Thursday, January 11, 2007

The "really lost" wrist release

Last night was a good class with Patrick M., Kristof, and myself. We got a little bit farther into the ukemi with the turn-side and turn-back rolls. The rolls are looking better. It’s time to start getting much deeper into the airfall preparations in ukemi. In tegatana we explored the relation between the size of back steps and our ability to stay on the balls of the feet with heels slightly brushing. With a larger than normal back step,the heel lifts, leaving you balancing on the balls of the feet. Ever so slightly less stable.

We repped hanasu a couple of times, including some practice on Patrick M’s off-side. He was doing great releases with that arm and it brought up the topic of the “really-lost” wrist release. Not the two that begin yonkata – those are just “lost.” This is the “really lost” release. There comes times when tori’s or uke’s grip begins to fail, giving us the choice of losing contact or holding harder and harder. The harder and harder option is a particularly bad one, so the solution (the release) is to switch hands as the grip fails. This is a form of release that does not appear in hanasu or junana – but it occurs in randori and in the chains. And it is an important release skill. Anyway, with Patrick M’s reduced range in his off-side, he gets into that “really lost” release situation earlier and more often than the rest of us. So he provides a great reminder of a skill that some of us can forget to practice sometimes!

We played with Chain #2, getting into the forearm pushdown. We played with some variants of this, including doing it with just the wrist and doing it with wrist and head like the entry into aikinage. Then for the “cool ninja technique of the night” we did the gyakugamae ate out of sankata where uke grasps tori’s upper sleeve in gyaku stance and tori binds the arm and rotates behind him, pulling him into gyakugamaeate. Worked great and was a lot of fun.
At the end of class we did Nijusan 1-10 and then emphasized techniques #1, 4, 8, and 13. #1 because it is the basis of everything and #4, 8, and 13 because they seem to be an example of a slightly different timing than the others. These seem to occur slightly earlier in the ura (outside) path.

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