Thursday, March 26, 2009

Uchi Mata - Video of the Week

Gotta love the music. And, the throw's pretty cool too.
On our list, this throw is almost indistinguishable from uchi momo harai. We teach to grab around the waist, as in o goshi.
Also, congratulations to Sam Helm on his promotion to Yellow Belt this evening. Nice job Sam. Keep it up.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Video of the Week

I will begin posting weekly videos again. Here is this week's offering. I had not run across this particular clip online before. A little history: this film is part of a collection of silent film shot in the 1940s. Some of it is from inside the Honolulu dojo, and parts are from outdoor demonstrations. In the late 1970s or early 1980s, Bernie Lau, an aiki-jujitsu specialist put the collection together on VHS for commercial release. This would appear to be a copy of part or all of that collection.

Spring is Here at Last

The middle of March has finally come and gone. The snow is melting, the mud is deepening, and the lakes are thawing. Soon, I'll be fishing again. We've been at the Alfond Youth Center now for seven months. Class has grown quite a bit during that time, and the students are progressing nicely. We've had lots of promotions over the past few months. I've updated the slideshow to include some recent photos.
My early years in the art cause me, every spring and autumn, to reflect on the kata contests the Ryu sponsored in the Southwest. We had a blast! I particularly enjoyed meeting students from the other schools spread across the area. I learned a great deal about the techniques I was focusing on for the contest, and from watching my fellow jujitsukas interpret what they were learning. Meeting at Shakey's Pizza, or Chris n Pitts afterward just put a warm cap on an exhausting, but wonderful day.
The closest I can bring my students to that kind of experience as they learn here in Maine is by making the trek to the Southwest each September. I'm looking forward to that this year as well. I'm having the students pick techniques now for a Kata Contest-like demonstration for some Sunday next month. The experience is definitely worth it, and I think I can give them a taste of what September can be like.
Following is a link to a video taken at the contest in September of 2008. It happens that I am one of the judges at the judges' table for this brown belt division pair. Remember, this team is receiving collective scores for these techniques. There total score is then compared to scores of other teams in the same division. The top three teams are awarded trophies. Notice that the techniques each have an entry, followed by the technique itself, and then an exit. Deductions can occur for any shortcomings at any point in the process.