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Far too much time has passed since my last class. If my child is not in the process of coming into the world I think I will go to class tonight.
In my time away from the dojo, I've been doing my best to try to focus on the world as an environment conducive to training. I've been relating my daily interactions to the principles that the mat has taught me. I've been seeing others as a means of connecting and trying to gauge my effectiveness in blending with them in my day to day interactions. Trying to look back at them to see where I should have entered or gone around and to see where I moved just right.
I've even been trying to make sure that my breathing is controlled from my hara like it should be. Trying to make the energy connections with everyone... attempting to make it subconscious. Trying to let my mind wander into imagery during interactions while still staying focused on the task/conversation at hand.
And today the morning sky seemed to have entered on my perceptions. I was idling at a stop sign waiting to turn onto a busy street during rush our. Focused intently on the seemingly endless stream of cars, trucks, SUVs, and minivans. Suddenly the sky pulled my focus back. It was just as the sun was trying to break through the horizon and spread it's warmth. There were a smattering of clouds and a few jet trails illuminated in the most serene blend of pink and orange backed by a pale blue that bled into a dark purple speckled with the small white do
Well I got stripped yesterday. Sensei Jamie stripped my belt to show my new rank! With each passing class I feel like the world is being revealed to me. Most of my sempai have a way of saying just the right thing at just the right time, or of beating sense into my head until I see what they are saying. I am touched by them all.
At this point the techniques of yesterday's class are a bit of a blur, but the lessons stay. I can still feel the techniques, not in a bad way. My muscles still want to do them.
I received a compliment while I was out at the bar for the gig. One of our former guitarists stopped by to jam with us. He said that it looked like I'd been working out. Thank you Aikido! That's the only excersice I get on a normal basis. And our keyboardist said that I didn't have much of a spare tire. How sweet. Eh, it's nice to know that the excersice is paying off. Everytime I think about slowing down for the sake of conserving energy I remind myself that part of the reason I'm there is for the workout!
Tuesday night. Sensei Robin. Sensei Robin is one of those people that doesn't let you have a technique. You know that if you complete the technique, you did the technique. Maybe not as well as you could have, but you hit the high points. Then he'll work on improving the little things one at a time. I connect with him really well. He and I talk energy a lot.
If I were ever asked what I want my Aikido to be like I think the answer (which I'm sure will change over time) would be a cross between Sensei Jamie and Sensei Robin.
So we worked on some basics. Gyaku-hanmi Katatetori, Kokyunage, Kotegaeshi, and Ikkyo followed by a little Kokyudosa.
Kokyunage. I helped a sempai find his center on the Omote version we were doing. Realized that I wasn't getting low enough before pivoting causing me to loose the connection when I pivoted.
Kotegaeshi. Robin helped me realize that the inital arm movement was like a backhand strike to the face, just on a different line. Taught me not to drive downward when turning Uke to their bellies. Taught me a variation on the pin, then corrected me to make sure I had his hand at the right angle to make it a little less painful.
Ikkyo. Worked with the visually impaired student again. I really like working with him. A nice guy, dedicated to learning the techniques. He keeps me honest, cause if they aren't right his body doesn't respond correctly since he doesn't see most of the demonstration.
I received my certificate for my promotion to Rokyu today. I don't feel deserving of it, but apparently my sensie and shihan think I am. So I'll take it and do my best to be deserving.
Sensei Jamie went to MN over the weekend for a seminar. He said they spent the seminar working on the basics. So that's what we did today. We did all Ai Hanmi Katatetori with Kokyonage, Iriminage, and Kotegaeshi.
Kokyonage. I had lots of trouble with. Once, thanks to one of my sempai, I realized that the arm movements were positioning me to atemi to the face of uke, all of the rest of the body movements fell into place.
Iriminage. I have to remember to focus on me not uke. It doesn't matter if their arm ends up where I want it to, what matters is that I finish the movements of the technique.
Kotegaeshi. Probably one of my favorite techniques.
We now have a visually impaired student in our class. He started on Saturday. I say impaired because I get the sense that he isn't blind, but that he can't see much. He walks using a cane, is that the word for it, or is it a walking stick.... either way I'm sure you get the point. He catches on pretty quickly. It's interesting and good. I like having him there. It makes me have to be more honest about the techniques to be able to describe them to him in a manner that he comprehends them.
I keep feeling like I'm stepping over my bounds. I keep reminding myself to shutup and train, but find myself teaching more and more.
Well my test is done. I passed, not sure how, but I did. I'm now Rokyu. Testing was fun, but surprising. I blanked out for part of the test. Roseberry Shihan had us doing randouri and when it was my turn to be tori I blanked. I kept moving, but I blanked on all technique. When the techniques came back to me I had already done one out of muscle memory, not quite the way it should have been done, but it worked. One of the other students grabbed both of my shoulders and I instincively went into Ikkyo. It must have been good enough because it caught sensei Jamie's attention. In fact that's what we worked on after testing was over. Anyway, when some of the techniques started coming back I couldn't pull any forward throws to my mind, so instead of a lot of forward moving entering I found myself doing a lot of tenkan movements to avoid attacks instead of performing techniques, at least until the right openning presented itself so I could do one of the techniques I could actually remember.
But it's done. I'm exhausted. On top of testing, I play bass in a band, I played that night and the next night, so sleep has been at a minimum and I feel it. I just want to curl up somewhere and sleep until tomorrow. But I know that won't happen so I'll quit dreaming and get back to life!
I've been invovled with the Martial Arts since Mid July 2004. I started with BJJ. I took that for about a month. That's all it took to get my elbow hyper-extended. Which made me quit BJJ.
Before I quit BJJ I had taken a class or 2 in Aikido and Daitoryu Aikijujitsu (Damn that's a mouthfull). I've been taking both since. Although I have recently come to the decision to stop taking Daitoryu. I tested in Daitoryu a few weeks ago and went to class on Sunday to find out if I had passed. I did. I also got a clear physical reminder of why I am quiting that class. I now have a sore ankle, shoulder, and a bruised rib. So I made rank, and I'm done with Daitoryu. Thank god for Aikido.
I'm testing today in Aikido. It's test number 2 or 3. I was surprised with a test on Saturday, then when I had passed I was asked if I'd like to test with Roseberry Shihan today. Of course I went with testing with Shihan. I'll always take an opportunity to train with Roseberry Shihan. Oh well, off to continue hydrating in preperation for the test!