Showing posts from July, 2010

Kosoto gari from a failed hiza guruma

I finally got a few moments to record the kosoto gari follow-up to a failed hiza guruma that I mentioned previously. From the same "foot inward" set-up, you can also catch a nice harai goshi.

More aikido koshi nage

One of these days I'm going to start introducing more of this into aikido class. We have a lot of folks who do judo, too, so I wouldn't think it would be that much of a stretch.

Doing what doesn't come natural

Like most Americans, I took my son to watch fireworks this last 4th of July. He's four, and it was his first time to see fireworks live and in person. Outside of the mugginess and the residual heat, we had a pretty good time.

Until it came time to leave.

As you might expect, or as you might have experienced yourself, when the show was over, everyone wanted to leave at the exact same time. Which makes for quite a traffic jam. In my case, the fireworks were held on the north side of town, which meant that everyone also wanted to head south.

We sat in the parking lot without moving an inch for about 20 minutes. That's an eternity to a tired 4 year old. Even when things did start to crawl, it still would've taken another hour to get anywhere.

Finally, I decided to try something. Instead of pushing relentless down the two main streets that everyone else was going down, I decided to drive north. No one was headed that way, so I had the roads to myself. I drove up a block, went east …

Playing judo like an old man

In general, I've always disliked a lot of lecture and stories during class, and much prefer to keep things moving. We have an hour or an hour and a half, two maybe three times a week to do this. That's not a lot. Let's make the most of our time and be productive. (I have a very influential college professor to thank for that, I think.)

But once in a great while, the course of a class will turn more to discussion than the practice of technique. And periodically, I think that's a good thing. In fact, I'm beginning to wonder if I've prevented myself from doing it too much. There are some things we need to learn that have more to do what what and how we're thinking in MA than what and how we're doing something, and that needs to be addressed sometimes.
Today, for example, in judo, we talked about a certain high ranking judoka (and aikidoka, but we were talking specifically about ne waza) who, despite pushing 60, proved to be more than a handful for a young, f…

A little more patience, please

"Patience. I need more of it—and fast!"
So the old line goes. And as another old line goes, "It's funny because it's true."
In fact, it reminds me of the old "Tae Kwon Leap" skit. And when most of us in the martial arts world think about struggling with patience, we think of Ed Gruberman: the impatient beginner, the guy who wants to know how to trash some bozos now.
It sounds almost cliché, but it's odd, and even a little sad, how often I actually run into students in the dojo struggling with patience. They may not be as much of a jerk as Ed, mind you. Sometimes, they're nice, well-meaning people.
It's just that they're in way too much of a hurry. They always want to move on to the next technique, they want to do what their higher rank peers are doing before they're ready. Or they immediately question what you're trying to teach them. You know, "Well, so-and-so said you do it this way..." or question whether or not s…

Ura waza experiments: kote gaeshi

Here's the last little video I have at the moment. This one talks a bit about kote gaeshi and some of the countering ideas we've come up with, including a nice one at the end from buddy Christian Lamson. He ended up doing this on a hapless, visiting aikido practitioner who wouldn't quit cranking on his wrist, despite the fact that Christian repeatedly tried to explain why it was a bad idea. Pretty sweet =)

One thing I've noticed, though, about these videos is that I only sort of gloss over each technique as I talk about them, and I wish I had demonstrated them (without yapping) several times to give the viewer a better perspective.
Guess I'm still a little self-conscious about putting myself out there into cyberspace.
On one hand, I suppose I've been doing this long enough to have something unique to say, but I also can't help but remember how small my body of knowledge is compared to one of those 25+ years guys.
Just bare that in mind when watching this stuff…

Ura waza experiments: shiho nage, sumi otoshi

Skipping around a bit, these are a few ideas we fiddled around with regarding shiho nage and sumi otoshi.

Ura waza experiments: ude gaeshi, ude hineri

Lo, and behold, I've finally put together some of the videos I've thrown together regarding aikido ura waza, or countering techniques.
Bare in mind, that if tori honestly has the technique, then he's got it. But if he rushes it, tries to make it happen, then these ideas may have a chance. This particular video covers ude gaeshi and ude hineri.

How I love to watch the masters

What I love about watching highly skilled old men practicing their art, be it aikido, judo or whatever, is not just to watch them perform their technique with amazing fluidity and simplicity. After a while, one almost takes it for granted. Oh, he's just doing shiho nage...It's also fun to watch younger, less experienced practitioners (who may be fairly skilled compared to many others) try to work a technique on the old man, and fail.Not that I enjoy watching people fail, mind you. It simply serves as a reminder that what looks so simple and so fluid is really the result of mastery, of uncountable hours and years immersed in a thing. Then, when we go from watching the failure back to the smooth, seemingly effortless technique of the master, we are reminded of the true beauty we have been fortunate enough to behold.Take, for example, this video of Tamura Nobuyoshi Shihan. Enjoy.

[I'm still busy dealing with my wife's recovery, not just from hernia surgery, but an addition…