5 Classes Down.... 295 To Go... Or Something Like That
I've had about 5 or 6 classes since my last test so at least now I'm ticking time into the next one. Anyway... This was an interesting week. Monday started off with me working with someone who has maybe a couple years under his belt. Really odd.... we go to do hip throws and on my turn I throw him and freak out as I realize he never grabbed or hooked me with his other hand. I'm only glad that I didn't baby the throw. It had enough energy to lay him out correctly for his ukemi. We had a review then of what he should be doing.... he was fine for 20 throws or so. Then... when the instructor wasn't looking, on the 21st throw, he never went to hook my arm again. I talked more to him about keeping himself safe. He was pretty much fine for the rest of the class. I'm guessing that the hooking part isn't in muscle memory yet. He actually has to think about doing it and I think he just got tired and forgot. The good news is that he told me that he never felt more comfortable taking hip throws as he did that night. I tried real hard to give him good ones. He's taken them lots of times in the past. I kept low enough to keep him feeling confident I guess. Friday night was an interesting class as well. Started out with Serge leading us through stretches. often times we will do some warm ups before the instructor comes on the mat. Maybe get a line going or something. In this case, Serge just wanted us to do some suwariwaza kokyuho. A simple exercise where you try to not use any strength to off balance and pin your opponent. I was grabbed right away by Gary. Gary has a tendency to ignore the technique being taught and likes to do his own thing. Or at best, do a very different variation on what's being taught. In addition I'd have to describe his aikido as not aikido at all but aikijitsu. He very much likes to practice in a manner constantly thinking of ways to disable his attacker with broken joints and so forth. This is not my guess. This is what he told me. This is how he likes to practice. Not very aiki but certainly valid self defense. I personally think of breaking joints only as an option. If attacked by a single person, breaking some poor drunk guys wrist probably isn't my first thought. I'm thinking to myself.... well... seated kokuyho... this is so simple, he can't possibly mess around for this. Stupid me. I was wrong. Instead of experimenting with ways to overcome opponents strength or whatnot, he gives up on that entirely. He starts off throwing me down with some(not unreasonable) amount of force but instead of pinning as you'd expect, I got a surprise. I would be on my back and instead of the usual pin he would strike at my face forcing me to block. Then it just degenerated. He stopped doing the exercise at all. He goes for a nikkyo which I ignore, changes into a kokyunage, which I then slip. I am set in place and he can't move or pin me(without an atemi). He says... "Take ukemi". I say.... "Maybe we should be working on what he showed us?" I'm not normally that uncooperative. I actually like when people show me a variation on something but this was so far off the mark it was just silly. I'm kind of used to this from him. I don't particularly like being his partner because he strays so far from what is being taught. He also tends to take things a little far, at times causing minor injury to his partners. Nothing really bad but totally unecessary. No one in the dojo likes to work with him. I got complaints from fellow members that night after, and heck, even during class. In the past when he practiced with us, senior students spoke to him and asked him to stop hurting people. I could see that he put forth an effort a while back. After some amount of bitching from people, he managed to take it down a notch. Maybe someone needs to remind him again. It won't solve the other problem of ignoring the shown technique but at least no one is going to get hurt. Put simply, not everyone trusts him. God help the person who volunteers to do a freestyle with him. I know it won't be me. Who would want to work with someone who seems to either lack control or has no overwhelming desire to keep their partners safe? Accidents happen and we all accept that. This however is a matter of attitude.