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Aiki-Log -- Class #10
Thursday, September 2, 2004 -- 7:30pm
Before class, Sensei was helping a 7th kyu with his forward rolls by working on his extension. At first the student was basicially tipping over forward into the roll (much like I still do). Sensei put a 1x1 foot square riser (used to elevate aerobic stepping platforms) down for him to jump over for his roll. He continued by stacking more on top, then put the stepping platform on top. Then he switched to extending it out instead of up. He went back to one riser, but put another one behind it. By the time Sensei was done the student was jumping forward over 4 of them lined up end-to-end. When I asked, Sensei said his record was jumping / rolling over 7 students bent over kneeling side-by-side!
Class began with more test prep. I continued to work with whomever needed a partner. I'm covering a lot of good ground, but still have quite a ways to go before I've relearned what I used to know as 7th kyu.
Sensei demo'd a bokken technique that started with uke doing a tsuki (thrust) and shite blocking with a very subtle movement... stuffle in, your blade to the left of uke's, rotating your bokken clockwise so that the back of your blade slid against uke's. Continue forward with the sharp edge of the blade sliding against and past uke's neck on the right (yours, not theirs). A BIG cross step to get behind uke, reaching under the tip of your blade (the front is still across uke's neck) hooking your left elbow around the back of your blade, put your left hand behind uke's head and pivot back and to the outside. Uke's head comes off and you have a trophy to take home to the spouse and kids.
Then he showed an open handed technique with the same general structure. Uke reaches in, shite shuffles forward, leading hand rotates palm up to the left of uke's arm, continuing forward until your hand goes past the right side of their neck. BIG cross step to get behind them then hook your left elbow under your right hand (your right forearm is still across their throat). Grab your left forearm with your right hand, put your left hand behind their head and (as Sensei says) "shrink wrap" to do a choke. Pivot back to the outside and away they go.
Sensei said the focus of the techniques were the same... shuffle, cross step, tenkan, pivot. "The stuff we're doing with our hands just makes it interesting."
I had a lot of trouble getting behind uke with the BIG cross step. Both I and my partner were tall, I wasn't getting their balance and I felt clumsy thru the whole thing. Oh well.