Aikido holidays

5 04 2012

Back from the three days holidays for Qingming festivity, three days I spent in Shanghai catching one Aikido session per day! A short “seminar-like” holiday for me, little proof that my condition is not that good, since I did feel aching in different part of my body, even if the sessions were far from demanding! Still I tried to push a little during practice attempting break-falls when ever possible, also to test my skills, too long time unused!

Monday night session at Xijiao dojo, Tuesday morning with the International Aikido dojo and Wednesday night I have been teaching at Xijiao dojo again. Both Monday and Wednesday I had the chance to practice with some people coming from a third dojo in Shanghai: a new entry on my list, Shanghai Aikido dojo. This dojo belongs to the Aikido Shijukai organization, based in Singapore under the guide of Philip Lee sensei (6.dan Aikikai), who will come to Shanghai a little later this month, and I will be able to practice with him! Shijukai is indeed a vast organization assembling together several dojos. I look forward to practice with Lee sensei (also one extra unexpected seminar for this new year in China!)!

Monday session has been focused on aihanmi basics, and I enjoyed break-falls especially from shihonage and kotegaeshi.

For the session I taught, on Wednesday, I focused on one of my favorite attacks: morotedori, presenting techniques from jodan and gedan, all after starting with a good effective tenkan. Asking for a solid attack, static, not pulling or pushing just holding with a strong grip, tori had to work his way to good arm relaxation in order to manage a fluid tenkan without giving to uke any chance to take over tori‘s center.

For closing, after a series of basic and advanced variations from this attack, I proposed one of the best exercises I have ever practiced for morotedori, movement that emphasizes the importance of position, center, contact and relaxation. I saw this exercise/technique from Kanetsuka sensei ages ago: 2 uke holding tori‘s arm with morotedori. Tori has to move on the side of the closest opponent, relaxing completely the attacked arm, extending it to the ground, lowering the shoulders and then perform kokyuo ho adn taking both uke centers, unbalancing them. The key point is how to take their center: not different from one attacker situation, but with 2 tori stability is more important and critical. Lowering the whole body, performing the typical kokuo ho – “drink your beer” movement, then raising the whole body (not trying to lift the arm with the weight of 2 people ) is the way to execute the technique.

A great practice for kokuo ho!!!

As for ikkyo, my favorite to work on Aikido basics!!!

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