Saturday, December 16, 2006

Supercool shihonage practice

Prior to practice I got to work with Woodreaux on jodo kihon - particularly some of Henry Copeland's recent adjustments. Felt good. No comments in particular.
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Today at aiki practice it was Andy in his cool new brown belt and Kristof and I. We repped some easy ukemi (the mats were cool) and tegatana and hanasu. For the pastfew weeks we've been exploring release#2 and #4, so today we continued with #6. This gets us practice at shihonage, tenkai kotegaeshi, and ushiroate. There is also a cool tenkai kotehineri in there too, but we ignored it so we could work on the other three. Andy found it and got stuck in it for a while.
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We usually do hanasu #2 as a down and an up and the thing is finished. The most common mistake is for tori to go too wide around uke, which pulls him back onto tori. However, if we follow this motion, it allows tori to effortlessly countergrab and repeat hanasu #2, which is the basis of shihonage. When this happens in the context of hanasu we call it hanasu #6. If tori catches and maintains a nice extension all the way through then uke is forced to the ground onto his back with his arm in a bind.
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If anything goes wrong with the shihonage, the chain specifies a couple of potential backups. First is tenkai kote gaeshi - switch hands and back out, using the free hand to guard from uke's craziness. The second is based on uke's most common reaction, which is to force the arm back down toward his own center. If this happens, tori can flick uke's arm out of the way and take ushiroate.
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The first of these is cool and extremely useful. It is very hard for uke to stand up, let alone aggressively track tori from the tenkai kotegaeshi bind. Tenkai kote gaeshi has been 'proven' multiple times in street conflicts against larger, meaner, uglier villains.

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