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Richard was finally back teaching again on Saturday. I almost forgot how much I missed his aikido comparisons. He always has a way of trying to explain the way a technique should feel in real world terms.
Mark was also back from vacation on Saturday and I had a chance to train with him again. I have to say that I think he is my favorite uke He really gave me a rough time of it on Saturday, and wouldn't let me throw him until I made sure I was executing the technique properly. He seemed to exploit all of my openings (well, maybe not all of them, but a good number of them) and really opened up my perception of how the technique should be performed. I have to admit, I still don't think I have the moves down properly yet, but there were a couple of times when I was able to throw him with no effort. I really appreciate getting the chance to train with him as he makes me pay attention to my body position at all times and I seem to learn a lot more about the proper technique. After class, he appologized for making it difficult for me, but I told him that I really enjoyed it and I wished more people would offer that kind of resistance. He didn't make it impossible for me to perform the technique we were attempting, but he did make it very difficult if I didn't perform it correctly. Thanks again, Mark
I've heard time and time again that as soon as you make an attack in Aikido, you've lost the fight. Until Saturday, I always just pressed the "I believe" button a
Today I realized that I need to slow down a little more in my practice, and break each of the techniques down a little more. Until now, when demonstrated a new technique, I've sometimes been able to get it somewhat correct on the first try, and sometimes not. My problem is that I want to feel the correct "flow" of the technique from the very beginning, but this does not always occur as I don't seem to get the footwork quite right or some other technicality. This evening, I decided that instead of trying to get the correct flow of the technique from the very beginning, I need to perform each technique slowly, stopping frequently during the technique to ensure I have the proper foot placement and what not. After I get the basics down and the muscle memory is in place, then I can begin to work on a smooth flow and put everythin together into one continuous move. For the moment, however, I need to just remember that I have the rest of my life to work on perfecting the motions, but if I don't have the proper base in place, the perfect combination of the movements may never come.
Aikido this morning was tought by Kimberly Sensei. We had a potluck dinner at the dojo last night, and Richard Sensei was there, but did not make it to practice this morning. Last Sunday, when I went to watch the Kyu tests, Richard was sitting on the bench and was not dressed in his gi or participating with the rest of the class. I hope he is doing alright. I always enjoy practice when Kimberly Sensei is teaching, though. She always explains the reason for what we are doing, and how doing things improperly can lead to openings. We had three new people sign up for class today too! Although one came dressed in a gi (white belt), so he may have practiced somewhere else before. I didn't have much time to talk to him during practice, and he was gone before I had finished changing after class.
I always enjoy training on Saturday mornings, because after my intro class, I usually stick around and watch the proceedings during the general class. I usually manage to walk away with some new insight into Aikido after watching the general class practice. Today's thought, however, actually came to me while practicing in the intro class. With the numerous new students, Sensei spent most of here time working one on one with them while the rest of us practiced in pairs. Usually once or twice during practice, Sensei will step in while I'm practicing and spend a quick minute or two trying to help me understand what I might be doing wrong and suggest a more efficient way of perfor
Well, last night I was finally able to get back on the mat after my recent shoulder injury. I was talking to Mary about my injury, and she mentioned that some people will put a cross of tape on an injured joint to let their training partners know of an injury and to take it easy. Had I known about that little trick, I may have been able to return to the mat a little earlier, but I still only missed a week of practice due to the injury, and I think the time off helped it heal much faster then it would have if I had pushed it a little too hard. During the time off, I still attended a couple of training sessions just to watch and come away with as much as possible from the experience. I have been going over my rolls in my mind for the past week, and the mental imagery appears to have really paid off. I have noticed a significant amount of progress in my forward rolls since the last time I was on the mat. I was able to perform most of my rolls without my arms giving out on me, unlike last time, when I kept coming down rather hard on my shoulders because of my arms collapsing part way through the roll (come to think of it, that may have been a contributing factor in my shoulder injury. I still haven't figured out the exact cause yet). All week, whenever I've had a free moment of time, I've been mentally performing my forward rolls, trying to imagine the "unbendable arm" as I was thinking about them and wouldn't you know....it appears to have really helped. My back rolls