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Worked on Nikyo and Gokyo last night. Nikyo is just a matter of practice and finesse (especially if you can spell it). Gokyo on the other hand is another matter.
First of all, Kato enters: always. Even when you blend, you blend in order to enter!
Second: he keeps uke and everything he's working with... in front of him. It helps to open up the hip on the technique execution.
Third: Keep it all UP. Whenever you receieve a technique, you need to keep it up and in front where you can work with it. If you cut the uke over, then they are headed down... or you are. Only cut em down when you WANT the uke down, otherwise, keep it out in front of you and even up to push their balance off.
SO... working on Gokyo last night, we all suddenly saw how his gokyo weapons work all fit with the techniqe. If you can do this weapons stuff, you have the technique down! I really saw how relaxed his technique can be by doing all these things. Getting good at them is the hard part. But with practice and patience (the two things I'm short on ) I'll get there.
Good classes though. Very good classes. Looking forward to tonight, if I can just get there on time...
God love Lan. That man can take more abuse and enjoy it than anyone else I know. (Well, I can take more abuse, but I don't enjoy it unlike him... sicko. )
Anyhow, last nights two hours was spent on... IKKYO! Woohoo! We did Katatae, Shomenuchi, Ushiro, Yokomen and Katatori attacks, Omote and Ura... all Ikkyo.
...and it was time well spent.
Last week, we made great strides into fixing problems with my footwork. This is a good thing: fixing footwork. Well, last night, Lan takes two hours of ukemi for me while I work on Ikkyo and break down the little things that will help me along the road to actually doing it COR-RECT-LY! Alas... only time will tell.
Corrections made: (In no particular order)
1) Hands - reaching over to capture the attacking hand, I found myself pulling the hand off too soon and I was loosing control of the uke when that would happen. ALSO, I was sometimes reaching OVER with that hand and not keeping a good kokyu hand position. These things are easily fixable, just take time and practice.
2) Footwork - Quit bringing that leg back! On the Ushiro attack, I would do the first blend only so much, needed to do more. Then as I turn Tenkai ( think, it was 180degree turn back to face the uke) I needed to leave that (new) inside leg forward. I kept bringing it back which would take me too far away from uke. Keep it forward, and cut! Also, as I'm cutting, bring that inside hand up to the elbow. Be sure I'm FACING the uke so I have room. If I'm not an
Oops! I had no idea I didn't get Tuesday's class entered in here. I was there... all two hours of it. It was a really good class, but man my memory must have gotten wipped by last nights class because ...
AH! Wait, I remember now. Tuesday we tested Mr. Derren Hill! That's what it was. He passed his test from 3rd to 2nd kyu. Did a pretty good job too! On his keitin nage (sp?) he was stepping behind the Uke as opposed to drawing his leg straight back. I caught that! (No one else mentioned it, ha!) Otherwise it was an excellent test.
Lots of hip! Yonkyo was brutally fast, dropped me like a rock.
Now then... LAST nights class. Two hours of "How to move your damn feet."
It was amazing. Sensei asked us what we wanted to do, as it was just two of us. Lan suggested we do jiyuwaza until he spotted something that we needed correction on.
Good thing he did to, because we hit on something major last night: Moving Off Line.
My footwork got all hung up so we switched to ryorandori. My footwork was even worse, so I suggested NOT using my arms at all, just stepping off line instead... Sensei agreed that was a good idea. Well, it went from bad, to worse... to worser...
I couldn't move my feet for $#!+! Argh! Like roots, they were. And I found out why:
"This is the line of attack." ----------------------------------
I love it when people get back from seminars: the class is pumped up, energized and full of life! Last nights class was no exception.
Did a lot off of tenshin movement last night. Kokyunage, sumi otoshi, shiho, Irimi off of a shiho. Tons and tons of stuff.
Things I picked up on:
Need more hip on Shiho, but the footwork needs to be more precise. Uke was ending up beside me or sometimes behind me when I was going for the cut.
Breathing - Kato Sensei started doing a misogi breathing that he claims has helped his health a great deal. I'm looking forward t learning more about that and actuaally making time to do it.
So much more, but I'm too tired to go into it right now. Anyhow... 2 more hours!
Sensei Riggs, Couch, Lan, Derren & Mike C. all attended a seminar in Houston with Kato Sensei. Hiroshi Kato Shihan has officially announced taking Sensei Riggs as a student, and now Aikido of Midland is affiliated with the Suganami dojo's of Japan and the Aikikai Hombu. VERY exciting stuff! (I was unable to attend, but I'll catch in in Oct/Nov.)
Lan was tested for Shodan and passed the exam! YEAH! Congrats Mr. Lan Man! Lan Powers in an excellent student and aikidoka... very proud of him. (Good job, Lan!)
Sensei Riggs again took up the baton of "subtle things" that Kato does that help make a difference. Last nights class consisted of a few of these:
Ikkyo - We did this off of the lapel grab, wrist grab and shomen strike. Slight adjustments were made to our footwork, putting more emphasis on moving the hip first and following through with the hips. Also, it was important not to just "walk in" on the uke, but that after the cut down is made, to draw the uke across. It really takes the uke's balance!
Things I need to work on would be the hip movement as well as lowering my center to get more UNDER the uke. I found I was collapsing my arms to get under their arm. Big NO NO!
Shihonage - Did this off of the wrist grab and yokomenuchi strike. On the wrist grab, we started staticlly and again, worked on hip movement first.Also, bring everything UP! EVERYTHING needs to come up! The hands grasping the uke's wrist need to be in front of your forehead just as or befo
Sensei is getting ready for the Houston Seminar and the Embukai that they have planned. He needs to do a 10 minute demonstration, which we worked on a little bit last night. It's pretty cool: Sensei has developed a "one handed" tenchinage throw that is really rather compelling. You don't have much choice but to go and take the fall. Tenchi means "Heaven and Earth" and usually one hand is high (heaven) and the other is low (Earth). But in this technique, one hand is first one thing and then the other.
Kind of his own creation, as he's never seen anyone else do it. I'm curious to hear what Kato Shihan thinks of it?
So, first half of the class, we worked on the demonstration stuff, and we all took ukemi for it.
Second half of class, I worked with Ben Rodriquez, a new student. He should be testing in a month or so. We went back to square one and started at katate dori ikkyo and went over the technique, omote and ura, a good number of times. On the shomenuchi, even I had confusion on that one. Before, doing AAA style, we never did ikkyo from a shomenuchi attack... ever! It was always off of a grab. So now I feel like I'm learning a whole new MA or something.
Things started to click and come together though. The foot work was throwing me off, but I think that is all "re-wired" now. Was a good class all in all.
Still pending Jun's approval, but I've posted 9 pictures on my Gallery and found that by clicking on "Pending Approval" I was still able to see the pics. That's cool!
Anyhow, hope everyone checks em out. I'm very pleased with them and with the banner. Don't know if Sensei will be able to use it, but I may give him the banner to take to Houston in case he wants to set it up down there.
Class tonight! Hope I'm ready... I'm STILL a little sore from last week! I guess maybe I should say "weak" instead? Ugh...
Well, this weekend was a great one! I'm still sore from Thursdays class, but Saturday, 5 of us showed up at the local "Celebration of the Arts" in downtown Midland to put on a demonstration!
Sensei Riggs, Mike Cervantes, Johnny Couch, Me and Benjamin (new student) were all there and put on a pretty good show. Sensei did a number of various techniques, lots of kokyu, shiho, katame waza of course. Later, he did some weapons take-aways and finished off with some Jo work.
I got lots of pictures (thanks to my lovely wife Leslie, "Thanks Darlin'!") and I'll be submitting a bunch of the photos to be posted on the Aiki-gallery.
Thanks to Sensei Randy Shoupe for coming up from San Angelo to support us. He and his lovely wife have become great friends of us in Midland, and Randy Sensei will be traveling to Houston with Riggs Sensei to visit Kato Shihan and attend the seminar the first weekend of June.
Thanks also goes out to Donna Cervantes for wrangling kiddos while her husband was off playing... and for her manning the camera, allowing us to get the demonstration on video.
Special Thanks goes out to my wife, Leslie. The day before the demo, I went to the store and bought a 6'x9' canvas, paint and brushes and stayed up till 2:30am painting the kanji on the future "banner." Then I woke Leslie and she not only painted in the stenceled letters of "Aikido of Midland," but she also created stencels and painted the phone number as well... stayed up till 8:30am