Friday, July 28, 2017

Great Class Tonight

Bob centered it around Chris and Tony's upcoming tests.  We started off doing kaitenage from 5 different attacks.  Then did some specific ones he suggested we try such as an ushiro version.  First on one hand and then the other.

Although I could do it the way shown I found a different way that meshed with my aikido better.  Both versions were valid.... just different.  Bob had us taking the choking hand out with a sankyo and then cutting down for the kaitenage.  The one that felt more natural to me was to take the same hand and do a shihonage like start which turns uke and off balances him.... then cut down for kaitenage.

After similar exercises we did some randori practice with 3 attackers.  Everyone was doing fairly well.  Bob had a couple of people focus on not letting uke's get behind them.  My randori's felt pretty good tonight.  I was not focused on techniques and mostly focused on movement.  A lot of the time I was getting off these casual kokyunage like throws.  My favorite of the night was when I did a poor kaitenage(uke was resisting) so I gently turned it into kata hiki otoshi,

At one point in class we were working on gokyo.  Chris was doing pretty well.... then had to make one adjustment at the end.  Once he added that in the technique felt great.  Later on he started messing around with the standard pin.  Instead of doing that he was doing some kind of nikkyo.  What I noticed though was that my shoulder wasn't pinned as he did it I was able to get up, turn into him.  The nikkyo was a good one but what I realized is that a control is not a pin.

I had a uh oh moment on the mat.  I almost got through to stabbing someone with the tanto during practice.  Chris almost miss the block and my hand was coming down.  Then I remembered I really should be holding the tanto more loosely in case I actually hit him with it.  It's been a while since I came that close.  Almost stabbed his face.  Now... it's only a wooden knife but if that hit an eye it's a problem.

Any way.... it was a good class.  Got some good practice in for me.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Helped Chris With His Next Test

Sunday morning had the usual class.  It was good.

At one point Peter pulled Chris and I aside so he could work on his test stuff again.  This is always a good idea before a test.  I also stayed late to help him practice.
No idea how he feels about it but he really shouldn't be testing yet.  I think he tests next week.  Not sure if he feels he's ready or if the instructors think he should be testing.  Not sure who's driving this.

Anyway.  It's really none of my business so I stay out of it.  If he's testing that's his business.  Not mine.

Even though I'm not 100% physically up for it, I agreed to uke for him for the test.  If I need to take a break I'll let the judges know.  I already warned Mr. Mulligan.  Chris does so much for the dojo that I couldn't say no.

The uke part will be interesting though.  I expect there will be many unfinished techniques where I will be expected to launch myself away from him and roll.  Anyone who really knows what they are looking at will see it.  A good part of it stems from the fact that he thinks that finishing a technique is 'rude'.  He lacks confidence in his ukemi(which is mostly fine) and thinks others have the same problems.  So as a result he doesn't want to push people too hard.  A nice sentiment but he backs off far too much.  More often than not he won't finish techniques.  Which... is a shame because he does a lot of things really well.  What do I mean by finish?  Well... he'll start off a technique and go to do the throw and not do anything at all to make you move.  Or.... not take your balance anywhere within the technique.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm not saying I always get this as well.  What I'm saying is that he doesn't try, because that is rude.

He's fun to work out with but where it's bad is when he teaches.  The beginners class that came out a while back clearly had his influence.  Took months to undo that.  I also wonder if an experienced martial artist who started aikido would bail on our school because the first exposure is to someone who doesn't really do anything to affect them.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Hot Night

Shodokan was baking today (about 94).  Despite the heat it didn't seem all that bad really.  We kept class light and did lines all night.  Sean taught tonight.  For the most part we concentrated on Tony's test.  So we were doing one attack and as the line came through you did something different for each person.  It's good practice for me.

The pace was excellent but I felt like we could do a much longer class.  I was all warmed up.

Nothing much in terms of learning but it was still a good practice with excellent opportunity to work on flow.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Still At It

May not be putting many blog posts out but I'm still getting in 3 classes a week.

The class that has stuck out the most for me was one at North Shore Aikikai.  We were doing ikkyo again.  Why was it interesting?  Because it was just ikkyo, after getting ikkyo buckled over, nage steps around in front of uke then to the other side to do another ikkyo.

There is a Donovan Waite video somewhere up there where you could see it.  Problem with it is that every time he does it, his hands are hidden from the camera position.  So the hand change is still a little bit of a mystery.  But the people he was showing it to .... saw the demo.... then heard him just say ikkyo at the end.  Yes.... that's all it was.... just ikkyo.  People in the room laughed because it was ikkyo but had an extra component many would find challenging.

Made a Tuesday night class at Shodokan this week.  Very unusual.  Haven't been to that class in quite some time.  Peter taught.  Was fun to work with the latest batch of newer people.  I don't often get to see them.  Peter did a mix of stuff from a shomenuchi attack.  Aside from the newer folks I got to work with Ryan.  I don't see him too often either.  Ryan's aikido is very tight.  He uses a lot of muscle which he has plenty to spare.  He also gives uke very little room.  Working with him is uncomfortable.  Reminds me a lot of an MMA guy that I worked with a couple times in the past.  One thing I noticed is that his pin was loose (he wasn't pinning the shoulder down).  So I showed him where it was weak and told him how to fix it.  He was able to immediately make an adjustment.

I have no problem working with Ryan but I ran into another student last night who was sitting on the sideline while class was going on.  After speaking to him I found out he had a long outstanding back issue.  This was exacerbated when he worked with Ryan.  His ukemi isn't up to handling him on a normal day.  I feel like I need to talk to Ryan to tell him to have a little more control when working with people like that.  I already spoke to the injured guy about ukemi and staying ahead of the technique if need be and speaking up for yourself if you can't do something.

I would liked to have gone Wednesday night to work with Joanna but it's a bad night for me.  Too much going on.  It will get better after the summer schedule is over.