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Today was a pleasant day all in all. To begin with, my wife takes the kids to a "moms' group" once a week in the morning and since she's working mornings during the summer school I got to be an honorary mom today. I'm only mentioning this because at one point I had to practice that age-old art of stopping kids with my "powerful" kiai ( ) as they merrily ran down a road toward some slight traffic. It stopped them dead in their tracks so my waza is clearly well-honed . We were all shouting for them to stop, but it wasn't until I focused and belted it out that they actually did.
As for the "real" Aikido today I could only make it to beginners' class as I had left the wee lads with gramma had to make it back in time for bed time. Part of what I've really been enjoying about beginners' class is the focus on rolls, which when done slowly really helps to relax my upper back and shoulders. Being able to practice rolls in slow-mo seems like a great practice in shifting weight through the body while maintaining frame shape...more or less round, in this case. In bacwards rolls, I loved the feeling of sinking my lower hip down, connecting to the ground, and then focusing on the continuous line of pressure being "drawn" along my back and shoulders as I rolled along. I have the sense that when I started (and restarted) my training, it was a series of dashes instead of that one long continuous line, which feels great and leaves me feeling renewed and physically balanced.
We worked on tachi waza ai hanmi katate tori ushiro tenkan 1,2, and 3 since Joe-san, the instructor, has been really focusing on getting them familiarized by the newer students. These were probably my favorite techniques back in the day because i was through them that I felt I really began to understand how to start connecting my legs and hips to my shoulders and arms...not that I do that well, but on a conceptual level it seemed to really click for me, making my movements at least a little more cohesive and "whole-body" in nature.
I must've sweated a gallon of my anti-grip solution. It was great exercise and great fun as always. Now it's time for a little quality time watching the fake news with the wife while the lads are sleeping like the angels they are.
Pleasant dreams all!