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It was such a great feeling to be back practicing yesterday. Sensei Vic was very nice to me he started with the basics like ikkyo, kotegashi, shio nage, etc. Sensei also explained a little about muscle, and relaxtion. It was quite amazing as I grabbed his wrist he tensed up and I was able to feel his center and could be able to push him back. I then performed the same grab again and he relaxed. This time I could not push him back. I could not feel his center at all. Aikido never stops amazing me.
Back in action again on Monday! So happy to start practicing again. With the birth of my children it seems like I stop practicing more times than I start. I'm just coming of another year long hiatus. With my youngest son being born last August and being sick the first 6 months of his life and myself working my way through Barber college I didn't necessarily have time to practice. Well, my son is doing awesome I have since then graduated from school and I am slowly building my business (even though I still have a full time job). I have miraculously found a way to work 3 jobs be a father to my children, a husband to my wife and be a committed Aikidoka. I couldn't be more happy to have all these wonderful things and be able to practice Aikido. Who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?
Being relatively new to Aikido I've really struggled with blending, and being centered in certain situations. I sometimes think I have to be a push over in order to be a good Aikidoka. I sometimes wonder if I should feel mad and angry or just smile and be peaceful.
A great example is when I'm driving and someone cuts me off and has the potential to injure me and my family or possibly kill us from the persons reckless driving. What would O Sensei do? Would he get mad and say something to the individual or would he take another road (figuratively speaking)?
Now I am using this example as just that, an example. I am aware of the times being completely different and I am looking for a comparison. I believe if O Sensei was in a similar situation he would say or do something to let it be known that the person is wrong. Our art is is deeply rooted in the Samurai way if I'm not mistaken and I don't think any Samurai would tolerate any kind of disrespect or allowing a person to behave in a way where their own well being could be compromised. I realize that I can't go around swinging a katana like schizophrenic hopped up on P.C.P., but I do want to represent the art and lifestyle I have come to love and appreciate in a positive light.
Some of you may think I'm being a little ridiculous and I should take an anger management class, but again this is just an example and I'm sure you can a relate. Weather it be an altercation at work or at the supermarket. We all run into the
Tonight was a rough one. The whole class tonight was a giant ukemi workshop. My back is sore from flipping instead of rolling, and my shoulders feel extremely tight as if I was in a straight jacket for a year. As sore as I am and as sore as I'm going to be tomorrow I'm really glad I was there tonight. When I decided to start training again one of the things I wanted to really understand and become good at was ukemi. We all know it's a huge part of Akido but sometimes I think practicing and honing it takes a back seat to the throws and techniques. Between Mondays class which involved a boatload of suwari waza techniques and today's ukemi butt whoopin I might have to break out the Icy Hot.
Last night at the dojo sensei Tom did a lot of push hand, connection type exercises. All the exercises were (as with all Aikido) executed better while being relaxed. It was so awesome to be able to feel that connection and energy from your partner and being able to perform a technique with said energy. I often times feel like we perform our locks and throws so quickly that we don't have time to feel the energy being passed to us. I think these techniques really help you slow down and feel your way through them. For a lower ranking Aikidoka like myself it really helped with my blending.
The last couple classes we've had a visitor, and last night was his last class. If it is at all possible for a straight happily married man to have an Aikido crush on another man it would be Pat. Just like the little league players idolize they're favorite big league players I have a similar admiration for our visitor Pat. I wouldn't go as far as saying I idolize him, rather a huge respect and hoping that one day I will have the same Aikido "swaggar" as him. (I'm not really sure if there is such a thing). He has so much power and at the same time so much control. I look forward to the day I can posses the same power.
If I could sum up practice today it would be brain fart. Now this may be odd but I think what happend to me today had more to do with thinking too much as opposed to not thinking at all.
Today we broke into two groups and performed each technique around the group twice. So of course me being the lowest rank I went last. So I observed everyone doing the technique and I focused really hard. In some cases I tried the technique on my imaginary uke while waiting to attack. So my turn to be nage came, uke would attack and I would sit there with this look on my face as if someone asked me to explain the theory of relativity. Now that I'm home sitting on my couch typing away it dawned on me that I was thinking too much, I wasn't reacting, and I wasn't using my center to throw. I had all these things going through my mind that I wanted to improve on that I wasn't relaxed, and I was trying so hard that when it came time for me to do what I was supposed to be doing I came up blank. I'm planning on leaving my brain at home on Monday and just bringing my center to class. If I'm lucky maybe some extra stamina will come along too.
Tonight I really enjoyed class. I mean I always enjoy it but tonight there were more people there so I had the oppurtunity to throw a variety of uke. I again felt more comfortable with the movement even though it may not look like it. I would like to develop my footwork alot more. I notice how my sesei and higher ranking aikidoka slide into position and move tenkan etc. with such ease. I also envy the strength of their grip, it's unbelieveably strong and rigid while the same time it's very relaxed. I used to think I was a pretty strong guy but I was wrong I really need to get one of those grip exerciser things to build up my strength so I can at least hang on when I'm uke. I'm really hoping I can make it to class on Friday I would like to get into some kind of routine, but I know with a newborn at home that is asking alot. Anyway I hope everyone enjoyed their class as much as me today. And if anyone can tell me how to make this painfull stiffness in my neck and shoulder area go away that I contracted from moving the wrong way, I would greatly appreciate it. OK Sierra Nevada Torpedos are calling my name.
Last evening we had a great practice at the club. By good I mean that my partners didn't have to keep stopping to show me the technique too much. Although my flexibility has never been all that great last night is was a little easier to stretch over my beer belly. We did alot of shio nage and towards the end of class and I felt a little of the Aikido cordination I did have coming back to me. I really can't wait to get used to the heat in the dojo. I have never sweated so much during practice.
Here he is! No. 2. Jackson Shane Bournival. Me and my wife are so excited to have our new addition to our family. She is such a trooper, she feels so good that she's "letting" me out for a couple hours tomorrow to go to the dojo. Can't wait for both boys to be old enough to bring them to the childerens class.