Monday, September 29, 2014

Another Look at Kaeshi Waza

So Sunday morning we worked on some kaeshiwaza.  This started with nage doing a yokomen, uke attempts to do a shihonage.  Nage reverses it for a kotageashi, a sankyo, a nikkyo, udekiminage....etc.  Peter pointed out that once you started the reversal it was very much as if you simply started with a moretetori attack.  All the techniques available for that are present.

One of my favorites was just simply keeping everything high and doing ikkyo.  It feels natural to me so that one was just plain fun.  As uke starts to do his shihonage and steps in, you step and tankan and bring uke around with elbow low and hand up.... so they end up with ikkyo.  Feet do the step, tankan, j-step to stay in nice and close.  I think Peter liked the j-step I was doing as soon as he saw it and suggested we all do j-steps.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Freestyle Monday

Monday night at NSA we just each took turns doing various techniques.  Although I can do all kinds of things, I tried to keep it to stuff that was in the spirit of what they are trying to teach over there.  I think I even managed one Matt-like throw.  He has this knack for taking your balance and then letting go of you and you simply fall.  You don't even realize you're leaning on him for support.

He does it in all kinds of different ways.  I think one of the ones I did actually worked.  Which means I am understanding the principle but have trouble spontaneously generating it as he does.

I also tried some Rob-like stuff.

My favorite was when I took something Rob was doing and something that Matt was doing and mushed them together into something that was actually valid.  I think it was something like.... wrist grab, start a kaitenage (soto) like motion and push uke's hand towards their face some.  As uke recovers and attempts to get balance to face you, your other hand would go to the back of the same shoulder of the hand you are working with.  Then you draw uke up and forward, as you use the connection with the hand to drive uke as you pivot.

It was sort of like a standing kaitenage but it worked because uke is off balance the whole time.  I've seen something like it in a Barbara Britton video but darned if I could find it now.

I've tried this sort of thing before and this is the first time that I felt as though it was actually working.

Hey... I Managed One More

Sunday was a great class with Peter teaching.  Somewhere in the midst of it I managed one more of those soft breakfalls.  I still am not sure how to do it on a consistent basis though.  These happy accidents are occurring because I am being mindful of it while I practice.

Got to work with two folks new to Shodokan.  One is a younger kid.... maybe 14 or 15.  hard to tell.  He's had a good amount of training in the past from what I understand.  It shows.  At one point, he was not doing the technique that was shown but he did a variant of it that looked great.  There is some muscle memory developed there.  Good stuff.

I saw the other newer guy again.  Sean.  Taking ukemi from him was great for kaitenage.  I've never had someone focus so much on making sure, uke's head can't get up.  I tried doing that too when it was my turn to see how that worked.  Love working with folks from other dojos.  They come in with new(to me) ideas.

Peter had to leave a little early that day and suggested that our Sempai on the mat (Buddy) take over and keep us busy for the last 15 minutes or so.  Buddy had us doing some interesting stuff.  At the end, he and I were off in a corner while he experimented deciding what to have us do next.  What he was doing led nicely into koshinage.  I set one of those up and he liked it so much he asked if I would demonstrate it for the class.  I said sure. 

I showed the class the setup for the throw.  No need to actually throw.  There were two newer students whose ukemi I wasn't sure of and another guy I know was recently out with a back injury.  Good time to just practice setting up the throw.  I made a point of teaching the ukemi aspect for the demo as well.

I got Sean as a partner so I told him he could throw me if he wanted.  During the practice I suggested he pay a lot of attention to where uke's position is before the throw.  If he is falling forward then that's the direction you want the throw to go.  I also suggested he bend at the knees way more than he was (thanks Jim).  He made the changes quickly and the throw was feeling awesome.

So... looks like just when I was railing away about not feeling useful in the dojo the universe answered in an unexpected way.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Check Out This Tiny Circle

Often times we can off balance by making our uke move in a circle.  This is part of what my perception of what NSA seems to be noodling around with.  They are looking to create that moment of kazushi.  They are keeping this thought in mind as they practice.  It's one thing to do this subconsciously and another to create the moment purposefully to help understand it.

The whole video is awesome but watch at 7:13 seconds in.  Endo Sensei moves uke in a really small circle.  It's so small, that I doubt I would have noticed it a couple years ago.  It looks like he moves in and then out with his whole center to accomplish the throw.