Friday, August 28, 2009

"I thought i could instruct him.... well as Yoda. I was wrong."

So today i got up early and went to USM to do some aikido with my buddy Jessie. He's taking an aikikai off-shoot there at the college so every once in a while we get together and compare notes and work with a few things and basically uke for each other.

Today i actually went with the idea of us doing a few reps of tegatana with a few of the ideas from Pat's 100 terrific things to try with in tegatana and then working on hanasu.

With tegatana we went through a few reps focusing on:

1. relax
61. same hand same foot
3. balls of feet, heels slightly brushing

What made this more challenging than usual was the fact that our place to practice happens to be the volleyball court outside the college's fitness center. After doing a rep in the sand we did the second one on pavement and for the heck of it did another rep in the sand.

Hanasu is where everything felt like it fell apart. As we went through the first 4 back and fourth i had a hard time conveying how uke should generally move during each technique. Hanasu basically boils down into 2 things for uke

1. uke grabs tori's opposite hand in an attempt to lead him off
2. uke grabs tori's hand on the same side and attempts to lead him off.

Somehow there was a gap in communication. Jessie would simply grab my wrist and just plant. It didn't stop me from completing the "kata" like continuation of the move.. but it didn't really move well at all. When i was playing uke i would follow through and things worked alright.

I eventually stepped back two steps away to see if i could maybe create what i was trying to relate and that seemed to solve it to an extent. It's so hard to get him to relax.

I'm not sure if it's just me not explaining things well (see subtitle at top of page) or the differences in style or his inexperience with aikido as a whole. It left me a little self-reflective, my thoughts as i repeated everything in my head became increasingly frustrating. I feel like at this point i should be able to show some of the simpler things of aikido but today that just was NOT the case.



Scott Zrubek said...

The most common phrase around our dojo for the relases is "Steal the Rolex". Uke's role is to grab the wrist, and keep on walking out the door having grabbed the watch.

Maybe this will help?

Andy said...

Yeah..i can try that. That's the uke type i was trying to demonstrate but i may have been missing something simple like explaining it that way.

I'll definately use that phrase NEXT time. Thanks a bunch.

Sensei Strange said...

I can't disagree with Scott enough. I am going to have a long talk with his teacher about that.

Don't expect the move to work like it does with someone trained in your style. We create an artificial flow.

My advice - push energy down the line your finger are pointing. No matter how hard they are grabbing, this model works great for me.

John Wood said...

I would say remember to start moving as SOON as he crosses mai, make him reach a little farther than he expected to to get your wrist. If he's in motion grabbing you while you're in motion (and you continue to move), it'll be almost impossible for him to plant or sink without further off-balancing himself. Also, don't look at this as "I need to teach him how to be softer", think of it in terms of "here's someone who grabs me differently, so how can I adapt to HIM?" More of an opportunity in disguise thing.

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