Monday, January 25, 2016

Yay Seminar

Went to a seminar this weekend at Framingham Aikikai.  Had lots of fun.

Did I mention that I'm a night owl and mornings are not my friend?  Well first attack and I am doing shomenuchi to the shihan who was throwing the line.  What do I do?  Blank out and attack her on the wrong side.  Luckily she just adjusted as we all would and managed to pull the technique off with no hitch.  I managed to apologize to her in line.  She said was kind and said it was good practice for her. Well.... at least she may remember me at the next seminar.

Now at the end of the seminar there was this longish flowy technique.  At first I thought I had never seen it before.  The more I thought about it, I'm convinced that Matt demonstrated this once about a year ago.  Back when he did it I was totally confused.  I don't think we practiced it that day, he merely showed it.  During the seminar.lots of people were having trouble with it.  For whatever reason I was able to do the technique with no problem.

Now the same instructor I screwed up with at the beginning saw that and was surprised and asked if I had done this before(had a turn in line to try it).  I said no and she thought I did a nice job with it.

So.... assuming she wasn't just being encouraging.... I must have confused the heck out of her.  First she sees me attack her on the wrong side and later do a more complex technique with no problem.

Lots of interesting moments during the seminar.  Someone suggested I take a tighter ukemi for one particular technique.  He was suggesting this because if someone threw harder you would need to do something tighter and faster.  This was indeed true.  Rather than explain to him that I would automatically do something tighter to adapt, I just said thank you to him.  Do some advanced people actually plan their ukemi before they take it?  For the most part after the throw is done I don't give it a lot of thought.  I just react to what is given.  I've had to take some weird ukemi in the past.  I think of ukemi as an organic, on-the-fly thing.

Got to work with lots of people with varying degrees of skill.  There was one guy there who clearly was a beginner.  His ukemi wasn't all there yet.  He could roll but not amazingly well.  I winced as I saw someone throw him into a breakfall position.  It didn't look comfortable.  To his credit, he got right back in line and kept going.

Now that I think of it, I was really impressed with someone else's ukemi.  She was a beginner.  She had trouble doing the techniques but her ukemi was awesome.

As for techniques....  I went to six hours of classes and a lot of it fell out of my head.  Some of it was standard stuff.... moretetori, nikkyo, iriminage, kotagaeshi.  There were a few otoshi in there.  Soeaking of which.  All my instructors tell me that for taiotoshi when you go to one knee the other foot has live live toes and the position has to be correct to protect the knee.  Well, sure enough a beginner stepped on that calf with her full body weight.  Hurt my toes some but essentially took no damage.

A couple of Shodokan people went to this seminar as well.  Joanna really did well at the seminar.  I actually didn't see her at all but maybe once the whole time but she got called up to help with a demo at one point.  She was funny though because she knew absolutely no one.  She's talking with someone and after I tell her... or that's the chief instructor of that dojo.... someone else tells her...  that's the chief instructor for this dojo.  etc...  She has to get out more.

Went home to take a hot shower.  Next day I feel fine.  A little tired and some muscles have worked. Getting up from the mat that many times burned my leg muscles up some.


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Did a Little Arnis

Had an ok class Sunday morning.  Peter was killing me withe first techniques.  He got it stuck in his head to do everything from a wrist grab with a tai no henko like entry.

Totally impractical from my view.  So we did a bunch of these.  One of them got a little dangerous.  Pete had us doing a shihonage and I got one of the beginners as a partner.  David is really learning fast.  Unfortunately, he took the shihonage way far out.  I was almost going to break fall for it when it loosened up.  As I went past I slapped his back.  Sometimes when I take ukemi I'll touch or grab on to my partner depending me what's going on.  At times it gives me a reference point.   At this point I was moving very fast to catch up with that kind of throw when I slapped his back.  Not hard, but enoug for him to notice..  He had this real funny look on his face and said.... Something happened.  I felt something hit my back.  I told him what I did and why.  Then I went over different forms of shihonage with him so he doesn't so that to someone else.  Doing that shihonage is fine if everyone knows that's what we are working on.  It also means you likely have to breakfall if they don't slow up.

I had him doing the way the instructor showed it so it was safer for now.

After class Chris was showing interest in the Arnis class that was running.  He wanted to try some of their knife defenses they were working on.  Russ asked if I would be a partner for Chris and I said sure.  Much smarter since we know each other well and we are better off hurting each other than someone in the Arnis class.

The first move was a cool arm lock.  It was sort of a tenkan irimi then you hook your arm on his and get an armbar.  At this point you could get lots of stuff going.

There was another one where you enter on the open side,  deflect right on right.  Use your left to control the hand and arm leading Ike forward by moving that direction.  Do a couple strikes to the ribs.  Then do this crazy arm lock that ended up like a wakagatami with the hand on your shoulder.

Overall I enjoyed the stuff we did.  I could feel when one of their people did something that she had me, then there was a hole in the technique and then she had me again.  There was a dead spot,  however, since they are striking, you could say that you wouldn't find it easy to take advantage of the hole.

I also felt a couple of times that I could regain my balance by shifting my feet in an unexpected way.  I didn't though.  For the most part I went along so I could learn.  I was not trying to resist stuff.

Certainly wouldn't mind doing that again.  Don't think it's more effective than aikido.  The mai for the empty hand stuff is closer than what we practice.  Russ had mentioned he had seen lots of cooperation in a lot of aikido but I see the same thing in Arnis.  But.... Then again maybe it's because of my body type that makes me think that.

In the end, joints move in a certain way.  All arts are going to have some similarity.

What I've found out is that apparently have a nasty streak hidden away.  During one of the exchanges, I was not doing the technique correctly and did a strike to the neck.  I kept it light but I think it was still uncomfortable for Chris.  I had Russ chuckling at that one.

Maybe next time I can get the Arnis folks to be a little meaner to me.



Thursday, January 07, 2016

Sankyo Variant

So after last Monday's class Matt goes to show us something.  Normally when I do a sankyo from an ikkyo position, I establish the sankyo and apply some pressure all the way up.  I do this because I think of controls as controls.... a way to control uke.  If you just let uke up without some pressure then you there is a moment where you don't really have control.  Although there is pressure, I don't think there is instant pain.  It's more of a gradual thing.  Use the joint locking to control uke.

What Matt was doing was strange.... it felt like he first stroked the hand out a bit or positioned it somehow.  The initial movement is innocuous.  But then he starts to apply sankyo from that ikkyo position and it's a totally different feeling from a typical sankyo.  Instead of it just getting tighter and getting joint locking, it's instant pain and it's tight so you have no where to go.  Feels more like nikkyo.  He dialed out all the extra slack very early somehow.

What I'm wondering is whether this is useful as a control.  If it causes sudden, strong pain, most people aren't going to just sit there and take it.  I'd think that you'd start a wrestling match.  Now, Matt would win as he could just break a joint but I think I'd rather control someone with less possible intensity(which maybe isn't possible but it's a goal).  This variant of sankyo very much reminds me of Serge's aikido.  With his aikido you must go in the direction he wants you to or your elbow/wrist is broken.  Problem is, most people don't know which way to go.  So they would just pop a joint.

Although this isn't the style of aikido I want to use(to me this seems more like aiki-jitsu), I'm definitely interested in understanding how this works and how to apply it.  I'm wondering if it can be applied with less pain so you don't get into a struggle.

Monday, January 04, 2016

Great Morning

Got to the Sunday class at Shodokan yesterday.

Started with some ikkyo.  Did other techniques such as kiatenage and sankyo.  One of the beginners still has a tweaked elbow.  He finally learned to stick a big ass piece of red tape on his gi if the elbow brace isn't enough of a clue.  For sankyo I made sure I put no pressure on that elbow and he learned to take ukemi without a fight to let his elbow heal.  For the pin, I just reached past his elbow and pinned him using his upper arm and shoulder for that side.  I wasn't going to go anywhere near that elbow.

Moved on to taiotoshi.  This was super fun.  I expected the usual but as it turned out Sam was in the class that morning and he and I ended up being partners for that one.  We were experimenting with the direction of throw and rotation a bit when we both thought that straight down seemed to work better for what we were doing.  It was a strong shomenuchi attack.  I could do different things with it such as bounce him, take him back up and throw.  This wasn't what Peter was teaching so I went back to just taking it straight down.

So Sam and I are just pounding on each other, wham...wham...wham.  Two things popped into my head.  I get tired faster than I used to and.....   this is so FUN.  For the first time in a while at Shodokan, I was throwing somebody without holding back.  So I actually got to practice the technique.  Peter came over and watched me throw Sam and his eyes went wide with surprise at the intensity and said... "nice".  I looked at him, pointed a thumb over and said.... "well, I can't throw them like that".

After than we finished off with a hip throw.

I still like taiotoshi.  Very fun.