Went to a Seminar
This weekend I went to a seminar on Sunday morning. Donovan Waite Shihan held classes at New England Aikikai.
Although it was a pretty tame class (no big throws), it was still a great class. He was focused on this entry where you step in on the open side, bringing uke's opposite hand across. We then finished up with a couple different techniques. Variations of kaitenage and so forth.
Another technique was the same entry. Could be katatetori attack. Bring hand in front of uke same as before. You step in with the outside(back foot) as you are doing so. Start a kaitenage like motion bringing the arm down as you take a step behind uke, keeping the connecting hand low, gather the head to your center for a pivot and throw. Uke ends up continuing to move in the same direction they attacked.
My biggest problem was figuring out how to do that initial entry if uke is resisting. I worked with one guy who was trying to help me but I couldn't figure out if I was occasionally successful because I was doing things right once in a while or because my uke was trying to teach me and stopped resisting when he felt it should be working. I've come across people like that in the past. They resist until you are doing it 'their' way and then they let the technique work. I'm not sure if he was doing this but I highly suspect so. Anyway, it was nice of him to try to help.
At one point the instructor was giving me a correction. First time I'd ever seen this approach, he liked to do corrections by having the student do the technique and he would physically move your arm or hand to help you understand what it is you are doing wrong. In a good number of years of training I've never seen anyone take this approach.
A couple of other things I saw that were interesting. Ukemi. There were a couple of people who had the most amazing ukemi. When I first walked into the dojo, there was as a student/teacher who works at the dojo a good deal of the time. A very young guy and I apologize if I get this wrong but the guy looked about 18 to me. We spoke for a short while about the seminar I missed the day before and had me grab him so he could show me a technique. Then he suggested I try. It was a ryotetori attack, one hand moves across so that uke is turned. the other hand comes around on top and does a kaitenage, or kokyunage or whatever. What was remarkable was his ukemi. He was extremely responsive and blended with me perfectly. It was like moving a feather.
After class I saw him and a couple of others doing soft breakfalls. I've seen these before but not for some time. Makes me want to try them again.
I could learn a lot from a partner like that.
So I had a blast at the seminar. Was the first time I was worked out like that in a long while. It was something like two and a half hours straight through without a break. For the rest of the day I was sucking down water like crazy.