Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Just Visiting

So I'm over in Rhode Island this week.  I did some research and found a dojo near where I'm staying. The dojo was Ocean State Aikido.  Their web page seemed to be down so I called and left a message that I was coming.  I was hoping to speak to someone but no such luck.

I came to their Wednesday night class.  There were six students and a teacher to start.  We started with some nice stretching, moved on to some simple forward and backward rolls.

We the started with tai no henko.  Moved on with that same entry for a throw(we would likely classify it as a kokyunage perhaps.). Right in the middle of this I lost my partner.  He rolled on to his own thumb as he came down.  He said it was totally his fault and nothing I did.  I still felt bad though.  I don't like to see anyone get injured.  He said it was previously injured and this made it worse.  The teacher suggested he ice it down but he just left the dojo instead.  A lot of people can't work with a hand injury so there is no use making things worse.

Then we did some form of garume but instead of bringing the arm out, they return the arm to the shoulder.  This is more akin to a friendly shihonage position.  I'm used to a version where the arm gets extended some.  Oh... The other part that was different.  They take your own shihonage hand, place it on your own shoulder and push through your shoulder by stepping in.

We did soto and uchi versions of kaitenage.  Nothing too different there.  For his soto version, he liked to cut the arm in such a way you have a little ikkyo like motion going on.  He pushes a little bit into ukes face a little before bringing him down.

We also did a tsuki kotagaeshi.  Theversion they practiced tonight went as follows.  Tsuki to mid section.... Connect with opposite hand as you slide in to enter, grab wrist with other hand, original hand follows fist and fingers down.  Instead of an off to the side type kotagaeshi, they do one where they bend the wrist and force you straight into the ground.  If I had normal wrists it might have actually hurt.  As it is, I felt nothing.  Not even a lot of mechanical pushing.  They were a little too nice there to me.

We ended the class with suwari waza kokyuho.  Although they had a different name for it.

Great group of guys.  Very casual atmosphere.

At the end of class we bow out as a group.  Having visiting a few different dojos over the years I usually wait to see where the lower ranked students sit so I can sit at the very end of the line.  In the past I got it wrong assuming the higher ranks sit right to left and so forth and ended up sitting in the wrong place.  So now I watch to see what happens.

At the end of class, I looked to see where the yellow belts were sitting so I could sit at the end of the line.  I see a yellow belt head for the right side of the line, I say excuse me and get to his right.  This was noticed by everyone in the class and the teacher started pulling my leg.  "Oohh, He is asserting himself.  Maybe he wants to be near the air conditioner."  Then I look over and see the other yellow belt on the other end of the line.  This dojo doesn't line up according to rank at all.  I just made a big stinking mess out of that one again.  I was about to reply to explain but just threw my hands up to surrender and kept my mouth shut.

After class I spoke briefly to the teacher to ask about the dojos affiliation.  I wanted to get some idea of their roots.  I believe they were all under saito sensei eventually.  He said they were iwama dojo.  Reminded me of the nihon folks at aikido of queens I met last winter.  They also claimed to be following a more direct form of aikido.  I didn't see it.  I'm starting to think that Kanai sensei's influenced aikido in my area to perhaps be more direct in relation to other aikikai dojos under the aikikai umbrella.

I found the class pretty low key.  No big throws.  Easy ukemi.

I'm hoping I get to practice with them again but I doubt I can make it there again before I have yo head back.


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