Cyber-Visitor at Shodokan
No... it wasn't robocop. Right around the time I was starting aikido, there was another guy also starting. We discovered each other's blogs online and check in once in a while to see how the other is doing. Scott is studying a different style of aikido so it's always very interesting to me to watch videos he's put up and so forth. His blog can be found at....
He showed up for Shodokan's Friday night class which is typically the advanced students. He got to see an average class. I asked him a little bit about what he saw. We talked about henka waza a little (chaining I think he called it). At one point we were trying to describe a technique to each other because the vocabulary was different. I would have loved to have heard more of his thoughts. I got the impression we are a little rougher on our partners in class. The truth of the matter is that in that advanced class we may be rougher but if we were working with a beginner, we'd do more to support uke. In fact it's kind of nice being able to throw someone and not have to worry about their ukemi.
For instance... during practice, at one point I had Joanna as a partner. She frequently will actively resist a technique. Part of the technique I was supposed to do was to take her down to a position similar to ikkyo and then do something else after. While down in that position she rolls out, I stay connected to her and as she comes up I do a quick kotagaeshi. During another technique, she slips out of it and resists more so I jump in with a quick uki goshi.
I'd say she does this to me a couple of times every class. I do my best to do the actual technique to her. If she is able to foil it(partly because she knows what's coming), I move into something else.
Now... I would never do that with a beginner. I would also have supported a beginner more by pulling up on the arm/shoulder for a hip throw and so forth. But Joanna I can toss around some without worrying about her. It actually made me start thinking about pushing a couple of the other advanced students (ukemi) a little more. I think they can handle it now.
My meeting with Scott reminded me about something he posted a long while back. I'm going to do some searching because there was one video on his site of some tests and I had a question about what I recall was the first technique on the test. I don't remember exactly what the technique was other than some kind of contact to the upper body/neck and uke flying back at an angle. Now that looked like a rough ukemi.
After class I herded Scott over to the Salem Beer Works for some mediocre food and good beer(well... he had a beer anyway). Scott was shocked when we left and I paid the garage attendent a whole 75 cents for a couple of hours of parking that night.