Friday, March 25, 2011

kuchiki daoshi

I really want to look more at and practice a throw (and all its variations) called kuchiki daoshi. It's not one we've ever looked at much in our school, although I think in randori it can pop out spontaneously even without training! It starts around the 5:20 mark.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Space and entering with judo

Again, sorry it's been a while since I've posted. Lots of things on my mind, naturally. Here's a few:

To my recollection, it seems like I've always been told in aikido (I wonder if any of my teachers would say, What? I never told you that!) to maintain ma'ai, to maintain a certain distance at all times. I've tried to follow that over the years, and really, it's worked pretty well.

But lately, I've been thinking more and more about changing the distance. Specifically, about creating space, or creating a kind of vacuum that sort of sucks uke in, and about entering, or closing in. This goes hand in hand with my earlier thoughts on likening our movements to a wave: not just the crashing down part, but the drawing in, undercurrent part as well. That concept has, of course, overflowed into my judo work as well.

I also noticed an interesting secondary throw to hiza guruma this morning. (Here's a lovely competition example of hiza for your own enjoyment =)

Anyway, we were working on try to do hiza, but uke steps through it, and we were supposed to follow up with okuri ashi harai (double foot sweep). But I noticed many of the students ended up placing their sweeping foot too high (as newer folk are want to do sometimes), which put their ankle behind uke's calf. I suppose it then just felt naturally to throw uke back from that position and unwittingly found themselves doing kosoto gake.

It follows suit with the sort of "space and entering" idea I've been so fascinated with. We tend to approach hiza as somewhat of a separating throw, creating space between tori and uke. Now, should that fail, there's naturally the opportunity to close the distance, or enter, which is were the kosoto gake came in.

It just goes to show, no matter how far along you get, you can still learn something from beginners!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Things to think about

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I was out of town for several weeks taking some time off, and have been super busy since then. Not that I haven't been thinking about budo, 'cause I have—I just need to find more hours in the day to write them all down!

There's been a number of things I've been thinking about and that we've been focusing on more and more in morning class. First off...

Where is your "other" hand?
While many, if not all, of the techniques in aikido involve both hands, there's usually one dominant hand, one hand that's doing the main thing, executing the throw or performing the lock. Spend some time thinking about the other hand and what it's doing, what it's job is. Sometimes it's helping or supplementing the first hand. Sometimes it's just in uke's face to keep him off you. Sometimes it simply lies in wait.

But always ready, alert, involved; never limp, casual, neglected.

Think about it with these in particular (I'm referring to the versions as they appear in junana hon kata): aigamae ate, gyakugamae ate (as in the image above), ude hineri, hiki taoshi, kote gaeshi, and tenkai kote hineri.

I promise it won't be as long before I post again (because I just know you've missed me!)