Sunday, August 27, 2017

Similar Sunday Morning

Peter is away so I knew it would be quiet.  Tony, Chris and I started class.  Later on Ryan came.

We worked on Tony's Shodan test again.  Since Ryan's next test is 1st kyu and they are similar tests, we broke off into partners.  I worked with Ryan, while Chris worked with Tony.

So... I basically took ukemi for Ryan.  There were lots of things I'd like to make comments on but I let him just work out his multiple answers to each attack without tweaks.

Some of the things I noticed were... he needs to learn how to blend with an attack.  Easy for me to notice since I am always looking to smooth this out.  Rather than doing a hard block you can blend with the strike.  kazushi..... often he was bringing me as uke backwards.... then trying to throw forwards.  He wasn't the least bit aware of where uke's balance was.  He's not looking for this yet.  He can pass his 1st kyu test easily without this knowledge but his aikido will always have a limitation until he starts looking at this stuff.

After class(since he brought it up) we spoke a bit about using strikes in aikido.  I gave him my opinion.... that we should focus mostly on technique and getting uke's balance... then we can add the strikes in later.  If you practice with strikes but ignore kazushi you aren't doing aikido.  If you don't work on good technique, then you might as well just learn a striking art instead.  He seemed to understand what I was saying.

We also talked about being sensitive to your partner.  He does jujitsu.  So I asked him if he waits for his partner to get him into a position before he tries to counter.  Of course not.... you sense his body movement and adjust.  So he's sensitive to his partner in jujitsu.  He needs to carry that into his aikido practice.

Recently there was a Yoshi Shibata seminar in Portsmouth.  Ryan told me has saw Matt there and asked what kind of aikido they practice at North Shore Aikikai.  Usually, I avoid all discussions I can about my practicing in two dojos.  In all the years I have done this, not once have I ever been responsible for a student moving from one dojo to the other.  I've seen a few students migrate over for various reasons but I've never been the cause.  I will answer direct questions like the one Ryan asked.  So I spoke briefly about what they've been doing lately.

He was interested partly because the late start time was good for his work schedule.  The higher mat fee turned him off some.  Although the mat fee is not out of line for a lot of dojo's it is high enough that it adds up fast if you are just doing a drop in fee on a regular basis.  His opinion on the mat fee came entirely from him and was not influenced in any way by me.  Honestly, the best thing he could do is drop in there once a month.  I see a ton of potential in Ryan's aikido.  He needs to float around more in daily classes at other dojos or go to more seminars.


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