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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: 784,599

In General Getting into Gokkyo Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #139 New 06-23-2004 09:54 PM
[Quote of the Day: "It's the "Z" of pain," is how I described the Gokkyo pin to Sempai Jim.]

As you may or may not have noticed, I've been intentionally leaving out of my journal days during which I trained, but did not get the opportunity to practice any test techniques --- more out of a sense of brevity, a kind of economy of words and effort that I can't help but exercise these days due to being so very busy at work. (Which is probably why I'm now being extremely verbose --- I think I'm in Aikido-journal-writing withdrawal!) Actually, Sensei and I had a discussion about this just now after class. Out of a concern that I might be spreading myself too thin, he asked if I had set boundaries for myself with work. To this I replied yes, so long as they don't infringe on my Aikido! Working before it, coming in late after it, working extra on the weekends: that's all fine. But try to make me miss class, and I'll bite yer head off! Needless to say, Sensei was quite pleased.

We started out tonight with a slightly different warm-up than usual: we did some paired exercises --- mostly stretches, but also a very interesting shiatsu pressure-point manipulation up and down our partner's back (pairing this with focusing your ki through your hand, and breathing), as well as doing "travelling" ukemi all around the edge of the mat instead of lined up in a row like usual. All in all, it made for a nice, fresh change to the everyday routine.

The test technique I picked out for myself tonight (finally starting to get used to this --- heh) was Shomenuchi Gokkyo. Thus far, I had only ever been on the receiving end of Gokkyo (from Sempai Tim and Jeremy's Gokkyu test preparations earlier this year) so it was quite the experience getting into it. Unfortunately, I didn't get to spend as much time practicing it as I would have liked (mostly due to my working in a group of three) but in the short while that I did, the following issues came to the fore:
- The uniqueness of the initial entry, particularly the block, where the higher hand stays flat and parallel with uke's arm (unlike with Ikkyo, Nikkyo, etc.)
- Getting used to wrapping my hand right around the outside of uke's to grab his wrist on the other side...very weird-feeling. I found myself having to get on tiptoe just to do this to Sempai Jim's wrist, which probably means I have to do this once I've lowered his arm somewhat first. Duh!
- Adapting to taller ukes by, as Sensei describes it, first absorbing the strike towards my forehead and then bringing it down to the side instead of trying to enter in deeply the traditional way. It's very "ura-ish", as I describe it in my Japanglish.

Aside from all this, and of course the pin, all the rest in-between is pretty much like Ikkyo (thank goodness). It feels awkward (surprise, surprise) and labourous, but I no longer seem to be as frustrated about these feelings as I used to be. I'm starting to think, "Meh! I'll figure it out eventually." Wow. I must really be tired and over-worked these days if I've become that lax about technique. Who knew *that* would ever happen? I guess I'm just too darn occupied to kick myself over stuff. Go figure.

We ended things with a Kokyunage, as per SOP ("standard operating procedure). Maybe that's why I'm so happy-go-lucky. No matter how much I suck at other techniques, there's always Kokyunage to help buff my ego. Heh.
Views: 1720

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