Thursday, January 15, 2015

Miyahara-sensei Visit
The real hero of this story is my wife. At quarter to seven I said, "If I'm gonna go, I have to leave in 15 minutes or sooner." She took a look at our two crying children and said, "Go." Thanks, honey!

As some of you know, Miyahara-sensei, hachidan (I didn't catch his first name, but he teaches in Shizuoka) visited the Detroit dojo for a practice last night. I attended, at the Northville location. We had a small but vigorous group and a great practice with this fine teacher.

Miyahara-sensei spoke a little English but taught in Japanese. I followed most of it via demonstration and the few words I speak but had to have some of it translated for me by the multi-lingual practitioners present.

Basically, what we worked on was attacking, and Miayahara-sensei described four basic situations. One, where the opponent is standing still and open, and you penetrate (all the way to his doh, practically) and take men. Two, where the opponent is moving around, and you remain calm and undistracted and pick the right time to move in and take ippon (we did mostly men). Three, when the opponent has a good strong center that you have to break down, for example with harai attacks to ura and omote sides. And four, when the opponent is attacking, and you win with debana or ai-waza.

I'll have to demonstrate more of what he showed us but we drilled these concepts for a while. The fascinating thing for me was Miyahara-sensei showed us that when you penetrate the opponents defense, you can get your kensen right up to where it's just about touching the opponent's doh, and then snap up and down onto his men. He emphasized doing this with legs and hips in one or two strong, flowing-forward steps.

We all had jigeiko with him at the end of practice and it was as good as what you would expect: he was really holding back on us, let us get a few openings (made us work for them, though), and subtley, easily dodged our attacks or swatted them gently aside - then nailed us a few times to show us the ippon opportunities. Great practice, thanks to Detroit, thanks to Miyahara-sensei, and thanks most of all to my missus! *kiss*

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