Little House In Ise

Small Fish, Deep Pond
February 3, 2008, 17:05
Filed under: Aikido, Expat, Japan | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

My moment of Aikido Hubris has passed. Fortunately, I wasn’t injured during my epiphany.

At Mie-Ken Aikidokai I was a relatively strong yudansha. At a Honbu, I am very much in the light-weight division. For a moment or two, I thought (hoped really) that I was going to fit right into training and it would be a smooth transition. Once again, I have found that learning experiences are rarely smooth. The technical strength of the students at Honbu, on average, is much stronger than most of the strongest uke that I have been training with for the last several years. I am humbled by these people. Every time I train there I feel a greater resolve to grow and improve. Most striking, to me, is that it is my ukemi that I find needs the most improvement to start with.

The improvement that I am looking for isn’t about taking flashy high falls or uber smooth rolls. Both are good goals but I am thinking more about the need to blend when I am on the attack. I find that this is especially true in the more “mundane” acts of ukemi as are required during ura variations of the to ikyo-gokyo series. Ahhh… growing pains!

On a technical note, I learned a new pin in Yokota Shihan’s class. After an irimi nage (入り身投げ) the nage often ends up standing above uke who has their back on the ground and an arm extended up to defend their face. This exposes nage’s back to a kick from uke on the ground. Nage can shove their off-side toe under the shoulder (requires switching stance) of uke and then use uke’s extended arm as a lever (nage’s shin is the fulcrum) to cause uke to desire strongly to turn over. As nage, care must be taken to do this slowly and smoothly as it may not be obvious to uke how to respond — this one can be a bone breaker if uke resists.

Happy rolling!


4 Comments so far
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I’m relatively new, so I thought I’d feel equally inept anywhere, but I felt especially clunky when I visited the Aikido dojo in India. Some of it was the discomfort of being out of familiar surroundings, but different dojos have different strengths I guess.

Comment by little cricket


That’s pretty common. Try not to sweat it. In fact, once you get a little more accustomed to your own dojo’s way of doing things you may start to enjoy the out-of-your-comfort-zone feeling that found when visiting a new dojo.

The thing about Honbu that is blowing me away is that almost all of the students in the morning class really should be called “sensei”. Many (most?) run their own schools and just do their personal training at Honbu. Almost every day I have been partnered with sempai who are so far beyond my level that it is a challenge to provide a challenge for them!

I am really getting my ass kicked — in a good way!


Comment by Eric Holcomb

Cool blog! I’m adding you to my links.

Comment by Uchi Deshi

Thank you!

Comment by Eric Holcomb

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