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Doshu Seminar 6 hours on the mat and two hours watching in two days.
Doshu instructed on Irimi, tenkon, and circular motions. It was great. I did Sanyko for the first time. There were a lot of different people from a lot of different styles there. It was interesting to see the differences that the styles make. I spent the first hour worrying about getting stepped on. After that most of the people decided that we did not need to complete all of the falls, so we didn't with some, and did with others.
It was wonderful to train with a lot of different people. The amazing thing was that the Aikido of the Dojo was there only bigger. I was worried that there would be some really gung ho people, but everyone was very kind and helpful with me. They all seemed to take my newby inabilities in stride, and help me. I did my best to be a good Uke, sometimes I could feel the limitations in this, especially as some of the moves were quite complex.
Kokyu dosa was really neat, I got some great tips from the person that I was working with on it and watching the movements of the Doshu was also educational. I learned that while I am not pushing with my shoulders anymore, I have them bunched up, if I relax, there is a lot more power that is generated when I move from center.
I was introduced to some of the knee techniques, and saw how that related to the standing techniques, and how doing the knee techniques could help a lot with your balance and centeredness. ( I had incorrectly thought up until this point that these were just left over from ancient Japanese court styles.) Thanks to Earnesto for this wonderful insight, and help on my beginnings at this!
I worked with the biggest physical person that I have ever worked with. The big guy helped me do much better with the earth part of the heaven and earth throw, because my heaven hand was not going to do it on it's own.
There was another man that I worked with that took the time to show me how the technique that we were doing was a direct extension of drawing a sword, and cutting someone in half with it. He also taught me how to do the Shoman and Yoeman strike what seemed a much better way, as they are supposed to be versions of sword strikes too. His Aikido was gorgeous when he was taking the effort to show how it was related to the sword. He stated several times that this was not useful in real fights, but was good training. "Get your body to know what to do in training, in marshal situation, all different, but body knows what to do". I could have watched him with the imaginary sword for hours. He helped me with my posture, and with staying centered, explaining all the time that if this was a sword fight I would have been dead now, and now, and now, and now….. Each now, he would reach over and move my body a little, it was a different way of learning. At first I felt like a complete idiot, then I noticed that he was smiling, so I relaxed, and focused on what he was doing and saying. I don't think that he ever was Nage on the technique, he just kept being Uke and picking up my hands to be Nage, it was truly a generous, and fun thing for me. I did not catch his name!
Worked with Anthony Campagna of Tri Cities Aikido in Fremont. He had a neat way of telling people where to move their feet, which helped me on the technique that we were working on a lot. I worked with both him and his wife. I was impressed by his gentleness, and different view on how to teach Aikido. I love the Dojo where I am, and will probably use some of the ways that I experienced his teaching methods to ask questions in a better way for me on the mat with Gambell Sensei.
I worked with a white belt named Allan from I don't know where, and was amazed. He helped me a lot, chastised me for appologising to him when I felt I was doing poorly, and largely was the Uke helping me with the Nage part, sometimes doing Nage really slow to help me understand what I could do better at. This dude was good. I was wondering how in the heck he had a white belt like mine! Later in the weekend I was talking to Linda Sensei Gambell's wife about this, and she told me that some dojos only have two belt colors, white and black…(Wow!)
There were about 50,000 things that I am sure that I took notes of in my head, which were pushed out by the ones above. It was a long, strenuous, and wonderful weekend. I am glad that I went.
By the end of the second day I knew that I was getting tired, and they were doing double arm grabs from the back, something that I had never done. My brain was full, and my body pretty tired, so I went to sit with Sensei and Linda and watched the last of the seminar it was fun to talk to Linda, and get some more history of the dojo, I learned a lot about Sensei through a different lens.