Monday, October 24, 2011

Internal training – Outside

Great class Saturday.  We did a lot of martial arts training, without doing a lot of techniques, which was very cool.  A beautiful Autumn afternoon training outside in the city park.  Anyone going by on the bike trails probably thought we were doing Tai Chi. 
Well in a way we were doing some Aiki – Tai Chi. 
Our strike structure exercise looked a lot like this

When Marc was here he made an analogy.  Tai Chi is like a bull with the horns removed.  Other fiercer kick ass Commando styles brag about their horns, but it’s like duct tapping long horns onto a Chihuahua.  Taichi may not use its horns but it’s still backed up by 1,500lbs of unprocessed big macs.  Easer to return the horns to a bull than for a Chihuahua’s neck to support horns
There is an old saying in Aikido – feeling is believing.
 Feeling is believing, but even believing isn’t necessarily accepting or understanding.  I’ve been geeking out about subtle power generation since the seminar.  But I’ve discovered a dangerous flaw in my perception.  The evolution of my thought process follows something like this.
 Marc grabbed me – good luck little guy – I go flying – oh yeah this stuff really works.
 Wicked smile if Marc can have huge results with his small mass how much more can I achieve. 
 Working a drill with Lise to illustrate how easy it can be I just “sneeze”….and nearly cripple Lise. 

With great power comes great responsibility.  It has sunk in how powerful this is, but somehow it hasn’t sunk in that it has consequences and repercussions.  A few days later working on power generation again, Lise puts Chad through the wall. 
Again slow learner I guess somehow not understanding that generating that power has consequences. 
Few days after that working this again, Daniel with no effort or ill intent chucks Lise across the Dojo and she cracks her head million dollar baby style against the base of the BOB heavy bag.  Daniel feels horrible but it’s my fault.   So finally it has sunk in that’s its not magic and it not a game.  Small people generating power subtly has the same results (or greater) as large people using their muscle to hit or throw.  But unlike using muscle and size to hurt someone subtle power can inflict damage with absolutely zero intent.  So as a Sensei just as you take precautions during force on force training to protect your students, safety precautions must be taken when training power generation.

Training outside and having a designated “catcher” so Uke doesn’t get shot put into any trees or the next county or anything is a good way to do it.

Here is a breakdown of what we worked on

·         Stance
o   Falling into stances
·         Striking
o   Bone and Ligament alignment
o   Range
Subtle power generation
Rowing exercise
An example of a rowing exercise jab is illustrated in this video I stole from Wim Demeeres blog
Wag your dick
                Turn and walk
Indian leg wrestling
                Elvis hips
                Off balance / falling striking
Sit Down
                Seio Nage
                Hiji Shime
                Dead Palm
                Seio Nage

Rory had us do one of his plastic mind drills when he was here.  Reading about it will ruin it for you when you get a chance to do it.  So I won’t write about it…..except to describe a variation I have been having fun playing with.  If there were some sort of freaky Friday body swap and I was in a 5’ nothing 100 and nothing lbs body how would I beat 5’10” 240 Kasey.  So, along those lines I have been playing with the concepts of Omote and Ura, front and back or manifest and hidden.  You can’t resist non-resistance.  When you push into me I open when you pull I enter.  5 nothing, 100 and nothing Kasey is making me a better opoeater, and much better teacher
So along those lines we finished class with a few techniques
                Ikkajo Omote
                Ikkajo Ura

All in all a great class.  Much learned and …wait for it….no injuries or destruction to property.

Train hard, Train smart, Be safe (play and have fun too)


  1. It WAS a great class..... and I like very much the part bout "no injury". There seem to be a pattern forming about "Lise getting crippled" that is getting a bit disturbing ;-)
    The sitting downs were pretty awesome.

  2. I watched the video and wondered, "Could I do that?" well enough to demonstrate it.

    I practiced with someone in my goju ryu class and he had the same reaction when I hit his hand slow. I was so pleased that I stopped concentrating on going in a straight line and he started being able to dodge it again. I realized that if I didn't think about it, I was training myself to give 'tells' to who I was trying to hit.

    This was something I never really thought of and now there is a whole new reason to practice punching at a mirror.