Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Aikidoka do it with upright posture!

Tonight we're going to work on gyakugamae ate (some call it sokumen irimi). After the initial offbalance (the one in junana and nijusan) there are three common reactions that ukes make:
  • If they have enough momentum they may pivot and continue backwards for a step or two in the direction they were going.
  • If they are strong and reactive they may stop in their tracks and try to regain their balance.
  • If tori hits the offbalance just right uke will sometimes stumble in the direction of uke's push.
Gyakugamae works with all three reactions and all three are worth working on.
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The principle of the month for my students is going to be shizentai (upright, natural posture). If you can't do it with upright natural posture you can't do it. If you can't do it with one well-timed, small step forward (just like in tegatana) then you likely can't do it very well with a larger step. If you break your own posture then it was a poor technique even if uke does hit the ground.
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We're also likely to be previewing some of the gokata material that Henry will be teaching at the Starkville clinic in April. Gokata is interesting - especially the suwariwaza at the beginning - because it's the same old stuff but tori is the instigator. Tori provokes an attack from uke then deals with it. That's a type of sen (initiative) that we rarely deal with outside of gokata.

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