Saturday, January 30, 2016

What's jo got to do with it?

Today we had our first Aikido Renaissance Playday of the year, and I went into it thinking along the lines of playing with aiki-jo material and trying to figure out what sticks and swords have to do with our aikido anyway.  What is so 'aiki' about aiki-jo?

We worked on the first four of Tomiki's Jo-no-tsukai, A.K.A jo-nage in some aikido lineages.
  • migi sumiotoshi
  • hidari sumiotoshi
  • tekubikime
  • maeotoshi
As we worked on these techniques, I was paying attention to the hints and instructions that I was giving people.  I was particularly looking for times when I was telling stick-weilding aikidoka the same things I'm always telling the empty-handed aikidoka.  Today's major themes ended up being -
  • Push straight down the length of the jo instead of pushing sideways (as if trying to bend the jo).  You'll bestronger, more controlleed, and less likely to slip and bust someone's teeth.
  •  If you get to a place where you can feel uke's strength, then you are in the wrong place - move somewhere that he's not as strong.
  • If you want uke to move away from a strong position, you can't hold him there.  Often you have to relax and give up your own territory in order to get uke to shift to different ground.
Do those sound familiar?  Anyone recognize those situations or phenomena from aikido or judo?

Then we worked on three of Tomiki's jo-dori
  • shomenate
  • gyakugamaeate
  • maeotoshi
Here we wound up repeating one major theme a lot -
  • If you allow uke to choose his own ground, you'll end up in a strength battle.  Walk away and tear his root out of the ground, and then do your technique.
Finally, we worked on the first two of the Seitei-jo techniques -
  • tsukezue
  • suigetsu

Here our emphasis was on honte and honteuchi and hikiotoshi.  I've said before that hikiotoshi has been the bane of my existence, but I have to admit today it was almost fun to work on ;-)  It was working very nicely.

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Patrick Parker
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