This month we were fortunate enough to get a visit from our good friend Elna but this time she didn’t come alone. Her Sensei, Bruce Robertson came with her so that they could demonstrate some of the amazing techniques of Aikido.
Sensei Robertson is a true Martial Artists with over 50 years training and decades of practical experience in the use of Aikido. It was an honour to have him in our Dojo and share with us some of his art.
Riz was picked as the Uke and got to experience the side of the attacker for the whole session. Sensei Robertson demonstrated a dazzling array of take downs, holds, chokes, arm locks and throws. Most amazingly was how effortless he made it all look.
But rather than me recount the story, I asked Riz to give us his view. Just so we are clear, Riz is the “other” guy in the photo. The one that looks like a rag doll.
From Riz’s point of view
“Sensei Bruce seemed like a harmless elderly gentleman. And he is harmless unless you’re a mugger trying to get his wallet…
Through the fog of pain, there were a few take outs from me being the ‘Uke’ for his demonstration.
The first take out was the precise movements of his hands, body and the synchronicity of his body. His fingers hit the pressure points first go every single painful time! And his body moved at the right time and direction. When he said that he moved my legs by moving my shoulder and that moves my spine and that moved my hips, it was true. Its all conceptual until he is using you to demonstrate it.
Application to my karate: Repetition training of a technique to get the placement, technique and body co-ordination right. This may include solo training and definitely in partner training.
The second take out was his fluidity and relaxed movements, especially when he did the short range punch into my chest. He was relaxed, with no tension and his movement was fast and fluid. Even the point of impact was powerful with no Kime.
Application to my karate: Relaxed technique with no tension, follow through and gain a deeper understanding of proper body mechanics.
The third take out was his discussion on feet and energy coming from the hara. The demonstration using the Jo against our hara when he was pushing me around was amazing. I felt the power when he pushed against me…. and I couldn’t push back.
Application to my karate: Focus on feet placement and direction as the foundation of my stance. Try to work out the principles Sensei Bruce is imparting about direction of the hara on the defensive stance.
The fourth take out was the closeness of him when he was applying the holds and locks. There was no gap between the body and the pressure on the joints did not let up. That is why when he placed the lock on my shoulder, his inhale breath put the pressure on the shoulder and his exhale breath decreased the pressure.
Application to my karate: Bunkai for grappling moves focus on reducing the gap between my body and the opponent’s.
I’m sure there were others but that’s all I could identify through the pain that I was feeling. It was a fantastic opportunity for a first hand demonstration of Aikido. I’ll look forward to another visit from Sensei Bruce but someone else can be the Uke.”