Archive for November, 2012

Katadori menuchi iriminage

Posted: November 27, 2012 in Aikido, Diary
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This session we focused on katadori menuchi iriminage.  This attack is where your shoulder (kata) is seized or “taken” (dori)  and the attacker strikes with an uppercut (menuchi) with the other hand.

Iriminage is performed from this attack by either striking with the hand of the seized shoulder and moving around to the inside irimi spot (omote) or the ura form . Ura is acheived by performing a tenkan on the attackers dead side and doing a standard iriminage as from shomen.

I have a couple of katadori  menuchi based techniques on my next grading, although in suwariwaza so it was a good practice. I think that it’s easy to get too fixated on the menuchi attack.  If you ignore it and concentrate on working with the grab the technique is much easier to work out. By performing the atemi for Omote or the tenkan in ura you have neutralized the attackers strike.


My 2nd 5k

Posted: November 24, 2012 in Diary, Running
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I ran another 5k today. I planned this in last weekend as it looked as though I would be free of family and work commitments. Since the last 5k I have not had time to do much running.  To compensate I had been swimming a couple off times.

An amber weather warning was issued on wedensday and this was upped to an orange warning on Thursday. It certainly has been very wet. I woundered if the run would be cancelled. I didn’t get much sleep on Friday due to one of my kids being ill. I set the alarm and hoped for the best.

I woke up on Saturday morning and looked our of the window. It wasn’t raining but very foggy. I checked the kids a nd they were sound asleep. I got ready and ate half a pan au chocholate eastern down with an obligatory cup of coffee.

I reached the run location early and did some stretching and a few short jogs before heading to the start line. It was bitterly cold. I only had a short sleeve running top and wore a montane featherlite smock over the top. I remembered the shoelace problem I had last time and double knotted them this time.

After setting of, the field separated out over the 1st kilomete like last time. I found myself keeping pace with another runner for the next 3.5km. We overtook 3 or 4 people before my “running mate” accelerated over the last half kilometer leaving me unable to keep up.

I got overtaken just before the finish, but improved on my time by about 1min. How much of this is actual improvement and how much is down to secure shoelaces I can’t very sure. But once again, very happy with the end result.

I ate a banana and drank the rest of my sports drink on the way home through the now torrential rain. A hot cup of tea and beans on toast before jumping in the bath for a soak was a nice end to a cold early start.

Total Immersion

Posted: November 16, 2012 in Diary, Swimming

Due to my lack of running this week and in response to a colleague’s jibe – “you’ll very signing up for a triathlon next!” – I decided to hit the pool.

I have not swam a serious amount since doing the water confiance test as a trainee diver.  This involved swimming out and back 500m to a buoy armed only with a set of speedos and a strobe marker. We then did some towing and and a snorkel swim.

I had also done the RLSS Bronze Medallion and NPLQ before this.  At school I was regarded as a strong swimmer.  I completed the ASA gold and honours tests with some coaching from my Dad. He taught himself to swim in Milford Haven, one of the world’s largest natural harbours. The only swimming I have done in recent memory was about once or twice a year in holiday leisure pools. 

I made a tentative target to do about 500m or 20x25m pool lengths the first time.  I set 45 minutes as the time target in order to allow rests and a bit of playing – underwater swimming, treading water, etc.

The first session went pretty well,  I did the distance I wanted. Returning home I remembered that a friend had read a book called “Total Immersion” with a view to swimming smarter. I made a stop at the library and began reading…

After the last 5k run I took a week off.  This was partly because of other commitments, but also because of a pain in my left calf.

I expected some discomfort. Afterall, the body needs to adjust to the gargantuan effort of running continuously for longer periods of time. The pain got a little worrying after it was still noticable at rest two days later. 

The internet is a fantastic thing, allowing instant expertise in a given subject with just a coupes of Google searches – and an obligatory visit to specialist subject forums and of course,  Wikipedia.

After about an hour,  I was an expert in running injuries including over-pronation,  runners knee and shin splints.

This new found expertise persuaded me that I had all of the above along with a case of Plantar Fasciitis.

I booked a trip to a sports physio that I have visited a couple of times in the past for **very real** back and knee pain.

After an exam and a couple of tests, he diagnosed a couple of contracted muscles in the calf and thigh. I don’t recall the names, although he did a good job of explaining the mechanism of injury and systemic pathology. He also gave my back a going over too for good measure.

After the session, I felt a bit sore but walking back to the car, I felt an enormous improvement. Possibly psychological, but if so – job done.

I decided to rest up for a couple of days more just to be safe.

First 5k run

Posted: November 10, 2012 in Diary, Running
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Tackled my first 5k run today and managed to run the whole course in less than 26 minutes.

It was an informal local run that I realised was taking place quite accidentaly only on Friday, so a spur of the moment decision.

I woke on Saturday to find a freezing cold,  wet and foggy morning that was not an immediate invitation to get out of bed, let alone get up early, miss a hearty breakfast and run 5 kilometers.

I pursuaded myself to give it a try and I was soon dressed in running gear and drinking a cup of coffee. I ate a small pastry for breakfast and set off to the course by car.

The course is located in a small area of sunken ground around a lake. I arrived to find that the fog had not lifted and the lake looked like a spooky film set, I half expected Excalibur to be raised from beneath or for a ghost ship to pass by.

I found the start after chatting to another runner. Just before the run stared the fog lifted, and was followed by a sudden downpour of rain. Thankfully this ended after a couple of minutes as I had left my waterproof running jacket in the car.

I set off keeping pace with the main body of runners for the first kilometer. Then the field started to separate out. I estimated that I was at the back of the middle clump of runners at the half way point. That’s about when my shoelace came loose and provided a significant trip hazard to my tired legs. I had to stop and re-tie it (this time in a double knot) with the aid of a small bench as a footrest. I had enough of a distance that no one overtook and I picked up the pace a bit too.

On the home straight I heard someone behind approaching at speed. Thinking my own pace had dropped, I dug deep and sped up again, but was passed by a runner that I didn’t recognize – he wasn’t one of the people who started with us. He veered off on a path away from the finish line and was soon out of sight. It gave me a bit of a boost that allowed me to overtake two more runners and carried me over the finish line.

I felt a real buzz at the end and pleased I had managed to run the whole distance in what I think is a respectable time.

This running thing is a bit of a bug and I will continue!


Posted: November 9, 2012 in Aikido
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After the usual warm up, we did happo giri undo and then Tai no henka. The version of tai no henka we do includes a projection that others call sokumen iriminage or side entry iriminage. We then did sumiotoshi.

We then performed a different type of Tai no henka which from gyaku katate dori involves cutting up with the seized hand and creating a space to duck under ending in irimi. This ducking motion is acompanied by a tenkan once in irimi, and a projection like sokumen iriminage. I have no idea if this has a special name.

From this exercise we moved on to kaitenage. Instead of projecting, you step back and cut down. Control uke’s head by placing your hand on his neck and the chang kami so that uke is on your outside guard. Bring their arm up and use to project in a rotary motion.

Kaitenage is on the 5th kyu test, so it was useful practice.

Aikido Runs On

Posted: November 4, 2012 in Aikido, Diary, Running
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Just realised that I have not posted on Aikido in a while due to a combination of work and other commitments getting in the way once more. I have been lucky to make a single session in a week instead of the usual 2 sessions over the past 2 months.  I also missed the winter course.

To keep active away from the dojo, I’ve been running for short sessions during breaks and after work.  This fits in better with my other sacrosanct commitments more easily. I can see improvements already in my stamina and endurance over the last few weeks.

I am mindful that there is an opportunity to take an Aikido  grading in January and would really like to progress to 5th kyu (or even 4th!). Not sure this will happen though without some extra practice. I have just started reading the Dynamic Sphere, hopefully that will help and not confuse…

I’ll also drop some more posts on how the running is progressing, possibly with some retrospectives. A friend has persuaded me to sign up for a 5K in December. This is a good goal to work at. I can do 5k already with a mix of running and walking. My goal is to run it all and achieve a respectable time.