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Yesterday went rather well. Sensei came back from his vacation. As much as I enjoy training when the sempai's teach, it is always nice when sensei returns. Yesterday there were four students, which made training a lot easier. It seems like if there is an odd number, I am always in the group of 3. I enjoy watching others do the techniques (especially the higher rankers) but sometimes your group forgets about you and you end up sitting there forever. We just kept rotating partners last night so we got to train with everyone. Even numbers also allow sensei to walk around, watch and correct our technique.
We started off with our regular warm-ups and went into forward rolls from the knees. I believe this was mostly to benefit the new guy, but I actually really enjoy rolling from this position. My rolls are quiet and smooth. My rolls from standing are pretty smooth, but not as smooth as from this position. I am always trying to absorb what my body is doing so I can replicate this motion from standing. I made sure to come up with my toes tucked under my feet. This was a bit uncomfortable, but I have seen that I come up more balanced when I do this (and sensei prefers it this way).
Tonight's class was fairly laid back. We started off with practicing the motions used for kaitenage from gyaku hanmi katatedori. We were not moving, just simply bringing uke in and then extending back out to take their balance. Once this was done, went to doing the technique (soto variation) minus the roll. Finally, we did the entire technique. For the most part, I am fairly comfortable with this technique. We also did this same technique from ryotedori. The sad part about this was the two hands confused me at first. I kept doing the atemi (unknowingly) despite being told not to. Finally, it clicked that I was still doing it and I took it out. HAHA. Instead, we were to take and swing that arm backwards away from uke to help stretch them out.
We then went on to a gyaku hanmi katatedori kokyuho throw. For this, we entered slightly, turned and scooped our grabbed hand. We then brought our arm on top of theirs and lifted it up to get under their chin. As we started to rotate, we also caught the elbow to maximize uke back bendage. We did not finish this throw though, just practiced the rotation. Sensei said his goal was to get us to feel and appreciate the rotation in the upper body. This one I felt very comfortable with. It just seemed like it was going smooth and I was staying close to uke. This isn't the case on most nights!
We then went on to various kokyuho throws from gyaku hanmi where uke grabs both shoulders from the front (ryokata dori??) . One of the throws we did, you simply irimi, turn, spread your arms wide, tenkan and bring uke down into a forward roll. This one I felt fairly comfortable with because it reminded me of kaitenage motion-wise. Another version you did was just turn 180 away from uke, bring your arms up and turn 180 back towards uke and throw them. This technique wasn't too bad. I have a tendency to lean, so I have to be careful on this. Sensei told me to make sure I use both arms as I rotate. We did one other form that I will not even attempt to describe. I had a hard time getting my hands in the right spot as you had to go under one of uke's arms to go over the other. Then, I kept having my hand palm down and sensei wanted it palm up. I was just glad to see that I wasn't the only person having trouble. My partner (2nd kyu) was also having a few issues with it. I can't speak of the other two since we were in our own world.
All in all, I thought it was a good class. I didn't feel lost the entire time and there were moments where I just knew I had done the technique right. I did notice that some of my throws are better on my left then my right. Since I am right handed, I just assumed I would be better on my right all the time. Who knew!?! I even got complimented when working with the 2nd kyu. I was uke and I got thrown from a koyuho throw. My ukemi felt relaxed and I just flew away from nage into a backfall. Sensei said "Good ride!". He is always telling me not to just fall at nage's feet. Try to fall a bit away and use nage's throw to allow you to do so. Apparently… I did it. At one point, sensei was showing me what I was doing wrong by using me as uke. He then showed me what to do. Evidently I was letting go too soon to fall. He told me to hold on…. So I did. Well, let me tell you, that was one of the comfiest landings of the night. My feet were yanked out from under me and I just fell ever so gracefully to the floor. No worries about getting out of my own way, no lowering myself to the floor… nage did all the work for me. I must make sure to do this more often. I guess this is what taking ukemi is versus doing ukemi. Sensei smiled down at me (I had a goofy grin on my face: much like this -> ) and said "Better."
I think I have mentioned before that I am 6th kyu. Well, out of nowhere, as my husband and I are about to leave the dojo, sensei says (or something similar to this) "Oh, I just want to let you know that your first test will probably be 3rd kyu. I don't think you need to test for the ranks below that. You will do fine." He made no mention of when this infamous test will be. I am sure that it is quite a ways off though. Thank goodness! He said that he is hoping to have several people test this fall/ early winter for 1st kyu because he wants them to test next summer for shodan. He said it would allow us to see a higher level test. He also mentioned that he prefers to do tests just a couple times a year, but also does them at other times as well. I have never been tested before. In my previous style, you were given your belt when sensei thought you deserved it. In that way, you were being tested for an entire month without your knowledge. If you failed you never knew it… and if you passed it was a pleasant surprise. I honestly have no idea how I would do on a test in front of the entire dojo. I took a glance at the 3rd kyu test requirements and there are many. Since we would be skipping the tests for 5th and 4th, I would think that those techniques would be on there as well. That is a lot of stuff! In the meantime, I am not too worried about it. After all, I have only been training for 5 months! I figure I got another year and a half to two years just to get the hours in, let alone to get the techniques down. Why fret about it now? Then again, sensei's are notorious for doing the unexpected. Muahahahaha……
Things to fix:
1.) Stay upright in the finish of techniques
2.) Use both arms when rotating for throws
3.) Don't let go of nage sooner then you have to. Ride out the throw
1.) Had pains in my ribs with deep breathes before class. Getting thrown around actually made that better though! They were gone by the end of class
2.) Still have that nagging right wrist injury. I guess it got tweaked somehow. If my hand gets bent back (like a pushup position) it hurts.
3.) Random shooting pains in my left knee (that's the one with the worn meniscus). I'm watching this one
4.) My lower left back/ butt sciatic nerve has been randomly acting up. This is an on and off thing since undergrad. It is manageable provided I take care of it when it pops up
5.) Bruises…. glorious bruises on my arms and legs. I just love these natural every changing tattoos!
6.) The raw spots on both of my feet are on the mend. WHOOT! I trained last night with no tape and experienced no discomfort whatsoever. Gotta love that!