Saturday, March 15, 2008


Friday nights are always fun, especially when Doug Firestone teaches. He has a sort of running commentary that sounds just like a Jay Leno monologue. His disarming manner can surprise one, however, if he things Doug is not serious. He throws hard.

I learned this a long time ago, so I wasn't surprised when he demonstrated on me and threw me into a breakfall that I felt in my toes. I smashed my lower back the other day and I certainly felt it at that moment. But I got through it.

We concentrated on yokomenuchi, one of my favorite attacks. I always feel I can blend more easily with this attack than any other. That probably shows my faults more than any strength, I'm sure.

Regardless, I enjoyed the class. Most of it was fairly straight forward, (irimi nage, kotegaeshi -- did we do shihonage? I don't remember!) but there was one confusing technique. It was a kind of sumi otoshi with a twist, or lack thereof.

From a yokomenuchi attack, one technique is to blend with the strike, irimi tenkan, and throw in a kind of circular way while dropping one's center and inner knee. However, Doug had us do this with out the circular twist of the hips, which required the dropping of the opposite knee. Uke is thrown at a 90 degree angle from his line of attack, if that helps to visualize it.

The first few rounds our group practiced this, we all did the more common way and didn't realize we were doing it wrong until Doug came over and corrected us. This turned out to be too late fore me to practice it. Oh well, next time.


AikiAddict said...

I know this sumi-otoshi very well. It is really hard to get your knee down and legs pointing in the right direction. One of these days I won't hear, "No" when I do it the first time in a class, LOL.

Haru said...

Tom, how funny....yokomenuchi - any yoko attack - I feel more comfortable with too. Nice post, but you will have to show me the technique (sumi-otoshi)Doug intorduced.Patrick