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Old 02-24-2012, 07:54 PM   #2
Byron Foster
Dojo: Aikikai
Location: Los Angeles
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 20
United_States
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Re: It Had to be Felt #4: Arikawa Sadateru: "Please, put your hand Down!"

Back in 1991, I trained at the Hombu for about a year. I was quite young and junior, I had just gotten my 4th kyu.

After about my 10th class with Arikawa Sensei, he came over to correct me and my partner. It was morote-tori Kokyu-ho, the main staple of his classes at the time. After watching the vigor he used in throwing his uke's, I grabbed on as hard as I could, staring down at his rather powerful forearm.

I waited, nothing happened.

I waited a bit longer, nothing still happened.

I then looked up and made eye contact with him. It seems this is what he was waiting for. He smiled and used his tongue to push out his dentures and wiggled them around a bit. I was a bit shocked and my grip relaxed.

Then whoosh, my feet were in the air and I seemed to land on the mats with the same body position I had when I was standing. There was no bending in my body, my waist did not move and my arms joints did not move. I was just standing, then I was in the air, then I was on the mats. There was no transition between those positions.

I cannot remember anyone else throwing me quite the same way. How far my feet went up in the air really impressed me at the time. I was not thinking about taking ukemi, I was thinking about his teeth moving around in his mouth.

Looking back on him now, Arikawa Sensei had a amazing ability to "drop in his base" when he threw. Not many can replicate that.

Well, that is my memory of taking ukemi from a master.

Last edited by Byron Foster : 02-24-2012 at 08:04 PM.
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