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


Patrick Parker said...

That's a pretty cool observation. I think I usually feel a little different thing. I think what I feel is an indeterminate 'sogginess' between my hand and his center. I feel he has some freedom he shouldn't and I don't try to classify it as wrist or elbow or shoulder or hip. Whenever I feel that slack I know the technique is not right, so I move to the next thing.

I might have to try it your way some to see If I can feel what youre talking about. Sounds cool.

Sean Ashby said...

Congrats, it took me a long time to figure out I wasn't just controlling a wrist! =D

Once I finally realized that I'm ALWAYS looking to disrupt uke's center line, the 17 (and other kata) started to make a little more sense: with the first 5 (ateme waza), we're attacking the center line directly; with 6-10 (hiji waza) we've moved further away and are now affecting the center line through the elbow; the next set 11-14 (tekubi waza) we've moved even further away and are affecting the center line through the wrist, and so on...

That was quite an epiphany for me!