Monday, October 31, 2011

Misc thoughts on ukiwaza

Some miscellaneous thoughts on Tomiki's floating throws...

Our Ikkyu requirement is Junana #15, 16, and 17.  You can sort of throw #14 into that group as well, but youve already done that one at nikkyu.
These 3 or 4 throws are classified as 'floating throws,' which is sort of a misnomer, because all the techniques of junana can be done as floating throws.  Its just that these three (4) techniques exemplify the floating throw principle well, and all the other stuff in junana is usually done with a different focus.
What does 'floating throw' mean anyway?  Basically two things...

There is a loose, airy, void sort of lack-of-feeling between uke and tori. You are not mashing on an elbow or twisting on a wrist to make the throw happen. It is a subtle connection, light-touch type of thing that is executed through exquisite synchronization and footwork.

Like all of junana, these throws are done on otoshi timing - on a footfall - but in these three (4), there is an emphasis on exaggerating the preceeding rise in order to make the timing window for the otoshi more obvious.  You literally throw uke up in the air, wait for him to come down, and when he does, exaggerate his drop so that he hits the ground.

In the kata, all of these are done entering to the inside, capturing the wrist, making a golf swing through the offbalance hole, and tweaking the wrist and the elbow just a bit on the rise in order to exaggerate their rise.
Then, each of these throws is differentiated from the others by how uke tries to get down off of point...

in #14 - shihonage, uke retracts his arm by bending the elbow.  Tori turns and follows  and exaggerates that retraction

in #15 - maeotoshi - uke tries to take a step away. tori catches uke's far-footfall, and extends his step, pushing uke away.

in #16 - sumiotoshi - uke pulls his hand back, as if chambering a punch.  tori follows that retraction and exaggerates it, pushing uke into the back corner on a near footfall

in #17 - hikiotoshi - the footwork is confused and uke somehow managed to foul #16 for you and ends up facing you, about to come down on you.  Tweak the elbow again to get a bit of rise, then drop backward away from tori as he comes in and down.

Any of that make sense?
Patrick Parker

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