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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: 721,408

In General Sempai Jamie & Reverse-Engineering Technique, Revi Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #186 New 08-25-2005 01:00 PM
Well, folks come and go --- such is the way of dojos, they say. Sempai Jim has left for London, ON to do a Post-Doc internship for a year, my other Sempais have been away for most of the Summer and to top it all off (as I've alluded in a previous post) we've had quite a few new students join up lately.

As a result, I've been Sensei's demo uke a fair amount over the past few months for both the kids' and adult classes, which in itself is always an interesting experience. For one, all this extra "output" of energy has resulted in my losing weight (or so folks have noticed --- as I had not)...for those of you who have seen me, this can be a freakishly scary concept considering I'm practically a stick as it is. I'm also trying desperately to gain weight so as to finally be able to reach the minimum allowable weight at which one can donate blood. Though my "output" of energy has increased, my "input" in terms of meals hasn't very much so as we speak, I'm working to increase my caloric intake quite a bit.

I'm also wanting to start doing a bit of conditioning, particularly in the core area, as well as take some Wing Chun Kung Fu in order to supplement my Aikido abilities wherever possible --- but I'll have to save that for another journal entry.

Right now, I'm slowly settling into a Sempai role, which is strange and yet gratifying in the sense of being able to share one's experience and enthusiasm about Aikido with other women. It's not something I had much exposure to until now, and I hope that whatever I happen to exemplify (even if it is "to serve as a warning to others" as to what NOT to do) is helpful.

Also, as Sensei's uke, I'm encountering having to learn new techniques and exchanges from a physical, receiving-end perspective (because I'm helping demonstrate instead of being able to view the exchange as a third-party like I normally might). Afterwards, because we have so many newbies on the mats, I am generally called upon to be "the partner who knows what the heck we're doing", which makes things extra challenging. But comparatively, I think I'm not doing too bad. More often than not, I'm able to get the gist of an exchange without having to ask Sensei if I can see the technique demonstrated for me like many of my Sempais do (yay me), though naturally Sensei will often nitpick about the details (which is fine, considering a) it's his job and b) of course I want to improve).

What is particularly awesome about taking ukemi from Sensei so much (aside from being able to practice ukemi more often) is that I really get to feel the effectiveness of the technique (and HOW! I mean, this is *Sensei* we're talkin' about. ;-) over and over again...it's a lot like reverse-engineering, when you think about it. Instead of seeing the movements, I am forced into feeling the end result of them. For lack of a better (or more enthusiastic, or intelligent, for that matter) thing to say: VERY. COOL.
Views: 817

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