Thursday, August 27, 2009

For Pat...

I was going to post how the past two classes have actually felt more like work than a class, where I've been teaching the same stuff and haven't really seen anything myself. I WAS going to post that, but I did remember something that happened last class where I was going over what we call "the stupid drill" which is going from kote-gaeshi to kote-hineri and back again and I felt something weird. Class was ending and I was feeling sick so I didn't want to explore it then, but I made a mental note of exactly what was happening and decided to further speculate on it later. This morning when deciding to post that I hadn't learned anything new or seen anything, I figured it out.

I know this next part is going to make a lot of people nod their heads (and by a lot, I mean my one reader) and say "well duh!" but it's something that just never really occurred to me and I'd like to voice it. First off, when I do kote-gaeshi, I feel like I'm locking Uke's hip when I do it right. I get the wrist to a point where I control the elbow, then the elbow to a point where it shortens one of Uke's legs, at least that's how it feels to me. With kote-hineri I feel like I control the wrist, then elbow, then the shoulder.

Ok, now that the preliminary explanation of how I feel Uke responding to the two is out of the way, onto the speculative part. When doing the drill, I've usually had trouble transitioning from kote-gaeshi into hineri. What I was doing is when Uke pushes out of kote-gaeshi and I switch hands as uke's arm straightens, I'd extend uke just a little to set the wrist and elbow close to the same time as the arm comes back up. What I noticed is, I don't have to. If I feel the wrist, then elbow, then shoulder/hip locking up as I set it, I can work back down in reverse order during the switch. When Uke pushes out of kote-gaeshi I lose the hip feeling but I have the elbow. As the arm straightens I lose the elbow but I still have the wrist and that is what I've been neglecting. If instead of stretching the arm as I switch hands, I just focus on the continual rotation of the wrist, I lock it down in the opposite direction, which gives me more than enough tension to follow it up through the elbow then to the shoulder. I haven't had a chance to apply it yet, but I just KNOW my kote-hineri has improved a lot just from realizing this, this morning.

There you go Pat, an epiphany, all stemming from a post initially intended to being centered around me feeling like I haven't learned anything the last two classes. I suppose I still have a lot to learn about learning things :P

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ok, I haven't posted in a while...

There have been complaints from certain people (Sarah Jane) that I haven't update in a while. The reason being that there isn't really anything to report. I've had a single student the past two classes and with me leaving for Bellingham in a month, there's only so much to teach in each class. We've been going over the Aiki-brush off and tegatana almost exclusively. The wrist releases were the subject of the last 20 minutes of this past Tuesday's class. Updated!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Week Ago at Pat's

This post is one week overdue but I've been doing a lot of traveling. Last week at Pat's I got to meet his new group of students, and we went over a few familiar exercises, mainly waki-gatamae to kote gaeshi and back again. It was extremely hot in the dojo, but there were two new things I learned that I found really interesting. With the eighth wrist release, I always interpreted it as Uke grabbing Tori's wrist then pulling it across his body causing the turning motion. At Pat's well there was almost no resistance from anyone on any wrist releases, but from what I gathered Pat was doing, Uke grabbed Tori's wrist but didn't change anything, Tori just does the turning motion with no prompting. I always thought Uke determined where Tori went, but it felt more like Tori determined where Uke went after Uke grabbed. The most interesting thing though was Gendan ate. I learned in Washington that the timing issue of performing it while moving behind the arm could be fixed by actually stopping your motion for one step making Uke "catch up" and putting him in a perfect position for Gedan ate. Pat had a twist on this where Tori tosses Uke's arm over behind him which twists Uke slowing him down. The end result is Tori and Uke in sync with each other and facing each other and Tori could just push Uke backwards. It's an odd feel. Wish I had a camera to get some footage of it. Maybe later :)