This past weekend I had the extreme pleasure of being able to attend the Seminar at Windsong in OKC with JW Bode teaching aikido from a tactical (police and military) POV. Of the vast amount of knowledge that JW and his cohort put out there, I gleaned the following...
- Releases into Lateral Vascular Restraint (LVR) - emphasis on immediate, decisive kuzushi, control, and restraint - bring overwhelming positional and mechanical advantage to play. break his hip/leg posture with your hip/leg so that you can use both hands for the LVR (many of us have a habit of using one hand on the low back or butt to break the hip posture)
- Releases into gyakugamaeate (sokumen iriminage) - entering strongly from different relationships and controlling uke and the space all the way down into the ground.
- This seminar was very much about yin/yang. JW was presenting (in many ways) a perfect complement to what I taught a couple of months ago at OKC, and the aiki brushoff that I've been emphasizing in my teaching for several years. We also saw several examples and demonstrations of the yin/yang, give/take relationship between uke and tori. It reminded me of playing catch, as if we are throwing control back and forth between uke and tori (in randori) and each partner is trying to seize initiative and control so that he gets to take all the turns. Saw a great demo by George and Danny, wherein someone attacks and the tori seizes control and just before the move is set in, uke says, "Freeze" and uke demonstrates and discusses how he is reversing the situation and seizing control. More playing catch.
- releases as a doorway to begin practicing hand randori
- Adapt yourself - Don't assume that uke will jump for you, and don't assume that you have enough horsepower to force uke to adapt to your will.
- The word, "uke" does not translate to, "dumbass!"
And as always, there was plenty of free mat time, where I got to work with Nick and Jack and Danny on jo and with Danny and Kyle et. al. on judo...
- RE: hikiotoshi - (per Nick) slow and large till contact - hands sliding on the jo - softball pitch - front foot facing sword man - as hands solidify, don't pull back with rear hand - reach straight into uke. (per Jack) position feet so jo starts on correct diagonal - slow at first then fast - whiplike - sword works the same way (per Miyake) - on contact, solidify and lean weight into uke.
- RE: tsukizue - hands slide on jo a bit to clear sword - large motion threatening eyes
- RE: suigetsu - target is bellybutton, not solar plexus - set stick on side of butt instead of along forearm to create strong thrusting angle.
- RE: the traps - catch, then start the motion with a step (gross power), then the hands come in (fine control)
- In judo, we warmed up with uchikomi of deashi and okuriashi, then did kouchigari, a sweet twitch on the backward perpendicular during a forward footfall as a setup for seoinage. Then we worked a seoinage-to-yokowakare counter. At some point in there someone landed on me and knocked an "ow, dammit" out of me, and choked me so fast that I saw stars for about 15 minutes - so I don't really know what we did in newaza ;-)
- Played with the ineffable Sensei Strange for a few moments on the up/down systema ukemi thing he's been playing with.
- Got to do an epic randori battle with George Spriggs for about 3 or four hours. He claims I choked him out, but that's just a crock of hyperbolic mendacity! What really happened is George wrung me and smeared me across the mat until I thought I'd been beat by an angry washerwoman with an old timey washboard. A few hours (subjective time) into this match, I managed to get him off my diaphragm a little bit, and I laid down on one of his legs to slow him down so I could breathe. I looked up and JW's wife, Adele, was laughing at me, saying, "George is never going to tap or give up." By this point I was thinking, "Crikey! what have I grabbed hold of, and how can I turn it loose!" Now I wonder when we can go again (after I recuperate and grow a new spleen).