Archive for July, 2012


From the normal Tai no henka exercises we progressed onto Shomen uchi (cut down the centre of the head)  iriminage and shihonage. We did Omote and Ura variants for both . Afterwards we discussed the use of Tenkan as a concept during Ura techniques and that it should be done with an inward breath. Omote variants are done with an outward breath.

The next exercises were done from a yokomen uchi attack. This is a cut to the side of the head and in the Ura form, the tenkan is a backwards sliding step. We then did iriminage and shihonage – Omote and Ura.

To supplement the Taijitsu, we have started doing more Aki-Ken and Aki-Jo work to assist with footwork and movement.




Tonight after the usual kick off, we did some more work on the kata-dori attack. This time using kaiten-nage (rotary throw) and kokyu nage (breath throw). Just to make it more interesting it was done in handachi too! As usual we did omote and ura variations. I found this fairly difficult, but did manage to get my breathing synchronised with the blending by the end. I think this was the main focus – developing breath power (kokyu rokyu)

We also did some bokken work – Happo Giri (Cutting in 8 Directions). We have done Happo Undo several times and I never seem to able to keep up. I was always facing the wrong way to everyone else or cutting on the wrong foot or in the wrong kamae.

Again, I think I had got the salient parts after several attempts. I will try to do some solo practice on this one!

I was talked into a judo session tonight by a work colleague.  I managed to get home,  change and eat a quick meal before heading out to the dojo.  I got a great welcome and bowed on with my old grade of 3rd kyu.

I have not done any judo for 15 years – the Jujitsu club I was in entered some competitions. They had some extra

"nage no kata"form uchimata

“uchi-mata “(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

valid techniques like wristlocks, but stopped short of the leg-locks, head-locks and atemi that was normal practice. The last time I did what I would call “pure”  judo was more like 20 years ago.

The session was a great workout – I was absolutely knackered about half way through the warm-up. We did a fair bit of ukemi practice, then on to some nagewaza. We did lots of randori with a focus on sasae-tsuri-comi-ashi, uchi-mata and o-soto-gari. We also did some ground work (newaza).

It brought back lots of memories and I didn’t do too badly. I always did better on the newaza.

I enjoyed the session, but I think I’ll be aching tomorrow!

The first session back after grading was a good one. After bowing on, sensei made some nice remarks about the grading and how we all now had a place in the dojo.

Katadori throw

Katadori (Shoulder Grab) (Photo credit: foliosus)

We always start with shikko and tai-no-henka. This time in gyaku hanmai. We always do tai-no-henka with a projection rather than just moving into position. I was called up as an uke for the first time in front of the class due to my height as sensei wanted to demonstrate the projection technique where there is a height difference.

We then progressed into a new attack for for me – katadori. The leading hand grabs the shoulder and the following hand strikes at the face. We did omote and ura forms of ikkyo from this attack, moving on to nikkyo, sankyo and yonkyo all in tachiwaza.

Afterwards we did the same exercises in suwariwaza and handachi waza. Again, I was selected as uke for some demonstrations of handachi waza.

Lots of new stuff here and the suwariwaza and handachiwaza add further dimensions. I did take home some aches and pains after this one – hips, thighs and of course, the yonkyo point on the inner wrist!

6th Kyu Success!

Posted: July 14, 2012 in Aikido, Diary
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Today I passed the 6th Kyu grading!

The morning was taken up fulfilling family commitments and delivering the kids to a friend for the afternoon. I arrived at the grading venue just in time to get changed and bow on with the rest of the attendees. There were 6 of us taking the grading, an examination panel of three and a number of 1st kyu and shodans who came to assist and give us support.

We started off with the usual warm up exercises followed by a session that included techniques of the 5th kyu syllabi principally, Ude Kimi Nage and Uchi Kaiten Nage. After a break, the formal grading was held. I was Tori first and managed to get through all the the techniques with only two issues that I recall. One was doing an Omote technique instead of Ura and the other where I began doing an Ura technique instead of Omote! In the latter circumstance I stopped and corrected myself, but  informed that I should have continued with the technique. Then roles were reversed and I was Uke. Things went fine until we ended up doing endless repetitions of Ai Hanmi Katate Dori Ikkyo Omote. We stopped at one point and the panel told us to carry on until we told to change. Soon we were all done, bowed off and sat to watch the 5th Kyu hopefuls. They did a good job with very smooth and fairly effortless techniques.

After the grading, we did Aki-Ken practice with bokken – Disarming using Shihonage, Happo Giri and an exercise where armed with a ken you had an attacker at front and back. We also did some attacks designed to teach tenkan (stepping back) and irimi.
We then lined up and were given our grades. The course and examination were both very enjoyable. The next grading is in 6 months – hopefully enough to master the 5th kyu techniques.

It’s coming together

Posted: July 12, 2012 in Aikido, Diary
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Last session we did a run through off all the techniques required for grading. On paper it looks like a small list – 7 techniques. However, each one is done first in “Ura” form, then twice in “Omote” form as the attacker is getting up from the attack. About half of the techniques are to be performed “Omote” style from Kotai posture. Then I found out that there are two Omote variants (inside and outside) we need to show too!

A month or so ago my brain would have fried trying to take it all in, but the run through went really well and I am beginning to understand things better. We have some really patient Sensei and senior grades. Their enthusiasm and dedication to helping myself and others is paying off. I hope the grading goes as well as the dry run!