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Aiki-Log -- Skipped Classes
November 10 & 11, 2004
I've been on antibiotics since last Friday and they don't seem to be doing their job. I decided to skip class to give my body a chance to work on fighting the infection. I really wasn't in the mood to sit on the sidelines again (I've been doing that for a month now, if you don't count last week) so I went home on Wednesday.
Tonight I've got parent / teacher conferences so I can't go, even if I really wanted to.
Aiki-Log -- Class #29
Thursday, November 4, 2004 -- 7:30pm
I noticed quite a bit of muscle soreness after Wednesday's class. However, after last night's class, I've noticed A LOT of muscle soreness! One month off = start over. The good news is my ankle and elbow are both doing Ok.
Before class I was working with another student that was also experiencing problems with their right arm (upper -- bicep area). Since they were going to restrict their activities to left-side-only (LSO), I suggested to Sensei that we two should be paired up for the entire class so as not to inhibit the other students. He said that was an excellent idea, and that's what we did. He referred to us as the "handicapped section" later during class.
We had typical turnout for a Thursday: about 14 students. I'm not sure if having two LSOs in the class had anything to do with it, but we did our warm-ups from left kamae this time (first time ever, as far as I know). That was interesting! Some of the students acted as if they couldn't believe we were doing it that way, ha ha. I sat out on rolls again.
It sure is a challenge to be working on the LSO during the initial run thru on techniques. Sensei demos the right side and that make things interestingly confusing. It forces me to pay much closer attention so I can mirror image the movements.
We modified one of the techniques from the night before by ending it with an ikkajo throw
Aiki-Log -- Class #28
Wednesday, November 3, 2004 -- 7:30pm
I don't plan on attending the Goshin-Jitsu classes for two reasons: (1) I'm just healed enough to start doing Aikido again, and (2) They've started charging money for the classes. I've got a really tight cash flow, so I'm holding out for being able to pay for "open mat" time on Sundays (our dojo is a rented room at a health club). Just now I'd rather focus on rebuilding my Aikido skills. I would've loved to watch, since I haven't seen John Sensei teach this class, but you have to pay half price to watch. Rent payments suck!
Attendance was way down. Only four people showed up. One was a newbie / new member. His dad signed him up for Aikido and might be doing the same for the Goshin class as well. His dad will be starting up in Aikido as well, after he heals from an injury. Two new students! His dad studied before, but at a different dojo. I'm not sure what style, but I think it's Yoshinkai. That dojo closed down and the instructor moved to Ohio.
BACK ON THE MAT
My ankle is finally healed enough that I got back on the mat (ankle brace in place). I'll still needed to modify my seiza, and I found that I couldn't even stay up on my toes for very long before having to bow down to a cross-legged position. But I was finally back on the mat! My ankle isn't too sore today. I'll have to see how it holds up after tonight.
I wore my elbow brace, rolled up my right sleeve so ev
Aiki-Log -- Class #27
Thursday, October 28, 2004 -- 7:30pm
Watchi-waza still in progress.
The entire class was based on shihonage. By the end of class was had seen 8 different shihonage-based techniques, and John Sensei said we had just scratched the surface of what he wanted to show us. He said he didn't even get through half of what he wanted to cover just in this one class! Cool stuff!
I had spoken with Sensei before class about my injuries and said I'd able to get back on the mat as soon as my ankle is better (maybe next week), but that I'd have to modify my seiza forever. Also, I'd have to totally avoid any right arm activities until my elbow gets better (probably several more weeks). During class, we both said it was a good thing I was doing watchi-waza for the shihonage class. I might have to sit out classes like that in the future if my elbow isn't ready. There were very few things I could've done if I were out there.
We're getting a new student! He studied Yoshokai Aikido for about 3 ˝ years. I'm not sure if he stopped, for how long, or why he's starting up with us, but I'm sure he'll feel welcome. I recognize a lot of my old style when I watch him practice. I think we'll get along great. I'll be curious if he plans on staying. Will he have to re-test, like I'm going to do, to re-establish his rank? That should be interesting!
We've been privileged to have a visitor for about 5 or 6 weeks. He
Aiki-Log -- Class #25 & #26
Wednesday, October 27, 2004 -- 6:30pm & 7:30pm
Watchi-waza… still. Maybe next week my ankle will be good enough to let me get on the mat. I sure wished I was out there!
Class was smaller this time (2nd class in the series). There were only 6 students, all "core" participants. Attacks covered a "mugger's choke from behind", shoulder grab by someone next to you (with one variation), two people -- one grabbing each of your shoulders (with a few variations). Not too bad for a class that only lasts about 45 minutes, after you get the mats put down.
There were 11 students there, which is fairly typical for a Wednesday class. After normal class warm-ups, they did bokken warm-ups (from something Nakazawa Sensei showed us), a breath throw starting from uke grabbing your shoulder from the front and a few other standard techniques.
Aiki-Log -- Class #24
Saturday, October 16, 2004 -- 11am
NAKAZAWA SEMINAR -- DAY 3
I couldn't get to the Friday class. I made it to the Saturday class, though. Once again, I wasn't on the mat. However, I completely enjoyed watching class. It was somewhat easier since I decided not to voice record any waza-notes (I hear the video will actually be multiple DVDs).
COMPLETELY MISSING CLASS (Days 4, 5 & 6)
I got some specific treatment guidance for my ankle and elbow injuries, and had to make a hard decision. I needed to stay home to work on my treatments instead of watching the seminars. So I missed the next Wednesday and Thursday classes. I would've watched the Saturday class, but I had a dentist appointment (scheduled 6 months ago) that fell right smack dab in the middle of the seminar.
GOING AWAY DINNER
Luckily, I was able to attend the Sunday dinner being held for Nakazawa Sensei. I was completely bummed about missing so much of his teaching, but the fact that I was able to sit right across from him and chat with him all evening made up for it. He's a great guy! I really wish I could've received instruction from him! Oh well, maybe next time. He said he plans on coming back in the summer (with his wife).
This was his first trip to the US and he really enjoyed his experience in Michigan! Hopefully the weather will be better next time (it was cloudy, cold and rainy almost every day he was here). Still, it was better than where he's heade
Aiki-Log -- Class #23
Thursday, October 14, 2004 -- 7:00pm
NAKAZAWA SEMINAR -- DAY 1
I enjoyed watching, but I really wanted to be out on the mat! I attempted to take good waza-notes, but his style is such a blend of other things that I don't have the right words. I'm going to have to buy the video for reference.
I realized right away that things were different when I had Norbert sempai and Dr. Phil sempai (both from the black-belt deep end) start working together right in front of me. They were really having trouble! Everyone was on similar ground, it was all new.
During one technique demo, one of our 3rd kyus was uke. The attack was a tsuki with tanto. Sensei stepped off the line of attack, pivoted and blocked / struck at uke's wrist. Uke's tanto flew straight down to the mat and bounced straight back up (uke wasn't supposed to lose his weapon). The great part was that he caught it with a very sleight movement while sensei continued the technique! If you weren't watching closely, you wouldn't have even noticed! Even better… it's on tape! That one ranked 8.75 on the "snort-laugh scale".
On another technique, Dr. Phil (big-n-burly) was working with one of our 6th kyus (small and sleight). Dr. Phil was shite and was supposed to do some sort of a judo-like sit / fall / roll / throw to get uke to go up and over. It didn't work out that way and disaster was pending. Dr. Phil was lying on his back and uke
Aiki-Log -- Class #22 (A & B)
Wednesday, October 13, 2004 -- 6:30pm
Sorry for the delayed entry. I haven't been on the mat since October 7th, and it will be a few more weeks before I'm able to participate again.
WATCHI-WAZA (long term)
My right ankle, right elbow and upper back have been bothering me for a few weeks. They have been getting slowly worse so I decided to sit out. I've since been to the doctor and discovered that I strained a tendon in my ankle (on the top of my foot) from kneeling in seiza, and I have "golfer's elbow" (tendon problem on the inside of my elbow). My back was sore from ukemi, but is getting better after walking out of throws instead of hitting my back on the mat.
The above are due to a combination of having turned 40 on the 9th , my Hyper Mobility Syndrome (HMS) and weak supporting muscles, so I need to make some changes:
1. Stay off the mat until my ankle gets better.
a. Rest / heat / massage / until better.
b. Slowly strengthen my ankles after things heal up.
2. Modify seiza (forever).
a. Stay on my toes instead of going down on the tops of my ankles.
b. This ought to make suwari-waza interesting.
3. Modify my driver-waza.
a. Gas to brake to gas to brake during my commute causes pain.
b. I'll be trying to drive two-footed for a while and see if that helps.
4. Modify my sleepi-waza.
a. My ankle gets stretched / twisted by the weight of the blankets / sheets
Aiki-Log -- Class #21
Thursday, October 7, 2004 -- 7:30pm
Fixed the clock -- replaced the battery.
Sensei covered knee walking with a curious 7th kyu. I played too.
He (curious George) also wanted to cover jumping breakfalls. I didn't play (back problems lately ). Sensei started him off low by holding the forward roll hand just above the mat and tugging back during the jump. He worked his way up to a standing position. I took over as hand-holder after a few rounds. In fear of getting hurt he was barreling out to the side, which was painful. He discovered that if you do it right it doesn't hurt.
Moral of the story:
Fear of pain causes actions that cause pain. No fear = no pain.
One of our "double testers" tested for 9th kyu, unexpectedly (on his part). He'll test for 8th kyu next week when his uke gets back from Vegas. He did very well. Just a few minor glitches, but nothing to worry about.
Now that we're out of testing mode, I've been trying to figure out how to take more detailed notes on techniques. The problem is timing. By the time I get home I'm not able to crawl into bed until about 11:30pm, if I'm lucky. My alarm goes off at 5:15am -- ugh. I need more sleep than that! That doesn't leave time for taking notes or making journal entries. Since I have class on Wednesday and Thursday, I have two days in a row like that. When Friday comes around, I get home about 6:30pm, but I usually do
Aiki-Log -- Class #20
Wednesday, October 6, 2004 -- 7:30pm
Finally. Test day. I didn't, however, get to be anyone's uke for testing. Kinda bummed about that, but I'll recover. Instead, I got to sit still for 2 hours and 15 minutes. I'm not so sure if I'll recover from that!
We had 3 people testing for 9th kyu, 4 for 8th (one of which had just finished the 9th kyu test), 2 for 7th, 5 for 6th and 1 for 5th. Next time, John Sensei said he will split the test days so that they will only cover 3 kyu tests per day.
There are still two people that need to test; 1 for 9th kyu (he'll also do 8th) and 1 for 2nd kyu. They were originally going to test the day after everyone else, but things have changed and the schedule got pushed out. I'm not sure what's going to happen when.
Marcus Sensei and John Sensei presided over the testing. I finally got to meet Marcus! I've been trying to meet him since April. Everything went smoothly (the clock was 7 minutes slow -- they didn't replace the battery like they said they would). Everyone did fairly well, some better than others, but overall I'm sure everyone passed.
"DON'T KILL SENSEI!"
There was one person that really wasn't prepared to test. He was taking the 9th kyu test, so he'll pass (you aren't allowed to take you're first test unless Sensei knows you'll pass) but he had a rough time of it. Bokken front strike was the first thing on the test. He was right in front of John Sensei. Unfortunate