Thursday, December 06, 2007


And, no, I don't mean a certain clergyman.

Years ago I was watching "Kung Fu" with David Carradine and he was fighting a rather large fellow (possibly professor Tanaka) and he does, what my mind recalls, a tomoe nage (thanks for the proper spelling Silverstar). The professor doesn't get up and David says rather shyly, "he didn't fall well."

This has been a concern of mine for some time. We don't practice falls regularly, but when it's show time I'm expected to do it well due to my sempai status. Ironically, when it's done fast and well I'm at my best. When done slow and studious accidents always happen.

So it comes to tonight. We've got a couple of newbies and the mats come out during the second hour. So we start with wrist locks and some take downs - which is kind of nice now that I get to teach the new folks basics - off we go. I forgot how punishing it can be to teach the new person on wrist locks. I had to take a dose of ibuprofen to deal with the ouchies tonight.

We move on to hip throws (koshinage?) and even a couple of shoulder throws.
This video demonstrate what we aspire to. We aren't usually this fast or precise. Who knew the Poles has such whipass guys!

I think I have mentioned that I slightly taller than the rest of the group. I find throws to be very cool, but getting my hips under the short folks is murder. I'd rather pick them up and do it - which I find out later is somewhat acceptable if they aren't struggling. Talk about stealing their balance!

When I first started we had a guy who was enormous. Short story long - when we learned to throw the first night I was excited because this guy had hips as high as mine. For the life of me I couldn't throw him because I couldn't take his balance and he wasn't giving it up. However, he threw me a good 10 to 15 times. Remember I didn't know what I was doing. I got home that night and considered not coming back. I had never taken that amount of physical abuse in my life. Well here it is 4 or so years later and I easily took 20 throws and even gave a good 10 and I walked out of there with a smile on my face.

Back to the beginning. I don't know about the rest of you, but I fall really well to the right (a left hand slap to me). We just don't practice the other side a lot, so tonight Nilon threw me to the left and I ended up landing on my right hand and arm. Holy cow did that hurt. Mostly humiliation pain since Teacher was watching, but that was the other reason for the ibuprofen. I looked at the new guy and said, "that's why when you slap your arm needs to be out at a 45 degree angle." Very instructive.


Colin Wee said...

You should not feel any humiliation. If you're not getting enough breakfalling practice, you're not getting enough breakfalling practice. Sempai or not. :-) Colin

Potatoe Fist said...

Humiliation might be a strong word in this case, but I do feel like I should be more consistant in technique. I will endeavor to be where I'm at and no place else, thanks.

Colin Wee said...

I read you. Seems like you've got a healthy level of humility at work - your colleagues are lucky people. Colin

Mathieu said...

What Colin said.

You have no idea how happy I am that I've got an aikido background, even if it's minimal. When we're getting thrown around, it really helps a lot. but then again, what can one expect when you practice that kind of stuff about 2 times a month and you have to be an expert at ukemi!

It's very frustrating for the guys in our dojo to say the least. It hurts!! Falling everywhere everyway hurts!


Keep it up!

frotoe said...

breakfalling is definitely not one of my strongpoints. I know I can do it (we've had plenty of classes focusing on it) but there is still that moment when I'm going down that I just close my eyes and hope I "fallwell" :)

Mathieu said...

Hi again
just making sure you get the new adress



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