Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Aikido 5-25-09

We had a great aiki lesson on Monday. We started out with tegatana, while focusing on a couple of things. On the pushes to the side, I need to be sure my following foot does indeed follow, and not just hang out where it was. Both feet need to be pointing in the direction of the push, and my center does too (hips, shoulders square). We also took a look at how our center moves through space on the turning motions. I love tegatana no kata. There are at least 100 different things to think about, but you can only focus on a couple at once, so it will provide entertainment/refinement/learning for me probably forever.

Releases were next, and we went through all 8 of them. When I began training at Mokuren Dojo, releases 5-8 were alien to me, given the time since my previous aikido training and the way they were taught there. I think I'm STARTING to see some progress in that area. I say
"progress", not "improvement" because it seems like overstating the case when I say "improvement", hah. What I mean is, the movements are starting to get familiar to me again. I still need to work on letting the techniques work instead of trying to make them work. I need to think less about the way they're supposed to look and more about evading, turning my center toward uke, and putting my hands up. Pat compared the releases to untangling a knot. He recommended letting tori's free hand become the "doing" hand, and letting the grabbed hand just do whatever.

We explored these ideas through some very light randori. One point from that - I don't need to be married to the idea of the upright posture at the expense of getting locked up or thrown. It's okay to bend over to get under the opponent's arm, for instance.

We camped out on Release 3, then went into Chain 3. It included wakigatame, kotemawashi, oshitaoshi, gyakugamaeate, and gedante. We looked at how hand placement (or tori's body in relation to his hand) may determine whether you do one technique over another in the chain. We spent some time at the end looking at a nasty gedanate variant. I gotta remember to turn into uke during gedanate, and not try to execute it sideways.


  1. It's far better to bend at the knees to get under uke's arm than to bend at the waist.

    I have that issue (at 6'5") when my uke for the releases is 5'5"

  2. huh, good point...thanks, Scott!