Saturday, October 28, 2006


Saturday after Rich's sandan demo we all worked on the first two moves in yonkata in the context of moving just as uke crosses ma-ai and really making these two feel like releases - like the techniques of hanasu feel like releases. Usher brought up the point that since we classify yonkata as a release kata we should really be releasing the tension between the partners instead of getting the feeling of storing up potential energy in uke in preparation to really flail him.
We started these releases by evading diagonnally inside and forward right as uke crosses maai. If the evasion is successful then tori is free to run or do whatever but if uke manages to exert enough to get a hold on tori's arm then it constrains tori's motion while putting an awful torqing offbalance on uke. If tori is light on his feet then he is able to actually release back into an effortless otoshi throw. This type of motion makes yonkata #1 and #2 much more consistent with the idea of releasing - particularly with the hanasu #1 and #3 releases and their yonkata counterparts, chudan aigamae and chudan gyaku.
Usher, Kirby, and I also got to play with the third 1/3 of yonkata - the last eleven techniques that we never seem to get to play with. These are all interesting but it is particularly interesting to me how familiar thesetechniques seem after doing release followups for several years. That was part of the purpose of the development of the chains was to bring some ofthese ideas from the higher-level kata back into our release practice and from there back into our randori.
Next weekend is the Fall 2006 Henry clinic at Starkville and we will be working on yonkata. I can hardly wait to see what he gives us to think about and work on.

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