Friday, February 19, 2010

Revisit - Atari, Awase and Musubi

Today we started out by exerting our selves using strength to force an ikkyo lock. Nage initiates and is countered by uke, back and forth until the 5th time when nage must relax and use the force of uke and return it back to him.

The sequence is:
Katatedori Aihanmi
Katatedori Gyakuhanmi
Ushiro Ryotedori

For Ushiro Ryotedori, the focus was to get center to move behind the hand, thus bringing the hand in front of us without 'thinking' about it. By bringing our center to move behind the hand, we apply consistency in all our Aikido waza. If we move the hand for ushiro, we will also move the hand for katate and etc. Uke will feel this hand movement and resist or counter. So practice doing everything from center movement.

For shomenuchi, we did Ken no Awase. The idea is to pick up the feeling we used to raise uke's arms in the Ushiro ryotedori practice. Using that 'light' feeling we project that to meet the oncoming shomenuchi by uke. Do not wait to do this upon contact; it'll be too late and you will clash. The feeling is meeting like a wave, upwards 'lightly'. Start with synchronised timing in the forward movement by both uke and nage. Later, nage can stay in position, as long as the intent is good.

The key here is to imagine a wave meeting a wave and it rises up to the same point. Two opposing forces cancelling each others force by moving and converging to one point.

Also another key point is to remember to relax and breath. We don't tense up in a ready position when meeting someone with a handshake right? A handshake comes and we meet it naturally. Similarly, a punch, a shomen, meet it naturally.

Lastly, sorewaza kyokuho. We revisit Atari and Awase.
Uke pushes nage's hands down to his knees, keeping it tightly in place.
Nage starts by using strength to lift his hands.
Then start again. Extend ki and connect with uke. Now, receive the force and bring in your hands slightly, then return the force back in a circular movement straight back 'into' uke. Uke will be lifted lightly.
That's atari using uke's impetus in. You can also provide the impetus to uke, and then receive him inwards bringing uke down.

Next, for awase. Same position. This time extend and lightly connect to uke's center. Uke's hands and your hands are now one unit connecting your center to his. All you do is move your center to move that bridge to move uke off balance. Very lightly you can lift your hands straight into uke and he won't be able to resist.
Visually this will look like you're just lifting your hands. But uke will sense and resist if you use your hands to initiate this movement. This awase is quite close to musubi. In fact if you can imagine skin to skin connection here and initiate the movement from the skin, it will help the movement a lot.

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