Friday, June 26, 2015

Training 2015/06/19 #024 -- kotegaeshi and hands free rolling

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 shomen-tsuki attack:

  1. Pivot and block. Don't let that punch come in.
  2. Control the wrist and keep pivoting. You really need to come around almost 180 degrees.
  3. 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 effective.
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!

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