Sunday, November 29, 2009

Aikido, 11/28/09

Well, since not writing training logs hasn't worked out so well, I thought I'd get back to it.

We started with Tegatana, and considered how there are no "dead movements". None of the steps are there just to get you back to the starting place in preparation for the next step. Every motion is a "move". Thinking about it this way made it seem like a longer kata! Twice as long! With twice as much to focus on.
We went through Releases 1 - 8 next. I mentioned how in 6, it's difficult for me to immediately follow uke's movement. I feel like I have to take a loooong awkward step to change direction and flow with him. With a little experimentation, I found that my #6 is awkward because my #2 has been wrong all this time. I discovered that the whole time I've been doing #2, I've been thinking of the whole technique as a "thing" (I think this will be hard to explain). Like this: "Ah! He's grabbing my wrist like that, so in response, I need to blah, blah, blah, blah, and end up like this (picture the ending of release 2)." But the approach I should have been taking is "Ah! He's grabbing my wrist; I need to step off the line (evade), and point my center at him, then flow with whatever he's doing."

Pat talked about making my reflexive reaction simpler - step off the line and face the guy - rather than trying to make the entire #2 motion my reflexive response. After this epiphany, my #6 was going much better. It felt more like I was at an intersection, and could choose to go right or left (#2 or #6, based on what uke does), rather than having to make a U-turn... in a large truck... on a narrow lane... with deep ditches on each side.

Next, we worked on Oshitaoshi and Udegaeshi (junana 6 and 7, respectively). The way Pat teaches oshitaoshi is different from the classical version, and different from how I've ever seen it. I find it interesting to play with variations to explore what makes a technique what it is. I imagine it helps me understand more about the "core" or "essence" of whatever technique we're working on. We looked at udegaeshi coming from uke escaping/resisting the oshitaoshi, as well as coming from an evasion in the wrong direction by tori. In the latter case, you can do the thing immediately if uke's arm is relaxed. If it's stiff, you can use the arm as a rudder to move him in a circle until the technique happens more naturally (no way I can describe that here).

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