Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the
world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to
over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a
wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history,
humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.
If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced
features available, you will need to register first. Registration is
absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!
Yesterday as my husband drove us to the dojo, I began to space out a bit and just think about class and aikido. As of lately, I have been periodically used as uke to demonstrate techniques. I have been taking this as a compliment and have loved every minute of it. Well, I have previously mentioned that we have a couple new people. I thought to myself "Wouldn't it be neat if it were only me, my husband and the rest of the newer people (1 year or less)? Maybe I could be sensei's uke more!" My next thought was "That would never happen. There are always a couple higher rankers there." After that, the thought dissipated from my memory and I began thinking of other things.
We arrived at the dojo and I go in and change. After going up to the dojo, I discover "Bob" (not his real name) who has been there about a year. Me and my husband are there (6 month-ers) and one of the new guy's comes in (2nd week). Finally, another guy comes in (started the same day as me and my husband, but hasn't been there as much). I look around and go "Hhm…. I guess I got what I wanted." I assumed that some other students would be coming in, but no one else came. SCORE! I have been really liking the classes with the new students. Lately a lot of the classes have been more challenging for me, which I like by the way, but I really enjoy going back to the more simple things which also need to be worked on. I have the basics of these techniques down and have an idea of what I am doing, which leaves me with the ability to focus on the finer things. Instead of A, B, C I am able to look at A, AA, B, C, CC sorta. Yes, I only have one B there, I did that on purpose.
After sensei had us do warm ups, sensei asked my husband to be uke to demonstrate tai no henko. Since there were 5 students, one person is always left sitting out waiting their turn for the group of three. It just so happened that last night I was the one always left without a partner and sat out waiting my turn. Well, this isn't such a bad thing because oftentimes, sensei will come over and work with you, which is always a great opportunity. While working with sensei, I tried to soak in what he was doing as much as I could. He continues to amaze me and I honestly hope that it stays that way. Well, it was my turn to do it on him. I felt like I was doing the technique right and I was doing my best to get past him before I tenkaned around. He was smiling the whole time. I am still trying to figure out exactly what that meant, but I am going to say that he must have been pleased. Had I been doing something wrong, I am certain that he would have corrected me.
He then called "Bob" up as his uke to demonstrate the beginning part of iriminage. Just to the point where you are behind uke. For this, I was partnered up with my husband and the new guy. This went pretty well. I am beginning to get behind uke more, which I used to have a problem in. I just wouldn't enter far enough, but that is now being fixed. At one point, I sat down so my husband could work with the guy and sensei came over. Instead of stopping behind me though, he completed the technique and threw me. He also did a few other techniques (sumiotoshi, shihonage and something similar to kaitenage, and reverse kotegaishi). Well, sensei clapped and we all ran to the back and sat down to watch what was happening next. Sensei looked at me and said the one word I was hoping for "Onegashimasu" I eagerly hopped up and ran to stand before sensei like a loyal golden retriever does to its master. HAHA! He demonstrated the complete iriminage on me. After throwing me a few times he sent us on our way. I was left partnerless yet again, so I sat waiting my turn, watching my fellow aikidoka. Sensei walked around correcting students and I did my best to take in what he was telling them so I wouldn't make the same mistakes. This is another bonus of sitting out. I was working with "Bob" and the new guy for this. "Bob" was having some trouble, so sensei came over to help. He used me as uke to walk "Bob" through it. He was also showing the new guy how to take ukemi as well via me. Well, I thought I was being a good uke, but I must have done something wrong because all the sudden BAM! I got smacked in the face with sensei's hand. DOH! Sensei was just telling the new guy that he needed to turn his head into nage, not away just as he hit me. Sensei then said, but you have to make sure you don't turn your head in too early either. Sensei then threw me a couple times and went on his way again. I only got to throw a couple times, but I was fine with it.
For the next technique, sensei called me back. For this we did a variation of sumiotoshi. Instead of pointing to the corner, you sort of cut towards the corner with your forearm. It amazes me how small his movement is, yet I find myself flying to the mat. I got to work with my husband and "Bob" again for this one. At first I did okay, then all the sudden….. I lost it. Easy come, easy go I guess! We were standing near the shomen (it is actually a raised wooden platform. Our dojo was an old church) and my husband threw me. I thought I was going to land on the raised platform and I must have fell a little odd. Needless to say, I ended up whacking my inner wrist on something (not sure what) pretty hard. It hurt and I immediately started to bruise. I tried to forget about it and class continued. Oddly enough, as long as I was doing something, I forgot about the pain. Once the focus stopped, the throbbing came back.
Next was katatedori shihonage. Sensei used someone else for his uke. I really like working on shihonage. I worked with the new guy and my husband for this technique. While I was sitting out, sensei called me over and was throwing me around. I also got to almost throw him a couple times. I stopped at the point where you take their balance (as that is what we were working on at that point). Sensei complimented me that I was doing a good job keeping his hands infront of me instead of letting my hands go behind my head. I had a problem with that for a while, but I think that I am finally grasping it. At one point while sensei was throwing me, he stopped where my balance was taken and started to tell me how to turn in preparation for a breakfall. He told me not to do it now, but stated that he wanted me to start working on them. I have already done a few breakfalls from other techniques (kotegaishi, kaitenage and possibly others), but never from this one. This one is a bit awkward feeling for me because the way I am supposed to turn my body feels like it is the wrong way, so it isn't natural for me yet. I have no idea when I will begin working on this, but it is now on sensei's checklist. He also told me that he wants me to start working on suwariwaza more as well, so that is also on his checklist.
Once that was over, sensei called someone up to demonstrate reverse kotegaishi. I have no recollection as to who was uke. Oh well. This technique went pretty smoothly as well for me and my partner. At the end of class, sensei had us all line up to rei out. He called me up once more and showed each technique again as a final review. Then class was over. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the class. Not that I don't enjoy all the classes I go to, but it was the type of class that I needed that night. A bit slower, more focused and I got to experience some things that don't happen that often.
Things to remember/fix:
1.) For iriminage, bring arm up and pull uke's gi back at same time to help twist his body into you to take his balance
2.) Keep uke's hands in front of you for shihonage
3.) If arm is extended for shihonage (if I'm uke) to prepare for a breakfall, turn body towards nage, tuck head in and prepare to flip myself
1.) Bruised wrist (after 3 hours of ice it looked a lot better, but still sore)