Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Deflect, evade

2nd class was a repeat of the basics with the student that's new to aikido:

A few reps of tegatana with relaxed small steps as the focus. We went through the whole kata each time. Next we did some ukemi. Stepping back falls and forwards/backwards ground rolls. For the ground rolls we tried to follow that invisible line across our backs from the shoulder to the opposite hip. After 1 million of these master status will be obtained.

Hanasu 1-4. Need to work on footwork but he's getting the feeling of the off-balance. Since 4 was the new technique there was a bit of a stick up but the same emphasis on the "open the door and step out of the way" motion helps just like it does on 2. We just need to keep working on stepping off to avoid, move around the arm, and then getting behind. Unbendable arm is a must.

Before we did nijusan we played around with some same hand/same foot drills using Pat's "building walls" idea. Find a wall, or in our case last night a tree, and post against it with one side or the other "building a wall". With this stable base it allows you to deflect or block as strong as you can. The second step is when uke's resistance builds up step off to the next side (left if you blocked right or vice versa) and build another "wall".

We did this against a tree several times until the concept made sense then moved on to the "cow catcher" and the aiki-brush off. We talked about avoid and deflect. Either block and get behind the arm or brush off to deflect and head in the opposite direction. This was a set up for our reps of the first three moves of nijusan: Shomen ate, Aigamae ate, and gyaku gamae ate. Use uke's attack to off-balance to the side pointing them down into the space between their feet. If that fails stay behind the arm and continue to step in motion with them. We did a lot of practice with being patient and letting uke decide what happens next: either waki gatame works and they're down or the arm you're behind can be your guide as to what uke will do next. Aigamae ate or gyaku gamae ate is just a response depending on the conditions.

After all of that we ran out of time. Granted that's a lot of typing but I'm trying to get this all down so I can get pointers on how to do things differently and better.

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