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Class Notes

June 24, 2011

We started off with chi no kata and yokuto again. Key point to watch out for these is distance – you need the right distance for the san-shitan ken strike. Yokuto is more obvious, but you still need to make sure that you put the kicking foot next to the support foot before stepping forward with the shako ken.

We also see how both chi no kata and yokuto very naturally set up other techniques, such as onikudaki, ura gyaku and ganseki nage. That’s a crucial point I didn’t explain enough during class.

You see, those locks and throws usually take time to do. If you don’t unsettle or unbalance your opponent first (kuzushi) you’ll have to rush your techniques. And you are very vulnerable to a skilled opponent at the same time.

So NEVER do those techniques without kuzushi first!

Some Technique Specifics

Ura gyaku – Remember the distance. The triangle footwork I showed you is to keep you at the right distance for ura gyaku. Too far and you lose the gyaku, too close and you can get hit. Once you get the hang of ura gyaku, however, you will be able to adapt your footwork and still make it work.

Onikudaki – the core part of this technique is not the footwork, the hip movement, whether the right hand goes here or the left hand goes there. The core part of onikudaki is what happens to the opponent’s elbow. All the rest of the form is to make that happen.

I have met people who can make onikudaki fail on you. I threw my body weight into the onikudaki (as I usually do) and moved their elbows as much as I would move a building pillar. So if you realize that the elbow movement you want isn’t going to happen no matter what you do, cut your losses, quit the onikudaki and do something else. Please.

Ganseki Nage – unlike ura gyaku, ganseki is upfront and personal. You must close the distance, and do so safely. The version i showed you is one way to do it. And if you can’t end the throw the official way (like throwing a big rock) then do the John-Travolta-Saturday-Night-Fever thing. It will still send the opponent to the ground fast. And that’s the point, right?

Conclusion:

Continue to work on whatever aspect gave you problems during the class. Ura gyaku and Ganseki Nage allow you to practice different types of footwork and body movement. Work on them, and on both sides. And next week we’ll be looking at some new stuff!

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