Showing posts from January, 2010

Limp, noodley arms

Oh, so many things I've been thinking about. Lately, with aikido, it's the limp, noodley arm.
A lot of what we do involves an extension of uke on a horizontal plane, extending him out over his toes, both in aikido and judo, for that matter. Wonderful, brilliant, great. But there are movements (and they appear in Tegatana no kata, the walking kata) that involve a more "up and down" action.
Not a forceful one, though. And I think it tends to happen after the horizontal extension, at it certainly doesn't involve strength, or trying to push someone down. Here are a few video that got me thinking and exploring it.

I think of it as starting a #2 or #4 release and instead of stepping all the way behind him as we normally do, get to his side (perpendicular) and do the thing in the walk where you lift your hand up and then let it fall down. That's one most folks have no idea where it applies. Well, he's doing it here. He lets uke swing through, raises his arm, and on…

Escaping mune gatame, #5.2-C

Mune gatame
One of the things I've always been rather curious about was whether or not one could establish any kind of regular (or semi-regular) curriculum in judo. Our aikido always seem to follow a weekly theme well enough (we work on one section of a kata or exercise for one week, then the section the next week, etc.) but judo was always harder to pin down.
It may not be possible, or even wise, to completely pin it down, but through the experiments I've tried so far, I like having a little structure, at least as a starting point. I'm fulling will to be flexible, though.
Anyway, one of the things I'm trying is to spend the first portion of the grappling half of class on one of the major hold downs, usually by pairing up and doing a number of escapes. One week would be kesa gatame, then the next week kata gatame, etc. until we work our way through them (plus the kazure or broken versions) and the repeat.
One of problems with that, as you may have guessed, is that there…

Exposing problems in your technique

Firs of all, I'm a little confused by some terminology at the moment, and I now realize that I'm going to need to figure that out. All these years, in our school and overall organization (I believe), the term "sute geiko" referred to a form of practice that is different from how the rest of the judo world defines it (although I can't find a lot of references to it so far).
For the rest of the judo world, it seems to mean "alternate throwing practice without resistance." Which is odd, because for me, "growing up" in judo, sute geiko was a more unique form of practice where one person is allowed one throw (say, o soto gari) and one throw only. It's his job to try and throw it. The other person's job is not to be defensive, per se, but to maintain proper posture at all times and walk effectively. If tori doesn't have all the pieces, doesn't have kazushi, etc. the uke doesn't just fall down for him, he walks out of it.

When eyes are opened

I'm constantly amazed at what pops out of my mouth sometimes while I'm teaching and working with someone. Evidently, there are lessons learned rattling around in my noggin that I wasn't totally aware of.
Typically, they come to light when someone asks a question. Forced to answer it, you open your mouth, start jabbering, and voila, an answer (or two) spring forth. Inwardly, I'm as surprised as if a parrot has just flown out of my mouth. Outwardly, of course, I try to maintain my poker face and act as if I've known the answer for years; that's a crucial element in maintaining the aura of the wise martial arts master. I'm still working on catching flies with chopsticks, however.
I'm also surprised to think about where that knowledge actually came from. Sometimes, it's untraceable, but other times I can trace it back to the source, which vary widely. And it's not always my teachers, oddly enough. Sometimes, I watched someone else do it; sometimes I&#…

Uchi komi - moving & static

For as long as I've studied judo, we always practiced uchi komi from a moving paradigm, albeit a small movement. Usually, once tori and uke hook up for, say, o soto gari, and then uke moves his right foot back and forth, while tori moves his left back and forth. When uke steps forward, we step on the line and fit in.
I couldn't help but notice over the years, that from what I could see of the rest of the judo world (which isn't necessarily a lot), everyone else practiced uchi komi with uke remaining absolutely stationary. As I understood it, the main reason for practicing uchi komi with uke stepping was simply because, when we're actually doing randori, we're both moving. It would seem logical that we learn to time our movements to that step.
So why did the rest of the world practice it static? (And did they all completely avoid moving uchi komi?) I don't really know. Is there any benefit to practicing it static as well as on the move?

Lately, I've noticed tha…