Another quiet day at
the dojo. It was basically a private! I was feeling a little bit beaten up -- I
have to fix my back -- so we focused on a few different things.
First up was
meditation and using it to visualize and review technique. I was happy for the
opportunity to meditate.
We then did some
body-integration work and shared some ideas.
Then, some flow
rolling… but with a twist: no hands. It was amazing how focusing on legs really
changed the flow and dynamic. It really became all about base and positioning.
It was a great exercise for developing feel and some intuitive reaction.
Finally, we came
back to kotegaeshi. I really wanted to understand the strict Yoshinkan way of
doing things. In some ways Aikido can sometimes feel overly choreographed, but
those moves are always there for a reason.
Kotegaeshi from a
- Pivot and block. Don't let
that punch come in.
- Control the wrist and keep
pivoting. You really need to come around almost 180 degrees.
- Lock their wrist to your hip
and tenkan to break posture. This little detail is really interesting. You
basically need to pull your partner forward and break their balance. Grab
their wrist and keep in right on your hip. Now, they are essentially
extended and connected to your powerhouse. Turn your hips to full them off
balance. It is a surprisingly small movement but it is incredibly
- Pivot the other way. Ideally,
your partner is stumbling forward so you want to make some space by
pivoting your other foot back. Another tenkan will just bunch everything
up too much!
- Hit 'em! Or in
Yoshinkan-speak "apply the atemi". You will be pivoting around
to face them and you still control one of their wrists. The Yoshinkan way
is to apply a backfist to their nose. A standard hook -- maybe as a palm
strike so you don't screw up your fist -- or an elbow might work better.
- Apply the lock and roll the
wrist over. Get both of your hands on their one, and turn the wrist over
with an entering move.
- Lock out the elbow. They will
go down. Control the hand and the elbow and step around to keep them down.
The Yoshinkan dance moves are quite dervish-like. It's a controlled series
of pivots and steps, with this final pivot mirroring the pace and distance
of the first few. I'll just take what I can get!