Hitting People with Sticks
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Aikido – on moving and leading

I generally get to class early on Tuesdays and Thursdays, because I go directly there from work.  As a result, I got to watch one of the younguns in the kids class test for a new rank.  It was interesting and gives me a chance to see what’s likely in store for me – Enso Aikido generally requests a test after about six months, I believe.  It looks like Phil, the instructor, is very fair and welcoming, but certainly doesn’t make it a walk in the park.  He wants to see what you can do and how well you perform under pressure.

The rolling is coming along.  I’m still the slowest (one can hardly blame me after only two and a half weeks of classes), but at least I’m not having my hand held anymore.  I do want to figure out if there’s a way to avoid the dizziness that happens when I try to move too quickly – I may just have to learn to deal with it.

We did a neat little exercise that included quickly crossing one foot in front of the other to drop down, bending at the elbow (when uke grasps one arm in both hands), lifting out and stepping through to throw him.  I had a bit of trouble finding the correct pivot point.  It seemed to work best when I thought of the pivot being between uke’s hands on my wrist, but I still felt like I was pushing with my shoulder and legs too much.  This should be all about physics, not brute strength.  Something to think about.

We also did some grappling on the ground, both an arm bar and a triangle choke with a lot of lapel-grabbing and grunting involved.  While this was interesting, I really wonder how one pulls off something so involved at speed.  There’s a lot of “put your leg here, slide your arm under (not over) to grab here” stuff that I bet I’d have trouble with, especially when your opponent is actively trying new stuff to avoid you.

Finally, we did a randori exercise at the end of class.  I still get a bit hyped up during these, and need to learn to relax and apply techniques rather than flailing like a landed tuna.

Definitely still loving the class.  Phil has put up a blog, and I’ll be keeping track of it.

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2 Responses to “Aikido – on moving and leading”

  1. Hiya,

    At first, most people have trouble with dizziness when rolling. Don’t worry, with practice and experience you will learn to do ukemi without becoming overly dizzy. This is especially true in the middle of class when you are practicing waza. When practicing ukemi itself, don’t shoot for speed. Really, doing the roll slowly but correctly is FAR more important than keeping up with everyone. Really. Seriously, learn it right first and, in ten years, your body will thank you. Learn it right and you’ll still be able to roll in your seventies. Really.

    Happy rolling,
    e.

  2. Hi Eric,

    Thanks for the advice! I do have this tendency, like most people, to want to be good at something right away, and it can be frustrating to watch other people do it so effortlessly. Then, of course, I realize how much longer they’ve been doing this, and I feel a bit better.

    Besides, I really can’t expect *that* much out of myself after three weeks of class, can I!


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