Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lots Of People On The Mat

Went to class on Friday, Sunday and Tuesday nights this week. Friday was more vegetable eating but more interesting stuff in general. Finished up that night with some bokken practice which we don't do very often. Sunday was a blast. It started with just Peter and I and then Buddy showed up a little late. We worked on all kinds of stuff. Buddy has been around a while so I couldn't help myself and gave him some feedback on his nikkyo. He tends to really crank it hard and fast. The problem is that that most times he is just alittle bit off and for someone like me I can just adjust for it and take it. One of these days he's going to go that hard and fast on someone and hurt them. So I told him what I thought he needed to think about when doing nikkyo. Getting the rotation at the correct angle in relation to the arm and so forth. So on Tuesday night there was quite a full mat. Add to that a couple of new students down the end in their own class and it was quite a few people. The one time that nikkyo was done as a technique I had Buddy again. His nikkyo was better but I think muscle memory was taking over most of the time. We did a couple of lines at one point..... we did tsuki nikkyo, kokyunage, some kind of irimi tenkan uchi sankyo throw. I got to work with a bunch of different people. Kept things interesting. At one point Mr. Mulligan asked me to come over for a second and do a yokomen strike while his new students watched. I gave him some good attacks and trusted him to react. He was showing his new students how important kazushi was. Excellent. In an unprecedented display of timeliness, our certificates came back from the last test we just had. That was very fast turn-around. We must have sent them in relatively soon after and they managed to get them back to us very quickly. Everyone except for one person(who I thought I heard was out for an injury) who tested was there last night. I showed mine to my wife to prove where I go at night. Make sure she doesn't think I just go out to the bars.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Monday Night Practice

Did a bunch of line work. Mostly playing around with the thought of keeping uke tall. Can't say these were standard techniques. It was however a focus on getting kazushi and then throwing.

Some of them seem to work better than others.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Awesome Morning Class

Morning classes are always rough to go to because you'd rather be in bed but once you go you feel good for the whole day. Peter had a fantastic class for us. We did a lot of line work. Started out with some simple kaitenage and then moved on. By the end of class it was kaeshi waza.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Exercises With Structure

Mr. Mulligan did a class on structure. What is structure you ask? According to him(and my take on it), it's when you manage to get uke in a position where they are locked up and off balance. They are pretty much relying on you to stop from falling at this point. Or at least.... unless they take a really big step to regain balance.

Some of the exercises were interesting. I can't call any of them techniques per se. Most relied upon having a really strong connection to uke.

One example. Uke grabs both hands(your palms are down). You raise your fingertips up to almost touch uke. This raises his shoulders and bit and puts him a bit off balance backawards. You then cup your hands down, in and back a bit toward you to drive uke down and backwards. If uke were to grab loosely, this wouldn't work at all. Also, this assumes the person doesn't just simply step back as soon as they feel their arms locking up. I'm certain if Tony V. were around, he would step back.

So... it was fine to do exercises Friday night.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Wow.... Mark Visited

Saw a familiar face last week. My understanding is that he was in town for a few hours and swung by for a class. I had practiced with him years ago.

I have heard from many people that he's excellent. My problem is that when I practiced with him I was sort of just starting out. So I couldn't really get a good feel for his aikido at the time.

In this class I was dying to work with him so I could get a sense of what his aikido is like. Everyone has their own style. When the first demonstration was over I realized that Serge was left alone so I grabbed him as a partner. Serge is actually a decent partner to work with(although he often likes to do things his way instead of what is taught). Because he is 100% blind you need to spend extra time making sure that everything is safe. You have to make sure it's safe for him to fall and for you to fall as well.

This unfortunately meant I didn't get to work with him. I did get to talk quite a bit after class at the dojo holiday party. He said he has been out of aikido for a while and has been doing Bagua. I'll have to look that up on youtube some time. I don't think I've seen much of it.

I Don't Want To Eat My Vegetables

So... It's the beginning of a new year. I was able to attend the first class of the new year. In days past Sensei Mulligan would have us do a class with 5th kyu techniques. The past couple years he's decided to do have a class instead on ki exercises.

This is one of those classes that's probably good for you but you don't really want to do. Thank god it's only once a year.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that you shouldn't consider ki during practice. A whole class focusing on it is like being a kid and forcing you to eat your vegetables.

I had varying degrees of success with the various exercises. I think I've seen all of them at one time or another. Some of them in my mind have practical value. Staying relaxed is very important.

However there was one exercise where you drop your arm on top of your uke's outstretched arm. You can supposedly force uke's arm down just by letting your arm drop. I challenge anyone to do this exercise and actually force my arm down. When it didn't work in class for some people, it was said that uke was using ki while extending the arm. If this is the case, then either some of us are bad uke's, or this exercise is less useful. Personally, I don't care how much ki you use. If you get a really strong person who locks his arm, you aren't going to move it by just relaxing and dropping your center. You may get a fall out of it.... but you will never move his arm. I'm just not a believer.