Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Shoulder Is Even Better

Slow going but after weeks of no progress my shoulder is better.

Went to class Sunday and Monday.  Can't remember much as usual.

Sunday I was feeling pretty bad off.  Not sure why.  Shoulder was still bugging me and my knee of all things was acting up.  What's the first technique Peter picks?  Hanmi Handache kaitenage.  Ugh...  It wasn't so bad that I couldn't suck it up and do it though so I stuck it through.  When taking ukemi for kaitenage I'm bailing a little earlier for that side.  Felt better by the end of class.

Monday night we did noodle around with a weird lead for kaitenage.  Sort of reminds me of doing a sky hand (from tenchinage) to bring uke up and forward.  Then let them fall and you do the kaitenage.  Not sure it's practical but it is fun.

Did some ukemi practice.  Opposite hand rolls.  No hand rolls.  These rolls are easy when I'm not thinking about it during a technique.  They seem to be harder to do when I'm thinking about it.  Still was able to do no hand rolls though without too much of a problem.

At the end of class Matt asked Andrea to attack me a bunch.  Good for her ukemi and doesn't hurt for my practice.  Unfortunately, I haven't felt good on the mat in weeks.  Moving Andrea was difficult because of the amount of resistance I was getting.  Good practice but not the kind of practice that would help me for a test.  Also... aside from resistance I put her in unfamiliar positions for ukemi.  To keep her safe I stopped the technique.

I'm a real mess lately.  Not feeling very smooth on the mat.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Right Shoulder is Better

Seems like the past few weeks my shoulder is bothering me.  I gave some thought as to when it started and I realized it was because we were doing some throws in a class and a beginner threw me straight down with strength.  I balled up and stopped any serious injury but I tweaked my shoulder that night.  It's been bugging me ever since.  It's not seriously painful.  Although I don't make it a practice to take ibuprofen for small aches, I took some finally and I swear it's healing up.  When the medicine runs out the shoulder feels better.  I think reducing inflammation is allowing it to heal.

Last night we did some kaitenage and other stuff.  Matt was doing some Donovan Waite version he saw on a video.  You do something like the sky hand of tecnhinage to jack up uke and then when he drops down into the whole you can do the kaitenage.

Overall my practice last night was a little clunky.  Not sure if it's because I've been away for a week.

I also just found out that the next BB test at shodokan is this week.  Not sure if I can really participate in the (uncontrolled) randori with this shoulder.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Visited Aikido of Nassau County Last Week

My work had a company meeting this year.  Hauled everyone in.  Whenever I travel I try to visit other dojos.  I was able to make it to two classes.

Training here was a truly interesting experience.  They were being overly gentle with me.  In all the dojo's I've ever visited they were more hands off with me than any other.  They would do a technique, I would roll out and they would ask if I was ok.  They were aware of my years of training.  Not sure if it was the white belt that put them off (they use colored belt system) or perhaps they think of other aikikai dojos as gentle or something.  Come to think of it I got that same impression from the other NY dojo I visited in the past.  The other place told me they practice a hard style of aikido but it seemed like a normal class to me.

The guy that runs the place was old school budo.  You have this old sensei on the mat who is faster than he looks.  They took delight in beating on their brown belt student.  Everything from pushing joint locks on him pretty hard and grabbing testicles as an atemi.  Really street style aikido.  They didn't do that kind of thing to other students.  Just this one guy.  I think they are prepping him for black belt soon.  He is the young tackling dummy.

One thing I did notice from the techniques shown was that the dojo loves armbars.  They would slap an armbar on the brown belt who would scream every time.  I couldn't tell but I think he was overly sensitive to pain.  While some of the controls do hurt, I've never seen anyone do a full throated scream on the mat before.  While I do think they pushed the armbar hard, I think the student was just loud.  He was obviously uninjured after he was released.  He also didn't seem to tap much.  His ukemi didn't look that good to me in that he didn't follow nage or move much to protect himself.  He would just stand there if something was being done to him.  His falls looked hard.  He often would stand in place and not improve his position.  I'm wondering if he was trained to do that to stay in the technique longer.  At one point I had him set up for an uncomfortable throw but hesitated.  The teacher said... he can take good ukemi and not to worry about him.  So the student emitted his grunt of pain and took a hard fall.

The guy's ukemi seemed rough but his weapons were great.  He was also pretty decent at teaching the weapons forms.  He was very patient with me.  One of the classes I went to was a weapons class.  They started out with some jo kata.  One of which I knew(with a minor variation)  Others I didn't know at all.  Then we did some paired bokken practice.  They teacher would run through all the forms.  The brown belt and I went off to the side and he was very patient with me.  I think we got through 2 of them pretty well before the teacher called for something else.  Then we did some paired jo practice.  Again, only got through a few of them.  One thing though.  They really practice with intent at this dojo.  I did my part and used my jo to cover my shin as part of the practice.  The student struck with real intent and hit my jo.  Had I not done that correctly, that would have left a mark.  Of course, if I was not covering properly, I'm fairly sure my partner wouldn't have struck.  He was paying attention and only giving me what I could handle for weapons practice.

Some of the things we did in the first class.....

They started out with a few hanmi handache techniques just to warm up.  The easiest one was like doing the rowing exercise.  Bring your hand up, as soon as they grab and contact is made, you draw your hand down.

Another technique was when they grab you keep your elbow down and draw your elbow across your center and then let your arm flop over in that direction.

Then I saw a kokyunage very similar to one done at a Donovan Waite seminar.  Tai no henko kind of thing with you bringing your hand up at the end and down to throw.

Another had you turn your hand upside down and around in a shihonage like direction.  Then you continue the wave motion up across you and then down.  Your hand traces a path that looks like an s that is on its side.

A lot of those were easy and yet difficult.  The most familiar technique during class was yokomen strike, start a shihonage, draw uke up, step in front, pivot,  keep the inside leg up and reach up to the shoulder for a taiotoshi like throw.  Outside leg goes down.  Seemed very Matt like.

Did another technique.  Moretetori attack.  They come up on the opposite side for a one handed nikkyo and then throw.

Another technique was yokomen strike. Nage enters with both tegatana on ukes arm.  Tries to push back and a little behind uke.  Interesting part was that the teacher was very specific about not having extension.  Arms are in with elbows down as you do this.

There was another familiar technique we did.  I think it was moretetori as well.  Can't remember the details much but what he did was lock ukes structure.  Ukes elbow gets moved to his inside(towards the center).  At this point you are pretty locked up.  Then nage pushes into ukes center and down.

The end of class we did some simple kokyunage.  That windmill throw you see on all the black belt test videos.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Big Workout Tonight

Smaller class tonight 4 people.  Bob had us really moving tonight. We did a couple of techniques with partners.  Then we moved to do some line techniques.  Then it got interesting.

We got to do a kotagaeshi where you either finish by moving across towards the front of uke being careful to move uke such that you aren't in range for a strike.... or finish by sending uke backwards.  This was quite fun alternating between the two at will.  People were doing ok so I picked the pace up a little.  At one point I got the oohh.. ooohhh noise from Chris which is code for you pushed me past my comfort zone for ukemi.  I was watching him afterwards.  His biggest problem is that he stops moving after the initial attack.  I've said it before and I'll say it again.  Being an uke means you are an ACTIVE participant.  Stuff just doesn't happen to you.  You have to actively participate in the technique.  In the case of the kotagaeshi.  If he sees/feels nage moving him in a direction, he needs to also move in that direction.  Stay with nage.  That way you can take your ukemi comfortably.  If you just stand there after your initial attack, or course it's going to be uncomfortable.  By moving you can stay with nage, stay with the technique(without bailing on nage) and keep yourself safe.

There are days I want to teach ukemi to these people.  Most people could use some adjustments.  When I turned it up a notch although buddy was taking it fine, he over-rotated a bit.  He was a little out of position there.

Most of the time I can't throw people at Shodokan like I want.  I have to back off to keep people safe.

Bob had us pair off and try to stay connected and do some reversals.  Not sure if he had this in mind but Buddy and I just kept moving taking turns attacking... countering.... trying to counter that move and so on.  Maybe we totally bastardidized the exercise but  figured he'd stop us if he thought we were being dumb.  Things were going real well there.  We both did reversals and counters.  Then for some reason I got it into my head to connect my center to anything I did and I was pushing Buddy all over the mat with little effort.  He was working way harder than me trying to deal with it.  I was thinking of it as a combination pushing hands exercise/get a control and reversal.

Then we changed partners.  This time I tried pushing Sean around the mat.  Although, he couldn't replicate what I was doing, he did very successfully redirect most of my attacks,  I wasn't pushing him all over the mat.  If I moved forward, h blended to the side to slip the force.  It was very nice actually.  As for the reversals of techniques themselves, where Buddy was getting better reversals through positioning, Sean was using a lot of strength.  Not pretty but gets the job done.

Great class.  Really worked my tail off.


Last Monday night we had a good class.  Had I decided to write about it sooner I probably could have given lots of detail.  Suffice it to say we were playing around with a couple of thoughts.

At the end of class, Matt says.... here take a jo... you take a jo.... and so forth.  Finally I go up to him and he says.... You don't get one.  You're in the middle.

So we had some impromptu jotori practice.  Was a bit surprised.  Most of the stuff I did was standard.  There were a couple of times I ended up in an odd spot but I was able to feel my way through it and do a good throw.  There was one time where Andrea attacks, I blend and get the jo and do my technique and she is put a little off balance but is still holding on to the jo and more solidly than if I had done that correctly.  So, what do you do when a technique doesn't work?  I immediately just went into another technique.  That time I threw her.

Not bad.