Sunday, September 17, 2006

Up against the wall, redneck mother

How can an already ultimately cool class get cooler and cooler each day? Part of it is the people - we had 2/3 of Clan McKenzie and 2/3 of the Hatiesburgers and 1-2 locals. Part of it was the material (we worked on chain 2, delving into the Steven Segal over-the-shoulder elbow lock, shihonage, tenkai kote gaeshi, reverse kotegaeshi, and aikinage. The one-armed versions of these were particularly interesting. Everybody seemed to especially enjoy the fact that tori can easily hide behind uke during these techniques so that uke shields tori from other attackers. When they got to the aikinage I actually saw shudders of glee! (Or were those reverberations from hitting the mat???). Anyway, we broke for breakfast then did some jodo, working on kihon #1-3 and seiteikata #1.
After all that was over, Andy asked how to do what he calls "closet aiki"- that is, aikido in very small spaces. We leaned a crashpad up against a wall and practiced aiki moves from being pinned with our backs to the wall. This is a very interesting practice because it illustrates one of the grey areas in which aikido and judo become one thing. In this situation, it is still possible to fall sideward along the wall, and you can use the judo pulling-in type move to get some forward motion off the wall. Combine these with some offbalance and tori ends up planting uke in the wall as he evades and flees. Using this sort of combination of a couple of aiki and ju tricks, it is possible to work your way through hanasu starting with your back pinned to the wall. And since hanasu is the foundation of the chains, this means that most of aikido still works pinned to the wall. Additionally, shrimping and bridging and 2-hands on a point still work when pinned against the wall, which means that the entire Shirai defensive groundwork system is still valid against the wall.

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