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.

Nice Trip

I went away for a long weekend to visit a friend of mine down in Maryland. Went to his dojo while I was down there. They primarily do taekwando. We went early and worked a bit on the mat. He was very interested to see what we do for controls, joint locks and so forth. He showed me what they practice in their classes for that kind of stuff. I went over some basic controls with him, explained ukemi and took some rolls and falls on their less than cushy puzzlemats. We even covered a hip throw he had learned somewhere along the way. It was all pretty fun. One of the more interesting things we learned was how effective our aikido response to chokes were. I can easily get out of most of the headlocks he tried on me. The only one I had a problem slipping was one where his arms were in front of and also behind the neck. I've seen that hold before but never had it put on me.

Since I've been home I've been hiting class as normal.

To cover the past couple classes..... Monday night at North Shore Aikikai... Matt had us do a nikkyo night. There was even one particular aspect of nikkyo that clicked. There is a way to do it at the shoulder that I never thought about much. Now I understand why that works so well. I thought I was done learning about nikkyo. Guess not.

Friday night Mulligan had us doing tons of sword disarms. Because we did them in a line the class went kind of slow. One of the disarms consisted of moving in on the open side, getting your hand in between uke's. Raising it some and turning. You go basically for two nikkyos here. Most of the class was missing the point of the second hand grip being a nikkyo. No one(aside from Sam and I) was aware that they were supposed to get a nikkyo not just with the one hand... but also with the second hand.

There is going to be a nice gathering after class this week coming on Friday night. My first incliniation was to go of course. Then I thought about the clingy odor of 10 cent cigars. I think I'll pass after all. Since class time will be shortened that night (although I'm not sure why) I may blow the night off entirely. Let my wife go somewhere for a change on a Friday night.