Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Worked on "ick"

Went to class Monday night.  Rob had us working on a version of ikkyo.  This is the second class in which I saw this.  I did a better job and was getting it.  But not 100% consistent.  I Need more practice with this to be able to pull this off easier.

What's different about it?  With normal ikkyo we are taught to push through our uke.  Or if he is too tall, we take uke off to the side.  With this version you are entering and blending with the strike and pulling uke in before taking them out over their hole.  The sucking in part would start out looking like a shomen block with you scratching your head with your thumb.  Uke rides forward on that.

Blending was something that I wanted to work on anyway.  I can be a little clashy at times.


Monday, January 30, 2017

Sunday Morning

Since I helped a friend with some construction all day Saturday, I went into the Sunday morning class tired.

Didn't take too long to get back into the swing of things.  Peter was challenging our memory by showing us 4 techniques at once for us to practice.  The whole class seemed to need reminders of what all the techniques were.  It was so pitiful, Peter was laughing.  Very funny.  I was among the confused.  By the end I had all four though.

Then Peter was doing a very unusual entry.  A deflection/grab for tsuki with the other hand reaching up to the opposite shoulder.  Your own arms end up crossed.  It didn't feel natural to me at all.  Definitely not one of the "go to" things I would end up doing.  There was an infinitely easier entry to get the same techniques done but I did it Peter's way.  I like to try stuff out and looked at it as a challenge.

By the end of class we were doing a couple of hip throws.  Peter said to just lift and not throw.  My partner who is really a beginner threw me anyway.  And..... kept throwing me.  It was a little annoying because I was tired from the construction but not a huge problem.  Until.... a couple of the throws were done poorly.  One had a bad angle, which I adjusted my ukemi for.  The other one was bad because he had both my arms and after the hip throw sort of threw me to the ground.  I had no slap hand.  He hadn't done the previous throws that way so I had no warning.  As I'm going down, I'm internally shaking my head going eeeeccchhhh.

My right shoulder which wasn't 100% healed up is complaining a little more today.  Instead of being at 95%, I'm back to 75% on that shoulder.  I had him doing the technique better by end of class.

I don't like his unpredictability.  I'm pretty sure he decided throwing me because he knows I can take ukemi.  I didn't want to discourage him because he was mostly doing ok.  Until he randomly didn't.  On the last throw I bailed on him and didn't wait for him to finish the throw and just went over anyway.(he had started out fast and then stopped.  to be extra safe I kept going).


Friday, January 27, 2017

Shodan Test

Ok... so it's been a long time and I finally took a black belt test tonight.  It's interesting because it didn't feel like a marvelous test.  It felt ok with some nice moments.  But I actually recorded it and got a look at it later.  Never really watched myself practice before.  Looked better than I thought.

I did nothing I wanted to.  That's the usual for a test, right?

I had nice posture and was very relaxed throughout the whole test.  In fact, I was so relaxed that I wasn't sucking wind like I expected to be doing.

Overall the test really wasn't that bad.  My biggest problem was that one of the instructors called for a henka waza I wasn't expecting.  In every other test we start from ikkyo or kotagaeshi.  And... not that I had a lot of prep time for this, I made sure I practiced those.  So when they called out for a shihonage into iriminage, I brain farted a couple times and started my ikkyo.  Then I corrected it and did a few.

Would definitely have liked to do some otoshi but I didn't think my uke was up for it,  He did well enough.  Getting tossed around that many times in a row is hard.  His ukemi isn't the most natural for him so he takes more damage every throw.  I kept things simple.  Which was fine.

There was one throw that was going to bring my uke into the kamiza(we have a skinny mat) so I altered the ending of it.  Mr. Mulligan knew exactly what I was doing and why.  I saw and heard him.

Chris also tested for shodan tonight.  His test looked good.  he did a lot of hard throws(hard on uke) but Dave could handle the abuse no problem.  Some of the techniques crossed with mine and it was interesting to see the differences in our style.

Glad I got it done with.  With any luck I'll get news that I passed and I can forget about testing for a while and get back to practice.


Monday, January 23, 2017

Still Working On Ikkyo

Had a great class tonight.  Joe was kind enough to work with me on some test stuff.  Was mediocre.  Really hard to do knee work.  Joe didn't seem to know these so I gave him some turns to try some stuff out.

One of the things we worked on was ikkyo.  You think you know how to do the simplest technique and then someone shows you something they were thinking about and your mind is blown.

After several turns with Rob, I managed to get the gist of what was being shown.  No muscle memory built up.  We'd have to do that more often.  But it was very interesting.

Better Do Some Rolls

Sunday morning was interesting.  Peter had us warm up as normal.  Then in the middle of the warm up he said..... I suggest you all stop and do some rolls.  Then we finish as he calls for class to start.  He immediately tells me to go down one end with everyone down the other end.

Surprise!  Randori warm up.  One of the newer people Peter comes at me the fastest.  I move a little right so that as he advances, he'll block the guy on the right.  Then the craziness starts.  Peter immediately starts resisting technique.  I don't mind at all, and kind of smile.  Peter actually yelled at him to stop resisting.  He thought you were supposed to resist during a randori.  Very few dojos practice regularly in this way.  Usually you need a good committed attack.  It's not often Peter looks that annoyed at someone.  Hadn't heard him raise his voice in a long time.

So we get through the so so randori.  I've done better other days.  Not too bad considering it was first thing Sunday morning.  I'm not a morning person.

Then we practice a bunch of test like techniques.  Certainly helps.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

So Much Better

Got to class tonight despite my back being a little touchy.  I was like a creaky old wagon when I first got on the mat.  After a while I started loosening up.  Then I started moving more like me again.

Felt really good to finally be on the mat again.

Bob had us doing these exercises to take kazushi and throw while trying to stay soft.  Then later on he wanted to use these same movements to do a freestyle of sorts with 4 people attacking slowly from different sides.  I had a couple moments that things felt nice in there.  Some of it was eh....

Was actually kind of tough to do this and not do a regular technique.  Was quite fun though.  Mr. Mulligan saw my freestyle and seemed to like it.  He came over to watch everyone for this part.

Had an interesting thing happen while in class.  Bob was showing us something and wanted to show that you could strip your hand out from a grab and backfist the face.  I was uke for this.  I had no idea he was going to do this and I automatically blocked the strike with a shomen-like block in front of my face.  It happened so fast there was no thought involved.  Another example of me covering my face.  It happens more than it doesn't nowadays.

Oddly enough when I'm hanging out with friends and one of them playfully reaches out to smack my head(not something that happens often but has happened a couple time since I've been training).... I don't react.  Perhaps, because it's happening so slow, I don't register it as a threat.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Missed a Lot Of Classes

Haven't been going to classes the past week or two.  At first I had a massive cold that I didn't want to spread to everyone.  Then the following week I tweaked my back.  After a few days it's finally good enough that I can get on the mat again.

I've had two people contact me to tell me that Mr. Mulligan wanted to move my test date closer.  I'm ok with that but there is a chunk of time I would have liked to have polished things up better.  Plus... of all the times for me to miss class I just missed a big hunk.

Got more bad news today.  I really only have two people that are uninjured that I can pick as uke.  The uke I would have liked to have picked has already been asked.  He did tell Mr. Mulligan that he'd be happy to uke for both but that's a heck of a lot of being tossed around.  I have no idea if the other guy is interested in being my partner for the test.  The bad part there is he's nervous about his ukemi.  So some throws are more difficult to do with him.  He also doesn't follow a lead amazingly well.  Some of the stuff I do is a little outside the normal every day stuff.  No idea how that would go down in a test.

I'm just happy that everything is getting better.