Day 12 – starting jiyu waza

This post originally appeared on my AikiWeb blog…

As I mentioned yesterday, we had done a somewhat funny exercise of follow-the-wrist in the first keiko session. Apparently, this was a lead-up to starting jiyu waza today.

Of course, we know only shihonage–and that very shallowly–so we were practicing uke.

In the conditioning class, there are 3 kenshusei students, 1 instructor, and 1 sewanin (course assistant), who is Nick, my roommate and a graduate of last year’s kenshusei course. So that leaves 1 shite for each of 2 students, plus one student to mind the stop-watch. We did three-minute intervals of jiyu waza with the students rotating between the shite and the stop-watch.

If you have been uke for jiyu waza before, you know it is tiring even if you’re in decent physical condition. The goal is to keep up your ukemi form and maintain a strong attacking spirit. The key to being successful seems to be to remain calm and relaxed, even if you’re huffing and puffing.

In addition to kihon dosa renzoku, we have to perform demonstrations of jiyu waza as uke… for either Payet-sensei or Crampton-sensei, I believe.

I thought we would continue with shihonage ichi today, but actually, they introduced shihonage ni instead in the afternoon classes. This was disappointing at first since I was looking forward to working out some of the problems in my technique. However, it ended up being fairly satisfying since shihonage ni went much better for me than shihonage ichi.

If you are interested to know how Yoshinkan is taught, you might be interested to know that the introduction to shihonage ni was practicing shumatsu dosa ni with and without partners. If you want to know what shumatsu dosa ni is, please see this video at 2:50.

We also video-taped the kihon dosa renzoku, and Nick showed me the tape (file, whatever) later in the night. My knee had been bothering me, so I knew I was going to be higher than I wanted, but I really looked even higher than I expected. On the other hand, I did a fair job of keeping my back leg straight.

Keiko session 1 – koho ukemi practice, jiyu waza in 3 minute intervals, jiyu waza in 2 minute intervals, stretching

Keiko session 2 – videotaping kihon dosa renzoku, shumatsu dosa ni practice, shumatsu dosa partnering exercises, katate mochi shihonage ni introduction

Keiko session 3 – warm up with jo/limbo, then shihonage ukemi form practice, partner exercises taking partner’s balance while performing shuri-ashi rather than stepping, shihonage ni waza practice, renzoku