NGAExperience® Nihon Goshin Aikido

Inside Nihon Goshin Aikido ~ #73

July & August 2019

Inside This Edition:

Greetings Nihon Goshin Aikido Aficionados!

So it turns out that July is a fast month, and August is even faster.  My apologies for not getting your monthly NGAexperience newsletter out to you in July.  That said there were many developments that took a lot of my time in July ~ including the opening of my own NGA dojo in Columbia, SC.

Training time at the dojo has been solid.  Two 2-hour sessions each week allow us to accomplish a ton of work off of very little commitment time.  Most people train about twice a week, and then only for an hour a session.  The two hour sessions at my dojo allow for 4-hours worth of training with the same number of commitment days for maximum progress.  

Another point on the new dojo is the mats.  We have the thickest, most comfy Aikido mats in Columbia, SC!   Put the fun into ukemi, and come train with us!

Oddly, one of the things I like most about the new dojo is the attendence register/ sign in book.  It is a custom spiral bound design featuring many of O. Ratti's aikido sketches put into 6 progressive technical series.  Each series is watermarked a page.  I was able to get the 500 page book (that's a lot of sign ins) printed and bound for a little less than $30 (using my corporate printer discount).  I'm pretty proud of it, but it's the sketches on every  page that make the piece compelling.  O.Ratti's aikido sketches are so good.  They capture the feel of Aikido so precisely.  I look at them, and I always come to the same conclusion:  I wish I could draw.

Senseis ~ if you'd like one of these Sign In books customized for your dojo, let me know.  I can square you away.    

In the August edition of the newsletter, I wanted to pick up where with left off with uke behavior.

Here goes:

Aikido ~'s  "The Official Uke Follow Me Guide:  How to Be a 'Good' Bad Guy."

Part 5 of 6:  

Beginning a few months ago , I began a series of articles discussing the aspects that all good ukes should manifest.  The aim of every Uke is to be a "good" bad guy ~ we hope to highlight actions that promote good uke behavior in this ongoing series.  

Watch almost any generic aikido video you see on youtube, and it will typically be saturated with what I define as generally "unnatural" uke behavior.  Now let me be clear, I am not being critical of the act of Aikido ukemi ~ the falls and rolls ~ or the act of receiving the technique.  The falls are great ~ if not spectacular.  When I reference unnatural uke behavior, I am referencing the simple fact that the attacking intention of uke is typically negligent in many respects ~ if not possibly even non-martial in many training scenarios and demos.

"Good" Bad Guys don't have to strike with lethal intentions, but every strike should have these qualities:

1)  The strike should be on target (Covered in the March 2019 edition of the newsletter),

2)  The strike should be delivered with a closed fist, as opposed to an open hand (Covered in the April 2019 edition of the newsletter),

3)  The strike should be delivered with uke's conviction to stay in the fight (not tossed out there and immediately followed by a self inflicted flop onto the mat), (Covered in the May 2019 edition of the  newsletter)

4)  The striker should always seek a combination punch (in other words uke's non striking hand should be kept martial throughout nage's technique), (Covered in the June 2019 edition of the newsletter)

5)  The uke should look for a way to counter nage's technique, (this month's topic)

6)   Uke doesn't need to say anything between attacks ~ just train.

This month we are considering Quality #5 ~ Uke should look for an opportunity to counter nage's technique in Application training.

In many ways, trying to counter nage builds on the notions covered in the June article.  Just the attempt of striking with the non controlled hand is a counter, puts you in a better martial relationship to your training partner, and sets up the possibility to reverse roles.  

So when I was training with the guy who just could not get in the right position as uke, I told him, "If I am holding your right hand doing a technique, think about how you would position your body to hit or grab me with your left hand." I was basically telling him, "Fight back!" "Counter me!"

Some of the best counters are actually takedown attempts.  If you have a high center, you will know it because uke will constantly be double legging you, and putting you flat on your back.  At some point, you'll instinctively get lower and perhaps even sprawl.  Being on the ground and getting comfortable on the ground is a must have martial experience.  Knowing how to use your aikido on the ground is neat also.  My pet peive is watching an attack line that results in a nage who gets taken down, and then just gives up and lays their, flat on their back, like a sleepy walrus until the Sensei stops the attacker.  "Minus 1" ~ lol  I don't get it, but I also admit that I'd probably do something similar if I wasn't trained in ground fighting to a minimal extent.  Seriously, you can make a case that the mastery of fewer than 6 ground techniques can save your life ~~~ but I digress.

Final point: the mindset to counter keeps the nage / uke relationship transitional, and transitions  should be a constant characteristic at higher levels of martial play/ training.  Start slowly, perhaps at only50% speed, and work your way up.

In next month's newsletter, I'll discuss the 5th good quality of all good ukes in application training ~ and I have it on good authority that it is one of Shihan Bowe's favorites.   What is the 6th quality all good ukes must have?  Namely:  Less talking on the mats and more punching, kicking, and throwing.

I hope you have a great month in training.  Let's meet together on the mat and soon.

Click Here for A Random Archived "Inside Nihon Goshin Aikido" Newsletter Edition

Mystery Articles of Interest

Mystery Article A

Mystery Article B

Mystery Article C

I hope you have a great month in training.  Let's meet together on the mat and soon.

Jonathan Wilson

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Unless otherwise stated, the author’s views, musings, and opinions do not necessarily reflect the attitude of leadership within any of the various Nihon Goshin Aikido associations, or unaffiliated Nihon Goshin Aikido dojos.

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Sweet Arm Bar Application from the Bottom of the Fight.

If you can cross your legs, you can do this technique.

The Shomenuchi ~ one Slow Engagement

The Yokomenuchi is even slower and equally non- martial.

The Jab is not slow.

Want a Solid Arm Bar?

1.  Ki Finger of Gripped hand Extended

2.  Shuto Driving Fulcrum Just Above Elbow

3.  Power from Tenkan Hip Pivot Driving Uke Off His Base and to the Ground

“Hokkaido 2020”

Let’s establish a Nihon Goshin Aikido Dojo in Chitose, Hokkaido Japan

by 2020.

Doing the Leg Sweep incorrectly here.

Do you see the mistake?

The contact point is my thigh instead of my calf.

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Ukemi Central

Spreading your inevitable impact with the mat over space(so that everything hits the mat at the same time) or time (so that a little parts of you falls from the sky at a time....).