Does Yamada Stay at Ramada?

Tonight at the Dallas Dojo Yoshimitsu Yamada instructed a full house (or full dojo).

We praticed a number of techniques starting with Irimi Nage. For some reason I was even less competent than usual, to the point my partner apparently thought I was such a beginner that I could not make a backward roll to finish the Irimi Technique when I was Uke.

I don't know why Irimi Nage causes me so much trouble. The last time we practiced it in Plano I thought I was really getting a handle on it as Nage and as Uke. Tonight I was again back to square one, which is a phrase I sadly use much too often.

Here is Yamada Sensei demonstrating Irimi Nage.

After all the above, for some reason what strikes me the most is that Yamada Sensei smokes. In and out of the Dojo. As an ex-smoker I don't mind, but it is strange to smell cigarette smoke inside any building now.


Anonymous said...

I thought that Yamada was a very impressive teacher I liked it when he stated," This is the technique, the throw is just an add on.". He had real power behind his techniques and he seemed to use more of a pulling type of motion to accomplish the techniques we worked on tonight. I think I understand both Kiaten Nage and Kote Gaieshi from a new perspective. He also showed some useful placed to insert punches and strikes after off balancing Uke.
I was most impressed when he showed the only three types of set-ups from the outside of Uke. The Irimi(focusing on off balancing Uke with the wrist), the tenkan while Uke controls hand (focusing on off balancing with the wrist and lowered hip by Nage), and the tenshin when uke's grip is lost(focusing on keeping low with the hips throughout the technique).
P.S. It is always odd to me when I see an athlete smoke. But he is a guy who achieved alot of skill in aikido and shared it. He didn't sit on a mountain top and have this skill bestowed upon him. Who knows maybe he used to play drinking games with O sensei.

Bob said...

This is the second class I attended by Yamada Sensei. The first was at the seminar back January (or was it February?).

In both instances, he led us through a series of related techniques, beginning with something relatively simple, and progressing to more complexity. This really helps me, as I don't have to completely change my thought process in the middle of class. Since all the techniques had the same beginning, I feel like I got lots of good practice.

I agree with Brian's comments. I was also impressed by his emphasis on balance and not rushing through the technique. And yes, his emphasis on lowering the hips and unbalanced Uke is really valuable. I'm going to try to remember that.

Dave - regarding Irimi nage. I did the first Irimi Nage technique with you, and you were fine. We are used to having so much room to move, but the mat was crowded -- that in itself makes a difference.

ZeppoManx said...

When had us switch from Irimi Nage to Kotegaeshi and shouted out something like "Just figure it out!" was this was to emphasize the first part of the process and show that the "technique" was variable?

Maybe not. Previously when I tried to reason out this Aikido stuff I thought each technique has it's appropriate moment and so they are not inter-changeable.


I think it is in "Aikido in America" there are stories from Americans in Japan where they talk about the festive after hours atmosphere of some of those mid century Aikido days. For a time they were apparently a real partying bunch.