to cut it short
a very strong guy was trying to push his weight around during a concert today. When i approached him, he grabbed my two hands and i went into tenchinage....didnt work too well...see my earth hand went down well but the guy pushed against the hand that was going to heaven and i kinda got stuck. so anyway this guys a fellow schoolmate and he's kinda like a hi-hi fren with a major attitude.
so i pretended to smash his crotch with my knee and helet go after which i went on to simulate a few punches...i didnt really hit him cuz felt bad...but wat worries me is that my tenchinage failed to deliver in a sudden situation like that
i think that for one... i didnt step in deep enough to break his balance..two...i was pushing against his hand with my heaven hand...three...i need to relax more...has this happened to u guys before...
also..sorrie this is going on forever;)the ki trick of the unbendable arm...i applied a lot of visualization but cant seem to ignore the force being applied in the crook of the elbow. Hence my arm tends to bend a lot more
before its realli hard for pple to bend it or people actually succeed in pushing my arm to the ground. Any comments...
I would contest the fact that your earth hand was OK. The way I teach tenchi-nage usually is to unbalance the person with this earth hand, preferably with 'leading control' (i.e. as they reach for it you lead it down). Then you can throw them effortlessly (literally should be a tap) with the other hand. Also, with the heaven hand, it is useful to feed this up behind their arm (breaking the grip) and throw by holding under the armpit (this is easier if you are doing a tenkan version).
However this is not the only way, and (though I'm not good at this method) you can lead them back in to you, and then literally walk past them on one side (which is actually a very effective way of drawing their arm out to one side) whilst raising your heaven hand towards their face (and if necessary pushing through). The 'trick' here is to think of someone walking through one of those two section doors, but the top section is closed i.e. you want them moving towards you, and you stop the top section moving (allowing their centre to slide underneath your arms) without pushing forwards (which would just get resistence). Obviously timing is imperative.
For both of these two techniques the heaven hand should not be left behind (it should be in front of your centre) otherwise, it won't do anything.
However, I would not feel at all disconcerted. For one, Aikido is supposed to be 80% atemi (although I consider atemi to be real strikes rather than pretend ones), and also, aikido is great 'cos you can use proportional force to the attack. As it seems that this other bloke was not a real threat I would not worry. In addition, the fact that you are analysing this suggets that this won't happen again.
Although I wouldn't take my word for granted (a similar thing happened to me where I tried to do irimi nage on someone with their back to the wall - it pinned them for a while but it wasn't very good 'cos they were twice the size of me) I would suggest:
a. remember that if you have committed to a technique and it doesn't work, change immediately. A ryote-dori kote-gaeshi, ikkyo, nikkyo or shiho nage may have been good if there was no movment to work with.
b. I find tenchi-nage a great warm-up technique. Practise it regularly with multiple attackers with nice flowing movements, then try to simulate the problem with a friend and your sensei so you can see the body mechanics.
c. to me visualisation is to help your body mechanics and focus - it won't work if you're not doing the technique right. Also the techniques in aikido are not so much hand here/foot there, it is about learning WHY your hand goes there and foot goes there so you can take someone's balance whatever the movement.
Obviously your own sensei would be better advised as he may be able to see where the problem lies. However you must make a distinction between play-fighting and aikido. With Aikido everything has to count and you should not hold back from striking forceful atemis and succeding at all costs.
(sorry for the long e-mail - I did split it in two for convenience)
We had a course recently with a guy who spent the weekend on tenchi and aikiken mainly, and the simularity between them. (Malcolm Shewan, 6th Dan in Aikido and Iaido, very very good, and I'm not going to pretend I can transfer a lot of what he said cos I can't.)
One thing he was doing, which I found unusual, was working on what you're calling the sky hand. In one of the exercises we were simply raising it up _WITHOUT_ putting it outside ukes hand, if you see what I mean. He went to pains to point out that in a real situation they'd simply let go. We'd raise that hand straight, uke would be unbalanced (foot would raise a little), we entered, placed the other hand on the back of the neck, and downed the person. We also did it with uke executing a chudan-tsuki with free hand- I mention it because the step brings you just outside the punch, and it'll help you see what I'm saying.
We did exercises also where people held down the bokken, and we found how to raise it correctly, etc. So basically there was a lot of exercises to teach the principle of how to raise the hand.
And so to my point. I was explaining to somebody what we'd done, and got them to do katatedori. Because I knew I'd probably break the grip, I put my other hand on and raised mine (fairly gently). The unbalancing effect was pretty dramatic, and sure surprised me.
So I'm just hoping I explained well enough that you might be able to repeat some of the exercises we did. I hope it helps you with the raised hand. (I often find where I personally have difficulty raising a hand, it's because I'm pushing into somebody where just going straight up would work better.)
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