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Had to copy the last week's worth of posts from my Blog into this so... start at the bottom post and work your way up or go to http://ibaraki-bryan.blogspot.com to see it in the usual format.
I didn't go to class last night or this morning. In the afternoon yesterday, my feet started randomly cramping up -- repeatedly. I gotta say, foot cramps are among my least favorite sensations and I was not enjoying life for a while there. Finally got them calmed down by standing flat footed. I think they may be reacting to training -- or at least to not wearing shoes very much (no arch support). Don't know. No problems today so far -- should be back at keiko tonight.
posted by Bryan at 6:22 PM 0 comments
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
good morning, jo
This morning I woke up stiff and sore -- and knowing it was time for more training. Been having a sore neck issue lately but maybe that's sleeping on the futon or not stretching enough or just abusing my body in general. Not sure, but I didn't let it stop me this morning.
Adam taught class again and we did jo work, starting with the 31 no jo kata and moving on to 1, 2 and 3 no kumi jo. It has been months and months since I did kumi jo last. I worked with two uchideshi, both Australian, and did okay. I mixed some things up and had a little trouble remembering when to receive the strike and when to enter -- oops -- but when I remembered the movements, my body did fine (always in a strong position even if it wasn't the correct position for the specific technique we were doing). Once again, I was glad that I started out doing weapons classes with Adam rather than Sensei, who would probably have been quite disappointed that a supposed shodan was having so much troulbe remembering parts of the kumi jo... okay, enough self criticism.
The weather was great today and Spring is in the air -- the plum and cherry blossoms are everywhere (plum blossoms are falling and cherry blossoms have just started blooming). They were doing bukiwaza at the old dojo when I passed on my way home -- beautiful under all those blossoming trees. I'll try to get a picture tomorrow. I know, I keep promising pictures... haha
Chatting with the uchideshi was nice too -- it's really too bad they're leaving. It's very good to develop friendships with folks from other countries but it kind of sucks to get friendships started only to have the people disappear after a few weeks or months... Oh well... got lots of invitations to Australia though ... maybe Alicia will want to spend a week down that direction for one of our little vacations.
Keiko tonight is at the Budokan but I'm considering skipping it as Alicia will be staying home tonight and I feel like cooking a big spaghetti dinner of some kind. . . we'll see.
posted by Bryan at 10:00 PM 0 comments
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
miwa storms europe, and a shomenuchi kind of night
Miwa-san, a very patient, very good 4th dan from the dojo is heading out for a month in Europe. I think she's heading to Switzerland first to meet up with Akimasa Watanabe (5th dan), then they'll head to Germany for the seminar I mentioned a few days ago. If you're interested in going, click here for upcoming Germany seminar info.
Below is a picture of Miwa-san with long time uchideshi Volker Hochwald. Volker's back in Germany now along with his wife Francisca (Franzisca?) and, I think, their new baby. Francisca was one of the three German uchideshi (along with the British uchideshi, Tom) who were at Sensei's Shokudo when I arrived in Iwama for my first uchideshi experience last year.
I should mention that I did the camera work for this picture. We took about 20 pictures -- Volker just kept flying and I kept taking pictures. This must have been the only one to come out good...
Last night's keiko was another basics night -- taught by Miwa! The uchideshi were glad to get another night of training out of her and gave her a present -- I didn't get to see what it was -- as thanks for all her help.
After tae no henko and morote dori kokyu we did the basic katate dori kokyu (similar movements to morote dori), then shomen uchi sankyo, shomen uchi kote gaeshi, shomen uchi irimi nage and shomen uchi shiho nage before ending with a couple quick round of suwari waza kokyu.
Things I need to remember for each technique:
Katate dori kokyu: start like tae no henko and after turning, extend from your center to take uke's balance then raise and strike through... just like with morote dori kokyu, you really have to do this over and over to get a good feel for it. We also did a variation where you raise up to throw uke but then take an extra step back (turning your hips) and cut your throwing arm down under uke's head to capture around their neck -- atemi to the belly and then let uke drop.
Shomen uchi sankyo: With this variation you strike through like ikkyo or nikkyo omote, then instead of capturing the wrist, cut down almost past uke's hand and capture the ends of the fingers. Over-extend uke's fingers and take his or her balance, then do sankyo as usual. My biggest problem was cutting down to the fingertips without losing the hand. If you strike through on the first movement enough you should be able to really capture uke's elbow (and thus his or her center), you can keep control of the technique to get the fingers. Be careful not to try and capture the hand like a handshake -- a handshake is too much of a conflict and a strong person can reverse or stop it easilly.
Shome uchi kote gaeshi: Another one I hadn't done in a while. It threw me off when most people were skipping straight to the more fluid version of this, totally skipping the atemi I'm used to applying right off the bat. I kept applying atemi because as I struck the shomen uchi down, she tended to move forward off balance which required me to drag her around for kote gaeshi. The atemi tended to arrest her forward movement and it let me extend her with more control. After taking her down, I could tell her dojo had a certain way of turning uke over for the pin. Since I wasn't doing it the way she expected, she resisted. After I did the very direct Tatoian Sensei method of driving the shoulder into the mat on the other side of her body whether she rolled over or not, she caught on that there was more than one way to roll an uke. (Incidentally, when she was nage, she had a lot of trouble rolling me over when she had thrown me by my right arm. I'm not sure why -- when she rolled me with the left arm everything was fine but she'd drive the right arm down with plenty of pain but no impetus for movement.)
Shomen uchi shihonage: The most important thing with shihonage seems to be the initial cut. Shihonage is supposed to be a series of bokken cuts by nage -- one across the belly of uke and then fluidly into a 180 turn and cut to the rear. The first cut, across the belly of uke, must be strong and full -- if you have trouble with this, do 1st kumi tachi over and over and over. This cut should take uke's balance and uke should never have it back until they're laying on the ground. . . I got lazy a couple times. I can't believe it but I had a lot of troulbe with ura. I still don't know what I was doing wrong -- only that it felt awkward.
Shomen uchi iriminage: Had fun with this. We had done iriminage in the morning so the movement was still fresh in my mind (body?). It was good to fine tune the motion / feeling of cutting through uke's center with my hips...
Finished up with suwariwaza kokyu and then had a nice 40 minute jyu keiko with Alicia, Ineke and all the uchideshi. This morning the alarm went off and I didn't even get up. I'll go to class tonight and tomorrow morning but this morning I wanted to be home when Alicia left for work. It was nice to see her off -- I don't like running out the door for keiko before she wakes up and then getting home after she's already left for work. I'm looking forward to Sensei getting back -- we'll probably start having bukiwaza a little earlier in the morning -- and I'll get home before she leaves for school. . .
posted by Bryan at 8:51 PM 0 comments
Monday, April 11, 2005
a chilly tachi dori morning
It's not freezing -- it's not snowing like it is in all the old inspiring Iwama pictures of bukiwaza -- but it has been raining and I've actually had the heater on part of the morning. I can tell this new apartment will be cold during the winter. . .
Rode the bike to keiko -- forgot a jacket or gloves and nearly froze with the wind and all. I took my hakama just in case. When it rains we do training inside the Tanrenkan -- usually tachi or jo dori. Today was tachi dori. Started out with taejutsu (tae no henko and morote dori kokyu) and then did a couple tachi dori kokyu nage variations and ended with tachi dori irimi nage.
Stuck around for some jyu keiko and ended up training for nearly two hours with the uchideshi. Wrote a long post detailing things I need to work on in each technique then, of course, Blogger had some kind of error and the post was lost... oh well. Maybe I'll get the energy up to do it over again.
I've been asked to get a few pictures of the Iwama Budokan -- I'll try to get some pictures up here in a few days!