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Seeking Zanshin: Blood, Sweat, Tears & Aikikai Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 02-24-2005 11:53 PM
One small gal + a dojo full of big guys = tons o' fun
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 270 (Private: 12)
Comments: 195
Views: 816,865

In General And so the Old becomes New again Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #118 New 04-05-2004 11:18 PM
As there were (surprisingly) no newbies on the mats tonight, and just five students, we got to do a fair amount of bokken work that we probably wouldn't under normal circumstances. To begin with, we spent a fair amount of time on the 13-step kata, especially practicing it at a quicker pace than usual.

For something new (to almost all of us tonight, it seemed) we also took turns learning and practicing a series of exchanges that utilized the kata while being attacked by two ukes. This was quite interesting, as we all cycled out, having to learn the roles of two ukes as well as that of being nage. In the end, it got quite enjoyable once we all got the hang of things --- a nice break from the ordinary, at least to me.

The latter part of class was spent on Tae Sabaki, as usual. Wanting to get the most as I can out of the experience, I've decided to try to write about what I'm learning in this area as generally as possible in order to attempt to get to some fundamental understanding of these movements. Writing down every minute detail of such exercises seems rather pointless in comparison to doing so for regular techniques. So without further ado:

- Keeping one's elbows down and tucked in for the most part not only protects the ribs, but forces you to use your hips more than just your arms
- Movements are most effective here when they are short (yet still circular) as opposed to large, sweeping gestures
- Likewise, quick deflections (movements at sharp angles to strikes) that keep uke close are typically better than strong blocking motions (movements at wide angles to strikes) that push uke away beyond your reach
- Quick deflections (as above) are often, if not always, coupled with feeling uke's energy --- that is, through maintaining a continuous physical connection with them, and responding only to their own force/pressure on you
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