What is Kata, Why is Kata…June 25, 2018
What Works When You Need It?July 9, 2018
Welcome to the River of Life dojo blog. This week I’d like to discuss a drill that James Williams Sensei just added to the ‘on line dojo,’ which you can find at www.vimeo.com. The drill entails simply standing side by side with your practice partner and resting your left hand on their right shoulder. You count off left right left, right and so on so that you are both stepping together. As you both place your right foot forward, you simply, and lightly use the weight of your hand and arm to place your partner’s tailbone in the spot his right foot had just been. If partner falls as they should, they should practice a backward ukemi, or roll back to standing.
The things to look for are the slight shifting in balance your partner makes as they go from foot to foot, and the subtle start and stop of their motion. The key to the drill is to find that moment when they are most vulnerable to the fall. In this manner, we learn to allow gravity to work for us so that we do not need leverage or muscle strength to create the fall. This is not easy to do consistently, but; if you’re willing to fail, you can find success. If you are willing to practice, you can start to find the slight changes in a adversary’s balance that can allow you, through relaxation, to let gravity drop your opponent with the slightest of releases. We, often, use the shift from a stance called han mae to a stance called ichi mon shi goshi to create the release. This is very subtle and gentle, indeed!
With practice you can start to find the partner’s balance faster and with less and less touch.
You can even use this to drop someone coming straight at you.
If you would like to practice this, come on out to the River of Life dojo, we’d love to have you!