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It`s 9:30PM and am ready to crash, been up since 2:00AM and am suffering. Lights out and zonk.............
Suddenly wide awake, look at the clock, 10:30PM, I$B!G(Bve been asleep for a whopping one whole hour!! I lay there, eyes closed trying to return to my slumber, but the brain is now active and I can`t. Grrrrrr..........
I suppose it`s a good job I`m awake, the phone rings $B!H(Bit`s the Danish connection$B!I(B says the voice on the line, $B!H(BHi Jorgen$B!I(B. It`s Jorgen from Aikiweb, also here on vacation, I`d been trying to get him to come along to Tuesday morning Keiko at Stumpy`s. $B!H(Bpractice is 7:00 tomorrow$B!I(B he asks, $B!H(B5:45$B!I(B I reply, $B!H(Bthat`s bloody early!!$B!I(B. We arrange to meet at Roppongi station before I try to return to sleep.
Sleeeeeeeeeeeeep!!!!! Such a simple thing yet so bloody difficult to achieve at the moment. I look at the clock 11:00 PM, I can still get 6 hours, I turn over and close my eyes.
I look at the clock again, OK, I can still get 5 hours........
Trying to sleep is now becoming torture, I`ve never been affected by jet lag this badly before, still, I can get 4 hours.........
PLEASE GOD LET ME SLEEP!!!!!!!!!!!! It`s 2:AM and I`ve only had about 8 hours in the last 5 days, what are you doing to me?
$B!H(BBEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP$B!I(B,.......what the f...? I realize that the alarm has disturbed my beautiful peaceful slumber. It`s 5:00AM, bloody hell, how am I supposed to recover, my body is rebelling in all directions, but I had promised Stumpy that I would come out to play. I jump out of bed, sling on yesterdays clothes, grab my keiko gi (packed it last night ) and run out the door.
I`m in the subway 10 minutes after the alarm goes, feeling a tad on the groggy side, there`s no train for another 15 mins, am only just gonna make it to class. The train pulls in to Roppongi, as I stand, I notice Jorgen in the next compartment, I stroll through and we introduce ourselves. He`s read Angry White Pyjamas and confessed he was nervous about this class (Sorry Jorgen, it is a blog, and I do have creative licence ). We enter the dojo where Stumpy is already waiting.
Both Jorgen and I leave our hakama`s in our bags. We line up and class starts, there`s 6 of us plus Stumpy. He runs through a quick warm up and moves onto Yoshinkan Kihon Dosa, this is where me and Jorgen are continuously glancing over our shoulders trying to keep up whilst figuring out what he`s actually doing (at least I am, couldn`t care a less about Jorgen at this point, having enough difficulty trying to figure my own moves out without looking like a total spaz ). The rest of the class all seem perfectly in tune.
We move onto shomen uchi Yonkyo, katate dori nikkyo, and shomen uchi iriminage. The difficulty for me (don`t know about Jorgen) was figuring out the way that they moved to start each technique, it was quite formal (not a criticism), just different to what I`m used to. I became a mess of feet and thumbs, getting it wrong practically every time..........reminded me something about beginners mind . Each technique, Stumpy would come along and join in with us both giving and receiving (oooerrrrr madam, that sounds a bit rude – but this is Yoshinkan ).........
The man is a bear and has forearms like hams, how the hell are you supposed to do yonkyo to him when you can`t even get a grip with two of your own hands?........As for nikkyo, his hands just engulfed mine, felt like he could snap my wrist if he sneezed!!
Stumpy then asked me to take two of the techniques and show them from my perspective. He`d mentioned this the previous Friday, so I`d already planned something, shame I then proceeded to do something completely different. Nothing I`d thought about came out, I know it was just to give his guys a taster of something different but am not convinced that I did myself justice , although my nikkyo pin did seem to go down with some appreciation with his students. I`ve been wondering about that, because from what I experienced in the class, I don`t think it was that different at all.........
After we`d finished, Stumpy, Jorgen and I retired to a corner for 15 mins to chat over differences in techniques, why we did what we did in the ways that we did etc. I think we all came to the conclusion that whilst the methodology may differ, at the heart we are all on the same road doing the same thing. Maybe not as big as Aiki Expo, but it was a good class for me.
Drew walks in the door for the 7:00AM class, I bow out. I`m feeling bloody knackered at this point and make some feeble excuses about getting back to the hotel for breakfast, need to get my keiko gi in the laundry, no change of clothes, there was an earthquake, a tidal wave, it wasn`t my fault.........(ode to the Blues Brothers there ).
We get Drew to take a couple of quick snaps of the three of us on the cameras that both Jorgen and I took along (will post when I get back to the UK). Don`t know why we got Drew to do it, he should have been in them too since he`s on Aikiweb!! Drew mentions something about me blowing in Stumpy`s ear the othre day, a picture somewhere, but has fortunately forgotten to provide me with a link......PHEW!!).
Jorgen decides to stay for the next class, I bid my farewells and leave. Straight down to a vending machine on the corner where I guzzle down a litre of Aquarius to replace the lost fluids from training.
I get back to the hotel, shower up and meet my colleague for breakfast, return to my room for a 10 minute sit down before going off to work, where I am violently ill..........bloody glad I didn`t stay for Stumpy`s second class.......... and so is he .