Friday, December 18, 2015

Blend With The Backpack

So tonight I headed over to Shodokan for the Friday night class.  Because people are busy for the holidays there were only 3 of us on the mat.  All experienced folks.  Mr. Mulligan suggested we each pick two techniques for us all to try and so forth.  I picked two strange techniques.  First was the fun kaitenage we did at North Shore Aikido.  I figured I can spread the fun.  Start with a wrist grab, get that ikkyo arm where your elbow is down and uke's elbow is up.  You can do this by turning your hand and dropping your elbow.  Make sure the lead is up and forward.  You don't want uke to be driven back by the ikkyo.  Then bring the ikkyo arm down and establish the kaitenage.  Very fun.

The second "technique" I was pulling a blank so I had Chris grab my wrist to see what would pop out.  I turned my hand the other way with my elbow down into my center and I got an interesting result from uke.  He was bent over backwards and ready to fall.  Then you just move in with your center to throw.  It seemed to work better when uke resisted with the arm more.  If you intentionally let your arm go floppy as uke it doesn't work for me.  However, most people aren't floppy like that and if they are you can just do whatever you like to their arm instead.  At first I thought I made it up on the spot but in retrospect I saw Rob and Matt doing this one and I must have picked it up.  Once I saw it(while doing it), the technique made sense to me.  This is one of those useless techniques that you probably could never pull off in a real situation but the importance of it is there.  There are basic aiki concepts with kazushi that are fundamental in getting this to work.

Before class started I couldn't resist.  Joanna popped in to help with some dojo business and she had her back turned to me and was having an animated conversation with someone.  I placed my hand on her backpack and slowly increased pressure so that her backpack would seem about ten pounds heavier.  She went on at length without comment or even turning around. When I went to leave the room I just instantly released the pack.  She chimes in with.... I was wondering what was going on.  So she noticed the weight but didn't react to it.  Maybe because she's fairly laid back.  Hey... maybe there is an aikido lesson in there somewhere.  Blend with uke's backpack.  Don't startle uke with sudden movement.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Giant Rats

Last Monday I went to a class at NSA.  They had another new beginner coming through.  She is very flexible and moves naturally.  Hard to stick her in a shihonage as she naturally moves to get out of it.  Even more so than most beginners.  Usually you can solve it by going lower, but no matter how low you went it didn't matter.  She was anticipating the movement.  If you twisted her up a bit she'd totally go with her hip and turn into it.  Moving her feet to adjust and turning out of it.

The only way I could get it on her without hurting her was to do it with a little more distance.  Not the usual way you'd want to do this for most people.  Since you are essentially turning a little in front of uke leaving yourself open.

I got the distinct impression that she had done a martial art before but I couldn't figure out which one.  Sometimes you can tell what art by what they are good at and how stiff they are when they do techniques.  So, I asked a fellow student if he knew.

She said he thought she had a background in Capybara.  I'm like....  those big rats I use to see at the Stone Zoo??   That's a martial art?  We both laughed at that one.  Needless to say, he meant Capoeira.  I've heard of it but never actually saw it so I didn't know what it was about.  It surprised the heck out of me.  It's VERY unusual.  Lots of crazy kicks.  Looks very acrobatic.

Worth looking up.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Yay.... Lots of Improvement of My Dojo-Mates

Just recently we did some nikkyo in a Friday night class at Shodokan.  Usually I can just stand there and stare at them as they attempt to apply it.  This week however, I actually felt some decent nikkyo.  This is the first time in forever that anyone seemed to get it right.  Everyone is obviously learning.

After this morning's Sunday class, I spoke to Pete again.  He's finally figuring out that he shouldn't be resisting.  I think I have him convinced to stop for now.  I told him on a couple of occasions that he should just practice to build up some muscle memory.  That if he needed to use aikido somewhere, that it would likely start our messier than you'd expect.  Perhaps with a couple normal punches and blocks thrown.  However, if he had muscle memory built up that something will present itself and without thinking he will be able to pull off a technique.

The subject came up because during class, he was resisting a technique.  I could have forced it but it was much easier just to change the technique to Sankyo and dump him on his butt.  During another technique he asked if it could be done if someone resisted.  So I told him yes and focused his attention on getting kazushi.