Howard Popkin, Joe Brogna & Dmitri Deglas Daitoryu Aikijustsu Seminar
I had the audacious opportunity to attend a Daitoryu Aikijutsu seminar taught by Howard Popkin Sensei, Joe Brogna Sensei and Dimitri Deglas Sensei, last weekend at Shindai Aikikai in Orlando, FL. It was an awesome experience and tons good work was accomplished. Shindai folks were great hosts and all around good guys.
One of the major concepts I took away from this seminar was going underneath, over or around your opponents center. Specifically, the idea of maneuvering your elbows in a circular motion under your aggressor’s oncoming rush of force.
I know, moving around an opponents center is a recurring theme throughout my posts. But, it’s one I haven’t ingrained in my system so that its second nature and happening without reactionary thought. The concept hasn’t become learned behavior yet. Hence, my constant writing about it.
I am always amazed at how these guys move.I go after them full bore with all my guns blazing and they cut me down to nothing. Its like a hot knife through butter and I am the butter. Their apparently simple moves continually left me as a useless heap on the mat.
The thing about the elbow technique is to make your elbow the point of energy dissipation. In practice, your wrist is being grabbed and the force is driving into you. Your reaction is to fight force with force. The better practice is to let the force drive and you go under or around the force by letting the grab happen and focusing your force through aiming your elbow. Your energy should find its exit through the point of your elbow instead of that point where you are being grabbed. It’s not as easy as it sounds.
Besides having to overcome years of conditioning to the contrary, there is also the subtle, sublime and innate emotional blocks that end up controlling autonomous motor response. In a word, ego.