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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 11:53 PM
jducusin
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One small gal + a dojo full of big guys = tons o' fun
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 270 (Private: 12)
Comments: 195
Views: 628,743

In General Slow-Motion Randori Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #32 New 09-20-2003 02:10 AM
After the usual Jo practice Thursday night, we were pleasantly (albeit unexpectedly) surprised to be given the opportunity to do Randori again...slowed-down. *cue Matrix-esque bullet-time music here*

It was thought that perhaps Sensei had grown wary of the rate of injury during full-speed Randori, had read of this idea somewhere and decided to try it out --- whatever the case, it was a welcome break from test stuff which, as one of my Sempais pointed out, can get rather tedious after a while. Suffice it to say, I for one wasn't about to look a gift-Randori in the mouth.

Slowing things down meant that instead of only being able to do one (or maybe two) rounds of Randori at the most in a night, we were each now afforded the ability to do no less than three rounds of Randori per technique (Katatetori Shihonage - omote and ura, and Tsuki Kotegaishi) as nage, as opposed to our typically being winded after just one round each. It also meant being able to try timing one's movements better, and in doing so, better overcoming the tightness and frantic desperation of the whole fight-or-flight adrenaline rush. Well, at least for me it did.

I made a great effort against my own natural "combat-mode" urges (as once mentioned here before) in order to go slow and steady both as uke and nage, and I think that deliberately slowing down my breathing helped keep this pace. This must have also increased my concentration somewhat, for I even resisted getting caught up in the knee-jerk impulse to respond with faster attacks when one nage started speeding up his techniques to nearly full-speed.

As for my own technique, I can't help thinking about how great it felt to be able to really focus on blending and timing one's movements, particularly in how uke felt in response to them. Sensei drew our attention to the importance of keeping an eye on the next uke just as soon as the first is going down, especially while doing Kotegaishi. The process of trying to get the hang of this was quite the revelation for me; it got to the point where at times I was no longer needing to see the first uke so much as feel him in order to maintain control while keeping on the lookout for the next uke. (I can just hear my old boss Doug, who has been blind since birth, laughing at me, "What do you think I've been doing my whole life, kiddo?" ) This, coupled with having the new experience of actually being able to move uke into a position with my technique so that I could see the next uke better not only gave me a greater sense of awareness but of control as well. Having "tasted" this once for the very first time, I am loath to let go of it, and will strive to achieve this awareness and control again and again.

I really hope we do this again. Oh Randori...how I've missed you.
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