Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Aikido III

9/27/08 - Today was my 3rd Aikido session (first private lesson) at Mokuren Dojo. We began the class with Ukemi, then moved to the tegatana no kata. Pat talked about how the rising motions in the kata can be used as a test of your balance and control. During the turns, arm motions can also be used for balance (like a tightrope walker’s pole). It may help to think of a bubble around you, and your hand brushes along the inside of the sphere. Pat said the following foot of each step should move quickly back under you, to maintain balance and control.

Next we practiced releases 1 through 4. We talked about the trigger for evasion being when the attacker breaks ma-ai, not when he grabs your wrist. EVADE. AVOID. The idea is to not let him grab you in the first place. When he DOES grab you, the releases take place.
Things for me to remember:
1) Don’t force uke into the technique. Think about the “Rolling the Ball” drill, but let uke roll tori (not tori rolling uke) do determine which release if performed.
2) Release #2 really begins like a #1 with your hand in an odd position. #2 occurs when uke won’t let you move into a #1 (the #2 flows naturally from this condition).
3) Release #’s 3 and 4 have the same kind of relationship described above - #4 begins as an attempted #3…

We then worked on brushing off with the first couple techniques of the Nijusan.
Things for me to remember:
1) don’t brush-off, create a little space, and plant yourself and assume a stance like you’re ready for more, or want to fight. A good brush-off can be used to create at least 10-15 feet separation, even if you’re not trying very hard. It’s possible to use it to create a much bigger distance to effect an escape.

Next we worked on shomenate. We talked about how a good shomenate doesn’t have to look like a good shomenate. The essence of shomenate is using a push to uke’s face to get him off you.
Things for me to remember:
1) Minimize contact time.
2) USE uke’s step for the off-balance, don’t ignore it!

Aigamaeate (Nijusan #2) – After the off-balance, try to stay behind uke until you can push/separate/brush off. IF he forces himself around to you, or comes at you, THEN do the #2.


  1. So, do your release #1 and release #2 start with the palm of the hand ins the same orientation?

    Our #1 is palm down and #2 is palm up. This requires us to, if we get locked attempting to do #1 to not go to another release, but to go to, possibly, techniques 14 or 15 of Ju Nana Hon Kata.

    I think. I may play with that tonight.

  2. Scott, sorry it took me so long to respond - I didn't notice folks were commenting! I'll get the hang of this blogging business yet.

    Our release #1 and #2 are like yours - palm down for #1, palm up for #2.

    I have a hard time explaining it, as it's a new concept for me, but if you start a release (palm up, as in #2), and try to do the #1 evasion, off-balance, and release, BUT uke gets strong and STOPS you from going that way, you should be able to execute a release #2 pretty easily. I think Pat was demonstrating how to go with uke's energy/strength rather than fighting it.

    I hope I a) understand that correctly and b) explained it well. I'll ask Pat tomorrow. Thanks for reading!

  3. I think you've got it right.

    We do a similar exercise from time to time. It helps to teach you to recognize that when uke is strong in one direction, he can't be strong perpendicular to that direction.

  4. yep, y'all have it right. R1 starts palm down and R2 starts palm up for kata demonstration. these are extreme wrist positions. if your wrist is a little less extreme (like thumb-up) then you can often do either #1 or #2 and you should be able to switch from 1-to-2 or 2-to-1 based on how uke is moving and resisting.

    Scott, that's interesting talking about using junana 14 (shihonage) or 15 (maeotoshi) as a fix to a bound-up release#1. If you look closely, you will see that the R1 to shihonage combo (for instance) really contains the R1 to R2 motion. you start into R1, get stuck, then R2 is the beginning of the shihonage circle. so you are doing R1-to-R2 just not calling it that.

    Interestingly also, Todd, the word verification thingie wants me to type in the word, "defart" to verify i'm human. I guess I am, buecause I find the word, 'defart' funny...