Friday, September 29, 2006

sensei maria class notes

1. fast jabs - hit straight to solar plexus, don't scrape at pad, bouncy in feet, keep hands up

2. fast kicks - be bouncy in feet to help repeat kick

3. katana nage in four directions - front, inside, outside and behind

4. shihonage in different directions

5. ss wrist grab, drop low for off balance, step into center, turn to corner + roll shoulder + inside foot sweep

6. shihonage set up but throw @ elbow - thumb over uke wrist, step crossing ctr line, pivot + bring arm around (not up!), tuck uke elbow between bicep and forearm, drop down, straight down, front leg steps back to get out of way

extension roll: reach out more + push off lead leg

rolls: set up with guard then extend arms to roll

Thursday, September 28, 2006

September 26, Sensei Steve

I'm back!

Rest is nice, but I'm glad i'm back. I have modified my workouts lately, so if anyone notices a difference please let me know.
Instead of maxing out on my lifts I have been doing 4 sets of 25 to improve my endurance and speed.
So each class I'm giving myself a challenge. Todays challenge, "No power."

1.Warm up ( Tai sabaki + Hitch step entry )

So at home I have been standing in shikodachi in order to get my hips to open up. I think it might actually be working!
•From hanmi roll weight ( via hip ) to front leg
•Push reverse hiip back to turn torso and slide
•Pivot hip into postion ( and slide foot back )

*Note : Sensei Steve taught me to look at the persons neck, as opposed to hand or arm. I find when I do this I wind up right behind uke.

2. Osoto Gari from Iremi
Super cool technique
•Iremi entry ( much like hitch step )
•Strike with elbow, keep elbow on uke's shoulder, cradle uke's lower back with oppposite hand
•Position yourself behind uke's rear for sweep

3. Boom Boom Sweep ( Kosotogari from Parry )
•Parry punch and roll shoulder taking uke off balance

4. Kuchiki-daioshi (from round house punch)
•From roundhouse, close the window entry
•As uke is taken off balance hook leg to throw

5. Morote-Gari (from tsuki to the head)
•Drop to get out of the way punch, allow your body to naturally stay at an angle
•Place leg between uke's legs and hook behind legs
•Push your body against uke, do not lift up on the knees

This technique appears very simple, yet it has a lot of pitfalls. For one, if you fail to place your leg between uke's you get hit in the groin. Also if the uke is a grappler and you "hang out" down there, you're in trouble. Also if you are bent over and try to lift uke, you could strain your back very easily.

6. Morote-Gari / Sukui-nage from failed Ippon

•Go for Ippon and fail
•Spin away from arm you clipped to grab opposing leg(s)
•Push for morote, step behind for suki•nage

*Note : Aiki way for suki•nage is to use the arm to push uke back, you can also lift knees to throw them back for judo way.

When we started doing this, I didn't think Sempai Zhenya was going to throw me in Ippon, wow was I wrong! Bam! I hit that mat hard, but it was funny. It's moments like this when I realize this stuff is no joke, it really does work, especially the ukemi part! As we were working I tried to prevent her from ippon by putting my hand on her back. Jack ( come back Jack! ) had showed me this a few months ago as something they do in judo to prevent ippon. It worked well and gave a sincerity to causing the ippon to fail, which made light work of Sempai's counters.
From falling from Morote•gari I am appreciative of the neck-ups we do in warm•up, I have been doing them at home and feel like when I tuck my head, nothing can unravel me.

7. Ne-Waza to the extreme!
So we did a choke that is very very difficult for me to explain b/c I had difficulties in doing due to my lack of flexibility, so I am going to add a series of stretching excercises that Youval showed me to my repetoire.

8. Post-Class
After class Youval showed me some stretching techniques and some very basic ways to prevent certain situations in grappling. One thing that was pretty cool was an triangle gaurd that was created by putting your hands together and pushing uke away from you, ( very simialr to unbendable arm in aikido ) this allows you to set up a bridge to flip them over. It was amazing how simple it was.

Monday, September 25, 2006

sunday class, sensei coleman


1. step and punch:
when stepping forward, go downward into punch, don't let shoulder move forward in front of rest of body.

- its strange that punching with my right side is easier than left!

2. fighting stance, step fwd to fighting stance, punch: keep fists near chin, step forward, keep hands in front + don't pull
back, rev up those hips! sensei said lower half of body can pull back in relation to rest of body to help power punch,

3. fwd punch + strike thru face: hand and hip move in same direction,
same time, lead with hips not hand, turn hips down away from center line
for take down, do entry plus take down smoothly together, not as 2 disjunct parts

4. face punch + strike thru face: similar to above but slap punch away,
don't look up to uke face, don't be afraid to put hand on face, turn hips and take down

5.round house + close window: hands don't come up higher than ears, take down together and turn to
corner, let entry help turn you to corner

we also did an ankle block throw and one where we threw over shin
but i have to go to work and make money - will write more later...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

September 19, Sensei Steve

Welcome Tennesee and Vivian
1. Kokyu-Nage from Cross hand wrist grab

•Hitch step entry
•Point uke to ground to project

This was a pretty simple looking technique with a very complicated action. In order to take uke off balance it seemes that you needed to really focus on your center and keep your hand there, to project dropping your hips seemed crucial as well.

2. Te-Garuma ( Hand Wheel ) from holding "judo style"

•Create Kozushi with classic "Check your watch answer the phone" movement
•With balance broken lead hand reacheds down uke's back "hugging them"
•Opposite hand reaches to hook leg
•As leg rises opposite hand drops , do not let go of uke
•Keep your posture, by bending over you can strain your lower back or fall onto uke
•Lock them up

*Notes on Ukemi

•The side that the leg is hooked is the side that slaps
•Rotate to land on your side
•Keep your body in as straight of a line as possible
•If you have large shoulders, reach out to slap, this will prevent falling on your shoulder

This technique had a few magic moments for me. The biggest thing I learned is that this is not a pick up and drop technique, it's a wheel. So as the leg comes up the body goes down. Working with Youval it felt like air had betrayed me and was pushing me into the ground. I didn't feel his arms or his legs. This was magic moment number 1.

3. Te-Garuma ( Hand Wheel ) from headlock

•Stike the groin or pinch inside of leg ( unbelievably painful )
•Rise up to grab uke from back
•Grab closet leg
•Lock them up

4. Shihonage from rear knife attack

•Turn around
•Go under uke's arm with your arm to trap
•Lock with other hand to place arm into crook of elbow ( like you were setting up shihonage for uke to breakfall )
•Pivot hips and drop
•Lock and remove knife

This is a bit difficult to describe but it did give me magic moment number 2. Working with Zhenya it never felt like she put the lock on, it was just "there." Since working with Sensei Coleman I have been trying very hard to stay connected with tori, and I am now developing an understanding of where I am going, what direction I am moving in etc. But working with Zhenya all the sudden "Pow! it was on!"

5. Reversal from Half Gaurd

•With Uke on top, create arm bar by snaking around arm and grabbing opposite lapel of gi.
•Shoot opposing hand to uke's opposite shoulder while posting with corresponding foot
•Flip uke and smother them by keeping your weight on top
•Use your legs to wrap around and lock
Working with Tennesee on this was amazing because it was interesting to see how fast he could manuever me. It makes sense now that Brazilian Jujitsukas are normally very lithe as opposed to big lumbering guys.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

throws from last night

some notes on throws last night:

1. judo style grab - grab back of gi collar, step in, other hand grabs leg, back leg steps out of way, pick up w/ knees and not arms, twist hips for body throw

2. grabbed around neck between uke arm + ribs: punch to get free, outside arm can either grab above knee or below, i see sensei stephen puts his other hand on ukes shoulder, really bend knees to get low, back straight, don't muscle the pick up (zhenya showed it to be a simple rising with knees), and throw uke on to side

senseis - each different + unique ...

I have been amusing myself all morning about the senseis' difference in teaching and ways of talking and teaching to class - the senseis are different and very unique in their own way. I find that very fun - it brings out the personality I guess. =)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

September 17, Sensei Coleman

That's right I made it! I ventured into the circle of Sensei Coleman too!
So I hurt my shoulder. I was gonna skip class but I figured, "it's hurt not injured" and as I thought of skipping class I felt worse and worse, like I wasn't giving it 100%. Normally if I'm sick i am 100% sure I will not go, but if I'm just tired I force myself to go. This was a force, and I'm glad I went b/c I was the only one there and I got the wrath of Sensei Coleman all to myself.

1. Strike Strike KosotoGari
a. Strike open hand with lead hand
b. Strike across uke's body with reverse hand
c. Sweep uke's foot from the outside

2. Strike Strike Ouchi Gari
a. Strike open with lead hand
b. Strike reverse with opposite hand
c. Sweep from the inside of uke's leg
d. Push down on uke toward the corner a la close the window.
*Note : I can do it slow, but not fast. So I broke it down sequentially b/c it's not all one movement.

3. Lapel Grab to Ikkyu old school style.
Tonight we represented the old school of <a href="">"the floating world"</a>
a. From lapel grab atemi jaw of uke
b. After atemi, re-Atemi backhand into uke's fist as you kick into the groin ( glad I wear a cup )
c. As your leg comes down Ikkyu is applied, press hand against elbow to drive uke to the ground.
d. Lock em up
If you read this and think "Golly that seems painful" well I have to admit that it is. It really really is.

4. Close the window, hand through the face style
a. Hitch step entry
b. As you enter place lead hand on uke's shoulder and roll
c. Keep opposite hand to protect you head

5. Katana Nage from Round-house old school style
a. Atemi Uke
b. Post-Atemi, glide arm dow to create windmill, catch with opposite arm like shihonage and turn wrist
c. Hitch step to throw

6. Shihonage from Roundhouse
a. Atemi Uke
b. Post-Atemi, glide arm dow to create windmill, catch with opposite arm and turn wrist
c. Pivot and throw
d. When locking with uke's arm pointing north ( not normal lock ) drop to one knee and apply lock at same moment, creating exquisite pain.

7. Old School Ippon from Round House
a. Atemi Uke
b. Post-Atemi, glide arm dow to create windmill, catch with opposite arm and turn wrist, enter with hips and throw
Now you may be thinking "Woody does this mean both arms are trapped when you take the fall?" I say "Why yes that is very true"

So in all i'm happy I went. Cardio wise it was pretty intense b/c we didn't have the short pauses between techniques to catch breath. Focus -wiser it was challenging because I was really being pushed and was answering questions with "yes" instead if "Hai"...were did that come from?
This is why I like Sensei Colemen's class b/c I always seem to red-line, being on the verge of something I do not think I can do...yet miraculously doing them. As I walked home my body felt sore as usual but not unusually sore, so I know I made the right call.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Saturday 16, Sensei Maria

1. Uda-nage ( but drop )
a. Uke grab cross hand
b. Turn palm upwards like you are carrying something & brace elbow
c. Lock elbow and drop throwing uke to the ground head first*
*Note: This actually works, I grazed my head! So roll soon!
After this we worked in multiples. Last thursday Youval told me that I make a mean face every time we work out, he said when he sees it he has to try not to laugh. I think that's pretty funny, but we also talked about how your facial expressions kind of "give you away." So today I tried to have the buddha face, the expression-less face ( there is a word for this , I have to look it up ) Sensei Coleman has this face down.
Somewhere as we were doing multiples, as tori I let my arm get away from me, I pulled it back and inadvertently pulled something in my shoulder. I think after that I took some sloppy rolls because my shoulder was irritated and jammed it up real good. On our next technique as I pivoted I felt it really hurt so I excused myself and grabbed some ice.
I really hate excusing myself, but I really don't want to be macho, and wind up really hurting myself. On the sidelines I made sure I could rotate my shoulder 360, gave it a few flexes notices nothing was seriously damamged and got back on the mat.

2. Katana-nage from same side
a. Hitch step entry
b. Make like you are going to roll and watch uke roll...hooray!

3. Working with Multiples
I think with working with Sensei Coleman I have moved my brain from "Freaking out" down to "anxious" when it comes to working with multiples. Today with my new buddha face I didn't feel nervous starting but as I started moving I found myself getting too excited and my work suffering. Except when I got to Jeannie. With Jeannie I really try to take my time and be soft so that way I don't accidentally fall on her, or pivot wrong, or whatever. It's not so much to protect her as it is to protect myself from using brute force without intention, because of this Sensei Maria says that I do the technique well. So I guess I need to just focus on technique and being soft.
No more strength Woody!

4. Kickin' and punchin'
Yep we did a little of this.
Big thing I learned was "The Slip"

Wikipedia says : Slip - Slipping rotates the body slightly so that an incoming punch passes harmlessly next to the head. As the opponent's punch arrives, the boxer sharply rotates the hips and shoulders. This turns the chin sideways and allows the punch to "slip" past.

Sensei Steven dropped this little gem on me. It makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately the rest of my sparring my head just wasn't on right. My shoulder was throbbing and I was focusing on not focusing on the discomfort. When I was sparring with Sensei Maria I kept telling myself "Come on Woody" I even said it allowed, whoops!

September 14, Sensei Maria

1. Nikkyu from Same Side Wrist Grab
a. as Uke connects with wrist, revolve grabbed wrist to grab uke's hand
b. Slide slightly in the direction of your center pulling uke off balance
c. Adjust center and step in ( this creates a zig zag )
d. pin

Note* Keep your hand in center, when the hand comes out of the center, it can become my hand.

2. Little more Ikkyu - Seniors did Ikkyu to throw, sans pin

3. Tiger-Lock ( juji-gatame ) from cross hand wrist grab
a. Turn wrist and pivot similar to shihonage
b. Strike through the face
c. Slide down the body, preventing uke to rise, slide arm under elbow grabbing corresponding forearm.
d. Lock
e. Drop to Shichodachi and pin

Note* The strike to the face seemes imperative, working out with Sempai Adi he slightly struck my face, but kept his arm near my throat which was most umpleasant but not completely painful for ukemi.

Note** When pinning placing the knee on the head is part of the pin. ( I guess when sensei walked by I wasn't in enough pain, when Adi put his knee on my head I was! )

4. Uda-Nage
a. As uke grabs hand, hitch step keep hand in your center
b. Draw opposite hand up elbow locking as you pull the active hand into your center ( this should create a lock and uke should move onto tippy toes.
c. Cut as if you have a sword, allow uke to roll

As I was doing this technique I kept telling myself "Don't think, just move" and each time I moved Sempai Elizabeth went "AYEEEEEEEEEE!" and Sempai Adi went "Good, owwwwwwww!" so I think I was getting "it"....maybe.....hopefully

However when I did think about all I got was a brown belt standing up.

5. Armlock throw ( juji-nage?)
Worked out with Sensei Steve on this. This was my second time doing this, and I was very timid throwing. The first time I did this was with Sensei Klopp and he showed me how to fall properly so please induldge me for a moment as a write on how to take ukemi as opposed to the technique.
a. Grab Crosshand
b. *As Tori places your arm over his shoulder reach down and grab his belt ( or gi , but belt is better )
c. As Tori pivots allow yourself to roll, this will allow your arm to roll from the hyperextended position
d. As you fall, try to keep your body straight and slap when you **"feel" it

Note* By grabbing tori's belt early it prevents your arm form being hyperextended while tori is figuring out the move, hooray!
Note** I do not know how to define "feel" different body types, different speeds, and the height of tori etc all play a part in ukemi.( right? )

6. Hand through the face
a. Hitch step entry
b. parry hand, draw it away
c. slide in and strike the face ( heel palm )

Last night was really great because we had so many people who have been there for awhile.
We were also graced with Itai's prescence which was really great because I haven't seen him since his Ikkyu test.

Quod fuimus, estis; quod sumus, vos eritis (You are, what we were; you’ll be, what we are)
Later on Dixon and I talked to Adi, Itai and Zhenya about what we eventually want to achieve with jujitsu. It was interesting to think that once upon a time it was Maria, Coleman and Steven hanging around taking about wrist locks and who had a better punch. I learned this latin phrase above on thursday. I think it has a lot of relevance to the Sensei-Sempai-Kohai relationship.

Friday, September 15, 2006


1. ude nage - immediately bring weight down and hitch step fwd w/ free hand catching elbow soon, taisabaki

2. ss wrist grab- don't step to far to side, hitch step inside uke knee. don't move attcked hand to side but keep it in front as uke wrist bends

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

September 12, Sensei Steve

1. Katana-Nage ( from cross hand wrist grab )

( from previous post ) From grab, motion like sepokaiten, to break balance of uke and turn wrist, tai-sabaki to enter and shoot down, like we were rolling, to point uke to floor.

Working out with Youval is great. He pointed out that I was moving before he had applied the throw. By allowing him to take me off balance, I received the cue to roll, as opposed to throwing myself.

2. Uda-Nage ( from cross hand wrist grab )
a. As uke grabs hand, hitch step keep hand in your center
b. Draw opposite hand up elbow locking as you pull the active hand into your center ( this should create a lock and uke should move onto tippy toes.
c. Cut as if you have a sword, allow uke to roll

I noticed on this that when imagined the arm as a sword, I applied the lock correctly, but when I thought of locking Sempai Elizabeth’s arm it did not. Maybe there is a difference between imagining and thinking, the more thinking I do usually the poorer the technique

3. Pull down from Chi-Sao ( spelling? )
With arms crossing each other, uke reaches into tori’s center, tori pushes into uke’s center, back and forth.

a. Pull uke into you
b. Atemi to stomach
c. Tai-Sabaki around uke’s back
d. Throw to the ground.

4. Standing Kimura
a. Close the window entry
b. Reach over to apply standing kimura
c. Pivot and throw.

This was a lot more difficult then on Saturday, I guess I was just having a bad day, I don’t know.

5. Kimura
a. Position uke's arm like it was waving
b. From underneath grab wrist with furthest arm
c. From over the arm grab your wrist with arm closet to uke ( this applies the lock )
d. Pull arm into uke's side

Interesting points that were made doing this technique. As uke, you would pull your elbows into your face to protect yourself. As tori, you can trap these hands, which would put you into position to grab the lock.

When you mount from the side, place all your weight directly on uke’s chest to prevent uke from bridging.

When you mount from the side, knees should be tight into uke, and knee strikes are there for the taking.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

September 10, Sensei Coleman

Elizabeth, come up. Oh and bring a knife! - Sensei Coleman

Sundays are always full of quotes.

Welcome Tammy!

1. Warmup - Pushups
So i'm doing the push-ups. My back is straight, me head is up. I drop, tuch my obi knot to the ground, I push back up...Ich, Ni, San, Shi, Ju...NiJu...SanJu. I couldn't believe it, I was up to 30! Just 10 more to go! Wrong! I thought if I made it to 40 I would be good, when Sensei kept counting I fell out. Granted I was really really tired, but more so b/c I had lost connection with my goal. I could have done 10 more, but my concentration had broken. This will be important later on.

2. Striking warmup
From traditional position. Slide in and strike.
A few weeks ago Sensei was telling me "Take the technique" and corrected me on how to hold a pad. This week, I imagined that my body was a wall, and that it was me vs. the force of his punch. I only moved a little ;)

3. Kotegaesh from Crosshand
So on this technique I was working with jeannie., and I had always noticed that she tended to use her arm as opposed to her fingers to move the hand around during Kotegaesh. Granted physically I am stronger then Jeannie, but my hand is not as strong as Jeannie's body. When she applied Kotegaesh, my eyes closed in pain and all my mind's eye saw was a big rectangle ( her body I guess ) pressing against my wrist. It was a really powerful lock. I could even feel her pivot. I was floored.

it's ok to track, you can track, you're encouraged to track, actually you have to track - Sensei Coleman

4. Kotegaesh from Uppercut Knife attack
a. Move laterally like Kotegaesh from crosshand. from the inside block the knife with the x-block
b. With the xblock on lock hand and pivot to throw

* Forgive the lack of info on this technique, it's difficult for me to explain. I'm going to start adding some photos for better descriptions soon.

5. Ikkyu from Crosshand
a. as Uke connects with wrist, revolve grabbed wrist to grab uke's hand
( When I studied aikido the sempai who showed me this said "serve the platter" I tink of it every time I do this technique )
b. Slide slightly in the direction of your center pulling uke off balance
c. Adjust center and finish slide ( this creates a zig zag )
d. pin

*Note a while ago, maybe months ago, Sensei Coleman showed me that you can always drive a knee into uke's ribs to move them

6. Ikkyu from Uppercut Knife attack
a. Move laterally like Kotegaesh from crosshand. from the outside block the knife with the x-block
b. With the xblock on lock hand and rotate the arm for lock

7. Hand through the face from straight punch
Would this be considered Irimi-nage?
a. Hitch step entry
b. parry hand, draw it away
c. slide in and strike the face ( heel palm )

Being an Uke
I have been reading "Angry White Pyjamas" and in it the author discusses being an uke. Basically he talks about when you are an uke you are receiving the technique. It always makes me very happy to be used as a uke, even when the strikes are hard, the throws are tough and the locks are sharp, it's interesting to think that I am accepting this and one day I'll have attributes from my sensei.

Working with a beginner ( & being a beginner )
I saw a lot of myself working with Tammy tonight. I remember being very timid, not knowing what to do. Being exausted before we got to sit ups. Being afraid of taking that huge fall ( that wasn't so long ago )

Sensei Coleman stressed that it's important for me to do my technique correctly while insuring her safety. I think this is very important, I always try to be very mindful of not using too much strength etc. I hope I was gentle enough. I am excited to watch her transform.

Staying Connected
A week ago Sensei Coleman made me stay connected to tori even when I was exhausted. I applied this all week and noticed my ukemi improved dramatically. I had a problem knowing when, and when not to roll etc.

Tonight as Sensei Coleman was using me for demonstration I took a hard wristlock and shifted my attention from sensei to my wrist. ( which was fine, just hurt not damaged ) It's hard to describe the difference, it was like having something that you didn't have, then losing it again. I knew something was different i just didn't know how to get it back, so in closing I'm going to stay connected. I like taking good falls and being used as an uke.

September 9, Sensei Steve

1. Tai Sabaki Kata, Ukemi Kata, Atemi Kata...
I'm happy to do katas again. It seems like there is a lot of philosophy and concern involved. I am definitely going t be focusing on ding these at least a few times a day, and before class as a warm up.

For a breakdown of Katas please see manual.

2. Kotegaesh 1-2-3 ( 4-5 ) Dixon
Something amazing happened today. It happened maybe 2 moths ago with ippon, but now it finally happened with Kotegeash and other wrist break fall was okay. Not good or great but okay. I actually landed, felt my arm smacking and nothing else. It was pretty cool.

3. Uchikomi to Ippon, throw on fifth.
We all know this drill. I just slowed down to make sure I clip.

4. Ippon w / Dropped Knee from Pull Back Mug
This gave a really hard time. I really didn't want Dixon to come down on my knee, and I was being so cautious I became confused, etec etc. Then it made sense.
a. Uke pulls back
b. Instead of stepping to the outside like Osotogari step to the inside
c. Drop knee that steps and twist
d. Follow up with a straight back and control of uke's arm, atemi or lock accordingly. Arm bars are nice here.

5. Kesa-Gatame ( Scarf Hold )

From a technique like the last :
a. Hook uke's head and lift up on neck
b. With head into your chest, push arm down trapping it
c. With head in arms lean back stretching your body out for pin.

6. Kesa-Gatame Escape
Before tori has hooked head
a. Reach around ribs applying pressure to the floating rib
b. Bridge from feet and "shrimp" your body to reverse.
c. Relax thoughout technique
Note* Use your feet to bridge or it will too difficult to get out of.

7. Escape from Closed Guard
Uke puts you in a closed guard see below

a. Push against stomach to rise
b. With gap created by rise, grab bottom half of leg, and twist
c. Apply ankle lock, or leg lock

8. Kimura ( Reverse Ude-Garami )
Name for Masahiko Kimurawho defeated Helio Gracie with a kimura
a. Position uke's arm like it was waving
b. From underneath grab wrist with furthest arm
c. From over the arm grab your wrist with arm closet to uke ( this applies the lock )
d. Pull arm into uke's side

9. Standing Kimura
a. Close the window entry
b. Reach over to apply standing kimura
c. Pivot and throw.

This was a really great class, it really forced me to stay relaxed and to keep breathing. I guess when we are stressed we stop breathing, which is silly but seems true. We haven't grappled in a while and I could definitely see a difference between how I move now as opposed to before when I was carrying a lot of weight.

See you tommorrow!

Friday, September 08, 2006

September 7, Sensei Maria

I came to class early to observe the aikido class that runs previous to our class. Pretty interesting. They are very quiet and don’t use a lot of mat for falls. The aikido sensei said something that later Sensei Maria reiterated which gets the vote for quote of the day.

“Woody if you just punch them, they will only bleed. But if you throw them…”
– Sensei Maria

1. Nikkyu from katatedori ( same side wrist grab )

a. Move laterally with obi knot facing tori
b. Rotate wrist bringing it to chest ( just below collarbone)
c. Use body to lean into wrist and apply lock ( lean into wrist by bending front knee )
d. Catch elbow and push through ear to push uke to ground
e. Drive foot under the shoulder and bend knee, place arm against knee creating a juji-gatame( arm bar), fold wrist and point finger to opposite should blade.

*Note: When moving laterally, stay on the line, it seemed to be the difference between giving the lock and receiving a punch from uke. If you move too far you can always give a mae gari ( front kick ). Also keep lead leg in front of you, if not you expose your reproductive organs to strikes. Keep posture during lock.

2. Nikkyu from Yokomen-uchi (Round House)

Same principles as above except for entry.
a. Move in directly to mirror uke’s position
b. Atemi to Uke and slide to catch punching hand ( have opposite hand up to prevent uke from hitting you )
c. Use body to lean into wrist and apply lock ( lean into wrist by bending front knee )
d. Catch elbow and push through ear to push uke to ground
e. Drive foot under the shoulder and bend knee, place arm against knee creating a juji-gatame( arm bar), fold wrist and point finger to opposite should blade.

*Note : Atemi to lock is 1 movement. As Uke keep hand up to protect your face. Also keep mouth closed and teeth tight to prevent any bounce that could hurt your teeth or jaw.

3. Ude-Nage ( Arm Throw ) from ai hanmi katatedori ( cross hand wrist grab )

a. As uke grabs hand, hitch step keep hand in your center
b. Draw opposite hand up elbow locking as you pull the active hand into your center ( this should create a lock and uke should move onto tippy toes.
c. Cut as if you have a sword, allow uke to roll

4. Ude-Nage from Yokomen-uchi ( Roundhouse punch )
a. Move in directly to mirror uke’s position
b. Atemi to Uke and slide to catch punching hand ( have opposite hand up to prevent uke from hitting you ) windmill to put uke’s arm in front of you.
c. Draw opposite hand up elbow locking as you pull the active hand into your center ( this should create a lock and uke should move onto tippy toes.
d. Cut as if you have a sword, allow uke to roll

5. Ko Uchi Gari from Kenka Yotsu ( Judo Hold opposite grips )
a. From moving with uke, as uke steps forward break balance ( kuzushi ) by pulling on lapel and pushing against sleeve
b. As uke expects rhythm, pivot foot and circle in to grab back of uke’s heel
c. Step back or drop to ground for ne-waza. Do not stay in between legs per Sensei Maria’s instructions

6. Ko Uchi Gari from Tsuki ( Straight Punch )

a. Hitch step entry
b. Grab Uke’s foot with bottom of your foot and sweep
*Note : this technique requires driving into uke at an angle to put them off balance. Sliding in fast enough makes the sweep a garnish.

7. Impromptu Wrist Grabs

When I was preparing for my test I would run over what I would do for wrist grabs over and over and over again in my head. Finally my test came and wrist grabs came and went so fast I didn’t even remember what I did.

Last night when we did wrist grabs, I went blank. I had no idea what I was doing. I used a lot of force and was hard on Sempai Adi. I felt like I dropped the ball.

I think that is a lesson in itself because as a beginner, I am know seeing the the fruit of my hard work, and I’m excited.

But I don’t know how to just “turn it on.” I guess I have to treat every class as a test and every test as a class.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

September 5, Sensei Steve

1. Warm-up, Tai Sabaki
Taking Jeannie's advice I decided to push weight forward onto my leg, this helped immensely. Then I noticed I wasn't swinging my arms like everyone else, this also helped alot.

So remember :
a.Collapse front leg as opposed to pushing off back foot.
b.Swing arms

2. Osoto-Gari in judo position ( is there a proper name? )

Some of you may have been seeing me before class working on my sweep ( it’s also a good hip loosener), today I focused on a few things with Osoto-gari:
a.Perfect kuzushi with entry
b.Keep head up when sweeping
c.Take clean falls
Please refer to previous post for a & b. For the ukemi, be sure to get on the balls of your feet when your balance is broken. This was pointed out by Sensei Steve and Senesei Coleman on Sunday. For some reason the fall is very clean and not hard at all. It’s actually quite amazing, it also seems to protect your ankle from getting whacked.

3. Osoto-gari from pull back mug
From a pull back mug, allow yourself to be pulled back.
Stick your first three fingers into the crook of the elbow to prevent choking
Pivot from off balance postion ( which will put uke off balance and tori on balance )

Note: Doing this with Sensei Coleman , the velocity was so great that he came down on me. This was interesting for two reasons. 1. It made since why there are ground techniques. 2. He landed on the bottom ribs,( the area more specifically ) the other day when youval showed me KesaGatame, he showed me how to use the angle of the ribs to control uke. When Sensei Coleman came down on me he said what I was thinking “Interesting.”

4. Uke-Goshi

Working out with Jeannie was a real eye opener. These were the hardest falls I have been with you guys. There is something about the entry, the load and drop from such a short height that was rocking my world. Jeannie also has a lot of dexterity in her hips which gave her a lot of power on the pivot.

To give you an example,
On a throw, I got up and Jeannie said
“Woody, are you okay?”
I said “Oh yeah, I’m fine”
“Woody you’re bleeding” she said so poetically.

Come to find out that she had thrown me so hard that as my jaw ran along her gi lapel it had actually cut me. I think my new nickname for Jeannie is Jeannie the Terrible.

5. Tai-Otoshi
Revolve around Uke in Tenkan, while revolving lead uke’s arm as if you were about to hold hands, pull the arm close to the body trapping it and applying pressure, pivot and roll uke causing a throw.

Doing this with Sensei Coleman was really nice b/c I was having a hard time understanding the throw. I also was throwing myself into breakfalls.

This is a bad idea.
It’s bad because when you are my size you throw yourself harder then uke is throwing you. Because of this I came down really hard on my heel and hurt my ankle. Sensei Coleman deserves a thank you because I learned why we shouldn’t throw ourselves while doing ukemi.

In the end only pride is damaged. Woody lives to throw another day!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

quick peep on class today...

had to write these...these two techniques were very interesting:

1. straight punch - taisabaki, inside arm w/ palm facing up has 3 fingers catch uke's elbow/forearm like kotogaeshi 10, but swing uke all the way across body, crossing your centerline to put uke arm in jeopardy, then free hand cuts down on uke's attacking arm, uke takes breakfall

2. round house - step in to center on same side of punch, lead side arm swipe up uke's back, and you step in so that you're inside punch, other hand grabs non attacking uke hand and keep in front of you, load on hip and twist to throw, remember to throw more in front of you in direction you entered, not behind.

Monday, September 04, 2006

September 3, Sensei Coleman

Bowing in it was Sensei Coleman, Sensei Steve...and little ol' me. This should be interesting.

1. 1-2 Combination strike to the head
Use open palms and drive forward. Do not recover by stepping back. In the combination, 1 is the jab, 2 is the strike, 3 has not happened yet, so stay forward.

2. 1-2 Combination strike to the head ( blocking )
So I am blocking Sensei Steve's punches with my arms, and every block is putting me in agonizing pain...something's not right. Sensei Coleman stops and shows me to pivot my hips and bend my knees, but not to move my hands. Miraculous the pain was gone and i could actually evade the punches. I'm putting this in the home repertoire.

3. 1-2 Combination strike to the head and body
I like striking. I like to believe that I have some power, but now that I am using my hips it really feels like I am driving through the pad. I had always heard guys talking about "Yeah you gotta punch through the person, blah blah blah..." but now I really now how to do it. A friend of mine works for Segway and he told me that the gyroscope on the Segway is controlled by the hips...kind of makes since now.

4. Uchikomi to Ippon Seionage
In my limited research I found out that Uchikomi, when we fit in actually translates to invasion. Interesting. So I had to invade Sensei Steven 10 times and throw on 10. Here's the breakdown :
a. Slide foot into uke, pull on uke's sleeve ( check watch ), and pull on uke's lapel ( answer phone )
I kept moving my back foot, please do not do this, per Sensei Coleman
b. Clip Uke's arm with your bicep
c. Pivot, loading uke onto back, turn and throw.
So this was really beating me up b/c Sensei Steven was not giving me any leadway (well he was probably giving me a lot and I just didn't know it, haha!) but for some reason this entry just gives me problems. I practice it at home all the time, I don't know what my deal is. I started getting frustrated, but quickly shut it off and just focused on doing all the moves as precise as possible and on the throw keeping my head up.

5. Uchikomi to Osoto Gari
Big thing I learned today. And we all have heard it before. Uke should be off balance before we sweep in Osoto Gari. Couple of things about the uchikomi.
a. Pull uke's arm to back corner, Grab uke's lapel ( with your wrist facing you ) and raise.
b. Step into uke, you should see uke's heels in your peripheral
c. Sweep like a pendulum
The photo here is from my yellow belt test, you can clearly see how none of these principles are applied, Sorry Adi!

6. Boom Boom Sweep x 20
Hitch step, parry striking hand, rise to pull down uke's shoulder ( keep elbow tucked into you )

After taking 20 consecutive falls about 3 times, I'm worn out. Sensei Coleman instructed me, to stay connected to tori, no matter how hard it gets, to make sure my eyes are on tori, and my gaurd is up. The idea he said was to remain lucid in my thoughts while being tired. The rest of the class was dedicated to this venture, my technique became atrocious but I kept telling myself "good posture, don't freak out or get frustrated."

7. Garuma Tai-otosh a.k.a. Close the Window x20
You may think you have close the window down...but you are wrong!
I don't know what was going on with me, I was just trying to get through and keep my composure.

I really enjoy Sunday classes because Sensei Coleman really pushes me, and in this class I was really pushed with physical and mental endurance. It is very difficult being tired and being corrected. It is difficult to not become frustrated and succumb into the deep well of panic. Ultimately this is what is going to make me better.

When I studied Aikido, I used to be the only one at the afternoon sessions, and the Sensei would go on and on about how "It wasn't worth his time for 1 student", and that I should pay a private lesson price. Walking in on sunday I felt really privileged to have 2 black belts training with me, and feeling secure knowing that they would never ever say something like that to me. I tried very very hard to keep up, and I appreciate everyone's commitment very very much.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

August 31, Sensei Maria

Sorry it took me so long to post!

1. Warmup Tai-Sabaki Entry
Tai-sabaki you are a pain in my butt! Staying on the balls of my feet is a challenge because I have the flattest feet in the world. I need to work on this at home.

2. Warmup Elbow Strike
Hitch step entry, turn hip and drop, strike with elbow.
Biggest thing for me is to maintain posture while turning my hip for the strike. I noticed that when my hip turned it knocked Youval back a bit. I also noticed that when you complete the strike you are set up for Osoto-gari, and Uki-Goshi...or really anything that has a hitch step entry.

3. Warmup Solar Plexis Punch
Working out with Youval is a real treat, because he has a very powerful punch. After about 3 cycles of taking jabs to the solar plexis, I had to really focus on dealing with the pain that was being inflicted on me. It's wierd because it's not injury, it's pain, but immediately my flight/fight reponse was like "run away Woody, run away!" I haven't felt like that since dealing with Jenny's punches. Ouch!

4. Kotegaesh from aihanmi katatedori ( same side wrist grab )
From Previous post : As uke grabs slide lateral while turning hand up, ( a long time ago when I studied aikido the sempai there said "serve the platter", this reminds me of the movement ) cradle uke's wrist with opposite hand and cut fingers away from wrist. Drop hips and lock.

So it seems that we have our feet all wrong, so here's the breakdown.
1. Left side forward
2. Pivot 45 degrees
3. Back leg crosses lead leg
4. Pivot 180 degrees, right leg is facing front.

5. Katananage from aihanmi katatedori ( same side wrist grab )
Moment of wrist grab, break balance ( kuzushi ) by using hitch step entry. Bring back leg to fronto generate throw.

*Note : Keep hand in center, "it's your hand, keep your hand"-Sensei Maria
**Note : Don't grab Sensei Maria's wrist so hard when she is showing sempai Cari the technique.

6. Ikkyu from straight punch (Tski?)
Step back at an angle allowing your hand to revolve around the punch, cathc the punching hand and lead it to the opposing hand, step in to apply the lock
( Sorry for vague description, there is something almost poetic about his technique )

*Note : On ukemi don't immediately face fall to the ground, allow tori to guide you into the direction of the fall.

7. Hip drop from punch
From punch pivot hips a la shichodachi allowing punch to pass. As uke rechambers, pivot hips and cup arm to drive them into the ground.
On this technique I tried to imagine myself pushing down onto a table with my hips, this seemed to cause uke to drop...or maybe i'm carazzzzzy.

8. Sparring
This is what I thought to myself with Sensei Maria,
"Keep you hands up, she fights full contact!"
"Are you breathing?"
"Where is she?"
"What is she looking at"
The last I think is important b/c I think Sensei was looking at my core, as opposed to me who tries to make eye contact, maybe by focusing on the core you can see the shoulders and hints, and view the attack at it's birth. I looked at the core with Sempai Adi...

Thoughts with Sempai Adi,
"He's kickin aint he?" ( yes he did )
"Hey look his stomach"
"Hey look his head"
I felt with Sempai by watching his core rather than his face I could percieve things a little better. Yar!

9. So what made you stay?
In talking to Sempai Adi, ( we were chatting about how challenging it is starting out ) and Sempai asked me "So what made you stay?"

Lately I have been researching all the different aspects of jujitsu. The striking, the history of judo, the history of budo, and the current craze of brazilian jujitsu and grappling. I think what makes us different is that this is an art, and that we all have the opportunity to contribute something to it. we are not here to learn to hurt people. The beginning of the Hippocratic oath is "First Do no harm..." interesting because a doctor has the ability to maim and destroy, just like us!