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Journey of 1k steps Blog Tools Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 04-29-2008 11:36 AM
Diane Stevenson
Just a returning student determined to stay in it for the long-haul, insha'allah. A blog to stay focused, stay motivated and gain insight.
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 21
Comments: 8
Views: 78,313

In Spiritual Get out of the way Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #21 New 01-18-2009 12:54 PM
Get out of the way

The last bit of any technique which ends with uke falling: get out of the way. Take shomenuchi kotegaishe for example. Get off line, steppin to about 90 of uke's line. Blend brushing nearest hand down uke's arm to his wrist, draw him down into slightly over extended forward. Keep his center in front of yours, tenkon: he is depending on you for balance. Maintain your own extension to keep his wrist, elbow, shoulder locked. Cut across and down uke's center , just when he starts to move, get out of the way by stepping forward foot back and turning hips.

If you do everything right, but you don't get out of the way, well, it's not a throw. Gravity can't act on uke because you're blocking the way.

There's an interesting analogy there.

Seems like the whole idea, or at least a primal concept of aikido is to take uke's balance such that gravity has its way. Thus, uke really throws himself, I only facilitate the process. In fact, when we add dynamic movement to technique -- which we are now doing more of towards the end of class -- uke's own momentum and off-balanced-ness (not sure how else to phrase that) puts most, if not all, the intensity on the joint lock or the projection.

So often in life I need to get out of the way. Sometimes it's an issue of letting someone else do it. This is more like training with a friend at the dojo. My son needs to clean the kitchen himself, his own way; if I stay in the way and do it, he will never le ...More Read More
Views: 1945

In Spiritual The weakest part of the body Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #18 New 11-07-2008 01:20 PM
*warning: christian content *

Katatatori Nikkyo: offer target, palm down. Trap hand and adjust center slightly offline, along uke's forward shoulder. Reconnect center with Uke's center, Polishing the mirror clockwise, at a 15 degree ascension off horizontal, brushing uke's forearms with fingertips. LEAD WITH FINGERTIPS Roll Uke's forearm to center. Look for sweet bend in wrist, forearm parallel to floor. If projecting or moving to tekon, put Nikkyo on just enough to kink out hip. Otherwise continue to roll to center, moving out of the way so Uke has room to fall.

So last night the entire key for me was to lead from my fingertips instead of pushing with my wrist. The latter leads to total failure of Nikkyo. A few times I managed to lead with my fingertips, and a huge difference was felt by both myself and Uke. Why is it so difficult to do that? I often feel like I'm trying to dial in a radio station, but the tuning knob moves too fast and I keep whizzing past the station. Kokyuho is the same thing. In swariwaza, sweep the mat with your fingertips, and uke cannot resist. Try to force uke's hands to the mat and we'll be there all night trying to make THAT work (ugh).
For some reason I am compelled to reflect on Pauls comments about the Body of Christ. In 2 Cor 12 he writes:
"18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but o
...More Read More
Views: 3740

In Spiritual By Grace Alone Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #12 New 09-11-2008 03:57 PM
Med -- I couldn't help myself. I liked your poem so much I had to try my hand at it. This is not meant to be in competiton with, or a rebuttle to yours -- just an exploration of my aikido.

Harmony with Love
Submit my will, my desires,
to the Lover of my soul.
Grace, all sufficient, balances everything.

Creator's Breath, Starwind
Co-mingled with my breath.
Inhale: I am made brighter than any star.
Exhale: Your grace offered to the world.

Revelation in Mercy
Each step faithfully guided.
My blindness diminished by Light.
My legs strengthened by Grace.

The Wind lifts my wings to flight
Following the path older than stars.
All obstacles naught but refining fire:
Love restores my harmony. I am home.
Views: 1661

In Spiritual Living with Martial Intent Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #10 New 08-24-2008 12:14 PM
So this morning (Sunday), I was at the park with Sensei and another senior student, for a "study group". Both of them are studying Kyu Shu (spelling?) and get together to practice outside of class once a month. They invited me (YES , another opportunity to train!) so there I am, too. It's very interesting, and adds another layer on Aikido in terms of atemi and precision in blending and directing energy.

At the end of our session, I managed to end up face down in the grass, basically pinned, unbeknownst to us, my right hand smack on top of an ant's nest. Hmmm, I thought, the grass is itchier than ususal, I look over and my hand is covered.

So as I was driving home with my hand shoved into a large carryout cup filled with ice , I was thinking about WHY do I do this. Not really doubting my own commitment, but wondering how I can possibly explain why to someone else.
I don't expect that I will ever run into a situation where I need MA to survive. I mean, it could happen, but physical conflict isn't part of my job, as it would be for a police officer, for example. There are many reasons why I am addicted to Aikido, but the reason that supplies the most drive to my commitment is that I find a reflection of my spiritual life in the physical discipline of Aikido.

And that led me to start thinking about the idea of martial intent. We'd been talking about that a lot this morning, because many of the pressure points we'd been practicing stri ...More Read More
Views: 1496

In Spiritual Walking thru my center... Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #7 New 06-24-2008 12:54 PM
Warning: Christian Content.

I've been thinking a lot about why I am addicted to aikido. Why does it draw me back again? Why am I willling to shake up my life, aquire an ever-changing collection of bruises, sore and strained muscles, and mystify/dismay my christian friends by investing my time in attempting to master this art?

I think what I am coming to, at least in part, is a realization that Aikido offers me a time of meditation that is physical and dynamic. On the mat, I am completely focused on the present. My mind is so much more focused, and I leave the dojo often with a clearer mental attitude.

Also, I live so much in my head, that I often treat my body as if it were not part of ME. This is also, I think, a consequence of being a cancer surivor. I still don't trust my body very much -- often it feels like its out to get me. Ok that sounds psychotic, but it's kind of true. Aikido brings me to a place of joy in my physical body; a kind of reconcilliation...

John 15:5 (The Message)
The Message (MSG)
5-8"I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you're joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can't produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows ...More Read More
Views: 1480 | Comments: 2

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