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Well, the last time a friend came into town that I train with from time to time, I had just come back from meeting Dan Harden. I tried to explain what I felt from Dan, and to replicate some of the things he had taught. Not much success.
This friend and I get together about twice a year with some local guys I know...one of which I have trained with for many years. He did aikido with me for maybe 10 or 11 years, and now does mostly tai chi. He and I went to Mike Sigman's seminar together, and we've been comparing notes, and trying to work some of the exercises. I've also been working some of Akuzawa Sensei's exercises, which I may have a better handle on since going to the seminar in Seattle.
Anyhow, it used to be when I got together with these guys, I got pushed all over the place. I just couldn't relax properly, my back was stiff, I wasn't used to the format, and I was a klutz. Last night, for the first time, I kind of held my own...enough to give them a decent workout anyway, and I actually got a few good solid grounded pushes in of my own!
I've been working the standing exercises, shikko, the breathing exercises, and trying to straigten out my posture. Really focusing on relaxing the lower back. Apparently, the effort is beginning to pay off.