Thursday, August 29, 2013

Still going to classes on a regular basis.

Wednesday night Mr. Mulligan taught. He decided to cover chokes. He hasn't done that in a while. I got better at some of them since I did them last.

There was one odd part about class. I had paired off with Serge. Serge likes teaching, whether he is the instructor for that evening or not. Rather than practicing what Mr. Mulligan was teaching for chokes he decided to do his own chokes. He asked me to choke him and rather than responding with Mr. Mulligan's taught response for that evening, he tried something else, which didn't work too well (he asked for real responses so I didn't just fall over for him). I was still on him. He very quickly and surprisingly jammed a finger at the base of my throat as a pressure point. He pushed on that spot hard for quite a while before he gave it up. For whatever reason I was able to ignore it and continued to choke the crap out of him (I didn't have a good choke set up or he would have been out, given the amount of time I was on him). I increased the choke by lifting him off the matt a bit to get his weight to help choke him. After a while he managed to get me off him and got on top of me MMA style.

I managed a nice bridge and I couldn't totally dislodge him. Nor could he get anywhere without letting me escape. He was spending all his effort keeping me in place while I twisted my hips one way or the other. When I decided I wasn't making any progress I just tapped him. His face was actually quite red with the effort. I didn't feel nearly as drained as he looked. He did however keep me from getting away.

Afterwards he told me that in a real fight he would just tear the throat out. Ok.... possible, but in a real fight given no choice I suppose I could have been striking or if necessary used his head as a bowling ball with my fingers in his various orifices. Seemed silly he even mentioned it. Of course we were being nice to each other. Aside from poking a few pressure points we were mostly just wrestling around. He showed me the position he was using to pin me down. There may be one weakness in the position that I saw. Seemed as though the groin wasn't protected. Again, not something I would attack with a partner in a class.

Although it wasn't my idea, I actually enjoyed the wrestling. It's nice to get it out of your system once in a great while. That being said, I don't particularly enjoy Serge's martial hard style of aikido. Before he came to us he had a ton of aikido training elsewhere. In all that time it appears as though he never attempted to learn other ways to practice. He's still stuck doing the style he showed up with. In my mind, this is a sign that he stopped learning a long time ago. It's not like his aikido isn't effective, it's just the wrong mind-set/philosophy for me.

No flys on Mr. Mulligan last night. For one throw I purposely did not do the actual choke correctly because I wanted to feel the ukemi first. I wasn't sure that if I did the actual choke that I wouldn't get a finger or thumb stuck in the collar and injure something. This wouldn't be good as I have to type for my job. Mulligan noticed it immediately and called me on it. I explained to him that I was just felling the ukemi one time before I was willing to commit to a good attack. Once I took one though I knew that my fingers were safe and worked normally with my partner. Unusual class. No aching or anything the next day which means despite the screwing aroung Serge had us doing, I wasn't using much muscle.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Back From Vacation

Actually went away for a while. Came back to class. Tonight, Bob taught the Friday night class at Shodokan.

We started out with a few line techniques. Did some partner stuff (kotagaeshi, iriminage variants). What was more interesting was the freestyle at the end of class. All uke's had to do a tsuki attack for this exercise.

We had 5 attackers for nage. We each took turns. I was doing pretty well overall except for the part where I tripped on an uke and fell on my butt. Very graceful. I got up and finished up pretty well. Somewhere along the line Buddy went for a punch to the head with a good amount of intent in it. I deflected it, slipped under the swept up arm. Then I had his arm and his collar and because his energy was still moving in that direction I used the arm to off-balance him and pushed his neck such that if we were in a real fight I would have smashed his face into the mirrored wall. Not very aiki but when you have 5 people on you I say that's fair game.

Bob then had us practice the same freestyle just slipping punches, no techniques allowed. On the third run through he asked us to deflect/slip punches but do a technique if there is a solid one there. Otherwise.... just get yourself into a better position.

The run through for the last two felt pretty good. I worked on keeping ukes in each others way either by positioning myself in the proper place or by using an uke and throwing them into the others to buy myself some time while I repositioned.

Once in a while I got caught in the middle and although no one really got me, I don't think I was in the best position. Some of it felt great. There were some moments where I got uke's to line up and get in each other's way. One of the times I took care of one uke purposely moving to another and before he could punch I entered with an atemi to the face. He was surprised and backed off for a second which gave me time to get past him and get outside the circle of ukes.

It's hard with that many uke's but I tried to push forward and enter. I was surprised I did as well as I had. I hadn't done much in the way of freestyle practice like that in a while.

So... my freestyles weren't youtube worthy but I was not unhappy with what fell out. There was a little aikido in there.