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05-06-2001, 03:09 AM
Hello thanx for the helpful replies in my other posts. Just last week our class did suwari waza shomenuchi irminage. I found this to be a particularly tuff technique. I shall list them out as follows:
1. I found it difficult to enter behind(the negative side)my uke when he executed a shomen strike(both of us are in suwari). I was taught by my sensei to enter with my front knee, yet another instructor told me to use my back knee to enter.
2. Turning irimi has on my knees was murderously difficult. For one, i couldnt get enough momentum. I was told to do the irimi on my knees by raising the hind leg and pivoting on the forward knee i think, but it is hard to do this for suwari waza iriminage when im supposed to enter with my front knee in the first place.
3. Ok this might make me sound like a wuss but why was i the only one i class to shed so much skin from my knees when turning irimi-tenkan? I know gozo shioda and the old guard went thru this...but its odd when no one else seemed to have such problems...issit somthing wrong with my technique.
thanks guys, open to any comments and helpful suggestions.
05-06-2001, 07:12 AM
1. ask the instructors in private...probably has to do with uke's reach, attack speed, attack stance, or nage's desire to shield his body with his advancing leg
2. if you advance on the lead/front knee to an attack going from gyaku to ai hamni, you will need to take a cross step with the back leg, then tenkan.
3.yes, you are a wuss. just kidding. are you using a light karate gi vs others in a judo/aikido gi with padded knees? are you remembering to move the back leg as you move the front, so your feet stay together and your weight over them? sometimes folks leave the back leg behind, and their weight gets off center, makes it hard to keep their balace, especially with uke attached, and can put undue weight directly on the front knee.
Are you doing suwari waza on mats? If not, it probably will hurt your knees.
I remember doing a course with a japanese bloke (can't remember his name as it was a good few years ago) and he expected us to do suwari waza at the same miai as standing techniques. This meant you literally leapt using your knees - very difficult at first but it made standing technique seem like a breeze.
1) As far as the technique goes, I am used to making only a slight move in with the forward knee, followed by the major movement as the rear knee drives in and I tenkan. Not much to suggest except to carefully observe your sensei or ask for help.
Hopefully I can be more helpful on the knee issue...
2) I have been taught to keep my heels tight under my bum. Movement comes from the hips pushing the legs forward not from walking on the knees - this keeps most the weight off the knees and means they suffer less trauma. I found that this really improved for me when I took to practising a little every day (rather than a lot whenever the teacher decided it was a suwari waza class). 5 minutes every day going forward, backwards, irimi tenkan and sideways really paid off very quickly.
3) I too have suffered the skin loss thing. Not pleasant and there is a big risk of infection. (I have ended up in hospital with a leg infection so do not take it lightly). Firstly I find wearing a hakama really helps because it provides an extra layer to slide over my dogi pants. If you are not allowed to wear hakama then another thing you can do is shave or wax your knees. I know this sounds strange but it worked for me - much of the trauma can be due to the hairs being pulled out. Each time this happens a little bit of skin goes with it. Racing cyclists shave their legs for exactly this reason - the lack of hairs reduces road rash if (when) they crash. I used wax strips just on and around the knees, and found that it helped a great deal and enabled me to build thicker skin over the knee too. Now I wear hakama I don't need to bother any more.
Finally a word on the "wussy" thing. I know of two senior sensei who are no longer able to do suwari waza, or even kneel in seiza, because of knee problems. They probably wish now that they had been more lenient on their bodies. Personally I want my body to last at least another 60 years and after some years of pushing it hard have realized I had better be kind to it. So I don't see anyting wrong with looking after your body and if anybody thinks you are wussy for it then that is their problem, right?
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