For the Kaiten Nage, this was nicely put in less than 2 minutes. He has all the basics down to the point that someone who has little to no experience of Aikido can follow along and not be completely off if they were to go to a dojo. As I’ve mentioned before, Mike Jones has a good “instructor” presence; he’s very formal and can dish out information and say it in a way that most people can relate to. At times I’ve noticed here (and in past videos) that he can fumble on his words and does give off the feeling that he’s nervous. Regardless, he’s very technical, but for the limited time that the video was on, it’s a good way to give out the information. Coming from a school that focuses less on technique and more on the internal side of Aikido, I’m biased when I say that he’s explanations are limited and more “muscle”-based. Despite that, I understand that not everyone watching this will have the chance of knowing the difference between Aikido’s technical and internal side. With that said, how he explains it is authentic enough for someone to begin Aikido. Great Uke by the way!
It seems that some of the technical names such as Udekime Nage were left out of the memorization process in my dojo – even though we do them ALL the time. I remember learning this technique in the first month of my training. The one thing that stood out for me was – as it has been for this series – the wording of and description of how techniques are explained. For example at 1:00 she says that she “takes her [the uke] down”, how it has been explained to me is you’re not “taking someone down”; a smooth, relaxed body/mind connection/presence is what leads to an uke to “comply” with the execution of the technique. It also makes for a safer practice! Now if only I could allow myself to do that every time…
Ah Juji Nage, one of my favorite techniques; unfortunately also one of the least done techniques! Believe it or not, this technique can be found in other martial arts; I remember watching an episode of Human Weapon on the Discovery Channel and remember how this movement was done in Filipino Kali episode. In any case, this is a very fun (hint: disabling) technique when properly done. What caught my eye here was at 0:56 where Mike Jones Sensei cautions to avoid collapsing. Good call since a lot of beginners – and even more advanced people can do that accidentally. As for the role of the uke, at first it can be intimidating since your arms are tied up, but as you get comfortable in your own body it’s just a huge high fall. Just thinking about receiving a Juji Nage makes my head spin!
And finally Sumi Otoshi, one of my favorite techniques mainly because it’s one of the “easiest” to do. I say easiest because it’s relative so long as you’re not using strength or pushing. It’s easy to push someone down especially if they’re smaller than you. It’s the bigger guys who you have to learn how to execute this properly. In any case, this is a great technique to practice on; especially when you’re testing yourself if you are centered, settled, and not straining or using strength. Again, it’s very easy to just use strength – hell I can do that! But it’s always cool to allow yourself to perform the technique gracefully on an uke that’s twice your size!
Notes: Just revised the schedule here and there’s going to be 9 parts to this series. So any of you are wondering when is it going to end, it will soon enough. Look forward to the next one soon! Till next time.