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Notes from Yamagata sensei’s Class in Ono

by on September 12, 2013

This is an experiment. What you’ll find below are the kinds of notes I would typically take after a class during my time in Japan. They are definitely partial and cryptic. I’m not sure if anyone will find them useful or interesting, but I’ll try to post a few of these from this trip and see what the response is, if any.

9-12-13 aikido notes (Yamagata sensei’s class in Ono)

We did a series of techniques each beginning with uke grabbing both hands. I’ll list them quickly:

    Oshitaoshi: “shock” back into uke; pick a side; oshitaoshi with kotemawashi grip.
    Shihonage: palms up, hands butterfly, lower hand hooks elbow, upper hand tegatena stands up, bring uke to you, shihonage.
    Gyakugamaeate: hands don’t cross initially. Outside hand begins to turn out, then may stop in a laminated and parallel position. Inside hand does a standard close-type gyaku move.
    (these are definitely out of order)
    Kotegaeshi: the one Yamagata sensei showed was pre-empting uke’s grip, but it’s the same as if you allow uke to grip, and it’s easier to learn in this latter fashion. Outside hand crosses over back of hand to back of hand, proceed as expected.
    Like #4 Dai San suwariwaza: Go up, lifting uke up. Having reached the peak, drop straight down, right knee goes to the ground. Left hand is bringing uke behind you. Knees switch to end in the same position as #4.
    Maeotoshi: like shihonage, but the hand pops off and goes to a maeotoshi position.

Dai San: Suwariwaza:

    #2: 2nd leg needs to be MUCH quicker, almost immediate. I’m leaving it behind far too long.
    #3: be sure to get the knee out of the way. On the turnover you can invert the arm more.
    #4: The movement is more directly up at first. Yamagata sensei emphasized the cavitation of the back to make room to get around uke’s hands. I had been minimizing this and instead trying to more precisely find the jiku. Yamagata sensei then drives the hips forward and up, driving the hands directly upward. When the knees switch, make sure the back knee is on the line that you are throwing uke (not incompletely turned (thus remaining perpendicular)).
    #5: Be sure to have a long low back, getting more kuzushi. Get all you can from the up and down.
    #8: (my observation from watching Sawai-san throw me): He brings my arm past perpendicular, all the way to parallel again. (hand forward) Effective.

Tachiwaza: (many of these observations were not new – just a result of my getting sloppy. The Shodokan preference is usually to eek every last ounce of kuzushi out of a situation, where my inclination is often to take only the minimum kuzushi necessary. Regardless of preference, it’s probably good to know and be able to execute the maximum amount of kuzushi when you know it’s expected.

    #1: Need to be quicker on the initial motion.
    #2: Need better down kuzushi.
    #5: (My observation of how Sawai-san threw me): Sawai-san’s “bottle opener” finished with a further twist (not just raising uke’s arm up but twisting it in a hineri direction)


    Shomen: Sawai-san reminded me to be clear about the block with the night hand. I get sloppy on this sometimes.
    Kotegaeshi: Sawai-san’s kuzushi had a very pronounced centrifugal aspect to it, maintaining the hineri grip. In fact, twice I fell over just from this very pronounced kuzushi. I asked him for advice on kotegaeshi, hoping for more about the final action, but the kuzushi was what he emphasized. It does remove the need for subtlety on the throw.
    Hiki-otoshi: I asked for Sawai-san’s advice on this too. He has a very different approach from what we have been playing with in Bath recently. Whereas we’ve been leaving the knife in place and displacing with the inside hand, Sawai-san did almost zero displacement with the inside hand. The hand seems to be there more or less to provide a stop-point for the elbow. The necessary twist was achieved by the outside hand doing a kotegaeshi. Though of course he did not mention elbows or lats, Sawai san emphasized the strong nature of the elbow drop/lat push. There is no pushing at all, just a pull from below (via lat push). Sawai san’s power derived from the strong sharp pull back of the back leg. It was quite convincing. Sawai san said (and so I think we can infer that the current Shodokan orthodox is) not to do any pushing on the pin, just hold it where it is.

Four kotegaeshis from suwariwaza:

    #1Aigamae katetemochi: pinky down => pinky up pipe with grabbed hand. Hook underneath arm => hikiotoshi. Turn over as in #3.
    #2Aigamae katatemochi: standard kotegaeshi against grab. Turn over is the same.
    #3 (don’t remember)
    #4 Grabbed hand turns palm up, breaks out, grabs back, continuing turn. Straighten arm out and pin as in goshin-ho from 4dan.

We finished with kime practice where you sit with a partner in seiza, one person grabs the others wrists, and the grabbing person uses kime to manipulate his partner. Yamagata sensei emphasized bringing uke into your center and then projecting out.

From → Curriculum, Quick hit

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