Claude Berthiaume Aikido Seminar 8/15/15 – 8/16/15
I threw my back out a few days before and could not move without severe pain. But, I did not want to miss this seminar.
Berthiaume Sensei really has a deep and innate knowledge of Aikido and body mechanics which is borne from experience. For instance, when he was showing techniques, he broke it down to individuals parts: opponent grabs wrist, then your elbow goes around the power of the grab instead of directing your energy into the oncoming assault. Its crushing to your opponent.
To look at a wrist grab in its totality, it’s easy to miss the subtle things that make it really work. But its the great practitioners that make it look effortless and then enunciate it to wanna-bees like me.
Another move he did, that I like and see it as a Chiba sensei technique, is to respond to a wrist grab by folding your arm into your chest and elbow going around the power of the grab. Your hand goes one way into your chest while your elbow goes the opposite way, not unlike a fulcrum.
Outcome, your opponent feels like he opened a door and fell through unbalanced. Exactly like that situation when you go to open a door and someone on the opposite side happens to open it at the exact same moment you do. You lose control and fall into the open room your balance all out of whack and your brain at a loss in its response.
Berthiaume Sensei also made a point of keeping your elbows in close to your body, in certain instances. This has the effect of bringing your opponent into your comfort zone and eliminating the fight. It keeps your center and takes your opponents center. Plus, it guards your innards from any stray punches to the mid section.
I must point out that he also said to keep your opponent at a distance by not folding your elbows in. Elbow power is a situational dynamic.
What I took as the essence of his seminar is to break down the whole into its parts and reconstruct it with fuller and more integral meaning. Use more intent and less power to become dynamic.
Paradoxical thinking right in line with a martial art that calls itself non-violent. As usual, a great seminar.