Saturday, February 27, 2016

Henka Waza

Friday night class was ok.  We did our stretching and did a few line techniques to warm up before class.  Richard joined us.  I hadn't seen him in a while.  He doesn't often come on Friday nights.  Here is a guy that has been practicing for years but doesn't seem to remember anything from class to class.  He just doesn't have it in him to remember.  Despite that, he usually tries and has a good time in class.  He's developed a habit of not taking ukemi well though.  If he can avoid a roll by hopping away or doing some other maneuver he will.

During one line technique we were doing kaitenage.  It was obvious that he wanted to get out but I was doing the technique correctly.  There was no escaping it.  He flipped over and dumped out on the mat.  Afterwards, I told him to stop that because he'll injure himself.  That he needed to roll.  He is totally capable of it and had nothing wrong with him,  He was just resisting or being lazy with his ukemi.  When he realized that he wasn't getting out of techniques (from me), he started doing his normal rolls.

Class starts and Mr. Mulligan has us doing different stuff.  Most of it was pretty easy for me to do.
We did a bunch of henka waza which is easy for me because we do so much of it on Sunday morning.  It's easy to transition from one in to the next.

When I failed to do one particular thing well, I started analyzing it.  This is a habit I've developed at the other dojo (North Shore Aikikai).  They study aikido there quite a bit so I got used to looking at what I'm doing to uke.  In one technique, I realized that I was drawing uke's weight right through his forward foot.... This means uke was going no where.  As Mr. Mulligan is coming over to help me with a correction, I mention this, and he says.... "Yes.... your triangularization point is not there."  I think of it a little differently, but no matter what you call it, that was the main problem for my technique at that moment.  When something is failing, I can usually figure out why nowadays.  This was one of the times though that I recall actively thinking about what I am doing and how it's affecting my uke.

We usually think of aikido when we are first learning by putting a foot there and a hand there and so forth.  We don't know why it works.... it just does.  Then you notice that if you make a little change the technique may be better.  However, early on, no thought is usually given to exactly how this is affecting uke.  Are we putting all of uke's weight into the front ot rear foot?  Where is out center in relation to uke and how does that help the technique.  etc.  This is a different level of learning aikido.  It's a stage I'm going through now.


Monday, February 15, 2016

Missed Some Classes

A combination of bad weather and family stuff narrowed my 3/week classes down this past month.  I think I'm back in the swing of things.  Even yesterday, despite the fact that it was -11 Fahrenheit, there was a class.  I'm planning on going tonight.

Sunday's class was interesting.  We were doing different techniques.  Then Peter has us doing a breakfall out of Shihonage.  He starts people out with hanmi handache so the fall is from a lower height.  I had Pete (the newer guy) as a partner.  He just wasn't comfortable with the fall.  He kept going around instead of up and over.  Because of the barrel roll like fall he was doing, he hit the floor faster but not more comfortably.

I tried to give him some suggestions, he nodded his head but in the end he changed nothing about his fall.  I asked him about it and he said he hurt his kidneys on a bad fall recently so now he was nervous.

I'm not sure that shihonage is the best technique to teach breakfalls.  I always thought kotagaeshi was a little easier for beginners.

Soon after that, Pete starts resisting techniques.  Not sure if he was doing that to prove something to himself or me after his inability to fall well.  The first time he resisted, I just let him go and backed up.  The second time, Peter stopped us before it got to far(at this point I was having fun with it).  The Pete got the speech about letting nage practice the technique.  This is good for his practice but for mine..... some resistance isn't a bad thing on a basic technique.  I know if I wanted to be mean and rip his shoulder some he couldn't stop me but I certainly would never do that.  Also, I want to be able to do a technique without hurting someone even if they are struggling with me.  I may never be good enough to do that.  Afterwards I thought about it and wondered if there was a kazushi issue.  I wasn't taking his balance when I started the technique maybe.

Still.... when you know what's coming it's easier to fight it.  So maybe it's unrealistic to think I can do something without hurting someone in that instance.