Saturday, August 7, 2010

Training with Purpose

It was one of those days when we were not really about to do a class by rote. But not going too off tangent was important as well, and so we gave out the objective of training against 'jammer's. Been in Aikido long enough, and you'll hear the term. Jammers are typically what you would call an uke who actively resists the technique that you're about to do on the basis that he knows which technique is being performed beforehand and he understands the mechanical principles that will foil your execution. Its not so much about strength as it is about technique in itself.

This thing happens primarily because of boredom I would suppose. Either that or ego I guess. Its probably boring to keep cooperating with nage all the time and getting put on your butt each time, so some people like to throw in a monkey wrench once in a while. On ego, I suppose some guys just don't like being 'beat' at all. Foiling someone just elevates them to a superior status in their mind.

So now we know that 'Jammer's are out there. Now what? Well, most people would advocate doing a different technique to put them on their butts. That's ok I guess. But you know, we could be stubborn and actually try to learn how to deal with the jammer. Being physically jammed doesn't stop you from applying proper technique. It only stops you from applying bad technique. So we trained last night on how to deal with some techniques by looking at different ways of applying the same technique. I also focused on applying kihon genri elements in particular awase and musubi to counter the jamming. It works either way. A study of different approaches, sometimes applying techniques incorporating methods from other arts works well, sometimes not. Truly I think we were looking at the Ki, Shin, Tai in particular Body laws last night.

Of course, using kihon genri elements was only as good as how well you've mastered it and in my case, there's a long road left to go. Still, its a lot different than how I would have approached this training several years back. The only thing I had problems with last night was about 'filling up' my uke during a reverse bear hug. Since I know it actually works, we really need to practice it more in class.

I actually liked the session where we tried to takedown nage, and also the ground grappling bits. Sure, its just play and doesn't prove anything. But keeping fudo genri really gave the ability to deflect uke's power in those cases. I'll chalk this down to one of those infrequent play time that we'll give ourselves every now and then. At the root of it, its more interesting when uke attacks nage with a purpose. Either to hit or to take down or to apply a technique. Certainly it creates a different awareness, and aliveness. We've seen this before when we practised with uke that strikes as soon as he makes a grab, but putting in other attacking options open our more options.

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