Showing posts from June, 2012

The ikkyo "projection" and its internal counterpart

Introduction In this article I will analyse one of my favourite "projections" (or throws) and one that I most frequently apply in sparring. The term "ikkyo" means, literally, "first lesson" in Japanese. Students of aikido will know it as a foundational technique that leads them on to "nikkyo", "sankyo" and "yonko" (second, third and fourth lessons respectively) as well as many other techniques. In essence, ikkyo, like its related techniques, is a compound "lesson" teaching the student the following: a "projection" by which leverage on a joint can lead the body to be "projected" in a particular direction (think of it as a kind of "throw"); and a pin that takes place on the ground once the "uke" (your partner/opponent) is "projected" (thrown). This article will deal with only the first portion: the projection. I shall deal with the ground pin on another day. I prop

Dealing with wrist grabs

Introduction In my article " Gorillas in the midst: the question of wrist grabs " I wrote about the common misconceptions about wrist grabs: their occurrence in attacks, their function in "setting up" techniques and their use in martial training pedagogies. But recently a correspondent's query made me realise that I haven't yet addressed the question of how to deal with wrist grabs . In this regard, Nathaniel wrote: "As a small man (140lb), I've found that people frequently grab my guard. They use these grabs to easily break my structure and make me feel quite foolish. I've been having a lot of trouble countering these grabs, especially double wrist grabs. I don't suppose you'd know anything I can do to improve this without anyone physically there to provide resistance, do you?" The occurrence of wrist grabs Nathaniel's comments provide an example of what I believe is the most common use of wrist grabs. Yes, you don't see

TCM meridians and fascia: what do they have to do with the internal arts?

This is a first for this blog, and I hope it’s not the last. Today I’m featuring a guest blogger, Trevor Aungthan. He is both a gifted student of multiple martial systems (internal and external) as well as a qualified and experienced physiotherapist who has worked with Cirque du Soleil and is the creator of an exciting new exercise program called " Circus Conditioning ". In this article Trevor gives a fascinating and highly informative analysis of the meridians of traditional Chinese medicine, fascia and the internal arts. Enjoy! If you've ever seen an acupuncturist, you may have heard what Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners call 'meridians' - these are the pathways that Qi (or Chi) flow through in our bodies. There are 14 meridians and along each meridian are Qi (or acupuncture) points where Qi can be manipulated to restore balance, via acupuncture needles or acupoint pressure. Much research has been done and is currently ongoing on the c