Good Ol' Koshi Nage

We worked a bit on Koshi Nage tonight and I think it showed how I've changed since I first blogged on Kohsinage. Before I was in awe of the whole technique, and while I still have a bit of that, I realize for me now the most important thing is the “loading up” part. After that it is really easy to release and make the flashy finish.

Of course before I may have been a bit intimidated or even scared to be uke in a koshi nage, but now it is a breeze if nage knows what they are doing. However a clumsy or unsure nage can make your fall quite hard

Anyway, it is the fist half that embodies Aikido. You have to respond to the attacker and find your center while holding uke's center lightly on your hip. For all the flash, it is the quietness that makes it an Aikido move. There is a similar technique Judo and while I have not studied Judo (unless you count the one class I went to) my feeling is it requires more muscle and is a known response to a known attack while in aikido the Koshinage is a surprise. BUT the real point is that as with so many aikido techniques it is only done well when it is smooth, easy and gentle. At least gentle until the finish.

Nage is unbalanced and then rocked completely on your hip and then “poof” they are on the ground.

AND it was great to have Sensei Sidney back after a week and a half away. Charlie taught while Sidney was gone and while you relish the “real world” approach to Aikido, Sidney is so elegant it really makes the martial art an “Art”. He will comment on the applicability of certain parts but he really wants us to “feel” what it right. To sense what it happening and to respond accordingly.

In many ways it is simply a matter of emphasis but I'm in Aikido for the beauty and the truth of the act. I wonder if the fact our Sensei also practices painting in oils relates to how he views the practice of Aikido.

Think about it, where else can you combine the physical act with such an aesthetically refined movement AND a useful defense technique. Sidney often tells us that in “real life” you could not make such dramatic movements, BUT if you understand and integrate those extravagant motions when the time comes a reaction that has a more forced crudity will also include those inspirational approaches.

Anyway, it is good that he is back

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