Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the
world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to
over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a
wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history,
humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.
If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced
features available, you will need to register first. Registration is
absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!
I was worried about the usual things: forgetting to breathe, running out of steam, my throat going dry so I'd be longing for a sip of water halfway through. That I'd brain-freeze through sankyo and mix it up with yonkyo. I coached myself that nikyo from kata dori is the same as ikkyo except for the pin, but that nikyo from shomenuchi requires the hand change early on. Keep the "Freddy Krueger fingers" pointing northward when executing an ikkyo lock. Keep my nikyo-ura tight and torqued, as if "the opponent's palm is a mirror you're trying to keep turned towards you." Keep my sankyo glued to my sternum, rise and twist. And yonkyo! I have so much trouble with that one with my small hands grasping my various training partners' huge forearms that I just had to somehow pull it off and make it look halfway decent.
Funny thing after the test, because everything I worried about weren't the techniques Sensei ended up critiquing. Instead, I was told that my irimi hand needed to come over higher, reach to the ceiling, like a wave breaking over rocks. And that my lower hand during tenchi nage needed to reach to the ground, especially important for a shorty like me taking down often-taller training partners. That for my yokomen response in kihon waza, I needed to get in there and stop the attack early on.
There is a moment I remember vividly from my test, a kernel of meaning in chaos, a burst of sunshine amidst the fog of nervousness and uncertainty. When I was executing a kotegaesh