- Warmup, ukemi, spider-crawling alternated with big falls (teguruma) with a spotter
- Osotogari uchikomi "by the numbers" sets of theee throwing on the last rep and trading partners. Whit was doing especially good on the osotogari, and hammered Gavin once. Gavin tried to whine about it but then started laughing.
- Osotogari into kesagatame
- Uphill escape from kesagatame. Mason was majorly out-doing the others on this escape with an excellent bridging action.
- Crawling man
Aiki with Rick
- tegatana emphasizing balls of the feet and short, conservative steps.
- hanasu #1-4 emphasizing the feeling of release.
- partner evasion exercises using release motions to evase and brush off lunges.
- suwari kokyuho (kneeling freeform pushing exercise)
- tegatana emphasizing falling during the first half of the step and pulling with the front leg in the second half.
- hanasu #1-4 emphasizing releasing feeling and "stay off me" hands
- chain #3 emphasizing synch and brush-off in kotemawashi oshitaoshi, hikitaoshi, and udehineri.
- review of shomenate and aigamaeate
- scoot toward me
- scoot away from me
- step toward me
- step away from me
In self-defense, only "toward me" motion matters. He can't really hurt me running away from me (disregarding weapons) and if I hit him when he is going away it is probably not self-defense, it is probably pre-emptive or revenge.
One of the characteristic things about aikido is the practice of working with techniques in which both partners are kneeling (suwariwaza) or with the defender kneeling and the attacker standing (hammi handachi). This makes movement more difficult and offers very direct examples of various principles with generally low-amplitude falls. It also makes your hips and legs stronger and more flexible. This handful of helpful hints is about the practice of suwariwaza as a whole rather than being about one particular technique.
- Watch Doshu in the above video to understand the awesome potential for kneeling movement (starting at about 2 minutes). You usually think of kneeling as being less mobile, but this is a remarkable example of mobility and flow. This is also a good demo of suwari.
- To get better at doing aikido on your knees, play with both structured techniques (suwariwaza) and freeform pushing (kokyuho). Play with throwing into a pin as opposed to continuous throwing (juntai).
- Do groundwork randori (judo or BJJ rules) at different intensities all the way from scratching-and-scrambling anaerobic newaza randori to light-and-compliant flow. Skill in standing work (tachiwaza) and ground work (newaza) both carry over into skill in suwariwaza.
- Suwariwaza is a good opportunity to play with the Kito principle. Define an acceptable level of effort in your mind and gauge every push against that standard. If you can’t effect the technique with less than that level of force then try something something else at 90 or 180 degrees to that initial force. I like to think of this as “pinging” uke and then using arms as “feelers” to gauge the resistance. A good example of this is kneeling shoulder-push sumiotoshi paired with a “Japanese pass” arm snapdown onto uke’s belly.
- If you are doing your structured suwariwaza practice using the Tomiki kata set, don’t forget katamenokata and especially kimenokata from judo. These are different ways of doing the same things and the things in kimenokata back up the suwariwaza in Sankata (for instance) very well.
- Welcome back, Rick, an old head that hasn't been able to work out with us lately. We're stoked about his return and are looking forward to working out and having fun learning a lot.
- Warmup, tegatana
- partner evasion exercises - the aiki brushoff.
- hanasu#1 - the first wrist release - emphasizing the release feel and synchronization and finding a good time to brush off.
- randori off of release#1
- fast-direct oshitaoshi (ikkyo omote) as cool-technique of the day.
- By intelligently synchronizing your motion with that of the opponent, you can cut the chaos and imprecision in the system by as much as half (e.g. from 14 inches to 7 inches in our example above). A 2X increase in precision is a big deal!
- If you don’t move as he crosses ma-ai then he’ll be greater than 7 inches closer than you thought by the time you see him coming – and that’s just observation-orientation time. It takes much more time to plan a response and get your body into motion.
- If you see an opening, it’s already too late to attack it because by the time you get there everything will be at least 7 inches different than it was when you made your plan. There’s a famous story (maybe apocryphal) that Joe Lewis retired when he realized he was seeing openings before he hit them because that’s when he knew he was getting too slow. He was still at the top of his game, but it freaked him out too much to realize that he’d never actually seen an opening before – he just hit where the opening was going to be.
- Warmup, ukemi
- Green belt demo for Kel: tegatana, hanasu, Nijusan #1-5. Good job on all of it. Gedanate needs work (but mine does too). Remember same-hand-same-foot on the releases. Work on turning your whole body (i.e. your back hip and shoulder into the pushes during tegatana.
- One run-through of Shichihon to refresh the order
- Chain #2, including kotetaoshi and gyakugamae ate
- Randori for the rest of class
- warmup, ukemi
- osotogari by the numbers: 1) stand next to uke, 2) stretch your leg out behind him, 3) sweep the leg. Worked pretty good with this crowd.
- kesagatame, again, by the numbers: 1) knee on the ground, 2) wrap the arm, 3) sit on your butt, 4)hold the head. Again, worked pretty good.
- uphill escape from kesagatame - no counting this time. worked pretty good except they had a hard time extracting the trapped arm, so I had them step over and pull uke to his back for a pin. This was good for a lot of grunting and groaning and energy expendature. Lots of fun. I even had kids where they would volunteer to be on the bottom of the hold-down.
Mrs. Red, Here are the links to the video I told you about. They sure are having a load of fun:
(Feb. 15, 2008)PARIS--The International Judo Federation will consider a proposal to eliminate the koka from the scoring system, while also making a wrestling-like tackle illegal, it was learned Wednesday.
The federation will propose at its executive council meeting on March 6 that the koka, the lowest of the four levels of scoring, be eliminated, with the new rule possibly coming into effect in time for the Beijing Olympics..Currently, there are four levels of scoring--koka, yuko, waza-ari and ippon--depending on what part of the body hits the mat when thrown by an opponent. But there is no firm criteria for distinguishing between them.
By eliminating the koka, it is believed that judges will be able to demarcate the differences better..Japan, which emphasizes traditional judo with its big throws, has recently been hard-pressed to match the European style of building up points with small techniques such as the wrestling tackle..Under the proposed rule, the competitor will no longer be able to execute such a move without first grabbing the opponent's uniform..In addition, a judges' decision will again be used to break ties. If all three are in agreement, the match will end; if not, then the match will continue in a sudden-death overtime format.
While Japan welcomes the rule changes, some officials expressed concern that this summer's Olympics may be too soon to introduce them.
- This technique contains two tenkan motions and sorta describes a yin-yang shape on the floor. Either of the tenkan motions might cause uke to fall. In fact, in aiki demos you often tori throw uke facefirst into the ground and uke pops back up as tori switches directions and clobbers uke.
- Think of the hook around the head as a feeler instead of an end-effector. If you pull hard with the head-hand then you can spoil the technique and give uke stability.
- Try throwing with a tenkan motion back into the front of uke's hips instead of a clothesline.
- Try throwing with a palm to the face, like aigamaeate. This is a much better small-tori technique than the clothesline.
- This can be thrown as a hip throw.
- Shichihon no kuzushi
- chain #1 emphasizing whole-body motion, stepping to release, and the hand trades in the gaeshi-hineri loop. udehineri was working especially well today. Rob's dominant left side was not as coordinated as his non-dominant side today - interesting.
- various ryotedori and ushirodori from the koryunokata - these things seem to make tori more slippery and harder to hold onto.
- Tegatana emphasizing whole body motion like in the Chinese exhortation to "consider the palm as the center."
- Chain #4, including the gaeshi-hineri loop and the left-right loop
- Chain #8 - ushiroate
- Rokukata tentai maeotoshi
Tomorrow: 5:00am workout with Rob
“I don’t give a d___ if the student ever consciously understands what I am teaching. My job is to reprogram the student’s subconscious mind to make appropriate defensive reactions to attacks.”
- Patrick Parker (6d aiki, 5d judo)
- Mike Belote (5d karate)
- Vincent Fernando (5d karate, 3d judo)
- Greg Jefferson (3d karate)
- Jamie Allen (2d aiki, 1d judo)
- Brian Biggs (2d karate, 1d aiki)
- Patrick McKlemurry (2d karate, 1d aiki)
- Rob Belote (1d aiki, 1d judo, 1d karate)
- Kim Venable (1d aiki, 1d judo)
- Bryce Lumpkin (1d aiki, 1d judo)
- Chad Morrison (3d judo)
- Jennifer Biggs (1d karate)
- Sam Brown (1d aiki)
- John Wood (2d aiki, 1d judo)
- Kel Feind (2d aiki)
- Mario Melendez (3d aiki, 2d judo, 3d karate)
- Andy Sims (1d aiki)
- Jason Fortinberry (1d judo)
- Todd Pierson (1d aiki)
Want to earn your place on the list? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you got your black belt here at Mokuren Dojo and I left your name off or got your rank wrong - that's my forgetfulness. Call or email me and I'll get it fixed.
A.K.A. kaitennage in aikikai, A.K.A. udegarame in judo. A.K.A. hammerlock in wrestling. A.K.A. Kimura in BJJ. This is a pretty universal arm-twisting technique found in most all martial arts. Here are a handful of hints that have helped me in my practice.
- Put the free hand on his back and coil the moving arm around it. This is the simplest way of getting this lock when you're in motion without twisting and fighting and snaking your arm around his.
- You might slip out of the way as uke comes at you and throw it as kaitennage. I like to do this one pushing forward through uke in an otoshi motion instead of rotating the shoulder toward the head. This prevents those pesky double-jointed people from screwing up your kaitennage.
- This technique is nice and safe when the locked arm is bound to uke’s side, but as you get uke’s arm away from his body tori gets more and more mechanical advantage on the rotator cuff. Be extra careful when practicing this one – uke, don’t think you can resist in this position - go with it and take the roll/fall.
- An interesting variation is to set the udehineri, then sit on uke’s near foot, hooking his thigh and throwing with a wrong-side sumigaeshi or elevator-like technique. Roll with uke and end up on top with a Kimura. Again – scary and dangerous – but a good backup if the attacker runs over you and you can’t get out of the way for kaitennage.
- Hikitaoshi gone bad tends to lead to udehineri, which often ends up in kotegaeshi if it goes bad.
- tegatana, hanasu
- Hanasu from wrist-twists as a lead-in to randori. We did randori for a good while, working on the idea of walking out of wrist binds, staying centered on the opponent, and covering hands.
- Kel wanted to work on backfalls, so we repped hanasu #2,4,6,8 into backfalls emphasizing upward extension to unhook the guy from the ground and slow him down.
- Rokukata ushiro tentainage and a bunch of various ushirodori like it including maeotoshi, kotegaeshi, tentainage, and shichihon#7.
- 1st place: Gavin Jarrell (8 wins)
- 2nd place: (tie) Whit Parker and Emma Jarrell (4 wins)
- 3rd place: Knox Parker (3 wins)
- warmup, ukemi
- galloping, sidefalls rolling off of stacked mats (easy as falling off a log)
- leg-lift shoulder-push turnover to munegatame
- randori standing continuing into pins
- kneeling kubiguruma
In this video, among other things, you see a couple of pretty good leg picks, an exceptional aiki-like counter to a leg pick, a demonstration of how to absolutely NOT do a leg pick, a pretty good uphill escape from munegatame, a good, vigorous turnover, and an impromptu technique for dealing with the poor guy who wants to crawl out of bounds away from you to stop the match... enjoy.
Today was the beginning of our 5am aiki/judo mixed class. This morning was pretty cold and the mats were stacked so we did sweats and shoes aikido without the mats.
- tegatana emphasizing pulling with the front foot and making the turns more stable and stronger.
- hanasu working a lot on synchronization, stretching the step, direction of offbalance, and doing true releases so that uke can't reverse you.
- Chains 1 and 3 as a demonstration of how these release ideas come together into techniques.
- shomenate (junana and nijusan versions as two ends of a spectrum)
- Plus I got some jodo solo work done. Saw a neat thing on #7 and #8. Hard to put into words right now, but might improve #8 some.
I realize both are necessary, but which do you prefer in your normal practices?
- tegatana emphasizing turning the hips/body with the leg to develop a powerful position and keep the knee safe.
- hanasu segue into chain #2 but starting chain #2 from the wrong side (i.e. like shomenate or yonkata #1). This also got us off onto a tangent of how to use uke's motion and mass to get tori out of a corner or off of a wall and reverse positions.
- nijusan #1-5 (Kel's rank requirement)
- rokukata tentainage (this thing worked like a charm! Even wrong-sided! Even against really strong opponents! Even against really light opponents! Man this thing was cool!)
- Anything named guruma in this system is done with a slightly later timing that things named otoshi. Otoshi happens right as uke steps down onto a foot but guruma happens an instant later as uke tries to rise from the preceding otoshi.
- Guruma is also a spinning action whereas otoshi is a straight action. Define an axis from the crown of the head through the center of mass to the lead foot and turn uke around this vertical axis.
- Try this as a followup to the second movement in yonkata – the inside gyakugamae release. Bump the wrist as uke steps down with the front foot then, holding the wrist and the neck, back around drawing uke down a line perpendicular to his stance line.
- If you can only get a partial guruma action around that vertical axis, but can’t get uke to fall, osotogari makes a great backup technique. Do the guruma then pull in and clip the leg. Osotogari is roughly equivalent to aikikai’s tenchinage, so tenchinage also pops up in this situation a lot.
- Guruma is a very versatile action. You can try this thing with uke leaping/punching at tori, with uke grabbing one wrist (gyakugamae posture) or from a two-wrist grab.
- Musashi claimed to be able to throw people 10-20 feet and kill them with this technique. Are you to that point in your training yet? No? Keep practicing, Grasshopper!
- Gedanate is the Tomiki aikido name for the judo technique called sukuinage. In normal practice in aikido you don’t grab his legs, but you can. If tori happens to fall with uke during gedanate then it resembles the judo throw called taniotoshi.
- If you are throwing uke over your forward leg to land behind you then you are using your weak back rotator muscles. Try getting this technique to work lunging forward through uke with a dropping motion like an otoshi throw – and with no over-the-leg rotation.
- Don’t hold uke up with the hand that is controlling his wrist. Sometimes it can make for a dramatically effective throw if you just carelessly toss uke’s arm over your shoulder behind you instead of hanging onto his wrist.
- Your first thought is to attack the face (which you might call jodan ate) but if anything prevents that you can still attack the lower body (gedan ate). For the purposes of this technique, you can consider lower body anything below the face. So, try pushing him off with an elbow to the ribs. Or keep in mind that you can step on his near knee or foot for a dramatic offbalance. Attacking anything lower than jodan (essentially face) can be considered gedan.
- ROM, warmup
- hanasu emphasizing synching with uke's up-down rhythm all the way through the technique. We also worked on recognizing when uke shifts from casual walking to "getting ready to fight" walking and seeing if we could switch him back with an offbalance.
- rokukata maeotoshi off of release #4 emphasizing executing hte technique by stretching a footstep right at the instant of uke's footfall. Kel was getting it on the wrong footfall about half the time but it was still working great! Coolness.
- We started working on chain #3 and got as far as the elbow-to-elbow wakigatame when Kel was called away.
No one would have balked at my persecuting him then! I made him what he is. Have I not a right to test my own creation? Enough! Who says I have to defend myself?
And yes, I really do get a kick out of beating up on poor little kids - at least on this one. Whit would have probably kept coming back for more all evening long but I seem to remember it being about a million degrees outside that day.
“That's a very nice thing you are doing, but I don't think the rankings on that list have anything to do with the quality of the blog. I've seen some much better blogs than mine have much lower rankings.”
- to Becky’s Fine Martial Fiber – a blog about Karate, and sketching, and knitting and … other stuff. Becky has a lot going for her – first, she’s blogging from her secret headquarters in Mississippi. Maybe Dixie bloggers are taking over the martial blogosphere. We can only hope so. And not only does she have the right geography, but she posts really interesting opinion pieces related to her karate training. …and then there’s the knitting…
- to Rick Matz at Cook Ding’s Kitchen a blog about martial arts, history, poetry, etc… etc… etc… There’s a lot of thoughtful material here. This month Ding is starting his annual Lenten training challenge. Be sure to check that out and, if you think you’re up to the intensity, jump in there and participate.
- to Rory Miller of Chiron Training. This is really breaking the Promote Three rules because he’s not on Toplist, but I made the rules and I figure that, “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of a small mind.” This is an amazing blog! Possibly my all-time favorite. Rory thinks like a man of action and acts like a man of thought because if it has to do with use of force, he’s been there and done that. This is one blog that I never miss. Rory is coming out with a book the middle of this year. It is to be titled, "Meditations on Violence" and y'all will likely want to pre-order your copy from Amazon. Rory also gets bonus points because he identifies himself with Chiron, the Centaur warrior scholar who taught Achilles to fight.