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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: 817,131

One of your Favorites! In General Sankyu (and 2005) - A Retrospective and Goals for Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #195 New 01-04-2006 12:27 PM
It's that time of year again for a look at my Aikido training, both "Omote" and "Ura", so to speak.

(Pics from the last seminar, by the way, can finally be viewed at: http://photobucket.com/albums/v383/tomoe_gozen/Kawahara%20Seminar%20Nov%202005/ --- the password is "showme").

Things learned since Yonkyu...

About movement and the art:

- Although having the opportunity to instruct others a little over the past year has been quite valuable (insofar as learning and developing different ways of explaining things), I am far more interested in training. I've heard enough from senior practitioners who have expressed disatisfaction at their own development, which would often take the backburner to teaching others and certainly don't look forward to this happening to me.

- Some of the most valuable lessons I've been learning have been as Uke --- I've grown more sensitive to how good technique on the part of Nage effects my centre through adequate tension and have been taking pains to replicate it as much as possible.

- Learning technique has evolved for me from what was initially about form towards being more about feel --- my increasing self-dissatisfaction with how things feel as I move has driven me to seek a smoothness, flow and efficiency to what I'm doing. I've joked before (only half-facetiously) that the only real difference lies in that now I can discern exactly how badly I suck. This really isn't as bad as it sounds. I never want to get to the point where I feel that I've "arrived" somehow --- I constantly want to keep growing and pushing myself and my own self-conceived limits towards excellence and self-mastery. Only time will tell as to how successful this will be.

About me:

- If I believe I can do it, I can.


- That the elusive three-person diveroll can indeed be conquered.

- "I've learned that if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard --- because if it isn't there, then I never really lost it to begin with." --- wise words from Dorothy Gale, "The Wizard of Oz"

Things (of many) that I'm working on improving in the coming year:

- building greater core strength

- strengthening my grip

- making my ushiro ukemi consistently rounder and faster

- applying my friend's gymnastics tips so as to get my dive rolls both higher and longer

- increasing the speed and power of my weapons work


So what have I learned so far?

- The power of prayer. That with faith, one can achieve anything.

- That I have been greatly blessed, both on and off the mat, and that I never want to take it for granted.

[Last year...

- To listen to my body. That if a technique feels awkward or I feel even slightly off balance, I'm doing something incorrectly and need to make an adjustment.

- To have faith in myself. I can get carried away by feelings of self-doubt, and I keep forgetting that inherently, my body knows how to move (as alluded to above) and what to do if I just listen to it.

- To breathe. I mean, really breathe --- to pay attention to my breathing, which is not only relaxing, but gets me completely centred and focused in the moment.

- That it's not about perfection --- it's about who and where I am right now. And that in itself is pretty darn awesome. I always keep looking back, thinking, "it could have been so much better" --- and really, it always could be. But you know what? It's a long haul, but it *will* only get better. (Thanks Carolynne!)"]


Stats/Little Milestones as of 11/28/05 (* - denotes change since last tally at Yonkyu):

Training w/current dojo since - January 8, 2003

*Number of classes attended - 554

*Number of days extra training on the weekend - 9+?

*Number of seminars attended - 5

*Number of other dojos visited while travelling - 6

*Number of classes at other dojos as visitor - 6

*Total number of hours training - approx. 1108

*Number of journal entries - 195

*Number of hours of remedial massage - 6.5

*Number of visits to the physiotherapist - 4

*Number of neoprene/Tensor joint braces accumulated - 6

Number of weapons broken - 1

*Number of times I've been hit on the head by a weapon - 2

*Number of fat, bloody lips (received from Sensei's atemi) - 4

*Total number of joint sprains (ankles, big toe, wrist --- and now thumbs, oh joy!) - 12

Number of bloody noses - 1.0

Number of huge, freaky bruises accumulated - innumerable

Number of times my massive Yonkyo bruises freaked someone out - 2

*Number of times large clumps of hair have been accidentally wrenched out of my ponytail by Nage - 2

*Number of rolls of athletic tape consumed - 3.5

*Number of Salonpas patches consumed - 13

*Number of pounds of Epsom Salts used to soak in hot baths - 6

*Number of patches sewn and other repairs to dogi - 8

*Number of Kohai gained - 12! (as opposed to just one -Ken- last year)

*Number of other females who joined the dojo briefly and left - 4 *sniff* :0(

*Number of other females who joined the dojo and have stayed - 1 (Lisa) *yay!* :-D

*Largest number of diveroll ukes successfully cleared - 3 (wheee!)

*Largest number of simultaneous Randori attackers successfully faced - 5 (!) *does a little happy dance*
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