Friday, June 17, 2011

Double the students, double the fun....

...."it's the statement of the great mint in Doublemint gum!" (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

So I had two students last night which really helped me stick to my plan to keep it simple. After spreading out the tarp and doing some warm-up stretches we gave it a go:

Ukemi was more forward rolls and back falls. With the forward rolls it was pretty much business as usual. Back falls we had to make sure to take enough of a step back to assist with being round. If we tuck and roll from a neutral standing position there's more chance we'll land right on our tailbone...and since we don't have mats that's something we have to avoid for sure.

We did a few reps of Tegatana focusing on those turns again. Using the tension in the first leg to turn the second helps to make a more relaxed motion and it generally keeps the steps small. The extra rehearsal also gives everyone a chance to learn the kata so they can practice it away from class.

I was able to keep on track with hanasu 1-4 this time. I went through them all with Chris then again with Jesse. After that I broke it down one technique at a time and had them switch off as uke and tori for several minutes.

With 1 we continued with diagonal step, to the end of the arm (usually causing uke's off balance to worsen enough to cause him to step and allow tori to) step behind the arm. Maintain unbendable arms assists with every part of the process.

On 2 we continued with the idea to "open the door and allow uke to walk on through". I'm really attempting to stress the idea that if tori is patient and willing to let uke follow up on his off balance it will really improve tori's chance of completing the technique with minimal force. (As a matter of face that's true on all the hanasu techniques we're working on AND with Aikido in general)

3 brought more of the same lessons from 1, it's just same being idea but being grabbed on the same side vs opposite armed. I'm working more unbendable arm on this one as well to help with the whole.

With 2 it's the same with 4 except with the same sided attack as 3. "Open the door", be patient for uke to wobble, then step behind him when he "comes through the door". Easy peasy!

I never thought I'd ever be this interested in 2 & 4. I've always seemed to struggle with these two (though never quite as much as 6 and 8 for some reason). Then one day Pat pointed out a little tweak that made the whole thing click and now I really like these.

With all our work on Hanasu class seemed to fly by and we were all having a lot of fun. Just to shake things up a bit and give a fun close to the evening I had them get on opposite ends of the tarp and we did the same ma'ai exercise from monday. We traded off opponents and used the aiki brush-off and the cow catcher to block, deflect and evade uke's attack should he decide to strike inside of ma'ai.

Before I forget I also brought Jesse up to speed on what Chis has dubbed "attacking the tree". It's just an exercise demonstrating stepping with same hand same foot, meeting resistance or some kind of opposing force (this instance the tree) and then stepping to the other side's same hand and same foot and building another "wall" with that side. Something for them to piddle with and noodle over.

Aaaaand that was class. Seems to be going well still. Hopefully we'll have a streak of continued luck and Jesse will be able to get off work on time to be able to come to class.

As with the initial mission statement for this blog i may tend to ramble and most of what i say may not make a whole heap of sense. If it DOES though, and you have any advice on how i can get better with teaching and aikido in general PLEASE leave me a comment.

Thanks everybody!

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