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On Monday, due to some self inflicted back stiffness(snow, snow, snow), we worked mostly on Ki tests, and some techniques required for the 1st and 3rd Kyu tests coming up. The Ki tests are primarily done while we are doing our warm up exersizes at the beginning of class. I am finding the Ki tests are getting slightly more difficult, but at the same time I am learning new things from them. Different test energies produce different sensations (for lack of a better word) that I have to develope in order to transfer the test energy through my hara and into the ground. I am finding with some tests that it is still impossible for me to find that right "feeling" in order to pass the test.
There is a test with Ikkyo-Undo where the hand is blocked from either raising or lowering. I can muscle through that technique to make it work, but that isn't a pass. I need to somehow just allow the energy of my hand to pass through the blocking energy of the Ki test. The mechanics of passing this test still eludes me.
It is funny how the mind works, or at least my mind. Sensei can call for just about any technique that we've worked on and I can execute it to some semblance to how it should be done. But! When Sensei says to show him 5 variations of so and so techique I draw a blank after the first two or three throws. This should be easy because the majority of the techniques break down into Ikkyo, Nikkyo, Sankyo, Yonkyo, and Zempo variations. Of course there are more, but if I can just keep in my mind that those are the basic variations I should be able to come up with 5. With my luck I'll be asked to do five variations of a technique that that can't be turned into Zempo. Then I'll just look like a deer caught in the headlights in the middle of my test.
On Wednesday we practiced more test techniques, and started to learn some reversals. All I can say is WOW! Reversals are a great way to feel and practice connections with uke. It's one thing to connect with uke to preform a good throw. It's entirely something else to connect with nage enough, and in motion, to change the flow of energy to your favor in order to perform a reversal. Of couse being a new learning experience we were helping each other complete the reversal. But even with that, if you didn't follow the flow of the technique well, with proper foot work to stay connected to nage, the reversal was difficult to impossible to pull off.
The sensations of reversal technique really gives me a good sense of how Aikido priciples are applied. It also showed me just how much more there is to learn and to practice. It is classes like this that make me wonder how people who are training in Aikido can ever get bored.