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It's been a bit since I posted a blog and I missed last night's training due to an unpleasant medical issue with my oldest son so it seems fitting to try and recall last weeks session and refresh what I can from it.
These past couple weeks have been hectic and stressful, so I've been processing my "Aikido" in less obvious ways. Big birthday parties; reconciling unemployment; Obaa-san unable to get up from picking raspberries; last-minute changes in plans all around; all seemed to have left their mark on my ability to stay centered mentally. I've picked up an annoying tick not unlike a mild Turret's. Some embarrassing stuff and some not-so, but...c'est la vie, non? Gotta keep moving forwardly.
Last week I asked to work on katatetori uchi kaiten, which is part of the gokyu requirements I want to refresh myself on. This is actually one of the techniques I remember really feeling comfortable with, but last week I had a lot of difficulty with the transition from "uchi" to "kaiten." The pivot after entering through the armpit space felt unconnected, but it was a lot of fun working through it. I began by training with one of the more senior students who wanted me to really focus on making the whole movement "alive" and more at speed than I started with. I still have a tendancy to do a lot of start-stop-start-stop herky-jerky stuff which makes it hard to figure out how the whole body plays into the single flow. In other words I think it tends to add to the fragmentation of the body movement instead of working on that whole-body integration we're looking for. When I was able to move more at speed, I got the sense that I was connecting the bottom half and top half of my body better, in terms of generating drive from ground up/out through the connection.
We got split up because two beginner students were paired together and were having difficulties with the form. I'm not sure how much I was helping my kohai at this point. The last few classes I've noticed that I have been making mistakes with simple form when trying to make corrections. My tendancy is to primarily let my partner work through things in their own way, but I've been making it a point to try and take a more active role as sempai. The plus side to noticing my mistakes is that they make me pay closer attention.
I was really hoping to make it to keiko last night because over the weekend I played some paintball and got one of the biggest leg workouts I've had in years (squat-walking will do that). I was curious to see how that might play out. Next week I should be able to attend classes 2-3 times though, so hopefully good progress can be made.
Another week flies by...