To The Left, To The Left
I actually managed to get to a Donovan Waite seminar this past weekend. Fantastic seminar. It was actually lightly attended which is good in that it means there is plenty of space on the mat.
I may actually edit this post and add more as I remember stuff.
Given the warm temperature it was mostly a laid back class. Most of the stuff he was doing was very linear. Uke attacks on a line and you keep uke moving on that same line. Very minimalist.
We started out with some suwari waza. Uke would do a shomenuchi attack. tenkan irimi, bringing uke's hand down and across the front of you.... then reverse it for a kotagaeshi. We did a couple others from suwari waza with a similar start.
Then we did some deceptively simple throws. There were three variations for this throw. All of them similar in that you keep uke moving in a straight line. Uke goes for a moretetori attack. You keep your hand high, tenkan irimi and do a roll out arm to throw.
Another one was let them grab and bring it low, Bring it down, up, tenkan irimi, then throw with roll out arm. The last one was let them grab, tankan, bring it up and throw by bringing it down. The important part wasn't to collapse anyone or do anything fancy with your hand. Just simply bring your arm up and down and let timing handle everything.
Then we did another set of throws that kept uke on the same line. Something like a rodeo throw. There were a few versions of this. Then another where it was like a Peter throw where you cast someone out and then suck them in so they tend to want to breakfall.
It's around here that my memory of things is a little wonky. I somehow managed to get my pinky toe of my left foot stuck between mats during a roll. The toe twisted and I put my full weight on it. Totally my fault. No one did anything strange. I knew immediately that something wasn't right. Without even looking down, I bowed to my partners and left the mat and then looked down to find my toe was at the very least dislocated. I asked a couple people and found someone who works in ER's. He said he could help me out so I was fine with that.
We go off to the side and I sit down. He tells me that it's going to hurt. So he does his thing and it lines back up with the other toes in a more normal angle. I had him try again to make sure it was in the right spot. He said that for most people there is a big pop he feels when these things go back into place. For me he felt a very small movement. No difference after the second attempt so we figured it was in the right spot. It actually didn't really hurt for him to pop it back in. I'd call it mildly uncomfortable. What you do is kind of pull it out and move it back into place to get it back into its normal position.
I wrapped one of the dojo ice packs in paper towel and started icing it down and kept it elevated. Then I taped it to the next toe. The toe had no strength in it whatsoever. It hurt to move it. When I got home I took some ibuprofen to reduce swelling.
The next day I kept off of it for most of the day and just let it heal. Today there was a lot of improvement. I now have strength in that toe and can wiggle it. I'm keeping off it as best I can. I'm massaging the area to increase blood flow. I have a hell of a bruise on the top of my foot.
I may be off the mat for a bit while this heals up. No experience with this kind of thing. Not sure how long it takes for something like this to heal up. I hadn't hurt myself on the mat for maybe ten years. It's been a while.
Despite the toe issue, it was a fantastic seminar. At times Sensei Waite would come over to give me a correction and I was able to make adjustments. Then he would look excited because he saw that I was picking it up. Sometimes he would just look at me and nod. So either I had it or was at least on the right track for most of the seminar.
Now that I think of it, there was one technique that stood out. Nikkyo. We did a nikkyo with a truck driver arm. That's when you have the hand pinned to the shoulder and the opposite hand comes over on top. I never liked these because I always felt as though I could push up as much as you push down and I want effortless aikido. So this is one of the things that I had Sensei Waite correct me on. I was thinking of someone putting their arm on top and push down. But it's not like that at all. The thought was entirely different. It was more like you line everything up in a straight line, your arms is over and wrapped around and you do something like a side ways step while bowing a bit to bring uke down. In the past what I would do is try to pull uke in and what that does is drop uke right next to you into your space. By making a sidestep and bowing you are bringing uke into an empty spot. As far as effort goes my uke was telling me it was effective and I was barely doing anything. So, here is an example of a technique I never liked because I didn't realize that there was a better way to make it work.