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Today, Saturday, wrapped up the first week of my 16 day Personal Aikido Intensive. I'm delighted and relieved to be able to say I've been having an awesome time, and am excited about having another full week ahead.
Next week I'll be in classes Monday through Saturday. M, W, & Sat. are two-class days. That's 9 classes, 5 of which will be with Sensei. This past week (M-Sat) he was away, and the yudansha (meet most of the teaching staff at Aikido of San Diego) taught all the classes. I really could not have picked a better time to do this, because for the past week there has been a tremendous variety to the classes, and for the next I'll have 5 days in a row of classes with Sensei.
The whole 16-day thing kicked off with a killer Friday night class with Sensei. I think he was trying to tire us out so we wouldn't be too hard on the yudansha during the week. It was an absolute blast. Sensei taught again on Saturday morning, and we did several really interesting exercises, including a walking-pace randori practice that looked like "Night of the Living Aikidoka" as 6 uke wandered, zombie-like in the general direction of each nage. Then Terry, Bill, and Doug had their exams, and there was the dojo party and potluck with the Sumo suits. (If you haven't seen the video yet, you can find it on my YouTube channel.)
The classes during the week were all as different as they could be, and offered many opportunities to try completely new things, hear familiar things explained in new ways, focus on different details, and so on. If I'm remembering correctly, I got to train with Megan, Jay, Cyril, Andy, and Karen. Classes were really well attended all week, too, and ran like clockwork, as usual.
This morning was a pretty fast-paced, interesting weapons class with Jay. We worked with the jo, doing still more techniques I hadn't yet seen. (I just tried to run through them all with my barn jo after feeding the critters this evening. Ah, the joys of long, dark nights and open outdoor space.) It sounds like there may be more opportunities to train with weapons, which would be great.
Next was an open-hand class with Mike. Lots of complicated (for me... sigh...) techniques. Some I got, and some I was befuddled by. The really annoying ones were a couple that I nailed on the first attempt, and then couldn't get right again. I've been finding lately that I'm much less frustrated with myself when that happens. I just keep trying, and don't go into panicky brain cramps. The class was a lot of fun, and thankfully I ended on a good note by getting the last technique right.
After class we cleaned the dojo and headed off to our respective weekends. Next up: Two 1-hour classes on Monday, with Sensei, and Cyril. But first, chores, resting, playing with the critters, and dinner with a friend.