Thursday, September 06, 2007

Releases, shomenate, and udegaeshi

Another class of aikido with Kel and I. I've been really enjoying the classes with just Kel because I get to move more and uke more and generally do more aiki than when I have to stand on the side and coach. (not that I wouldn't like to have a half-dozen more regulars...) Kel seems to be enjoying the individual attention too.
Tonight we worked on hanasu a lot, making little adjustments. We completely skipped over tegatana tonight and went back into shomenate and oshitaoshi just like 3 classes ago. We used that as a lead into working on #7 (udegaeshi) a lot - that was our big repetition technique of the night. We also worked a good bit on the initial evasion and brush-off (kokyunage) concepts, part of the time with a knife.


  1. My own instructor is a very sick man (born with a pulmonary disorder that has worsened with age) and does not teach publicly anymore. My son and I and a sandan who has been with him for about twenty years are his only students right now--and probably for the foreseeable future.

    On the one hand, sure, the personal attention and quality of the instruction are unbelievable! But on the other hand, I'm sure that he wishes it were possible that the skills he's learned over forty years of practicing karate were being absorbed by a few more students.

  2. My instructor has said that you can only teach one person at a time anyway.

    It's funny how class dynamics change at different class sizes. With one student (or any small odd number) and the instructor, you get individual attention and the instructor gets a workout too. You can implement a system similar to the kendo/jodo system where the more experienced guy is uke and coach at the same time.

    With two (or any small even number) students and the instructor, the instructor gets lazy just coaching as the two students get the workout. There is still a good level of individual attention. Occasionally the instructor takes one of the students and uses them to show something but for the most part the instructor just stands around watching.

    as you get beyond about a half-dozen students, the class begins losing the feeling of individual attention. But there is the benefit of variety of training partners.

    When it comes down to it, you can learn a _system_ (i.e. an incomplete model of the art) in a large group but you can't learn the _artistry_ of the thing without individual attention from a mentor over a long period of time.


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