Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday, February 08, 2008

Shima Dojo 02/07/2008

Doug started with a quick update on the status of his instructor Ed Martin (aka. Papa-san) and the upcoming seminar he was supposed to hold this weekend. The seminar is still happening for a reduced rate with all proceeds going towards Papa-san's medical expenses. Good luck to Papa-san and I hope he has a speedy recovery.

We started class with some of the usual squat exercises and leg stretching. We also did the squatting and punching exercise again. This one had us squatting and throwing left and right punches as we move up and down. We didn't do any further stretching or traditional exercises but instead worked on a series of striking drills that I found were good and will include in my juunantasio/warm-up routine for a bit. The exercises consisted of two people standing across from each other within striking distance. Each one took turns performing a series of left and right strikes at certain targets on the head, torso and legs using a specific fist. The idea was to practice with all of the fists but only had time for the ones listed below.

  1. Fudo ken (ふどけん) to the nose, throat, solar plexus and inside of hips.

  2. Shuto ken (しゅとけん) to the temple (omo), neck (ura) and under ribs (ura then omo).

  3. Shikan ken (しかんけん) above and below adam's apple, solar plexus, under ribs and inside of hips.

  4. Boshi ken (ぼしけん) to the eyes, behind ears, between throat and sternum, ribs and inside of hips.

  5. Sokuyaku ken (そくやくけん) to the stomach, inside of hips and inside of knees.

  6. Shitan ken (したんけん) to the eyes, between throat and sternum, under ribs and groin.

Next, Doug had people demonstrate omote gyaku (おもてぎゃく), urate gyaku (うらてぎゃく) and musha dori (むしゃどり)followed by him showing a Papa-san version of the same technique. We practiced those six techniques for the remainder of the class.

Doug's schedule has returned to Tuesday and Thursday nights so I will hold class on Wednesday nights.


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Kihon Shibu 02/05/2008

With the nice weather we've been having the dojo was quite warm. I was also surprised to find Mike had joined us for the night's session.

We started the night with the regular じうなんたいそ followed by some うけみ。 After a short round of follow-the-leader to see where the weaknesses were we worked on よこ ながれ。Then we worked on ぜんぽう かいてん、こうほう かいてん and りょうて おてん。 I then put a medium sized obstacle on the floor and we proceeded to do おてん、とび、and ひちょかいてん over it.

Next, we worked on some material from the Zero Point Dojo. In particular we worked some distancing exercises, receiving exercises, and basic structure exercises. I've been incorporating some of this in every class lately because it is material I feel I should be working on. I've been doing these exercises before doing kihon training so that by the end of the kihon training we are incorporating the structure exercises into whatever basic was covered. This night it was more おもてぎゃく。

First, I reviewed the model of おもてぎゃく that was introduced during the last class. Then we did a version that Daryl told me he experienced recently that apparently came from some of Kacem's teachings. After that we did another version that was from a Kacem seminar that I attended in NYC.

We finished the class using the おもてぎゃく model against a fully resistant うけ。This allowed us to try to apply the exercises and principles from the Zero Point Dojo. This is how class has been ending lately and I think I will continue this format for a while.

Thanks for stopping by Mike!


Friday, February 01, 2008

Shima Dojo 01/31/2008

Why is time in such a hurry these days? Seriously, slow down.

After the じゅなんたいそ exercises I went into the quasi peer evaluation drill. I think I'll refer to this as the "spot check" from here on out. So, for the spot check all we did was ぜんぽうかいてん and こうほうかいてん。 The うけみ was okay for the most part but some of the common trouble spots were: direction, smoothness/quietness, the "landing", and doing the roll that was demonstrated (eg. left back roll instead of right). Now that we knew where some of the week spots were we could continue to fix them. I reiterated the points that I feel are required for good rolling. Then we practiced some ぜんぽうかいてん with and without using our hands. We also practiced こうほうかいてん with and without the hands. The arms/hands often become a crutch for こうほうかいてん。 I also explained a new exercise to hopefully help with こうほうかいてん。 Sit on the ground with your legs extended in front of you. Image a target above your shoulder right next to your head. Pull your knee in to strike the target on the same side of your body (eg. right knee, right shoulder) to propel you through the backward roll. After that we practiced よこながれ and たちながれ。 To wrap up the うけみ we did two rounds of follow-the-leader rolling.

Doug followed with some punching and receiving exercises. Each one had the うけ and とり in close range with a boxing style posture. One would jab and the other would shift back slightly and just touch the fist with an open palm. We did this back and fourth a few times with jabs and cross punches. Once we were comfortable with this the とり could then catch the cross punch in an armbar. I saw several places where the material Rob covered fit nicely and I tried my best to apply those principles. I think I'll revisit this exercise Tuesday to flesh out these principles more.

Next we quickly went through each of the とりてきほんがた with our partners taking turns applying and receiving. Those receiving the techniques were instructed to take うけみ but to look for ways to attack while doing the うけみ。 Class was finished with everyone demonstrating an example.


Thursday, January 31, 2008

Kihon Shibu 01/29/2008

Welcome to the club Mark!

We're starting to incorporate more juunantaiso into the training because it is something everyone needs. After that we continued to warm up with various ukemi. After the usual zenpou and kouhou kaiten I introduced jun nagare and gyaku nagare. Along with the usual points I emphasized rolling in a straight line. I think one reason why people have a problem with this is a lack of flexibility in the hips, which is just further evidence of the importance and need for increased juunantaiso. I'm also starting to incorporate the follow-the-leader ukemi exercises where we each take turns performing a serious of ukemi and everyone has to replicate the series. Something new that I'm also starting to incorporate is a type of peer evaluation. The reason for this is you may have weaknesses in your taijutsu and not know it unless someone points it out. I hope both of these exercises will help to develop the "eyes" to see what exactly is happening and to obviously identify weaknesses. As a side effect hopefully people will train as if their instructor or whomever to they look to is always watching them and therefore they would try to practice their best. We'll see how things go.

After the ukemi we did a round of sanshin no kata. It had been a while since we practiced it and with Mark there it seemed like a perfect opportunity to revisit it. It was just an introduction to refresh our memories of what each kata is made up of and what they are called. I plan on weening off the ukemi and rolling the sanshin back in since there is only one more ukemi to formally introduce and a few more points to cover before all there is left to do but practice.

Next we practiced more of the kuzushi exercises that are just as much learning for me as it is everyone else. We started with just using the shoulders and incrementally added more control points. Next week I'll bring a training guide and we'll practice the exercises within it.

I then introduced omote gyaku for the first time. We practiced it in a very simple fashion that didn't require much more than just doing a couple of ichimonji no kamae steps. The difficult part seemed to be how to grasp the uke's hand to apply the wrist lock or freeing the uke's grasp on the lapel. This lead nicely into the different levels of being an uke. Using omote gyaku as a model we practiced each of the four levels of compliance/resistance. It was at the 4th level of resistance that the kuzushi exercises were clearly applicable. So, we worked on that for a few minutes. As usual, when the technique fails move on.

We closed class with some free response exercises from a simple jodan tsuki. The only parts that were fixed were the uke's attack, the initial receive on the inside and no dakkentaijutsu. The focus here was more applied kuzushi using a light touch.

Gambatte kudasai!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Shima Dojo 01/24/2008

There was a pretty small turnout last night with seven of us total. Doug started the じゅなんたいそ with the regular leg stretches. Then we did some squatting exercises and the usual "one person against a wall and the other person pushing against the body" exercises. He then throw something new at us with regular sit-ups and reverse sit-ups. I'm really glad he did that and broke the ice to include some basic "exercise" exercises.

I started off with some deep かまえ which I will continue for a while to help condition the legs. From here I started again with the usual ぜんぽうかいてん and reiteration of the points of making the roll smooth. Then I moved onto こうほうかいてん then たちながれ、again reiterating the points of smooth rolling. We practiced these three rolls starting in かまえ and ending in かまえ。I wanted to get the point across that with a smooth, proper roll you can come up from the roll in かまえ with no effort other than what was put into the roll itself. Often times people will fumble around when attempting to raise up from the roll. Practice and applying the advice that is given is really the only way to get good うけみ。Actually that applies to any activity in life that one wants to improve on.

Next, to change things up, we practiced basic punching and receiving. With the じょだんつき we practiced improving the timing of the fist and foot landing at the same time. We'll have to spend some more time on that. As for the うけながし it was a simple receive and gave the とり something to do. Then I talked about four different types of うけ someone can be and how it is beneficial for the うけ and とり to practice being all of them. These fours types are: fully compliant, partially compliant, partially resistant, and fully resistant. After practicing each type of うけ with おもてぎゃく we practiced applying おにくだき to an うけ that was fully resistant. I repeated something that was said to me long ago and that is if the technique isn't working move on to something else. I then showed some simple examples of taking the structure, the くずし, when the うけ resists おにくだき。Surprisingly I didn't have any trouble applying おにくだき so my partners weren't putting up much of a fight. That concluded my time.

This material was a very different from what I usually open Doug's class with but it happened to flow right into what he wanted to cover for the rest of the night. I will be incorporating more of it though as we move along. By March I will have covered all of the うけみ I want to cover and hopefully I will have repeated myself enough times that everyone will feel very comfortable with hitting the ground rolling. Then we can move onto more interesting things.

Doug opened with a brief talk about tension and how it can apply to the first kata of this year's theme. He mentioned that when the うけ is pulling you on the third step of the kata he should feel as if he's just holding your arm and not pulling your entire body. In other words the とり should offer no resistance to this last tug. So we practiced this last pull a few times.

Next we assumed くみうち with a partner and practiced shifting each other around enough to take the balance and do simple take downs. We practiced this just briefly to lead into the next exercise where we did the same thing except this time the とり was supposed to offer no resistance or tension and to move around with the うけ to prevent any type of throw. This was done with the とりの eyes closed and should be fairly simple to prevent a throw.

Next we did some むとどり。When the cut comes とり pivots to the outside of the attack with your back to the weapon. How you stand in しぜんのかまえ is important to this first step. From there turn back to the うけ to apply おもてぎゃく with the sword or stick.

I believe that was it.

I found it interesting how Doug and I went to two separate seminars and we were both shown some common things.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Kihon Shibu 01/22/2008

Johnny and I spent a little bit of time doing うけみ and じゅなんたいそ。I showed all the mobility exercises that I could remember from the recent seminar then went down the list of stuff we did ending with one of the うけながし exercises.

It was colder in the dojo than it was outside. Other than that it was a good time.