Little House In Ise

Ushiro Waza — 後ろ技
May 16, 2008, 11:18
Filed under: Aikido, Japan | Tags: , ,

After reading item #17 on autrelle’s list of 20 ways to enjoy your Aikido more (it really got me thinking) I have decided to focus my upcoming training on making my worst into my best. My worst is not a specific technique but rather my handling of techniques in general from ushiro ryou te dori (後ろ両手取り : both hands grabbed from behind).

Ushiro waza have been a weakness of mine. It stems from the period earlier in my Aikido career in which “martial integrity” was my most important criteria for judging techniques and principles. I could never really justify the way the ushiro techniques were practiced. So, I neglected them. Also, like the surgeons in the Far Side cartoon standing around a patient saying “I didn’t study spleens”, ushiro waza haven’t been emphasized in some of the dojo where I’ve trained.

So, with all that in mind, I was delighted to see that Doshu was focusing on ushiro ryote tori this morning. Since I am still sidelined I had to sit and watch. There was a pair of young men of similar height and build and of excellent technical proficiency upon whom I focused. Both were extremely clean in their movements and it was easy to see that one was concentrating on keeping his elbows in until some moment, clear only to him, when he could extend and unbalance the other. The other fellow was all about continuous fluid motion. Up and out, down and around, he was a wonderful example of movement and flow. I made mental notes of things I wanted to try the next time I get an opportunity. That will have to do for now…

What is you weakest technique or area? How will you improve it?


12 Comments so far
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Aaaah, my hands still hurt from a week ago, ushiro class of Seki and a huge strong partner. Otherwise, the best answer for weakest technique: ikkyo 😉
a happy yonkyu (getting the diploma today!),

Comment by Kadi

.. and how to improve, the classic 4 P-s… but not the marketing P-s (product, place, price, positioning), nor even just repetition (practice * 4), but a “peaceful patient & permanent practice” 😀

Comment by Kadi

So far mine is has always been suwariwaza, because my knees are shot out. I don’t know quite how to improve it without injuring myself further.

Comment by autrelle

I saw your name posted on the board and have been wanting to congratulate you. Very neat! One more and you can wear the skirt, right?

Thanks for stopping by!

I can sympathize with your bad knees — that seems to be a common failing in Aikidoka. Is your problem moving on you knees or just plain bending them? If the former, knee pads and slooow understanding partners are about all that I can think of. But for unbending knees, there is a fellow at Honbu who brings a little camp stool to class and sits in the corner. He uses it for kokyu-dosa. Everything else he does standing.

Take care!

Comment by Eric Holcomb

High falls. Dislocated a toe on a koshi nage and have involuntarily been gun-shy ever since. Not because I’m afraid of the dislocation, but rather the inconvenience and burden of limping around. I just try to take easy high falls whenever I can (without tossing myself unnecessarily) and figure the more I do, the more natural it will become.

Comment by userhacker

If high falls are your issue, I highly recomend taking any opportunity to train with Frank Ostoff and Jan Nevelius that might come your way. Anyone who plans to continue doing Aikido as they age should consider the strains that ukemi repeatedly puts on their body. These sensei teach ukemi variations that are better suited to reduceing those stresses and that includes soft high-falls. Really, those guys are good!


Comment by Eric Holcomb

Koshinages are still my worst. I’m slowing them down and working on my balance.

Comment by Uchi Deshi

Just found this link in my old email.
Have you any interest in Aikido?

Comment by colm

I’m with Uchi Deshi; koshinage! But sometimes they are ok. My worst technique varies from day to day. Right now I am getting ready for shodan, so sometimes things go really well and other times, uh, not so great.

Comment by Karen

Hi Uchi Deshi:
Yeah, my buddies from jujutsu tend to ridicule Aikido koshinage a lot. Most of us just don’t train it that much. There are entire ryu where it’s pretty much been eliminated from the sylabus (Hi Dave!). In the short few months that I’ve been training at Aikikai Honbu, Koshinage have only been taught once that I have seen. So, if you’re interested in koshi, and I don’t want to sound like a broken record, Frank Ostoff and Jan Nevelius teach koshi nage in such a way that everything becomes koshinage. They are not my personal stylistic gurus but I respect them a lot. If you get a chance, try going to one of their seminars.

Howdy Karen:
Good luck on your test! Any idea what will be thrown at you? I look forward to reading about it.

Hey Colm:
No, I don’t have any particular interest in Aikido. I’m the missing fifth Cylon and am trying to throw everyone off the path. So far, it seems to be working pretty well. Aikikai Honbu moved to Reykjavik in 1972 and I’ve really been studying Pachinko for the last twenty years. 🙂 How’s Toyama treating you?


Comment by Eric Holcomb

Toyohashi, and it’s pretty good. Don’t have an enormous amount to do in work though. Have a “band” if it can be charitably called that, and a football team that seems to be pretty decent.

Weird formatting issue, I can only see the first two thirds of the comment as I’m typing it here, the rest just goes over the edge.

Comment by colm

Oops, sorry! In my defense, Toyama is the name of the park behind my house. 😉

Comment by Eric Holcomb

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