Posted by: yoko | January 14, 2004


It turns out I won’t be testing for the next level at Kokikai Aikido winter camp. I won’t have the minimum number of class hours logged in time that are needed, and rather than cramming hours in a month and a half, I’m going to test during summer camp instead. As some of you may know, I had trepidations about testing before I was ready last time; this time, I managed to get some slack, and I intend to practice wholeheartedly in preparation for June.

In class yesterday, we practiced tenchi-nage, also known as the heaven-and-earth throw. In this throw, differences in height between partners is to my disadvantage. (There are plenty of throws in which being small is advantageous to me, though.) I’ve learned to do an effective workaround with this technique when I am the thrower (nage), but as uke (receiver of the throw), there’s not much I can do except look mean and growl, which caused one of my partners to double over and laugh uncontrollably. I had to laugh, too– the guy was at least a foot and a half taller than me.

My world has gone shaky otherwise, so keeping centered and having a sense of humor is very much needed right now.

Knitting a shawl for my sister– got the pattern and yarn yesterday by mail. It looks like fun.



  1. hope the shakes pass soon…

  2. Tips on turning shortness into an advantage in tenchi-nage:

    As nage: strongly emphasize the down hand. Reach as deep and low as you can with it. Don’t bring the up hand up any higher than the level of your own collarbone. And don’t slide the down-hand foot forward, just out to the side.

    As uke: the number one technical mistake that nages make in tenchi-nage is allowing the elbow of the up hand to get behind their centers – i.e., alongside or behind their torsos, instead of in front of them. As long as the elbow is back there, that arm is only backed by the triceps and deltoids, not by the center. As uke, you don’t have to be very big to ruthlessly exploit this error (thus helping nage to correct it). Just keep your weight coming forward, stay vigilant, and if that elbow starts to fall behind their center, use your kokyu-dosa skills to keep their arm stuck back there.

  3. salmon: thanks for the good wishes.

    nick: thanks very much for the advice. i will definitely try those techniques as uke. As nage, Cecelia had showed us a neat trick of the s-curve (similar to one of the kokyunage throws of simulating taking away one’s one-point and dumping it over the uke’s shoulder) that works nicely for big ukes. but like you say, emphasizing the down hand down and angled slightly is quite effective as well.

  4. echoes on the no-shakes wishing.


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