Sunday, December 11, 2011

Happy Day

Peter had a great class this morning. Did more henka waza.... even mixed it up with some kaeshi waza.
eg... I attack with a shomen, 'uke' responds with ikkyo, I reverse it and come up with nikkyo or kotagaeshi and then move to another technique. We did a bunch of these. Most of them were pretty easy to find. One was tough for me. The transition didn't seem natural to me.

One of the partners I had was complaining that he was uncomfortable when we work on kaitenage (the past couple of classes). All I'm doing is getting his arm straight up.... at that position I can really control my uke because his arm is locked up and I have a nice lever. Maybe other instructors do it this way as well but in particular, Rob over at North Shore Aikikai really stretches you out in this way. I always felt the control he had over me when I was uke. So... I started practicing this to see how it felt. It felt really good.... to me as nage. My (very experienced) uke however, was so nervous about it he complained that he was afraid his shoulder would break. The thing is though.... you can roll out as soon as the pressure gets bad. The only way of getting hurt is if you just stood there bent over like a hulk and didn't move. I tend to discount his complaining.

This is the same person that will never truly establish a control. When he goes for nikkyo.... he doesn't quite complete it. He backs off. Sankyo.... he puts his hand in the right place but leaves me standing there flatfooted. He never applies the control. Pretty much all his controls are like this. He drives me nuts because he practices without ever getting kazushi. It's totally intentional on his part. He thinks that actually applying controls to someone would be mean.

Today I just stood there flatfooted and looked at Peter hoping he would say something to him. We are doing henka waza.... I stand there where he doesn't apply the first control.... then he switches to the next control and I stand there waiting for him to affect my posture throughout the whole procedure. Nothing.

Worst still.... I asked him about the kaitenage and how he thinks I should be practicing it. He wanted me to bring the arm around in an armlock like manner closer to the hip. There is no pressure on uke whatsoever to move. In fact... on one of his last throws, I stood there bent over waiting for him to throw me. So basically, he is recommending something that to me seems wholly ineffective. He wants me to establish no kazushi just like him.

If I were teaching I would have a class on the enjoyment of controls. Establish a control and make uke dance like a monkey for you. No reason to be in a hurry. Move uke around. To this guy.... the class would be pure torture. He desperately needs it though.

I'm not advocating trashing your uke.... just get kazushi.

Now keep in mind, if this were a beginner I would just go with the flow. It's hard as a beginner to even know where to put your feet, hands and so forth. So for new people you just go and let them pick things up a little at a time. This guy is a shodan for craps sake. So I have no problem messing with him a little bit (ie. not just falling over for him).

After class I told him I would appreciate it if he could tell me when I am not being effective. That he shouldn't just fall down because I am doing a technique. I told him we are far enough along that we need to help each other find problems. I don't know if he took the hint.

I heard a good rumor today. The rumor is that my long awaited 3rd kyu certificate for the test I took 2 1/2 years back is actually lost in the office somewhere. I told that person.... I'll believe it when it's in my hand. I really appreciate the senior students who looked into the matter. This was becoming a major problem in my ability to progress. Maybe in a few months someone will search for it.

Maybe if I'm lucky I'll see some 2nd kyu stuff in classes once in a while. I need the practice.


At December 30, 2011 8:32 PM, Anonymous Kenneth Gibbons LLC said...

I practice HAPKIDO for a few years but would love to take AIKIDO. Do you know a good school in the NYC New York Area?

After reading through this blog I would love to start learning AIKIDO.


At January 05, 2012 2:19 PM, Anonymous Aikido said...

Great blog. Interesting and well written.

At January 07, 2012 1:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

go to
and there's a link to schools (dojos)
Good luck.

At January 26, 2012 12:52 AM, Blogger aikidonut said...

that's the age old problem with uke-nage..sometimes it's hard to establish a cooperative partnership that both benefit. Your partner expecting you to fall for him during kaiten nage, in my opinion is wrong, but the tough part to tell him ? Kazushi is absolutely important, our sensei would detail how uke should pedal backwards circularly like skating backwards,when sankyo is applied,and on his tiptoes..this technique doesn't work if uke is left standing flatly on their feet.Aikido is great, but after I have come to know it after 12 years,it definitely has its problems. Tons.

At January 26, 2012 11:50 AM, Blogger Poxbox said...

If someone were to fight this by simply standing flatfooted then they are probably being foolish. All it takes is one overzealous nage to continue doing sankyo to cause injury.

In fact... uke would get to see first hand that the technique does indeed work even when they are flatfooted.

Moving backwards isn't just the prescribed response. It's proper ukemi.

At January 27, 2012 8:48 PM, Blogger aikidonut said...

Yes, of course uke has to move backwards during a well applied Sanyo. What I had said was that uke should "skate backwards" ,meaning uke while moving backwards.. It 's ashi waza while on the metatarsals uke slides the feet
along the mat much in the same way a hockey player skates backwards on the least that's the way our shihan wants it done! You might like him, seeing how analytical you myself..

At January 28, 2012 7:28 PM, Blogger Poxbox said...

I'm sure I would. If you have a web site or youtube video I promise to take a peek.

At January 30, 2012 2:35 PM, Blogger Poxbox said...

aikidonut.... please feel free to repost without using a tinyurl. Use the long version so people know where they are going.

At January 30, 2012 3:23 PM, Blogger aikidonut said...

sorry, just trying to look neat, but will should give the entire url, you're right. The other one's my youtube channel.

It's a blog that takes a hard eyed look at aikido, I have no dojo affiliaions, so I speak my mind, so please do not take umbrage at any remarks.MOst of what I say is backed up i the literature.


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