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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 and took it as a known fact. During this past practice, however, I realized just what that phrase truly meant. In order to provide an effective attack, you need to put your full energy into whatever you are trying to do (whether being a punch, a kick, etc.). In order to do this however, you must project your center away from your body and towards your opponent (ie. you must place your full body into a punch and you center ends up moving forward, away from your body). At this instant, you have lost balance, and are vunerable. It is in this way, that we can defend ourselves in aikido. Once you have given away your center, it is up to us to take control of it and use it to direct you where we want you to go. I know this may seem like common sense to anyone who has been practicing for any real amount of time, but I was glad that the concept finally came to me. Everything just seems to make more sense all of a sudden.