Exaggerate Your Way To Success

Last night we mostly practiced from a Shomenuchi attack and one response was kote-gaishi. For some reason I thought I knew how to do this technique, but actually I saw last night how much I didn't “get it”.

It is always a bit difficult to balance the slow speed you use to learn something against what would really happen from and attack with real speed and intention. If somebody attacks well you tenkan (turn) and uke's forward momentum goes naturally but with a slower “training” attack nage must shift their weight forward after grabbing the wrist to simulate the momentum of uke. While this is not quite “real” and Sensei emphasized that a faster attack would require less from nage, the intention and motion is still part of the movement. (see the video at about a minute into it)

Sidney often tells us to exaggerate our movements when we are practicing and going slow. Once the exaggerated flow is internalized, what you learn remains at the heart of your practice.

Anyway, last night I kept feeling how I was NOT shifting forward, rather I was extending my hand while I was already stepping back to apply kotegaishi. I guess I can at least recognize what I'm doing wrong. That is progress of some sort.


Blake said...

Fun class! I had done the techniques (yay!), so the repitition helped me realize how poorly I execute. Sidney gave many tips on mechanics, which help me remember basic movement. I love the humble feeling. Like a toddler learning to walk by watching an olympic track event! The mind conceptualizes centeredness, momentum blending, relaxation, etc. then I stand to move and brain blanks, body stiffens and limbs are unsure. Amazing!

Re. street application - the challenge is there'll be almost no committed momentum or line of attack, as fighters constantly shift, jab and feign to lure. For an idea, google Kimbo Slice and watch his street fights. Not pretty, but hard to imagine a tenkan step around him!

I left class feeling refreshed and energized rather than sore & spent. I felt I had practiced with a bit less confusion. I call that progress!

ZeppoManx said...

It can be tough making it through the hour and a half workout, but I usually feel great afterwards.

Bob said...

It seems like when Yamada Sensei does this technique, he really lowers his center a lot, by bending his knees, and takes Uke down low and forward, unbalancing him.