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CatSienna's Blog Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 03-03-2005 01:13 AM
CatSienna
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Status: Public
Entries: 218 (Private: 79)
Comments: 51
Views: 144,319

In General A Feast of Seminars Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #217 New 11-21-2010 08:30 AM
It never rains but pours. This month we're seeing 4 shihans come through Singapore and it's not that they're coming all for the same big event either.

I guess they're all coming through the region and Singapore is a convenient place to stop off so the aikido community here is lucky enough to have so many all crammed into one month. My dojo is fortunate to have three of them kindly conducting sessions there. And I was lucky enough to go watch from the sidelines one class last weekend just to see the remaining shihan.

I've seen two so far and this week brings the other two. I'm looking forward to their guest-instructing at my dojo. There are certainly benefits to being the airhub of SE Asia and on route to the Pacific region.
Views: 630


In General A Feast of Seminars Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #218 New 11-21-2010 08:30 AM
It never rains but pours. This month we're seeing 4 shihans come through Singapore and it's not that they're coming all for the same big event either.

I guess they're all coming through the region and Singapore is a convenient place to stop off so the aikido community here is lucky enough to have so many all crammed into one month. My dojo is fortunate to have three of them kindly conducting sessions there. And I was lucky enough to go watch from the sidelines one class last weekend just to see the remaining shihan.

I've seen two so far and this week brings the other two. I'm looking forward to their guest-instructing at my dojo. There are certainly benefits to being the airhub of SE Asia and on route to the Pacific region.
Views: 1264


In General Inspired by Shihan's Seminar Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #216 New 11-03-2010 07:09 PM
I haven't been to a seminar in a while but as Fukakusa Shihan was in town, I popped along to the Tanglin CC dojo where I normally practice. And as always I was inspired to watch and learn from him. He never fails to surprise me with his moves and his litheness despite his age. I'd certainly never imagine he was so old as he moves with the flexibility that some of us never achieve throughout our entire lives.

He taught an extremely interesting move, among others, that I really liked and want badly to remember so am making a brief note here for myself.

From a label grab, out, and down into what looks like to be like a standard elbow lock but instead use a slight twist at the end to turn it almost into a nikyo by a very slight sawing motion at the bicep level. I'm not sure it's called a nikyo but it sure felt like one at the uke's end.

During practice I kept digging into my poor partner's bicep which hurt and worked but wasn't quite what he taught. The actual method being taught required less energy/force but was even more effective. And I only figured it out once the Shihan himself kindly came over to help me with it.

Classic.
Views: 830


In General Another Year, Another Grading Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #215 New 04-16-2010 12:36 AM
There were three shodans grading for nidan and three nidans grading for sandan. The three nidans proved a joy to watch with the tanto and bokken techniques and the multiple attackers. Since I was one of the shodans, I wasn't able to see the other two shodans grade other than the occasional glance in their direction to avoid colliding with them. However I am sure they were fine.

We had several changes of ukes as the grading went on for an hour and a half for the nidans and an hour for the shodans. There were a bunch of brown and black belts also on the mat at the start grading for their respective grades but naturally they got to sit down a lot earlier than the rest of us did.

I think the shodans all ran through 6 ukes each or at least I did. I'm very grateful to the ukes, most of whom were some outstanding ukes in the dojo and they were certainly put to the test for their stamina and ability to take freestyle attacks.

I learned where some of my weaknesses were and where some of my strengths which is always useful to know. I do not remember much else other than the techniques I occasionally fluffed and the rest is a blur of movement.

Back to training!
Views: 1226


In General The Next Step Forward Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #211 New 02-03-2010 05:45 AM
I've been lucky enough to partner some of the very experienced guys in the dojo and some of the not so experienced. It helps me train each time as each person teaches me something different.

With the very experienced and senior guys, I learn subtleties I would often have not grasped without their help. Often my grip can be wrong without my realising it as the sensei pointed out about my executing a movement to grasp one end of the bokken without locking myself in in the next move.

Or I'm not moving out from the centre although I think I am. I learned the last session that I need for yokomen kotegaishi that I need to initiate the first movement exactly as I would do for the basic body movement.

Or that I'm using strength when I think I'm using technique. And how to change it so I rely more or technique.

What I appreciate most though is their sense of control. And I guess that is one of the distinguishing marks of the more experienced practitioners: the ability to control without or causing minimal damage and with minimal effort. It's never been an art about how hard or how fast but an exercise in self control and in controlling one's opponent.

I'm glad they've helped me take these steps out.
Views: 1163


In General A Surprise Grading Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #210 New 12-06-2009 03:16 AM
We had a momentous grading in our dojo last month. Momentous because two senior women who have been practising for 15 years were asked to grade on the spot when they were on the mat, about to take ukemi, for other dan grades.

As one is easily one of the top aikidoka (male or female) in our dojo, and the other is very good indeed, it was well worth watching. Needless to say, they did well. The human drama was amusing to say the least as they were initially called up to the testers' table and a long conversation ensued with much bowing and apologetic smiling on behalf of the two senior aikidoka. The upshot of it was that they lined up again, but this time to be tested, not to take ukemi.

It meant everyone was on the mat and some of the people grading ended up having to serve as ukemi as well as do their own gradings.

It all went beautifully and predictably everyone passed. The two women are now sandans.

Gambatte!
Views: 1234


In General Our annual seminar Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #208 New 10-22-2009 07:26 PM
It's good to see Fukakusa Sensei again. It's time for our annual seminar by him and by now it's the middle of the seminar and we've learned a great deal in the last two days.

He's teaching us a great deal of how to move. Nothing like basically moving offline. As always, what impresses me is how a small, subtle shift in angle can change the dynamics so much. We're revising a bit of what we learned the last time he was here and it's good to be reminded.

Note to myself:
- the third way of moving offline.
Views: 1074


In General Visiting Sensei Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #207 New 07-14-2009 12:45 AM
We've had a visiting sensei come back to train with us these past couple of weeks which has been nice to see. He was one of our Chief Sensei's star pupils and has gone on to found his own dojo with our Sensei's blessings in Canada where he migrated to. It's great to see he has as much style and speed and efficiency of movement as he had years before when I joined and saw him. His daughter apparently has inherited some of her father's ability but I haven't had the chance to watch her train yet.

For my own improvement, I've been learning to correct some of the more basic mistakes i've been making and note them here so I don't forget.

1. for kotegaeshi: while turning the person around, don't forget to change the grip just before turning the uke over so that the pressure can be exerted on the uke. Now I know why one of the other guys I partnered a while back had put such pressure on my arm while practicing that movement on me...he was trying to show me how to do it.

2. I somehow forgot how to do shihonage with a shomen jo attack and had to be shown that the upper arm grip is face up while the lower hand grip is face down. I'm still trying to figure out though how far back I can let the jo go as i turn. I tend to hold it firmly in front of my forehead so that my balance remains grounded and I can't be pulled off balance. But I notice that my uke then tends to let go of his top hand which means I will end up changing the technique halfway through. I suspect t ...More Read More
Views: 1288


In General Exhaustion during Grading Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #206 New 07-14-2009 12:26 AM
Grading yesterday was fun to watch as the one first kyu grading for his shodan did a good showing. He was visibly exhausted though and I was wondering if he could last the grading. His first uke was changed halfway through and he got an even abler uke the second half. I was impressed by how grounded he was and how good his balance was. It's always nice to watch someone take their shodan and show good spirit despite being pushed to their physical endurance limits.
Views: 937


In General A New Kid's Class Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #205 New 06-20-2009 09:02 AM
I've started volunteering at the children's aikido class on Saturday afternoon. It's the small kiddies class where the youngest is probably just about 4 years old so very young. It's turning out to be fun although I have to confess to being mildly bored the first couple of lessons but after that I began to get into it a bit more and it's now more interesting and there's more camaraderie too with the other volunteers.

I kinda like this bunch of volunteers as it's a small and dedicated bunch as this is the smaller sister dojo of the main dojo. They're a highly organised who are generally very disciplined and impart that to their students. Today I arrived 25 minutes before class to help out with the mats and they were already all in place. Now admittedly that's not the usual story but the usual story is that the mats are usually ready some 10-15 mins before class so it's great.

And the instructor tells me that the last class, the older advanced kids need no prompted to help keep the mats. They just all pitch in. It's simply understood. No fuss, no bother. It's what they see their seniors all do so they fall in line automatically. And we're talking teenagers here.
Views: 1222



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