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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 everyone would notice, and explicitly stated that I would be a left-side-only uke for a few more weeks. I did left arm only when we went down for hitting during warm ups, and just kept doing back breakfalls without hitting when we switched gears.
I seem to have done Ok, but I wasn't sure about doing rolls during warm-ups (first day back -- bad elbow, etc.) so I sat those out and worked on my breathing. I was huffing pretty good. Evidently one month off after only two months training makes you start over again.
We only covered two techniques. Sensei was just about to correct my partner and I about our stance being on the wrong foot (I was junior / uke) when I reminded him about my elbow. He remembered right away and moved on.
Our first technique started in ai hanmi (same stance) and was an irimi (step in) against a shomenuchi (front strike) with an ikkajo (first control) pin. My sempai repeatedly commented on how good my pin was, so I asked if he'd like to know what I was doing. He did, so I showed him how my fingers that grabbed his wrist were wrapped around and ended up between his wrist and the mat, making a gap. That gap angled from his wrist to his shoulder until it disappeared. Since his elbow was off the mat a bit and it doesn't hyperextend (like mine), when I use a knife hand on the tendon of his elbow it is very uncomfortable because I can push it further than it wants to go, if desired.
Sensei came over at that time and (as always) reminded us that the ikkajo pin isn't about pain, it's about control. "Especially when your partner has monkey arms like Jeff." I couldn't resist an opening like that, so when Sensei was done speaking with us, we bowed and instead of saying "ous" (sp?) I made a deep, guttural, gorilla sound of "ooo". We all had a quick laugh over that.
I worked really hard on my breathing throughout the entire class, but I still ended up very red-faced, overheated and shaky (mostly my legs). I probably didn't have enough to drink, but I'm sure most of my problems were from taking a month off to heal. I'm sure my endurance will come back soon enough. I'll just have to try to take it easy until I've ramped back up to my previous level.
AFTER CLASS NOTES
Sensei stayed after class for a few minutes to narrate waza-notes with me and another student into our voice recorders. He said he'd be glad to do that after every class. I'm looking forward to it since I might actually be able to get "official" technique names in Japanese. We don't get much of that in our dojo so I'm looking forward to it.