Saturday, June 17, 2017

Guest Instructor

A few years back we had a visit from a travelling aikidoka.  He came to Shodokan for a workout.  Instead, he was asked if he'd be willing to teach.  This is something like his 2nd or 3rd visit.  I'm guessing he had other business in the area but it sure was generous of him to come teach a class.

This is a link to Robert Cowham's dojo.

http://www.robertcowham.com/aikido/index.html


A lot of the teaching tonight reminded me a lot of a ki society kind of class.  There was a focus on internal energy.  Keeping one point and so forth.

We did several exercises.  One was similar to a back stretch we do but posture and bending the knees were stressed.  All terrible things for sure ;)

At the end there was an interesting exercise.  You stand 90 degrees to uke.  Uke puts out their arm/hand and you lay your wrist right on top.  You then are supposed to cut down as if using a sword.  You try to sink without using strength.  I was able to do it.... then after watching more... made some adjustments.  Then, Christine took a turn as my uke.  She gave me an interesting problem,  She totally connected her center to her arm and had her arm locked.  That meant that any 'pushing' or downward force generated would get translated directly into her front leg.  There was no way(for me) to do the exercise as it was shown.  So I made lemons into lemonade.  I drew her arm out away from her body a little bit.  Just enough so that she couldn't translate the force into her forward foot.  Then I could sink down and easily move her.  Later on when Sensei Cowham worked in with us he felt what she was doing and he did the same thing I did.

I take this as a good sign that I'm occasionally able to understand how to affect kazushi given a situation I've never seen before..

We had a good number of people there tonight.  We even made some use of the newly matted area.  Recently we put zebra mats down to extend the mat.  A new very large wood floor was installed downstairs for the karate and kendo guys to use.

I got to see Buddy tonight.  He hasn't practiced in the past couple months.  Someone threw him and he took a bad fall on his shoulder.  These things happen.  That being said.  I grabbed him after class and told him if he wants to practice, I'd be happy to work with him and keep him undamaged.

I'd love to get his ukemi to soften up more.  He just started softening up maybe a year or so ago.  He told me that he is sore after every class.  I haven't really been that way since I the first 2  years maybe.  Somewhere along the line, I learned to take ukemi without damaging myself.

Come to think of it, I think my right shoulder is almost healed up.  A few months back, a beginner was attempting a throw.  Lost his balance and fell as he threw me.  I was going to land on top of him.  I managed to twist in the air and miss him but I caught more of my shoulder then I wanted.

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