in a good place so uke has a little float and just falls into the correct position. While practicing, even though it wasn't shown that way... after a few turns of doing it normally, I did the thing where you shift your weight from one side to the other and then just as uke gets to the other side, pull that foot back. Predictably, Tony fell like a stone. I looked up at Peter after I did it and he spotted it and was smiling at me. I held my finger up to my lips.... ssshhhhhhh.

Here is a video where someone is doing the foot pull away for this koshi. Look at the first two throws for the variation we were doing.