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Seeking Zanshin: Blood, Sweat, Tears & Aikikai Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 02-24-2005 10:53 PM
One small gal + a dojo full of big guys = tons o' fun
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 270 (Private: 12)
Comments: 195
Views: 763,444

In General The Trials and Tribulations of Sempai Jamie Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #135 New 06-12-2004 10:24 AM
[Quote of the Day: "Well, it's been a long week." --- Me, once after flubbing up a seemingly-simple Dai-Kotegaeshi, and again after flubbing up bowing out, of all things.]

Apparently my Sempai were going at it pretty hard on Thursday night (which I missed due to work --- waaah) so not surprisingly it was just me, two of my Kohai and a new student yesterday night. So by default ("the two sweetest words in the English language") I became Sensei's demo uke for the night. No flamboyant breakfalls for me this time, though. Just all the basic stuff: Tae no henko, Katatedori Kokyuho, Katatedori Shihonage. Nothing to screw up the ukemi on.

The new student was extra fortunate to have his first day at the dojo be one of fairly smooth transitions overall --- after a discussion I had with Sensei the other night regarding the origins of certain classic exercises we don't do in class very often (its assumed we make a habit of working on them at home), we found ourselves practicing a bit of Irimi Tenkan, Funekogi-Undo, Ikkyo-Undo and Zendo-Undo --- all things that both I and the new student were quite familiar with from his former Ki-Societyesque dojo.

Working on the basics and these old exercises again is not only nostalgic, but quite the humbling experience for me these days --- they always go to show that regardless of how well I think I may know the basic form of them, it doesn't matter --- what always comes to the fore is exactly how much I still need to work on engaging my hips to generate power. As a result, I've been trying to slow things down a lot to work on making this a habit, an impressing this into my body's memory. As you can imagine, it's been an uphill battle.

Getting Used to Learning...Differently

I am reminded that, in addition to this, I'm in the process of getting used to a new way of learning --- it seems that, now that I'm ranked, I've joined my group of Sempai in being those students for whom we get the dubious honour of not having everything presented on a silver platter. In learning new test techniques over the past few days, I've been given the opportunity (or curse) of trying to learn them independently first, based upon what I already know, instead of Sensei automatically demonstrating it for me. I recall the first unfamiliar one I was told to practice, Katatedori Iriminage (Gyaku-hanmi), and how I was asked to attempt it on my own --- at first, my instinct was to enter as in Morotaedori Iriminage, which was actually quite close to being correct...but I stopped myself, said "I have some theories..." and looked to Sensei for help. If only I had the confidence to stick my neck out and take that risk...but there's no use thinking, "if only this, if only that". Is it that I'm afraid of failure? Of looking foolish? It's a little too late for that. Am I that much of a perfectionist? We all have to look a little foolish at first, don't we --- to get to where we need to go. I just need to get over my own petty insecurities and just bloody well do it.
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