Monday, March 30, 2015

Nice Fall

Did a few things tonight at NSA.  Later in class Matt had us doing a flavor of makiotoshi.  I happen to love this throw.  Very fun.

At one point I had the newer guy as a partner.  When we first started I asked him if he was rolling out of it.  He told me that his last partner wasn't really throwing him.  So we did a bunch with him rolling out.  Rob came over to help me.  I was leaving uke behind a lot.  I didn't figure it out until Matt was showing my partner something and then it finally clicked.  I started throwing better.

Then I threw and instead of rolling the new guy did a so-so breakfall.  I asked him how he felt.  He said he was fine and wanted to do it again.  So I lined him up for one more and did a good throw.  New guy went over perfectly, feet high in the air, landed on his side and everything.  Then I hear a yell..... "Hey..... Don't break the new guy!!!".

So we finish up with him rolling for a few more exchanges.  On his turn he was throwing the hell out of me.  The throws felt really good.

After class I stopped Rob and mentioned to him that one thing I noticed about the new guys ukemi.  He's totally relaxed and landed perfectly but I felt no energy in his ukemi.  For him it was a passive thing.  Then Rob tells me that he hasn't been shown how to breakfall yet.  That totally makes sense.

Ah crap.  Hopefully he was ready for a throw.  He said he wanted to try it.  Had I realized that he hadn't done any breakfalls before I would have at least gone over it with him first.

The good news is I think it was a good throw and he's naturally relaxed.  There is an excellent chance that he won't even be sore the next day.  Just want to make sure I don't put him off breakfalls.  I hope it was an ok experience for him.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

What Weapon Was That??

Peter did an interesting class this morning.  One of the exercises included 3 attackers.  One with a bokken, another with tanto, and the third had a jo.  You might think you'd strip your gears dealing with three different weapons at the same time.

Actually it wasn't too bad.  I need sword disarming practice still.  I had no problems with the other two.  The sword disarming doesn't come as naturally.

I'm noticing that at times I have different opinions than some of my teachers about where to throw uke.  Peter has a tendency to take certain throws always to a 90 degree angle regardless of circumstance.  I've been brainwashed into thinking that most of the time you simply want uke headed in the same direction he started in for some of these throws.

In reality you can throw in any direction you like.  Some directions are just better than others depending on the situation.

Much Easier

All this time I've been attending classes and stuff and all I had to do was go to EBAY.

Silly me.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Henka Waza

Peter taught Friday night.  There were 5 students.  Four of us were 1st kyu and one was a 4th kyu.

I was quite happy to be doing henka waza and a little kaeshi waza.

Once or twice when I wasn't concentrating hard enough and I was just reacting I ended up going from the 1st technique into nikkyo.  It's probably one of my favorite controls.  I have a lot of muscle memory for it.

I was a bad partner for part of the night.  When we were practicing kaeshi waza I was slowing down some when doing my technique.  Ariel complained.  I didn't even notice I was doing it.  I guess I just didn't have faith that he could keep up if I moved us along.  So.... I kept the pace up to something better and Ariel was for the most part keeping up.  I need to start pushing people more.

Sometimes a cooperative dojo is bad.  I'm too used to backing off still for some partners.  A lot of them have learned a lot while I wasn't looking.  :)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Open Mat Day

Sunday morning Peter had to be somewhere so he couldn't make it.  I saw a note on the attendance book that he was out for Sunday and we should have an open mat day.

Tony and I started stretching out.  We were all ready to maybe start practicing when Chris showed up late.  Then Chris decided to formalize class, had us bow in and restart stretching.  I'd complain but I never get enough time for stretching normally any way.  Most of my teachers seem to blow through stretching a little fast.  One teacher in particular moves from stretch to stretch with no delay.  I don't think of it as stretching in this case.... just a warm up.

Makes me miss Shira.  She used to stretch the hell out of us.  Part of the reason I have pain in my feet is from my calves being so tight.  I really need to stretch a couple times a day.

If a student is leading the stretching I have a good chance to get some good stretching done.

My wife did a partner stretch with me last night that stretched my calves out.  It felt awesome.

So.... anyway.... Chris decides to teach and has us doing tachitori.  I remembered a few.  Didn't remember others.  Same with everyone I think.

One of the things Chris does for bokken and jo take-aways I don't like is this thing where he spins in front of me.  Next time he tries that crap I'm pulling him backwards.  He leaves me behind him when he does that.  There is no kazushi.  The good part of it is that it makes me examine what I'm doing to see where I might be screwing up.

Although class was not a work out it was fun.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Had a Nice Run of Classes

Been having a nice run of classes the past few days.

Friday night, I actually showed up on time.  Bob had us doing a bunch of Suburi.  A couple of them were really fun.  At one point we were doing one exercise repeatedly.  I noticed my arms/shoulders getting tired.  I think I was using muscle and not relaxing.  Then I pushed past this and all of a sudden I felt like I could do the exercise all day long.  Once I ran out of muscle I started doing the exercise better.  Excellent class (and I'm not even into weapons that much).

At one point during the class Bob asked me to come up and strike him.  I know from experience that it's easier as nage when uke does a good strong attack.  With weapons it's really important not to track your target when doing demos.  So after he said to attack him I did.... he asked for me to "really try to hit him".  My next attack was ok but I was delaying my downward strike as I moved in.  I wasn't doing it in one motion.  Then my next attempt was extremely fast.  I was going for a kendo-like touch.  Then for my next attack I managed a normal upswing and downward swing with no delay.  We were using shinai so I wasn't too worried about doing any real damage.  To Bob's credit, he managed to keep up with me no problem even when I went very fast.

This is a far cry from my first year in aikido.  When Bob asked me to hit him in the head with a yokomen strike and I couldn't bring myself to complete the strike as I thought I was going to hit him.  Nowadays, when he says to hit him, I try.  I trust him to act appropriately.  If I get past him, I'll pull it as much as possible but I don't hold back at this point when he asks.

Sunday morning, We did some jo work with Peter.  There seems to be fewer jos in the rack then there used to be.  Really odd.  I remember having a good class.  Peter finally decided that he liked some of the stuff I've been practicing in class.  When doing jo waza.  One of them is pull the jo out from uke so uke is ust over his toes a little bit and then send the jo up and turn uke to throw him.  They key part being that you get some kazushi with uke by bringing his weight forward just a little.  This is purely a Matt thing at NSA.

Monday night at NSA.  Matt did a bunch of weird stuff.  I swear he makes this stuff up.  Most of it seemed reasonable/practical to me.  There was one I loved but I need to see it again to describe it accurately at this point.  Problem is, it's highly likely I'll never see that again for a few months.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Got a Good Massage Last Night

We were doing some interesting stuff last night at North Shore Aikikai.  There was an interesting start where someone may come in with a yokomen strike.  Normal tenchin-lke movement although really.... instead of tenshin it was more of a step back and a bit off the line (weapons style kind of move).  Turn uke a bit with a shihonage like grip.  Then it got weird...... we did some kind of irimi tankan to enter.  With hands both on top of uke's arm, we do the pull around kind of thing.

If uke was attacking with the right hand then when he comes around you'd be taking your right hand/wrist and run it down the arm to the wrist, lifting it a bit and rotating your own towards your thumb to get some lift.  then do ikkyo ura.

After a few rounds I started to get the gist of this and started to take the rough edges out.  I think I was mostly getting it right.

Other techniques that night were simple.... and a couple of others were similar to the mess I tried to describe above.

After class Rob threw me around a bit.  Made it through 30+ consecutive throws before I cried uncle.  With all this extra weight I've packed on it's difficult to keep up.  I'm pretty sure I could have gone on more but I was hitting the point where I was going to start sucking wind.

The throws were all over the map in terms of techniques.... even a couple of hip throws.  Got home, took a shower and felt very relaxed as if I had just received a massage.

Also, got to work with the new guy at this class.  He's less stiff then most beginners.  He's still trying to figure out which foot/hand to move when even for basic techniques.  Kind of fun to work with.  Even better..... for some reason his gi smelled like fried food..... mmmmmmmmm fried chicken.....

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Still Going 3 Days / Week

I'm still going to about 3 classes a week.  Although I don't always write about them.

Friday night class started a little late.  Bob did some stuff that reminded me of Mulligan's techniques.  Hung around after class to chat with Mr. Mulligan.  Talked with him for quite a while.  Then when he lit up his cigar I made a hasty exit.

Sunday morning was difficult.  Got less sleep because of the time change.  I noticed the dressing room was a little colder than the dojo.  Usually, it's the other way around.  There is a baseboard radiator in there and it's a smaller room.  Before I left I realized that the reason was because the digital thermostat had to be updated for the time change.  So.... before I left I pushed it ahead an hour.

Chris was back.  He's been out for a month or so taking care of a hernia.  He seemed to move normally.  I'm guessing he's healing up nicely which is good.

Today Peter did some jo work.... then moved on to koshinage.