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After several months with the new group (my old group got merged with a new one, and a new teacher), I've decided to stop training in Aikido altogether. It's been a period of zero advancement in all fields including Aikido progress, Rank progress, stamina and strength progress, in other words, a big waste of time. Plus I'm not enjoying the new classes at all so I'm cutting my losses.
Hopefully I'll be starting Daito Ryu within the next month or two, there's a group opening up in my city and I've been to a demo lesson with the teacher, left with an appetite for more.
It's been almost 3 years of Aikido, I've learned a great deal, and now I feel the recent events are an opportunity to get a taste of something else. One day I'll get back to Aikido though, that's for sure.
I've recently seen a continuous decline in the fun I'm having in Aikido classes. After my old group got merged with another one, I had to drop 2 days of training a week since I used to train with both groups. I thought I'd eventually find new groups to train with or at least get used to 2 days a week, but it only frustrates me to be able to train so little.
I started playing footbag a few months ago, and I greatly enjoy the fact that I can practice it at home and enhance my skills on my spare time. I wish I could do that with Aikido
I always think twice before adding a post, because I know it's going to be something in the lines of "I had a cool class" or "oh no I had a shitty class and I feel like a loser", and in comparison to the deep thoughts and analysis you encounter on other people's posts, blogs and articles, I feel like the village fool.
However, I already stated several times this is a totally personal development blog so we'll all have to live with that.
So this is going to be a "I had a cool class" post, in regards to my lousy feeling with Irimi nage. Yesterday (After a week and a half of missing classes because I was hosting a friend from Chicago and showing her the country) we had an irimi nage class again. First round was stopping after the irimi movement. Second round was stopping after the kuzushi, and only then we proceeded to the throw. At first I was very nervous "oh no another irimi class - there goes my day" but then for some reason I got very loose, just flowed with it, and u know what, my irimi didn't suck (too much) and I had a good time.
On a different note, next week Donovan Waite sensei is coming to Israel next week. I find it funny that we get way better Aikido seminars than punk shows around here. How can it be that world class instructors come here every few months but getting a punk band here happens about once a decade?
If both would happen at the same frequency that'd be cool - I'd get to practice Aikido in moshpits too :P
I have a problem with irimi-nage.I'm aware of that for quite some time now. Sometimes it works better, sometime not as good, but it's not consistent, and even worse - not improving.
Last night we had an Irimi class. the instructor decided to work with me and try to explain it to me and i still didn't get it. I started feeling a bitter pain in my throat, that feeling I get when something completely gets to me and breaks me. From there on the class was complete hell. The instructor noticed I turned all introvert and got angry with me. I was constantly on the verge of breaking into tears. I kept thinking "What am I doing here? I could've been home, continuing having a wonderful day".
But I'm resolved to get over it. I'll ask the head instructor to help me. I'll ask nice senior students to assist me. I'll make Irimi Nage my strongest technique.
I took the 4th Kyu test last Thursday.
My teacher and the head instructor remarked that I kept the most uniform and slow pace among all testers, it must've been automatic since I was very nervous.
My teacher said that I did "Roy successes and Roy failures". As in saying, not better than what I do in classes, but not worse. Which is good I guess. I just wish I could sit with them and watch myself so I can figure out what Roy Failures are.
I got a specific remark about Irimi nage - which I am going to pay special attention to, it's about time I master this one!
The head instructor said two good things about me. He said that my extra investment in showing up to class 3-4 times a week shows, that I've started out very stiff and now I'm rounding up a bit. He also said that it was "a good test". That made me feel good, since I knew I can pass it, but I wanted to pass it honorably, to deserve it, and his remark made me feel that I did.
My next test is to figure out how to break my mold and continue improving.
I'm up to 4th Kyu test next month, and I asked my instructor if he could clarify Shomenuchi Sankyo ura, as I've seen about 3 different ways to perform it, while practicing with sempais after class. During class we did Morotedori sankyo ura, and in the middle of practice he told my partner to attack with shomenuchi. I thought "oh good, that's allot easier", but suddenly I couldn't get the ura at all. I had a flashbacks of verbal descriptions for a good ura by sempai, aikido3d and various resources, like letting the attack go a bit further, and blending with the motion and redirecting it, and crap - none of that worked, i totally missed it infront of the instructor.. I did get what i was doing wrong and performed a nice ura, but I think all the verbal descriptions I was focused on at first kinda confused me
I'm thinking that the problem with a verbal description is that you have to take into account not just what was said, but also what was not said. otherwise you stick to what you clearly remember and omit everything else..
I guess a first injury warrants a post on a personal development log...
It's not a serious injury, but it could've been, and i still feel it's some sort of a milestone.
So on monday. 10 minutes before the end of class we were doing jyuwaza, focusing on morotedori. we were doing a threesome (hehe) with the instructor. on his turn he asked us to "constantly attack" which basically means for us beginners is to get up as fast as we can and rush at him.
I rushed aiming at his right side and he responded with an ikkyo (i think) into my left elbow. I guess I kept my left hand straight because somehow my elbow stretched backwards and i felt a sharp pain.
i think i lightly sprained my elbow - it's not swollen, it's just uncomfortable when i try to keep my arm straight. So I decided to give it a few days rest and see if it improves.
I think rushing + carelesness was the cause of this injury. I could've prevented it by attacking with more care and responding better to the technique which I didn't expect. The instructor warned us plenty of times against keeping a straight but I guess sometimes wanting to keep up comes at the expense of staying safe.
I started attending "Advanced class" in my dojo since two weeks ago.
The techniques are allot more complicated and everyone is allot better than me.
It's rough to be so much worse than everyone by comparison (I'm 5th kyu, and the second lowest graded person in class is a 2nd kyu).
Sometimes when we do a complicated technique I feel like a Bufoon to be the only person in class who didn't get it from the two demonstrations the sensei gives.
On the other hand, when I concentrate on the footwork of the other trainers, I can spot their slackiness, due to the amount of time we invest in basic foot and hand work in the beginners class.
I think Advanced class pushes me forward tremendously. I just hope that I can keep up with it and start feeling at home soon.