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Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > AikiWeb AikiBlogs > Seeking Zanshin: Blood, Sweat, Tears & Aikikai

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Seeking Zanshin: Blood, Sweat, Tears & Aikikai Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 02-24-2005 10:53 PM
One small gal + a dojo full of big guys = tons o' fun
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 272 (Private: 12)
Comments: 195
Views: 545,183

In Training Wed. Jan. 11, 2012: Shihonage Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #269 New 01-13-2012 03:33 PM
Just logging these to keep track of where we are at in the cycle.

Ran through Shihonage from all of the following attacks:

Katatedori (omote & ura)
Morotedori (two versions)
Katadori Menuchi
Shomenuchi (omote & ura)
Yokomenuchi (omote & ura)
Ushiro Ryokatadori
Ushiro Ryotekubidori
Ushiro Ryotekubidori Kubijime

Not done yet:

Views: 1647 | Comments: 2

In Training Shikkoing uphill, but in good company Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #267 New 09-28-2011 11:38 PM
I can say without a doubt that this art is one of the most difficult things I've ever done in my life. It offers conclusive evidence that at the root of it all, I am indeed a masochist.

Whoever said that things get easier is a dirty, rotten liar. Aikido is a mystery, hidden in a puzzle, wrapped in an enigma. The delusional theory floating around that black belt is somehow this pinnacle of achievement is utterly laughable.

I used to do this art solely for myself. The first few years are always like a honeymoon period of sorts. You have this warm, fuzzy feeling about practice. It's a kind of infatuation, really.

Well, Aikido and I are long past that stage in our relationship. We've been together long enough that we can be comfortable with our differences. We can just be ourselves, belches, farts and all. (Aikido hates how I get lazy about doing the dishes. Personally, I hate how it leaves the toilet seat up all the time. Damn awkward in the middle of the night. But we're still good.) In the midst of this, it's easy to get so comfortable, in fact, that you get complacent.

One of the most convincing lies ever told - time and time again - is that love is a feeling. That it waxes and wanes; gets stale over time. Kind of like the misguided idea that marriage is a contract. That if and when things get rough, or your partner doesn't fulfill their end of the "bargain" of expectations you have for the relationship, or you think you've found a better offer from someone els ...More Read More
Views: 1550 | Comments: 2

In Training March 20-21st Saskatoon Seminar Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #245 New 03-23-2009 10:21 PM
What a long weekend. Boy, do I feel bagged. Two seminar days aside, it doesn't help that we got so very little sleep on Thursday and Friday night; we also encountered some really thick fog on the way back home last night that kept me wide awake as Jon's second set of eyes on the road in the dark, so most of the drive was spent warily alert when I could have been sleeping. :-P We got back into the city around 1 last night and although I didn't have to work today and slept in, I could still use some shuteye. I'm surprised we weren't all absolutely kooky during class tonight.

Kawahara Sensei seems to be doing better with his health, from the looks of things - at the very least he was certainly in good spirits. Although a translator was not present at this particular seminar, I actually found Sensei relatively easier to understand - I think that he made a point of trying to state very clearly (or as clearly as possible) what we should and shouldn't be doing and even went so far as to try to break down techniques into steps, counting in Japanese as he moved through them.

In a way, I think that in not having as much verbal instruction, one is able to concentrate far more on the visual information they are receiving. Case in point, I took an American Sign Language (ASL) immersion course some time ago where you could only sign (or even just fingerspell) to communicate - you weren't allowed to talk. In spite of this, a number of the other students still tried to whisp ...More Read More
Views: 1116

In Training The Heat is On Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #236 New 09-16-2008 10:16 PM
Without a doubt, training for 1st kyu has been the most frustrating, challenging experience of my Aikido life thus far.

It used to be that I was simply pissed off at certain techniques. Those of you who have followed this blog from its tadpole-ish beginnings (before I even turned 5th kyu) will remember well. Koshinage was once the bane of my existence. Then came along Aiki Otoshi. In essence, anything that involved me having to heft and --- for more than a nanosecond --- support the weight of anyone more than my size (which is pretty much everyone) was...let's just say: not pleasant.

But bygones are bygones. Now I have a new nemesis. There is a huge elephant in the room. His name is Ikkyu and he wears a brown belt. Where to begin?

We can start with the fact that when all is said and done --- counting numerous variations of: standing techniques, kneeling techniques, knife-taking techniques, sword-taking techniques, staff-taking techniques, combination/adapted techniques and reversal techniques --- Jeremy and I will have to know and perform well over 200 different SANITY-TAKING techniques. The object is "to be able to apply and variate techniques" after all. And at the very end of it: Jiyu Waza, multiple attackers. But then, to me, that's the fun part.

Not surprisingly, this is the very same test that we will have to perform later for Shodan/black belt. With two vital differences. For Shodan, it will all have to be "shinier" --- more polished, ...More Read More
Views: 1181

In Training 30th Anniversary Saskatoon Seminar (09/05-06) Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #235 New 09-09-2008 01:12 PM
Five of us (Sensei, Jim, Lisa, Anders & I) recently went to Saskatoon to participate in their 30th anniversary seminar this past weekend and came back happy to have made the trip (cramped legs and sore backs from the long drive notwithstanding). Due to it being a rather "special" seminar, not only did Kawahara sensei instruct, but so did the founding instructor of the dojo, Makoto Otsu. I suppose my only regret (as usual) would be in only being able to train during the Saturday instead of all weekend; mainly due to the long drive that would take up most of Sunday.

I really appreciated how Kawahara sensei focused greatly on Kaeshi Waza (reversals) during his portion of the class. Considering how reversals (along with Henka Waza: variations/combinations) form a part of our upcoming Ikkyu test, it was nice to see how Kawahara sensei in particular does them. I'm sure Jeremy would also have really appreciated seeing this as well. I did feel rather sorry, however, for some of the "greener" Mudansha (white belts) who I trained with that obviously had little to no experience with these techniques and were struggling --- sensitive to the etiquette regarding "shadow teaching", I was allowed to assist very little and felt badly about leaving them in the dark and tried to drop discreet hints here and there wherever I could in the hopes they'd figure things out on their own.

Another unique thing to note was seeing Kawahara sensei demonstrate a sacrifice throw as a variant of ...More Read More
Views: 1540 | Comments: 2

In Training Updated Strength/Conditioning Program - B Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #227 New 05-14-2007 11:33 PM
(Last Updated: January, 2009) - After spending some time researching the martial/real-world strength applications of Kettlebell training I picked up a Kettlebell for myself back in December and have been implementing a new conditioning regimen based upon this. As I am still a beginner with these, more variety in exercises will be incorporated as I learn them.

Very important note: any martial arts strength/conditioning regimen should always be IN ADDITION/AS A SUPPLEMENT to (and not a replacement for or at the expense of) regular Aikido technique training at the dojo. In my case:

AIKIDO TRAINING: Two hours daily, four times per week
- Classical Aikido: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays
- Adapted Aikido: Tuesdays

This would be more often if our current training space were available Thursdays and Saturdays like our old dojo was!


- Grip strengthening exercises: a) Crushing grip strength, b) "Newspaper ball" exercise with paper for recycling


- Standing (rooting/stability) exercises


DAY ONE (Monday):
Kettlebells Strength Training Set A*,
4 sets each...
- Two-handed swings
- One-handed clean and press, each arm
- One-handed squats, alternating sides

DAY TWO (Tuesday): HIIT & CORE
High Intensity Interval Training
- approx. 30mins+ sprinting/jogging intervals for cardio
(includes warm up, cooldown and stretching)
- Side ...More Read More
Views: 16216 | Comments: 3

In Training Yippee! Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #225 New 04-08-2007 04:05 PM
The Saskatoon Spring seminar has been rescheduled for May! Mmmaaayyyy!!! Can't wait.

By the by, I bet you can't tell that I'm too darn-sod-it busy with work to post anything decent on here lately? I will, however, mention that I puchased recently and am almost done reading a wonderfully informative book as a supplement to my conditioning program called, "Strength and Power Training for Martial Arts" by Martina Sprague.

I'll have to go into more detail about it when I have the time, but I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to likewise up the ante with their training regimen and especially to fellow female Aikidoka (she has a particularly relevant chapter on women's training and the misconceptions --- old news to me, but would serve many others well, I'm sure). Overall, a very well-written book (a good balance between practical directives, facts and anecdotes --- it also has a sport-specific section which includes a strength/conditioning program geared specifically to Aikido and other arts) by a woman who trains and pushes herself hard martially --- she's also written other books such as "Fighting Science: The Laws of Physics for Martial Artists" and "The Science of Takedowns, Throws and Grappling for Self-Defense" that I wouldn't mind picking up in the near future as well.
Views: 1308

In Training The Seminar, or Lack Therof Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #224 New 03-17-2007 08:28 AM
Well, it is with great disappointment that I say this, but it should be readily apparent by the fact that I am posting this and not stretching on the mats at Saskatoon Aikido right now that we're not at the seminar.

Having missed the last one in November due to my post-concussive symptoms, I was really looking forward to this one even more than usual. Unfortunately, it was cancelled recently due to Kawahara Sensei being sick and we are waiting to hear back (if at all) as to how serious it might be. My first instinct, naturally, is to believe that one does not cancel plans a week or more down the road based on something as minor as a cold or a flu.

It is with this in mind that I am rather concerned that Sensei, at his current age and having once had to battle Cancer, might not be doing so well at all. It saddens me to even briefly entertain the idea that one day, (even as early as two to three years from now), the man who tested me for Gokyu might not be the one testing me for Shodan. I'm aware that this does not always happen, but I'm holding out for it.

Maybe it's that he reminds me of my late grandfather...I don't know. I suppose one could say that I have a big soft spot in my hard, brown, little heart for Kawahara Sensei and have been greatly looking forward to his seeing me through Aikido as far as possible. Suffice it to say, I'm trying hard not to think about it too much --- otherwise, the thought starts to depress me.
Views: 1079

In Training "She works hard for the money..." Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #223 New 03-10-2007 08:45 PM
...hee! I purchased the dojo a new camcorder. See?
http://www.nwaikikai.com/videos.html --- I love Adobe Premiere.

It's all minus the nasty *cough* bloopers, of course. That'll be another post...one day...maybe.

One week to the next seminar in Saskatoon --- can't wait! I'm going to this one, come hell or high water, darn it!

Will post some ruminatious, pontificatory jibberish soon. I promise. "Cross my heart, and kiss my elbow!" (If only because I'm beat up beyond repair.)
Views: 1105

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