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I have been attending class now for two weeks. After two weeks I am really starting to get the feel for the movements. My roomate and I have been practicing on our own outside of class to help us learn quicker. Most everyone in our classes have been training for several years. This past Saturday we had a completely different teacher than we have ever had. He is the Sensei at the Kissimmee school. His name is Michael Kranz. Our Senei is Dan Linden who has a boxing background. Kranz Sensei has more of a Kung Fu background and had a lot different training techniques. For the first time since I have been in class we used weapons for attacks. The first attack was an overhead attack in which we deflected the attack and took the weapon away in one motion. We did several variations on this and it was fun to do something different. After an hour or so of these techniques everyone was getting really hot. It was close to noon on Sunday and the temp was getting close to 90. With the humidity also around 85 to 90 percent we had to take it a little easier. Sensei Linden came to class and changed our entire approach. We learned to defend a 5 punch attack that consisted of a left jab, a right cross, a left hook, a right uppercut and ended with a straight left. This was one of the first times during Aikido that I really felt i was comfortable. I was able to move and use all the things we have been doing for the last few weeks and end up placing the Uke on the ground face down while I applied
Day two of class started with everyone stretching and rolling. The humidity was very high to say the least. Today's Sensei is Alan. Without too much knowledge of Aikido I can already see that there is a big difference between the levels of black belts. There really is a much greater attention to detail the longer Aikido has been practiced. I am sure I will come to appreciate the tiny motions in time but for now I am happy when I can complete the technique and do the proper roll or lead the Uke into a roll. We did some wrist locks and techniques that had us lead the Uke all the way to the ground. I am not yet used to manipulating wrists, elbows and shoulders but it was a nice lesson.
The first attack we learned was a cross wrist grab into a grab of both wrists from behind. The idea being you lead the Uke around to reach for the other. As the Uke is about to grab your other wrist you must use footwork and timing to throw Uke off balance. When I got this almost right( I won't say right since there is so much technique ) I had my Uke fall and roll back. This one technique was what most of the class eluded to.
After an hour and a half of practicing we were all very hot and dehydrated. After class is done we all stand in a circle and Sensei asks if anyone has anything to say. We stand in order of level, the person on Sensei's left being the highest rank. I stood as the second to last person. My roomate and i started the same day so we are both beginners. A few things were
Day one at Shoshin Aikido in Orlando
Shoshin was the second Dojo that I actually saw during my search for the ideal place to train. My best friend and I had decided to begin Aikido as soon as we felt we found the right place. After observing Shoshin and meeting everyone from class we were hooked. Sometimes when you meet a person you know instantly if you will get along or not. Well imagine meeting an entire Dojo of those whom you can get along with and you know why we chose Shoshin. The Sensei is Dan Linden. His life's story is an amazing one that you can get off the web site if you have the desire to. http://www.shoshindojo.com after reading about Dan and his life, and the Aikido principles I was sure he was going to be reserved in this formal atmosphere. In fact it was exactly the opposite. From the moment we stepped on the Dojo floor he was hand's on and helping my friend and I. Curtis was teaching the class and we stretched with the 6 others in the class, all experienced to at least yellow belts. After stretching was over we started with the fun stuff.
Let me start by telling everyone about the Dojo. Sensei Linden has built a large Dojo in his backyard. He has several acres of land and has beautiful Bamboo and various other plants lining the landscape. The Dojo has a roof and screens but otherwise is open to the elements. The day I started, August 4th, was one of the hottest days this year. The temperature had to be pushing 95 during the day. Some rain came through t