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Wow it has been a while since I have written in here.
The tests all went well, everyone passed with flying colors. Ricks test was fun, as Uke.
My Aikido Schedule is a little lighter than normal, and I have missed a training or two here and there, but overall attend most of the morning, and at least one basic class. Weapons class has fallen by the wayside, while I am working on getting the boat back into shape…
I am working on a project at the dojo, and have been able to take quite a bit of Ukemi from Sensei in Irimi Nage. What a strange technique any way that you look at it. Getting everything right as Nage sure seems tough. Sensei says that this is the 20 year technique, and that it takes you 20 years to get it close to correct. I can see this. Every once in a while I get a gift, and feel something that approaches Aikido in the technique.
I have also been working on how our internal attitudes and feelings effect the way that we do Aikido. It is interesting to watch my internal tensions, and lack of relaxation reflected tactically in my partners bodies when we are working together. By relaxing and flowing I can feel their bodies change, the amazing thing is that this works both as Uke and as Nage. If I am tense, so is my partner. Of course there are people on the mat that are easier to relax with then others, maybe that is because they are relaxed?
An incident happened about a week ago that shocked me. It was cool, but entirely too strange….
We were working on Ikkyo, ura, with a big step and a big cut, so as to get your partner off balance, but gently with as little upper body strength as possible to the mat. I was working with Noel, when sensei came over;
Sensei; "How's it going Guy"?….
Guy; " I thought it was going great…..".
Then sensei has me do the technique with him as Uke. He stops me at a point that I think is going really well.
Sensei; "There you did it again….".
Me thinking; "I did WHAT"?
I have no clue, so we run through it a few more times, and finally I get that I am dropping my eyes to look at my feet every time. This is a habit from not knowing where my feet are going when I was starting Aikido. So I start to look up, and WOW this is like different Aikido!!! Like a completely different art!!! Holly cow, keep focused on the Uke, not on your feet!!! That seems to make complete sense when you write it here, but I have to say that I had never thought it before, even less been able to do it.
So Partner change happens…..Then I get a partner of similar rank to me. We start I go first. I look my partner in his eyes when he attacks, and he comes in with a nice Shoman like he is supposed to. Then I proceed with Ikkyo, staying focused on my partner's eyes. (It seemed like a way to force myself not to look at my own feet!) At the point that my Uke is supposed to start coming around toward me, he freezes! Completely freezes. Strange though his body really isn't stiff or anything, just stopped… I am staring right into his eyes, which are kind of glassy at this point…. I blink like three times…. My partner then says; "Wow that was strange it was like you hypnotized me with your eyes" End of technique, start over again, this time I don't freak either of us out, and stay looking at his face, but not his eyes.
FREAKY!!! I know that O-Sensei said something like "Don't look in the opponent's eyes, or your mind will be drawn into his eyes." I always thought this was a warning about focus, and attention to all details not getting locked on looking at one spot, not about getting memorized!!!
I wouldn't count on this for anything, but it was sure strange when it happened.