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25 November 2011 - I discovered that I'm doing Tsuki Jodan Gaeshi Uchi incorrectly. In this video, Saito Sensei completes the Tsuki, then steps back and does the nagashi parry, then steps forward.  I had been doing it as a single movement, performing the nagashi parry above my head with my feet together.  I've always been uncomfortable with the notion of my balance during the parry - my feet are close together, and I don't have a firm base to accept a parry.   

11-November 2011 - Someone asked recently about the placement of the left foot in Ushiro Tsuki; I'd been doing it with my left foot pointing perpendicular to the thrust. I've checked a couple of video's, and that seems to be the norm.  Aside: If you're shooting video, please don't obscure the footwork with a stripe/banner; the banner is useful, but the feet are essential. 

Ushiro Tsuki

Stuff I want to try

Kumi-Jo #1

I saw a very lovely demonstration of Kumi-Jo #1 at Northern Virginia Aikikai.  The instructor emphasize that one of the goals is to keep the jo in contact with one another - almost like an antenna.  I think this may have some implications for things we've discussed about the awase.
The Northern Virginia Aikido sensei also stressed that tori's first movement pre-empts uke's attack. He acknowledged that some schools teach this as a retreat and advance, but that he prefers the pre-empt.  I wonder if the pre-empt makes the exercise more difficult. 
  • Miami Aikido
  • Aikitube  - this one doesn't demonstrate the flow, or the antenna quality that I think is so valuable.
  • Saito Sensei - again, at least at the 1:25 mark the technique is discrete, rather than flowing.

Stenudd Jo Exercises

Awase from Holland Sensei

  • Ichi no awase - Jodan gaeshi against choku tsuki

Choku Barai 

20 Jo Suburi

Breeland Sensei - 20 Jo Suburi 5-10 - Breeland Sensei shows the movements and offers commentary. I remember having heard praise of Breeland Sensei elsewhere (can't remember where, but her name is familiar with respectful connotations), and this video helps me to understand why. Clear discussions and clean movements, but not "cinematic"  Aside; I watched a lovely montage of aikido techniques recently, but it was completely ruined for me when I realized just how "posed" the techniques were. Not a single student adjusted their mai-ai throughout; this was lovely because it was cinema, not because it was skillful. They were probably still better technicians than I am, but they were working for the camera, not for their partners.

I think the video bears re-watching, but I want to record a couple of notes:

  1. She advises students to touch their spine with the jo to "align" things. This has been a subject of some discussion in our weapons group for some time.  Saito Sensei does the same thing when working with sword. Most of us feel that the spine touch slows the movement. To my mind, it almost moves the focus upward - I have to stretch my upper arms upwards, and that compromises my ability to synchronize my strike with my hip drop.   On the other hand, she says that as you become more experienced you can drop the spine touch. I suspect that I'm going to have to experiment with her advice - do a couple hundred cuts her way, then return to the way we've been doing it and see what I learn.
  2. Her interpretation of #10 is fascinating - she says it begins as a defensive move; ducking under the protection of the jo before striking.  
  3. At the end she demonstrates variations on #8 (Menuchi Gedan Gaeshi); I'm glad to see these as variations; I believe I've seen these in various videos, and her comments seem to confirm that these aren't wrong, they're just different.  I can see utility in the "over the hip downward strike" variation.  

A youtube playlist of short videos of the 20 Jo Suburi

Aikido Development Society 20 Jo Suburi

13-no-Jo Kata

Some videos I've found instructive

13-no-Jo Kata (Takemusu)

I like his very slow, very clear articulation of the motions, and the fact that the footwork is visible.  The footwork against the tapemarks on the floor also makes it clear when and how he crosses the line.

13-no-Jo Kata ‎(Shinburenseijyuku)(paired practice)‎

13-no-Jo Kata(mreifslager)

I very much appreciate that he has hiked up his hakama to permit us to see the footwork.

Random other links

I'm in the process of organizing these links. Not quite sure exactly how I want to organize this information.
Aikistudent has some very nice, very focused videos. I like the explanation of Hasso Gaeshi

  • 22-no-Jo
  • 31-no-Jo 8
  • 36-no-Jo 3
  • 6-no-Jo 3
  • 8-no-Jo 2
  • Joawase 6
  • Jodori 3
  • Jogeiko 16
  • Parker Sensei working with Jo
  • 31 Jo Kata

  • Muso Shinden Ryu Jodo This is distinct from Aiki-Jo; Dr. Kondo recommends this system as one of the best. Baltimore Judo club may provide instruction

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