Thursday, November 24, 2011

Still Busy

I've been to a bunch of classes since my last post. The last one I took was with North Shore Aikikai. Jim had us doing stuff on the open side again. Uke does a yokomen strike, nage enters with his back to uke and picks the arm up on the other side. Then we did a few different techniques with the same opening.

Previous to this was Sunday's class with Peter. Excellent class doing henka waza again. I screwed up the kotagaeshi to nikkyo sequence and went straight to nikkyo. Peter liked it enough to have us all try doing my mistake for a while. Similar to the 5th kyu version of kotagaeshi... take uke around but instead of doing the kotagaeshi, you keep moving in the same direction, stay sticky and bring ukes hand down in a circle to get the nikkyo. Feels very natural for me to do it this way.

After class Peter asked if I was planning on testing at the end of December. I had no idea there was even a test scheduled. My answer was a resounding no. My biggest concern is that I'll keep testing, end up getting to 1st kyu, Mulligan will retire.... then I'll want to test for shodan so I'll have to find a shihan somewhere to test me. When he sends the paperwork in, USAF won't be able to process it because all my kyu paperwork wouldn't have been put in. That will be fun.

This leaves me with two choices.... keep progressing and don't bother testing (this is becoming increasingly less palatable). Or.... Just leave the dojo and go to one that will be more responsible and respectful. I explained this to Peter. I also told him that I volunteered to do the paperwork (for everyone who tested) at one point and was told no.

Usually the certificate is handed to the student in class in front of the class. I find this situation so embarassing that I'd be much happier just having it handed to me privately. I took that test about 2 years and 7 months ago.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Merry Go Round From Hell

Ya... That was what went through my mind Monday night.

I went to North Shore Aikikai's class Monday night. They are getting a brand new mat surface installed so we had to practice in a room upstairs. That particular room has a solid rubber floor of some kind. It doesn't really give at all.

We practiced some ukemi anyway. We did a few rolls. People with better ukemi obviously had an easier time of it. The breakfall practice roll that we do looked uncomfortable. I cheated some by doing something similar to a wobble roll. Basically... rather than lying flat and slapping my hand on a hard surface, I continued the motion to the other side.

We then went on to do a bunch of nikkyo, yonkyo, sankyo.

Where did the title of this post come from? Well.. we were doing yonkyo and one of the instructors (who was not teaching that night) got a great yonkyo on me and I was forced to go up and down and around. Merry Go ROund From Hell was what popped into my head at the time.

It was great working on some basic controls for a change. Espsecially with someone who can resist quit a bit of nikkyo/yonkyo.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Kids In Tow

Another Sunday morning at Shodokan I had to bring the kids with me. As usual they complained about the stale cigar smell that permeates the dojo before we were halfway up the stairs. Both kids watched the Arnis group that was practicing as much as they watched us. Of course the bulk of their time they spent sitting and quietly reading. At one point my young daughter pulled out her knitting and worked on that for a while. Oh wait..... this is a blog about aikido right?? My kids are the center point of my life, and it's easy for me to go off on a tangent.

Peter taught today. We had a great class. For the most part we did henka waza. Started out with a kotagaeshi, from there we took it to a bunch of different techniques. Of course one of them was taiotoshi. Now being paranoid about what happened Wednesday night, I dialed back a bit. Even though I know Tony can take a throw the last few weeks he's complained that his back has been a bit touchy lately. It's not worth hurting anyone over so I took it easy.

One of the oddest moments was when I realized that I was going from a nikkyo to sankyo different than what Peter had been teaching today. I knew I was doing it wrong but couldn't remember exactly what I had seen when he demo'd it. I ended up doing a version that he's done a lot in the past and apparently I've internalized a bit. After a round I got myself all fixed up and starting doing it correctly.

Anyway.... had a great practice. Grabbed the kids and left.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Less Magic More Choking

Often times we do some crazy subtle stuff on Friday nights. Something surrounding our centers, ki, body position or one thing or another. Tonight was a different kind of night.

We did several different chokes. One of my favorites. Reach across front of uke with left hand grab gi edge thumb inside. Move around back of uke, grab front left shoulder of gi from behind. Now scissor your elbows to create pressure. If you are feeling particularly mean you can hang them by pulling backwards and having them off their feet. They hang by the choke. Their weight help cinch it in.

We even did one I hadn't seen before. This one has us start off with maybe a shihonage like response. Get uke to turn and down. One arm goes about the neck and one below. The upper hand pulls the lower hand up. The point I missed in the initial demo was the location of the neck in that structure. I was doing it on the forearms. Mulligan grabbed me and did it and I immediately felt that he had me much closer to his hands. Tough choke for me to get.

We did some interesting armbars. A couple I had seen before. One or two were new for me so it was interesting to practice them.

Later on we were doing a yokomenuchi attack, get the arm down and across (similar to shihonage)step in, armbar the elbow on your shoulder to raise uke. Now take arm and do taiotoshi. During this practice, Mulligan was admonishing another student for taking it easy on one of our more experienced people. So.. when I take my turn with her, I do a normal taiotoshi. She sat out for a few minutes after that throw. I talked to her after class. She said she was fine but said that right after that throw her heart was going very fast. It sounds to me like she got an adreneline dump. She hasn't been around on the mat very much lately. I'm thinking she wasn't used to taking that throw done at half speed. I'll have to keep that in mind. Despite what sensei said.... she needs to build herself back up to where she was. Assuming she doesn't avoid the heck out of me, I'll have to tone it down a bit when I work with her. Her technique was excellent as usual. She's just not up to the harder throws yet.

Towards the end of class I got Tony as a partner. He was a riot. Everything we did turned into some kind of hip-throw. We are doing some kind of soft kokyuho kind of thing from a standing position. Tony slowly turns me and hip throws me.

So, I had a nice workout tonight.

Flying The Unfriendly Skies

Wednesday night I managed to get to Shodokan. Bob taught that night. All I remember was that my partner for a part of the evening was someone who had been around for about 6 months or so. Not really a beginner but still working out a lot of stuff.

So Bob has us do a koshinage. The first version is a simple... ushiro attack, take a sankyo, turn and run uke across your back at the belt line. She kept throwing me at odd angles. At times I was over her shoulder, high on her back. A few times she threw me over her head. It's a good thing I can take that ukemi. I tried to help her out, Bob was keeping a good eye on her and trying to help as well. She didn't seem to be getting it. So... mercifully (at least for me) he changed the technique to Ogoshi.

After one comment from me about how to load someone on the hip better.... she was cranking out hip throws like she'd been doing them for a while. They were excellent.

Her falls too were excellent. She didn't seem apprehensive or anything. We kept a nice easy pace. I'm guessing she's a fast learner. I hope to work with her again some time.