Friday, June 26, 2015

Training 2015/06/26 #025 -- guillotine defense and double lapel grip break

It was a fun day. We do some warm-ups and a bit of no-gi rolling. It feels good to take off the jacket for a bit. Ironically, we later learned a technique that required the drill. First, some review:

Guillotine defense
I've talked about this one before I think. Basically, you go for the double leg and you screw it up. Maybe you were tired. Regardless, you get caught in the guillotine. The first thing you need to do is defend.

  • Brace your outside hand just above your partner's knee. Ideally, you want your fingers in (i.e., between their legs) so you will have to rotate your hand. This hand is to prevent your opponent from lifting you up. For me, I kind of wedged by elbow into my hip so that I was supported. 
  • Move the other hand up over your partner's shoulder in a klondike grip. This hand probably isn't as important as the other one. It's really to prevent your partner from rotating. Sensei suggested that we take a very deep grip but, since we were no-gi, I found myself looking for a grip on the shoulder blade.
We didn't do the next steps but I remember what they are. Step around and block their knee with yours. You essentially want to be cross body and take them down. You will be in side control. Go for the kimura on their wrist, etc.

Double lapel grab to chin strap
This technique is a bit of a home brew but is great. On the syllabus, it is listed with title:
  • Double lapel grab, cross under and pull far elbow across while stepping to side with chin strap takedown
Perhaps it would be shorter in Japanese. Regardless, the approach is relatively simple. In the past we had talked about doing an ikajo-style defense but this one works better.
  • Your partner takes a double lapel grib
  • Lower your base and stay loose
  • Reach under their arms and grab their opposite elbow from underneath.
  • Pull your elbow to your hip while rotating. By connecting their elbow to your hip, you are very strong and you have all of the leverage. Ideally, this rotation will give you kuzushi.
  • Reach around their back to secure the chin strap. This move is kind of like an arm drag to take their back. In this case you want to reach around to grab their chin with a kind of sokumen entering move.
  • Pull their head up in back in the opposite direction. This move will really stretch out your partner and they will go down. It should feel like that tipping sensation you get with shiho nage. As they go down, get your knee into their belly. Their hand will probably still be caught up in your gi so you now have options: armbar, bow-and-arrow with the chin strap, etc.
I like this move because it really demonstrates a lot of basis (e.g., connection to centre, kuzushi, etc.). It also works in a very small radius with some tight hip movements. We also tried it from a suwari/kneeling position and it still worked.

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!