Sunday, August 26, 2007

The infamous breakfall!

I was analyzing the flaws in my breakfall today and I think I’ve found the problem that causes me to travel forward. I don’t kick backwards very hard with my rear leg. If I were to jump straight up (without the power of this kick) I would land on my shoulder.

In order to compensate for the lack of momentum that the kick would generate, I tilt forward to get more airtime. As a result, I do receive the benefit of not landing on my shoulder but I also land further forward than I should. In addition, I get unnecessary momentum after I’ve landed so I scrape forward a few inches as well.

Though I’m still unable to do it; I think that the solution would be to kick very hard/high with my rear leg and simultaneously focus on not tilting forward. In the past I have kicked very hard and out of fear that it would not be enough, I still tilted forward. But the end result is that I land straight onto my butt and it isn’t much better. The key is to have faith that my kick will be hard enough to rotate my body and then there won’t be a need to tilt forward.

Friday, August 10, 2007

struggling for a sense of improvement

I thought I'd write down some thoughts on how I am trying to gauge improvement. There is a lot of things I know I just don't get...and I'm struggling to also see a big picture of where I have been, where I am now and may go as a student of martial arts.

It was helpful a long while ago when Sensei Coleman said that you get trained to take what you learn in the dojo to become part of you so you can take it wherever you go.

So I came up with some steps on where I can help gauge the quality of my learning so far. It's a work in progress.

1. posture and foot work
I'm getting a sense that working on footwork and posture needs to go beyond class practice to make them more natural and spontaneous reactions.

I'm starting to also see aesthetic qualities in posture and footwork and relate them to how one carries their center (of gravity) in relation to other body parts and those of uke's.

2. the entry and off bl => technique
I notice that there is often a relationship to the entry and off balance. After the entry, I am starting to ask, "what about this makes uke off balance?"

Then beyond the off balance, tori is in a position to act upon uke to do a jujutsu / jujitsu technique that is best fitting for tori.

3. strategic application
so after the above, i am thinking that, maybe after years of practice, tori will compile a range of techniques that will come naturally. and all those techniques will be diversified enough (and embedded in the muscle memory) so that tori can take down or project uke in many or most directions

being able to do this seems to give tori the ability to use uke(s) as extensions for defense in a multiples situation. like u can project one uke against other ukes, throw uke upon uke, use an uke as a shield, distraction, whatever.

and i'm also thinking that good strategy is one that uses techniques to resolves the conflict quickly and effectively.

getting to this point seems quite a leap in proficiency, so i find it good as well as very interesting to think more about this now...

and another thing: is to be able to switch up to a different technique when something doesn't work or you make a mistake.

4. continuous review / practice on basics / advanced
on top of learning new things, i am learning it's important to not let what was learned before deteriorate in quality. particularly now that i have to fix my breakfalls. so i am guessing a practice of basics and what was learned before will help with retention...

I guess not everything you learn will come spontaneously, but they are still worth the review. even if there are techniques that work better for others and not for me, it is probably worth understanding/reviewing to help with strategy in kumite / sparring...

just my 2 cents....