Monday, June 27, 2011

Aikido, 6/18/11

Yes, I know - I'm behind on my training logs again. I'll catch up soon!

We loosened up by walking through a few karate stances before doing tegatana, then moved on to releases. We played with release 7 as a brush-off, and it was surprising how effective it was at creating space. Next we added a "glancing" elbow strike to uke's ribs as we passed under his arm, then played with a "hip chock" to keep uke off of us. It was a great exercise in "aiki-strikey".  We played with these "gravy" techniques as alternatives to pushing uke in the face or chest on the way through, which tends to stick your feet and kill your mobility (or at least be less efficient).

Next we played with releases and randori "through a stick" about 2 feet long. Uke and Tori both held one end of the stick rather than each other's wrists. The stick was like a magnifying glass that helped demonstrate principles that are harder to see otherwise. The contact was more "slippery", and it really makes you move your feet correctly. Maybe it was just the stick, but my footwork during randori felt like it was getting better.

We moved on to an introduction to junana 14-17, my next rank material. We played with 14 with an "unhooking him from the ground" feel, 15 with a garuma motion which made it feel WAY lighter and more "aiki-like". We looked at 16 on either footfall, and 17 was just a big puzzle (we explored how it works as an otoshi).

This was one of those mornings I REALLY didn't feel like making the 1.25 hour drive to train, but I'm so glad I did. Seems that's always that's always the way - the classes I don't feel like going to end up being the best ones.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Since I didn't get around to posting my training log last week, I'll do last week and this week in one post:


We started with tegatana, then did releases 1-8. They're feeling better and better to me.

Next we worked on getting Junana 1-17, all from release 1. Then we did it again, all from release 2. These were really interesting variations, but my feet kept getting stuck due to the unfamiliar footwork.

We worked mostly on Junana 11, 12, and 13, focusing on 13 (with and without the turn).

Next we did a "4 Rule" hand-centering randori exercise that led nicely into free randori to finish the class (if I remember the rules correctly, they were 1) arm can move freely up and down at the shoulder, but not side-to-side. 2) to move to the side, keep center pointed at your "do-ing" hand. 3) if you couldn't, switch hands and keep center pointed at the new "do-ing" hand. 4) If you have a hand free, stick it in your opponent's face).


Short class today, aiki-speaking. We started with tegatana and moved to releases, as always. Next was my nikyu (2nd brown belt) demo. I was pretty comfortable with Junana 1-5 (well, 4 was sloppy), but I rushed number 7, as well as number 12. Otherwise I was mostly happy with it.

After the demo, we played with chaining Junana 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 for a while. We played with a REALLY slick "gravy" technique - slipping a number 3 between 6 and 7. One of my favorite evil tricks! Then we discussed and explored concepts of ma-ai.

At the end we brushed up on karate kihon, as well as tennokata, taikyoku, and a little bit of heian shodan. I plan on beginning to practice karate again on my own time.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Just a quick post to congratulate Andy (a buddy and fellow student of Pat's) on his first aikido class (as recounted here).

I know you'll do a great job!