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This week was another tough one for me. I have a lot of adjustments to make in general, and my kids and I were sick so I was feeling threadbare. When I get that way, some of the old depression symptoms surface, adding to things. Not very fun, but I've begun to view times like these as challenges to be overcome; lessons to be worked on. It's funny how the lense of this mindset can make even innocuous things seem negative. C'est la vie.
So I went to the dojo yesterday feeling discombobulated. I missed misogi because I had been sick and was up late the night before. Funny how my internal clock still woke me up at the designated time though. I went to Chouhai, the daily ceremony where we read the O Harai no Kotoba. I like the focus on balancing the outflow of breath and vocalization with relaxation. I had a hard time relaxing though. I lost my place a few times, which is something I haven't done since I started learning over a decade ago, and my voice was choppy and tight instead of smooth and relaxed. It still felt good and helped me to relax more than I was beforehand.
When we started warming up for keiko I felt really tight and began sweating right away. And when we began bokuto practice I had a hard time remembering where I was at in the short sequence. It was a rough start after a rough week, but slowly, layer by layer, I felt the stress and tension diminish. By the end of keiko I felt normal again, or much closer to normal.
Sensei has been packing a lot of information into my once-a-week sessions. The bokuto kata are fun and challenging because there are so many small points to absorb in order to get it just so. I tend to raise my hands up too high and of course use too much shoulder, but gradually I'm noticing improvement in terms of reminding myself after I've done it. Soon I'm hoping to just not do it at all, or far less frequently.
For taijutsu we worked on ikkyo after I was prompted for any requests. I've had the mindset that "whatever's clever" since it all feels so new to me, but now I'm going to start trying to focus more specifically. I want to memorize the kyu lists of waza and work toward my shodan with more vigor. This last week I practiced very little on my own and I think it showed a little, never mind the effects of sickness and stress. So it's time for renewing my efforts.
Some points regarding ikkyo:
We worked on letting aite bring the katatetori to the body which was described as meeting the incoming hand and drawing it to the hip and letting aite apply pressure while feeling strong/stable before turning/twisting to begin the technique. The arm begins as pinned, but the twisting creates space for an "age" kind of movement, which creates space for the step in for the throw. At one point I was stuck and was essentially trying to move aite with my arm and shoulder, once I was reminded to twist the hips it became so easy I started cracking up. It was good misogi.
As always, too much to capture in words, but here's a start.