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Gorgeous George
08-03-2010, 07:30 PM
...and why?

When you're being pinned, at what point should you turn your face, so that you can't see tori/nage, and expose the back of your head?

I'd say: when tori has you secured...? - So that you stay 'live' until that point, and can take advantage of any openings that are presented...?
Am I wrong?

What are the opinions on this?

Steven
08-03-2010, 07:45 PM
I turn away simply so I don't get my face kicked. Though come to think of it, having my faced kick may be an improvement on my looks.

As for staying "live", well .... one could argue you shouldn't have to SEE it with your eyes to stay "live". What if you're blinded or it's pitch black?!? You should be able to "feel" the other person's energy and connection or lack thereof.

Gorgeous George
08-03-2010, 07:50 PM
I turn away simply so I don't get my face kicked. Though come to think of it, having my faced kick may be an improvement on my looks.

As for staying "live", well .... one could argue you shouldn't have to SEE it with your eyes to stay "live". What if you're blinded or it's pitch black?!? You should be able to "feel" the other person's energy and connection or lack thereof.

Good point about getting kicked - but then, isn't getting hit in the face preferable (by some small degree) to getting hit in the back of the head?

And if you can't see, but detect an opening and move into it, then you could move straight into a strike; whereas if you can see where you're going...
I know what you're saying though.

Janet Rosen
08-03-2010, 07:55 PM
When it feels like the right thing to do... sounds fatuous or inane, but I really can't explain it any better than that.

Steven
08-03-2010, 08:00 PM
Agree with Janet. Also, depends on the technique as for turning away. What technique did you have in mind?

Whether tori has you secured or not, turning your head exposes the back of the head. So the technique will dictate uke's response as well as the tori's execution.

Gorgeous George
08-03-2010, 08:01 PM
When it feels like the right thing to do... sounds fatuous or inane, but I really can't explain it any better than that.

As I say: for me, this point is when I have been secured.

I spent an, erm, interesting evening training in 'Ki Aikido' for the first time, and it has spurred this question (along with a few others - like 'What is aikido?').

Mark Gibbons
08-03-2010, 08:03 PM
Good point about getting kicked - but then, isn't getting hit in the face preferable (by some small degree) to getting hit in the back of the head?
.

Front - fleshy painful parts, vulnerable eyes, delicate bones.
Back - mostly thick bone.

Not even a close call in my opinion.

Mark

Gorgeous George
08-03-2010, 08:03 PM
Agree with Janet. Also, depends on the technique as for turning away. What technique did you have in mind?

Whether tori has you secured or not, turning your head exposes the back of the head. So the technique will dictate uke's response as well as the tori's execution.

I guess the ikkyo pin - but that can go into a load of others, so any of them really.

Daniel Lloyd
08-03-2010, 08:29 PM
I was told the reason why we turn our heads away is because with Nikyo pins and Sankyo pins - it has something to do with the artery or something in your neck that when you turn your head to face the person pinning you will go unconscious. I remember Michael Williams Sensei told us something like that a month or so ago.

In short - don't face nage/tori when they are pinning because you'll put yourself to sleep very quickly.

RED
08-03-2010, 08:36 PM
I've never thought about this. There just seems to be a very instinctive point at which it is needed for each individual pin, and for each individual nage you work with.

So, I guess the best time and place to tun your head would be somewhere between the nage and mat. :p

Gorgeous George
08-03-2010, 08:52 PM
Front - fleshy painful parts, vulnerable eyes, delicate bones.
Back - mostly thick bone.

Not even a close call in my opinion.

Mark

Haha: try telling that to boxers/MMA-ers.

Gorgeous George
08-03-2010, 08:55 PM
I was told the reason why we turn our heads away is because with Nikyo pins and Sankyo pins - it has something to do with the artery or something in your neck that when you turn your head to face the person pinning you will go unconscious. I remember Michael Williams Sensei told us something like that a month or so ago.

In short - don't face nage/tori when they are pinning because you'll put yourself to sleep very quickly.

I wasn't talking about facing tori when the pin is applied: I was talking about facing tori until it is clear the pin will be applied, and you can do nothing about it/have no chance at an opening/escape, I guess.

Rob Watson
08-03-2010, 09:02 PM
Front - fleshy painful parts, vulnerable eyes, delicate bones.
Back - mostly thick bone.

Not even a close call in my opinion.

Mark

It's the base of the skull that is the vulnerable part.

Mark Gibbons
08-03-2010, 09:08 PM
It's the base of the skull that is the vulnerable part.

Compared to the throat in front? Both are pretty vulnerable, throat is softer.

Rob Watson
08-03-2010, 09:34 PM
Compared to the throat in front? Both are pretty vulnerable, throat is softer.

Compared to the quote (which you now have taken out of context) the 'mostly bone' characterization of the back of the skull is contrasted to the base of the skull.

Either way it really does not matter. At the late stage of the pin it is kind of too late to worry where to turn your head as you are done either way.

Michael Hackett
08-03-2010, 10:08 PM
We teach to turn the head away on the ikkyo, nikkyo and sankyo pins, primarily because of the nikkyo and sankyo pins. On those two pins, Nage usually places his knees against the ribcage and very close to the head. Turning the face away saves teeth and noses in training. We turn the head for ikkyo just for consistency.

Janet Rosen
08-03-2010, 10:15 PM
I wasn't talking about facing tori when the pin is applied: I was talking about facing tori until it is clear the pin will be applied, and you can do nothing about it/have no chance at an opening/escape, I guess.

Graham, I took your question to mean at what point one literally turns one's head away, which I do, say on ikkyo, pretty much when I'm about to hit the mat UNLESS there is enough slack in my (un)controlled arm that it is really easy for me to stay turned towards nage - in which case I don't actively resist at that point, but let my continued slight rotation to nage send a somatic message that something is amiss and he'd better self-correct his extension or he's blown it.

If you mean at what point do I let my center turn away from nage/tori, well, unless I'm working with a real newbie and guiding them through it via my ukemi, I don't let it turn - I may let it BE turned as part of cooperative practice depending on partner's level of training, or I may simply not turn until turned.

Janet Rosen
08-03-2010, 10:17 PM
We teach to turn the head away on the ikkyo, nikkyo and sankyo pins, primarily because of the nikkyo and sankyo pins. On those two pins, Nage usually places his knees against the ribcage and very close to the head. Turning the face away saves teeth and noses in training. We turn the head for ikkyo just for consistency.

Agreed. Also, as in kotegaishe, in case disarming from a tanto or other weapon is sloppy and it accidentally falls, better it falls an arm's length to the side of one's head rather than on one's face.

Adam Huss
08-03-2010, 11:03 PM
I turn my head toward a pin when its the first time I've seen it or not sure what it is just to get a look at whats going on. This saves time from sensei having to demonstrate it again on someone else b/c I was too busy being uke to pay attention. Depending on the pin, its varies in difficulty to see what's going on, but generally I can get the gist of it...just a bit of stretch in the neck. If nage is standing and I'm on the ground its pretty hard to see whats going on up there. Anyway, I don't think I've heard many reasonings beyond the simple "its more comfortable for uke to look away from pin" so its interesting to hear others ideas here.

Michael Hackett
08-03-2010, 11:30 PM
Janet, good point on kotogaeshi - we protect the face with the free hand and arm from the landing and through the roll-over. Regardless of standing or kneeling pin on kotogaeshi, we turn our heads away from Nage, just to protect the face as mentioned before.

Jeff Scheurer
08-03-2010, 11:32 PM
I was taught how it is possible in ikkyo, nikkyo, and sankyo pins to use uke's shoulder to constrict their carotid artery and cause a lack of blood flow to the brain. However, if uke turns their head in the other direction, the pressure will contribute to the immobilazation without affecting blood flow.
So I would say that once nage starts to put downward pressure it's best to look away so the artery isn't negatively affected. As far as weak spots, I could definitely find them on the front or the back of the head, but in my opinion I'd give the face as a target before I'd give the back of the head.
Break my nose and I'll be even uglier and a bit miffed. Hit me effectively on the occipital process and I might be eating apple sauce through a straw.
FWIW,
Jeff

aikishihan
08-04-2010, 12:20 AM
Reality check.

When someone has you in a correct pinning move, in this case Ikkyo ude osae, you are at that person's mercy. You have no real options at that point, other than to concede, tap out and move on to the next training objective.

The point that I believe is being ignored here is the role and importance of mutual courtesy, compassion and respect for the training objective itself. The training protocol, in Aikido especially, requires prudent and proven reigi or etiquette, providing realistic training for both nage and uke, in their respective roles that constantly reverse themselves for mutual benefit and balance.

In Aikido especially, the nage is given huge leeway in finishing the technique, which would be totally unrealistic and unacceptable for the uke to yield to in an actual confrontation, and life or death situation. Thus the agreement that uke allows the nage to perform the waza thoroughly without real resistance, and that the nage accepts the responsibility of keeping the uke safe from any real threat of harm, is the basis for Aikido's kata form of training.

The act of turning the face away at that point in the waza is simply uke's tacit acceptance of nage's superior position, which must then be acknowledged by nage's compassionate response and zanshin. There is no need to define winners or losers in this scenario. Properly executed, this form of training results in both being winners.

In oneness,

Amir Krause
08-04-2010, 03:30 AM
Never :D

And I have never fainted from any effect on the blood flow :freaky:

To the best of my understanding, for us, not turning the head is in some way, representative part of zanshin - being always aware of the surrounding and looking for openings. This is more mind then practice in most cases.

Amir

Demetrio Cereijo
08-04-2010, 03:57 AM
If you turn your head away you can do a rolling escape from those "pins".

RED
08-04-2010, 09:25 AM
If you turn your head away you can do a rolling escape from those "pins".

I'd watch out with that. You will get away with it with a loose or poorly executed pin. However, a well executed pin you are liable to injury your shoulder trying to roll out of it.

I'd just like to say that rolling out of pins is my pet peeve. Mostly because that when I feel a person is gonna go for it, I just let go of them and allow them to roll. I'm not willing to risk injuring some one just to prove that my pin is awesome. lol

Lyle Laizure
08-04-2010, 09:57 AM
...and why?

When you're being pinned, at what point should you turn your face, so that you can't see tori/nage, and expose the back of your head?

I'd say: when tori has you secured...? - So that you stay 'live' until that point, and can take advantage of any openings that are presented...?
Am I wrong?

What are the opinions on this?

I think you should turn your head at the beginning of the pin. Better to get punched in the back of the head than in the face. You don't need to physically see an opening to take advantage of it.

Janet Rosen
08-04-2010, 09:58 AM
I'd watch out with that. You will get away with it with a loose or poorly executed pin. However, a well executed pin you are liable to injury your shoulder trying to roll out of it.


If its a well executed pin, I'm going to feel that before I try to roll out. I've seen young, flexible folks roll out of pins most of us couldn't and it is a wonderful reality check for those doing the pinning....

Lyle Laizure
08-04-2010, 10:01 AM
I was told the reason why we turn our heads away is because with Nikyo pins and Sankyo pins - it has something to do with the artery or something in your neck that when you turn your head to face the person pinning you will go unconscious. I remember Michael Williams Sensei told us something like that a month or so ago.

In short - don't face nage/tori when they are pinning because you'll put yourself to sleep very quickly.

Interesting. I know when I began Aikido I never turned my head away when being pinned, but I don't recall passing out. I will definately check this theory next practice.

C. David Henderson
08-04-2010, 10:09 AM
I don't recall passing out.

:D

RED
08-04-2010, 10:10 AM
If its a well executed pin, I'm going to feel that before I try to roll out. I've seen young, flexible folks roll out of pins most of us couldn't and it is a wonderful reality check for those doing the pinning....

Well yeah, frankly if the pin is well executed you are off ballance from the cut until the mat. There is no time, nor is there any footing to get in any real position to flip out.
I've seen people try to flip out anyways..and they jam their shoulder.

I would like to say that it is typically a new student that would try to flip out of a pin, mostly because you train slowly with new students to help them learn ukemi etc. Sometimes a new student might take advantage of the slowed down pace, and I've seen them try to flip out of it...again, if I ever come upon this I think I'd let go rather than risk injury.

Demetrio Cereijo
08-04-2010, 10:15 AM
I'd watch out with that. You will get away with it with a loose or poorly executed pin. However, a well executed pin you are liable to injury your shoulder trying to roll out of it.

I change a potential shoulder injure for the ability to avoid a beheading any day of the week. And there is always someone who thinks his/her pins are awesome...

[link deleted] 10:50 to 11:55

BTW, people is escaping from omoplatas (which is a thighter pin) rolling and nothing happens.

RED
08-04-2010, 10:59 AM
I change a potential shoulder injure for the ability to avoid a beheading any day of the week. And there is always someone who thinks his/her pins are awesome...

[Link deleted] 10:50 to 11:55

BTW, people is escaping from omoplatas (which is a thighter pin) rolling and nothing happens.

That video doesn't demonstrate anything about how rolling out of a pin is correct technique.

Just because nothing has happened to you yet doesn't mean it won't.
I have ,many times,adjusted a pin in the past for some one I knew wanted to roll out of it to allow their shoulder rotation. You can't take nage's corporation for granted.

The fundamental does not allow for flipping out. A proper pin has the uke's ballance from the cut. There is no time, nor is there footing for uke to gain rotation. If he tries to he is likely forcing rotation from the top portion of his body, not generating it from the ground up. In which case he would not be able to gain enough rotation fast enough, which could cause him to plant his face, shoulder, neck..ect unless his nage was helpful and seen that he was trying to gain rotation and helped him along for his own safety. Some school might practice this corroborative nage style by default for uke's safety, my school doesn't. The goal is always the ground.

Also there are many trajectories going on here. Not just the movement forward that takes you down to the mat. There is motion taking you around nage's center, out to the side. If you are forcing rotation forward, and nage has motion heading out forward, down and to the side you are fighting against his movement, which hyper extends the joint a bit. Spinning with a hyper extended join despite your dispute is dangerous. The join is weak in that position.

If your defense is that you've constantly being flipping out of pins, I'm sorry, those pins aren't pins. They are either done poorly, or nage is feeling merciful. Also sometimes Nage will take a pin into a projection throw... not the same thing as a pin.

In my humble opinion: I'm not doing Aikido for the sake of role-playing, or cost-playing here. In feudal Japan, yeah you might lose your head...but luckily this isn't feudal Japan. I've no delusions that I'm a Samurai. The threat of destroying your shoulder and ending your martial career is far more likely in the modern age than an imaginary Samurai beheading you.

Also, tighter pins are actually easier to gain rotation in, in my opinion. It is pins that take you out wide that robs you of your footing and rotation. Tight pins, even pins that go straight down, are extremely easy to spin out of... for me at least.

Gorgeous George
08-04-2010, 11:03 AM
The point that I believe is being ignored here is the role and importance of mutual courtesy, compassion and respect for the training objective itself. The training protocol, in Aikido especially, requires prudent and proven reigi or etiquette, providing realistic training for both nage and uke, in their respective roles that constantly reverse themselves for mutual benefit and balance.

In Aikido especially, the nage is given huge leeway in finishing the technique, which would be totally unrealistic and unacceptable for the uke to yield to in an actual confrontation, and life or death situation. Thus the agreement that uke allows the nage to perform the waza thoroughly without real resistance, and that the nage accepts the responsibility of keeping the uke safe from any real threat of harm, is the basis for Aikido's kata form of training.

The act of turning the face away at that point in the waza is simply uke's tacit acceptance of nage's superior position, which must then be acknowledged by nage's compassionate response and zanshin. There is no need to define winners or losers in this scenario. Properly executed, this form of training results in both being winners.

In oneness,

I totally understand, respect, etc. the purpose and form of aikido training; I think that you might have misunderstood me.
I'm not talking about resisting - which is fighting, essentially, and so not aikido - or being awkward: i'm talking about maintaining a connection, as uke, throughout a technique, so that it isn't dead, and aikido is being practiced by both parties. This connection means that if tori lets me up, I go up; if tori moves me down, I go down; if around, around - because i'm trying to stay connected.

When I am moved to a pin, there's a point at which it is futile and impossible to seek to maintain a connection with a view to moving into such an opening: it is at this point that I submit.
I was training with somone, doing ikkyo, who got to the part where we're both standing, and he's got my arm extended, but he just walked around, with us both like that, trying to get me to the ground, and ended up saying 'feel free to go down...'. A dan grade said to me that I should go down (rather than correcting his technique so that I would), and I said i'll go down if i'm made to; she said 'Well we're not into hurting each other here' in a patronising, dismissive tone. Surely if you need to hurt someone to aply ikkyo, that's not aikido...?
I just don't know how these people justify their approach.

The way I look at that is that I was maintaining a connection, receiving - as uke should - and responding to what was being done to me - which is the essence of aikido (as I understand it). If I took a dive, it wouldn't be aikido, the guy wouldn't ever get better, and he might end up getting seriously hurt if a real-life situation ever arose. He isn't doing the technique right, and that needs to be addressed, and resolved, rather than ignored.
...surely?

I know exactly what you're saying about 'tacit acceptance of nage's superior position' and submitting to another, and I agree.

With respect.

Rob Watson
08-04-2010, 11:27 AM
[Link deleted]

Copyright violation? Let's not encourage posting of these materials. Just buy the DVD http://www.aikidojournal.com/catalog/productdetails?code=dvd17

C. David Henderson
08-04-2010, 12:32 PM
When I observe strong differences of opinion categorically stated in a techincal thread, I find it valuable to know something about the poster.

For example, I am inclined to give a good deal of credence to the view of someone who has been training in mulitple MA since the late 1970's and has advanced to yudansha in a respected Aikido style.

If my view doesn't match, its probably worth thinking about why rather than just figuring I'm right.

I know I have abandoned many ideas about Aikido that once appeared self-evident. For which I am grateful.

Demetrio Cereijo
08-04-2010, 12:52 PM
That video doesn't demonstrate anything about how rolling out of a pin is correct technique.
....

The lady doth protest too much, methinks. :)

Anyway, sorry for the Budo video. Jun, delete the link please.

Janet Rosen
08-04-2010, 12:54 PM
Also, tighter pins are actually easier to gain rotation in, in my opinion. It is pins that take you out wide that robs you of your footing and rotation. Tight pins, even pins that go straight down, are extremely easy to spin out of... for me at least.

AHA! I think part of the problem is that you and I are talking "apples and oranges." I only use the term "pin" to mean the final application once uke is planted face down on the mat.

It is very possible, and not unusual in my experience, for a person to do an excellent ikkyo or nikkyo opening and takedown but still blow the final pin.

And one way to know the final pin is not effective is when uke kicks legs up and over the outside shoulder and rolls out of it.

aikishihan
08-04-2010, 12:59 PM
Thank you for your excellent follow up clarification, Graham!

I acknowledge your viewpoint of connectivity between partners, and agree that this should be one goal of training honestly.

In Oneness

Gorgeous George
08-04-2010, 01:18 PM
Thank you for your excellent follow up clarification, Graham!

I acknowledge your viewpoint of connectivity between partners, and agree that this should be one goal of training honestly.

In Oneness

No problem - glad it made sense, haha. :)

RED
08-04-2010, 01:42 PM
AHA! I think part of the problem is that you and I are talking "apples and oranges." I only use the term "pin" to mean the final application once uke is planted face down on the mat.

It is very possible, and not unusual in my experience, for a person to do an excellent ikkyo or nikkyo opening and takedown but still blow the final pin.

And one way to know the final pin is not effective is when uke kicks legs up and over the outside shoulder and rolls out of it.

That is a very good point. You really can't start calling it a pin until it... pins! :freaky:

Janet Rosen
08-04-2010, 01:59 PM
That is a very good point. You really can't start calling it a pin until it... pins! :freaky:

Maggie, it actually depends on the dojo or the instructor.

Some will talk about "applying the pin" when the hand/wrist position is placed at the start of the technique.

I tend to talk about that as applying a "lock" (working on locking up through the distal joint up through the limb and to uke's center) and reserve the "pin" for the final control.

Semantics...will get us every time!

Russ Q
08-04-2010, 02:18 PM
[QUOTE]The point that I believe is being ignored here is the role and importance of mutual courtesy, compassion and respect for the training objective itself. The training protocol, in Aikido especially, requires prudent and proven reigi or etiquette, providing realistic training for both nage and uke, in their respective roles that constantly reverse themselves for mutual benefit and balance.

In Aikido especially, the nage is given huge leeway in finishing the technique, which would be totally unrealistic and unacceptable for the uke to yield to in an actual confrontation, and life or death situation. Thus the agreement that uke allows the nage to perform the waza thoroughly without real resistance, and that the nage accepts the responsibility of keeping the uke safe from any real threat of harm, is the basis for Aikido's kata form of training./QUOTE]

Takahashi Sensei...thank you! These paragraphs clearly speak to many "Why do we do this?" questions on the forums....we should make this a pat answer:-)

Cheers,

Russ

Russ

ninjaqutie
08-04-2010, 04:31 PM
I was told at one point (provided it is a good pin), that you are basically done for (by that person) and you should turn your head the other way to keep an eye out for what else may be coming. I'm sure it is a safety thing too though. When I first started, I kept my face towards nage. I had to learn to turn it the other way. From experience though, I find it more comfortable to have the pin done while I'm looking away, rather then looking back at nage.

raul rodrigo
08-04-2010, 08:17 PM
I turn my head because in my dojo on a sankyo lock, the tori's knee is placed very close to the head--too close on many occasions. I'd rather the back of my head got hit by a knee than my nose. As for leaving the back of my head open, all I can say is, if tori knows what he's doing, then he can pretty much do all the damage he wants to me, and the position of my head won't matter much. If he doesn't, then I can get out. I know one escape with the face pointed away, another where uke faces toward tori and rolls him over into an armbar. But as you say, it only works if the "pin" doesn't pin.

Walter Martindale
08-04-2010, 10:36 PM
Front - fleshy painful parts, vulnerable eyes, delicate bones.
Back - mostly thick bone.

Not even a close call in my opinion.

Mark

Front - you can see it coming and possibly shift to avoid. Back - Area 17 (IIRC) in the brain - smack there and you're temporarily blind. Trust - turn your head away so your partner's knee doesn't muck up your nose during the pin - he or she is there to learn as are you. In a "real" situation with the adrenalin pumping and life on the line, you're not going to LET your "partner" pin you - it's going to be an all out scrap for survival, and (while I've never been in such a situation) I suspect you want to observe your enemy, so you can be proactive in the fight.. Trust - you're training, not fighting. You train with a partner, if it happens to be a fight, the person is not a training partner, but is an enemy.

Walter

Rob Watson
08-04-2010, 11:46 PM
tori's knee is placed very close to the head--too close on many occasions.

The last couple of months (maybe more) we've been adjusting the position of the knee to the top of the head. I never asked why but it does seem like a safer place to go to avoid accidents like a knee to the face/base of skull. I'd guess I'd better ask about it now.

Flintstone
08-09-2010, 07:36 PM
And here's a newbie arguing with a yudansha about rolling out of a pin. Ahhhh... the beauty of democracy. And they have a vote!

danj
08-09-2010, 07:47 PM
rolling out of the ikkyo pin?...do nothing special, just finish the movement for a kotegaeshi instead ;)

Gorgeous George
08-10-2010, 10:07 AM
rolling out of the ikkyo pin?

There's an example at about 2:45 of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D10w1VFGZh0

Kevin Leavitt
08-10-2010, 10:34 AM
On thing I have noticed over the years is that you someone can only turn in the direction their head is facing. If you try to do the opposite then your spine will be twisted in two direction and you simply don't work that way.

It may be proper etiquette in aikido to "yield" to your nage at some point on the continuum/spectrum of the "take down" and the "pin" (depending on where/win you "agree" that it occurs). However, which ever direction you face your head, is the direction you can head in!

For most "takedowns" such as ikkyo, if you turn your head outward, then you can no longer escape since you reallly need to turn inward in order to reverse the action of nage.

I will only turn my head outward if I am being polite or it is very obvious that nage has such a decent pin that I cannot escape. Even then, I will sometimes turn my head back in, when I am very low to the ground, start moving my hips through and off balance nage for a reversal. Especially if nage is forward weighted on my arm or not exercising tactical awareness...which I find happens alot in aikido as we tend to "believe" that the "fight" is over WAY before it might actually be over because of "Aikido training affects".

This become abundantly clear to me from grappling/BJJ which operates on a much tighter and smaller basis.

So, I think that while turning your head out may protect your face, it is also a huge sign for me that the uke is done and can no longer...or is not willing to fight me any longer for most face down pins such as we see in ikkyo.

Michael Hackett
08-10-2010, 04:35 PM
Kevin,

Have you ever tried a "sit-out" from an ikkyo pin? I'm thinking of the traditional wrestling sit-out. Nage is taking you to the mat by your LEFT arm. You plant your RIGHT foot and shoot your LEFT leg and foot through under your own arm. From there you should be able to roll inwards to a takedown of your own. I'll give it a try in class tomorrow to see if it works - the idea just came to me as I was reading your post.