josh phillipson (thisisnotreal) wrote:
Craig, Can you please elaborate on the systema - 'flat-footed' drills?
Let me think for a few days if I can describe it without butchering the process. I kind of wanted to fly it by the Systema guys at the Expo to see if they had suggestions.
Oh hell, here is a stab at it.
Here is one exercise I adapted for my advanced class last Thursday that could give you an idea. The Systema exercise is to stand square in front of a partner within striking distance. In SLOW motion your partner does a left jab to your head, you bring up your right hand to the outside of his forearm. Crucial part here -- With palm contact you brush his forearm/fist rolling your palm (palm facing away from your face turns 180 to face toward your face) while at the same time turning your head /shoulders to your left looking in the direction the jab is going. His fist should just go past your right cheek with your right hand in between. As he withdraws, you return to your original position but your right hand remains in front of your face. Repeat slowly several times and try the mirror opposite in response to a right jab. When you get a feel for the lead/blending/aiki of it then you can increase the speed slowly. The movement of you hand /body becomes like a spring - bends/turns and snaps back. Stay centered in your movement as speed increases.
The next step is have your partner do a left jab followed immediately by a right jab with power in SLOW motion. We eventually varied the kind of second punch including a hook, it all worked, it justs changes the final throw. Again. respond to the left jab as described above, but when the right fist comes as your are returning to the original position intercept/connect the lower forearm with the back of your right hand and rotate your palm away from your face (vertical axis of rotation is your thumb) as you move with the punch turning you head/shoulders to your right looking over your right shoulder. Repeat slowly making sure your partner doesn't introduce any artificial pauses so that you can get used to the 1-2 timing of a jab-punch. Do it also starting with a right jab. Go very slowly till you get comfortable. Speed up slowly. Get the feel of it down before even thinking about a throw.
Once you are feeling confident about it. Slow down and start to explore what standard aikido you know might work. Once you got some ideas, speed up slowly and see how it feels. Our solutions may not be your solutions.
Since it was an advanced class and everyone was catching on pretty well, we were by the end dealing pretty successfully with random full speed jab-punch combinations starting with either arm and while moving.
I have students with a good amount of experience in the percussive arts (kenpo in one case and for another full-contact karate competition when he was in the Navy Seals for example), so I take the big grins on everyones face at the end of class as evidence of a successful experiment.