Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ma'ai, ma'ai...it's hanasu!

So far class is going well. I'm trying my best to be patient and not overload the guy with too much info at once but at times it is a bit difficult. I worry I'm going too fast so for the next two classes i think I'll just stick to tegatana, hanasu 1-4 and nijusan 1-2.

But on to last night's breakdown:

Warm up stretches and ukemi. There's still some drift off to the side when he rolls but with more practice and continued emphasis on rolling across from shoulder to opposite hip it should correct itself. He's getting the backward rolls rather well. He even commented how important that step to half step backwards was in making it feel more relaxed. Success!

With tegatana we did the standard initial run through then broke it down and looked at it a few ways. The second time we emphasised correct posture and moving from the center and less stepping. The next 2-3 reps we worked mostly on turns and how loading the forward leg like a coiled spring and allowing the other leg to turn around the first helps with footwork and keeping our steps small. This worked really well.

With hanasu I wanted to see how well 1-4 has sunk in so far so i uke'ed straight through 1-4 and then we reversed so i was tori. He's catching on to the motions, and after 1 million or so reps he'll have it mastered for sure. If he seems to get frustrated i always make sure to remind him that it will get better with practice, practice, practice.

We did several reps of each and after trying to explain how the hand raising motion in 1 and 2 should feel we worked on hanasu 5 to get that feel of "going under the bridge" we returned back to 2 and 4 using the same raising motion to get a better stretch out of uke. I also introduced 6 as a response for when 2 goes wrong as a branch off the same tree but this is where i feel like I'm throwing too much at him at once. Definitely using 1-4 alone for a while.

With us being all hopped up on hanasu know-how we used a practice from the book of Pat to use 1-4 and practice with ma'ai as well. Uke and tori stand several paces apart from each other and walk towards then past. Uke has the option of attacking or simply passing by. Tori's job is to concentrate on when ma'ai is broken and if he is attacked (by having his wrist grabbed) how to respond. We used alot of class time working on this and at the end threw in some cow-catcher and aiki brush-off as well.

To wrap the evening up we worked on shomen ate and aigaime ate with a little gedan and slowly doing the back fall out of it (as we practice without mats). More work on using the unbendable arm as a feeler for what uke is attempting and having the patience and confidence of tori's position to wait and let uke attempt something. He'll either be foiled from the initial off-balance or he'll get wise and stand up or move to face you. Whichever he chooses you can use his arm (by feeling where his shoulder and elbow are turning) to determine how to act. He's really catching on to this idea and so I'm looking forward to see how he absorbs the rest of nijusan in the months to come.

That's about all there was to last night's class. Still really digging the teaching thing. If you have any criticisms or advice I'd love to hear it!


John Wood said...

Sounds like it's going really well. When I get back, can I sign up for your classes?

Andy said...

Haha, absolutely!

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