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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
jducusin
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One small gal + a dojo full of big guys = tons o' fun
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 272 (Private: 12)
Comments: 195
Views: 267,270

In General Putting Everything Back into Place Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #113 New 03-24-2004 09:59 PM
[Quote of the Day:
"Just a sec --- I just need to put everything back into place," --- Sempai Jeremy, as he groaned loudly and vigorously hopped up and down in place after taking a particularly jarring ukemi as Sensei's uke]

Last night, we worked on a variety of Kokyunage (about three different types, if I remember correctly) for the most part. We'd practice a technique in pairs for a bit, and then we'd move on to applying it in a very Randori/Jiyu Waza-esque exercise: we'd all form a circle and take turns being nage in the centre; nage would turn to each person and be attacked by them one at a time in quick succession for two rounds each. We ended up doing this about three times, once for each different technique. It was a nice, dynamic variation on our usual training style, albeit a rather tiring one for most. By the end of the class, almost everyone had some aches and pains of some sort. I knew that for sure, it would be a long soak in the tub that night for me.

My own aches were caused fairly early on in the evening, when taking ukemi for one kind of Kokyunage I don't recall having done before --- I don't know if it had to do with the fact that the throw was of the kind that had more torque or twist on it than usual, perhaps coupled with the fact that I'm so extremely light, but my knee would always hit the mat dead-on as I landed from the tobu ukemi. Usually, I would just land on my side (which is more comfortable, being less jarring). In any case, suggestions that came my way on how to avoid this included:
- thinking "forward"
- trying to get myself stretched out a little more
- relaxing more during the middle of the fall
Most of these, I thought I was making a point of doing, but who knows?

There was also another factor that in retrospect, I had considered as well; one which has to do more with me once again being over-sensitive in that I'm caring more about inconvenience to another than about the repercussions to myself. The whole knee-banging thing seemed to start after my uke at the time, Sempai Tim, had ripped his dogi sleeve almost completely off just below the shoulder --- in order to try to avoid ripping it more, I initially started grabbing this shoulder higher than normal (above the tear), and as there wasn't much to grab onto, I don't think I was getting a good enough grip to better control my falls on this side. As a result, I was landing more sideways than forward, and I noticed that because I was apprehensive about ripping his gi more, I was also more hesitant with my own energy during my falls, which probably contributed to this. I guess I started realizing that concern over such a trivial thing was a rather stupid thing to get myself hurt over, because I eventually started grabbing his shoulder below the tear again, even if it ripped his sleeve off more.

Sensei simply suggested more practice, and I know that we are told that one will only learn in this way, not by talking about it...but I refuse to disregard the value of introspection, especially when it is after-the-fact and doesn't interfere with one's training in the moment. I simply can't help thinking about things in retrospect and evaluating what I am doing correctly and incorrectly and why, in order to "troubleshoot" my problems. Socrates once said that "the unexamined life is not worth living", and I know that vision in hindsight is always 20-20, but this is for a very good reason. I don't believe that one can ever truly gain a concrete understanding of one's knowledge, growth, or self-awareness without evaluating or questioning oneself. I could spend forever doing something physically, but without ever considering how and why I do it, I would never have the ability to articulate what I have learned, even for myself.

Of course, this is most likely just the former-Philosophy major in me talking, but I sincerely believe in the importance of asking "Why?" If only more folks would simply ask "Why?" more often, we probably could avoid a lot of bad judgments and solve (and prevent) a great many problems.

So this is why I keep this journal: for balance. I train a lot, and I train hard --- so much so that when I get onto the mats, nothing else exists: the troubles of work, family, friends, and many other commitments stay outside the dojo walls. But I also need to learn for myself a great many more things about what I experience there. This is just my way of working it all out in my head, at least while it's still functioning somewhat properly and is actually attached to my body. And maybe, just maybe, in the process someone else might find a little bit of value in hearing about the sweaty, sometimes-wayward journey of one small Filipino woman learning a Japanese martial art with a bunch of (predominantly) white men. At the very least, it might be good for some laughs.
Views: 919 | Comments: 4


RSS Feed 4 Responses to "Putting Everything Back into Place"
#4 03-31-2004 08:44 PM
jducusin Says:
Hehehe --- that's great! Actually, sounds like my test (though I've heard others describe me as laughing), I was really smiling through it; I was having that much fun. Will have to relay the whole story to you sometime...
#3 03-26-2004 11:10 PM
Kelly Allen Says:
Does wonders for his confidence. During the cub scout seminar he demonstrated a katatori kotegaeshi on dad into a break fall. You should have seen the kids, and the scout leaders jaws drop. He was beeming like a flood light, with a smile from ear to ear that you couldn't ripped off his face with a tow truck. It was priceless.
#2 03-26-2004 02:15 PM
jducusin Says:
Thanks Kelly, I'm glad you find it useful and hope that you too find journaling just as helpful as I do. I know for one that I always enjoy reading about your father-son Aikido exploits --- such dynamics are always interesting to me, and it never fails to put a smile on my face to hear a parent and child have a closer relationship because of mutual interest/taking the time to do things together like you two do.
#1 03-25-2004 12:10 AM
Kelly Allen Says:
Jamie Just so you know you do impart some insight to me often in your writings. That is why I follow your journal diligently. There are others who have journaled that have also made me say, "aha! I never thought of that! Good point!" I wouldn't be saying AHA if I didn't compare what other journalers were saying with things I analyze in retrospect in my own life, training, journals. Thanks for your insights.
 




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