David Brown Sensei is to look at the bunkai of aikido kata, that is the practical application. Some of the ideas here are that shionage is not about the twisting up of ukes arm and pinning them to the mat. instead the thesis is that shionage is teaching how to 'pass under the blade'. Passing under the blade means there is a freedom to cross in front of uke at any time and be fully protected.
Normally in martial arts its a golden rule to keep you opponent within your 10 to 2 zone (thnk of the 10 hand and 2 hand on a clock) when they pass outside of this zone you are vulnerable. Shionage as a technique teaches us how to safelty expose our backs to uke (or opponent ) without the possibility of being struck.
Thus in the dojo we practice shionage from a variety of hand grabs and invite uke to counter mid technique with additional strikes, headbutts and kicks - this provides us with confidence in the technique and is an important correction to our technique.
Next is to do shionage movement against a variety of attacks (in a structured way) but without seeking to apply shionage. Instead we allow the movement and ukes responses to create the finishing techniques for us. Reverse ikkyo, sankyo and kaiten are some of the most obvious possibilities
Next time we will pad up and explore under psychophysiological stress...
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