Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Ma-ai, ukemi, taisabaki

Click here for details about the Aiki Buddies Gathering at the end of the month.
Yesterday in tegatana we worked specifically on making standard-sized steps. Patrick M. had noticed that his forward turning steps felt different than his backward turning steps and in watching him I noticed that his backward turning steps were much larger than the forward ones. We worked on making standard sized steps and on ending each turning step with the recovering foot in front. This type of awkward different feeling often pops up in tegatana when the pattern changes or when you switch from one group of moves to another (i.e. evasions to pushes).
In hanasu, we worked on making uke smarter in order to refine tori's motion more. Uke's attack must be made from right at maai in one step and uke should move to recover balance and remain a threat to tori. Only in the most basic of special-case exercises is uke motionless. When uke makes these adjustments, tori is forced to move completely offline at maai.
Patrick M. and Kristof worked on their rank demonstration of hanasu and the atemiwaza from nijusan. We will be viewing the demo at Saturday's class for purposes of ranking Kristof to gokyu and Patrick to yonkyu. Then at the ABG at the end of the month we will have them display hanasu and the atemiwaza from nijusan as a demonstration. For purposes of demonstration kata mode, both hanasu and nijusan will be done from 2-tsugiashi distance in which uke's first tsugiashi is an adjustment step to move right up to ma-ai and then his second step is the attack step through ma-ai. Uke's striking arm does not come up and forward until the final attack step.
We played with all these same issues (maai, ukemi, taisabaki) in chain#1 and all students did great.

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