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Why do so many people have an addiction to grabbing their partner.
I give an attack, they grab me, rearrange me and then they start their technique.
I try to play the nice uke, I try not to block what they are doing while trying to adjust my ukemi in such a manner that it doesn't halt, that energy and intent keep on flowing.
What is this obsession with grabbing and rearranging your partner? Is it the idée-fixe that you have to actively do something to your partner to be able to do a good technique?
I am starting to understand a bit of the frustration of my own teachers. How is it possible to practice the things you find worth while practicing when those surrounding you have no clue what you are doing and have no clue that they aren't doing the same things.
Today during class I was asked to explain something I was doing before class started. Something very basic, something so fundamental. Something my teachers taught me, not once but again and again and again. Probably one of those secrets you only get after several decades of training.
Now I know a lot of people are wondering what this big secret aikido technique might be, and I will try to explain it.
It is so basic so profound that I have difficulty understanding how people cannot get this, yet when I look around me or feel my partners then this is missing.
Woow, just noticed it has been several years since my last entry. Well, I never stopped training. Whether I learned something or no remains to be seen.
So much has changed.
My knees are still rotten and doing suwari waza is not going to happen. I know that now, I understand it and believe me that is a big change.
Having moved to another part of the Netherlands I now train with different people. That which is fun at times, but at some times also a bit frustrating. Everyone has his own pace in training and that is fine.
Those whom I considered to be important teachers for me are now dead, which makes training sometimes feel as a burden. How am I to keep the spark alive when half the time I don't know what I am doing. How am I to honor the time and effort they put into making their knowledge and experience sink into my thick skull?
One thing I have learned is that nothing can take the place of persistence.
First aikido class after being away for more than 6 month and having had knee surgery.
I agreed with myself that I would do weapons class and solo excercises only. It went marvelous.
Funny thing is that when you focus all your attention on how to move with your knee that at that point you dont pay attention to what the rest of your body is doing showing you natural movements in their true form.
I didnt expect to go to class and actualy learn something. I went to class expecting to be limping about like a silly clown.
After having been away from classes since Shochu Geiko due to several different, non-aikido related, health issues I will go back to the dojo today. Now is the time to practise what I always tell others: Start slowly, dont expect to restart at old lvl and be ready for frustration. I guess it will be tough.
Henry Kono sensei stayed at our club for a few more days and was kind enough to also teach at our regular monday and tuesday lessons. So more lessons on being out, being soft, on how yin balances yang and how to preserve your own space.
Saturday the third day of the Henry Kono sensei, Alan Ruddock sensei and Tom Verhoeven took place. Due to childrens class there was no morning session. The first afternoon session was by Alan Ruddock and focussed on the impossibility to rearrange uke. The second afternoon session was by Henry Kono sensei and focussed on the balance between uke and nage. The exercises showed how nage preserves his own space without shoving uke around. There simply is no me, just the interaction.
Sunday the last day of the Henry Kono sensei, Alan Ruddock sensei, Tom Verhoeven sensei came. Henry Kono started in the morning and showed how to move your feet. He told is O sensei used to see that "what men concives is expressed through the hands, but the way of the univers is expressed through the feet.
Tom Verhoeven sensei gave the first afternoon lesson. Lots of variety. Kokyu nage, kote gaeshi, jo dori, irimi nage and some jo suburi. Together with temperatures of 28 degree centegrade enough to make you sweat.
Alan Ruddock sensei gave the last session and continued on the themes from before. The official seminar was closed by Henry Kono sensei.
Henry Kono sensei wil stay near our club until thursday so maybe sensei and he will agree to have him take over some of the usual classes, hence giving our club members another 2 or 3 days to train with Henry Kono sensei. Alan Ruddock sensei will fly home on monday.
Friday was the second day of the Henry Kono sensei, Alan Ruddock sensei and Tom Verhoeven sensei seminar. Henry Kono sensei opened the day with the morning session showing us different exercises to show the balance between uke and nage, and how to work with this balance without disrupting the attention, focus and movement of uke violently.
The first afternoon session was by Tom Verhoeven sensei. After several shiho nages we did some combinations (from ikkyo to kote gaeshi to sankyo to shiho nage) and we finnished this session with some jo suburi.
The second afternoon session was by Alan Ruddock sensei. He focused on the throwing direction in Aikido. He explained that from a movement point of view it is quite strange to do a technique in such a manner that uke is forced into a full stop to eventually fall (backwards or not) into the direction that he came from in the first place when it is also possible to do the technique in such a manner that uke would fall in the direction that he was originally going (and thus wasnot disrupted that much).
In the evening our regular class, not part of our seminar took part. We practised severl forms of koshi nage. (I personnaly dont like the shiho nage like form of koshi nage, but then again aikido is not about me liking the techniques anyway). We concluded with some Aiki kempo.