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Seeking Zanshin: Blood, Sweat, Tears & Aikikai Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 02-24-2005 11:53 PM
One small gal + a dojo full of big guys = tons o' fun
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 270 (Private: 12)
Comments: 195
Views: 780,588

In General A Change of Pace Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #7 New 07-17-2003 12:51 AM
Just couldn't leave home without my weapons...

I took my bokken and jo out with me camping last weekend and was able to find the time to at least practice a fair amount of bokken strikes and the 13-step kata while there.

Practicing in the outdoors was such a liberating experience. Being able to swing freely, not only while breathing the fresh air but being out in the open instead of in a stuffy dojo where you're constantly having to be fully conscious of whether or not there's enough space (and if I'm going to accidentally hit another person). I found that (at least for a beginner such as myself) it frees the mind even more to being able to concentrate on the movements themselves. I'm sure that after a great deal more growth of experience and skill, it will become second nature to be inherently aware of the personal space I take up whenever I swing and move with my weapon but for the time being, I'm finding this kind of practice valuable (especially since my apartment is so darned cramped!)

Rollin', rollin', rollin'...

Sempai John led the class today while Sensei is out of town for the rest of the week, and it's been a refreshing change of pace. We did something a little different with our ukemi practice: completely rolling out of some simple throws as opposed to our usual reps of ukemi from a static standing position.

It was the first time (interestingly enough) that I have ever actually experienced having to do full (instead of half-)ushiro ukemi as uke --- this said, it was useful practice for me. The feel of a full ushiro ukemi is quite different and is something to be adapted to when it is instigated from an outside force. It's like you feel you have less control (at least initially) as uke at the beginning of the roll and then you have to struggle to maintain control as you are rolling out to stand up again. I actually found this rather enjoyable not only because there's more of a challenge involved, but because having to do a full back roll simply felt more continuous, more complete --- like the feeling I was flowing with nage's energy instead of cutting it short and springing up against it like I would in a half roll.

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