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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: 844,099

In General Training in Toronto: Aikido Tendokai Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #82 New 12-27-2003 04:59 PM
Yup, just lil ol me comin' atcha live from the big T.O. Please bear with any spelling errors or typos I make in this entry, as I am at an Internet Café and due to the time constraints won't be proofreading this one as much (for the time being).

It's been a great, and I'm pretty well run off my feet from tramping around all day, but it's a satisfying feeling nonetheless. This morning, I trained at Aikido Tendokai with Yumi Nakamura Sensei --- they've got a nice group of folks practicing there out of the University Settlement Recreation Centre.

First off, I had never seen so many female Yudansha gathered together in one room before. Coming from a generally all-male (me being the one exception) dojo, this was nice to see for once...the number of female to male Yudansha was even split (3 and 3) with a couple of male and one other female Mudansha aside from me. Everyone was very friendly, helpful and welcoming, and I also got to again see a fellow aikidoka who once used to live in Winnipeg and train at my home dojo.

We started the morning off with a weapons class which focused on Jo practice. Naturally, there were minor differences, such as starting out with stretches and exercises using the Jo (which I had never done before) but I won't dwell on those. Despite such differences, however, their Jo suburi seemed pretty well the same technically.

The weapons class was followed by their regular adult class (on occasion they have kids train with them as well --- the youngest being 3 years old, and quite serious a student, I'm told! )

There was no warm-up or ukemi drills, instead Taenohenka started things off, and they do this in three parts: the first being kousadori, with a diagonal movement; the second being the "normal" Taenohenka I'm used to; and the third was the continuation of the second into a stretch and eventual Kokyuho. With the third, I was advised to move in even deeper behind uke during the final throw, which helped take his centre more.

We went on to do Kousadori Nikkyo (Suwari Waza) and some standing Kaeshi Waza of Nikkyo into Sankyo. With Nikkyo, I need to lean in more towards uke's centre. With both Nikkyo and Sankyo pins, I need to remember to keep my back straight and also move back slightly to make sure that uke's shoulder is completely down on the mat. With the Nikkyo pin, I was advised that I need to arrange uke's hand outwards so that it is palm up with the fingertips pointing away from me in order to make it harder for him to grab me while I'm finishing the pin.

We worked on Shomenuchi Iriminage, and I was told that it's really good that I'm going down low, but that I also need to move in deeper and with a bit of a push at the very end of the throw to move a bigger person easier. [Side Note: The other Mudansha who I was paired up with was a considerably taller fellow, and during his ukemi for me, he would get down on his knees during what would normally be a face-plant for my Sempais...it makes me wonder if this would be a helpful alternative for them, seeing as they struggle with this part when paired with me on this technique?]

We also worked on Shomenuchi Kokyunage and Shomenuchi Koshinage; the former was very familiar, but latter somewhat new to me (as I believe we would mostly do Katatedori Koshinage at my home dojo). I was taught to step in deeply and keep my feet closer together --- I thought to myself that perhaps the latter would put me too off balance, but surprisingly, I managed not to lose it and overall, Koshinage didn't feel as awkward or difficult as it normally does for me.

There was also a "freestyle" portion of the class, and I was grouped with the other two other Mudansha; it was sort of like an ordered version of our randori/jiyu waza (only with a single uke) --- in that you're in a group of three and your uke always does a set attack (in this case, Shomenuchi) and you have the choice of responding with one of a few different techniques (in this case, Iriminage, a couple of types of Kokyunage, or Kotegaeshi). This was fun, and we cycled out as ukes in a flowing way.

We wrapped things up with Kokyudosa, and I was advised to not only move in with one leg slightly (to help put my whole body into the throw) but to also widen my legs to provide a more solid base upon which to settle during the final part. Like everything else, I'll definitely have to put these to the test against my big brutish Sempais when I get back home.

Overall, it was a great time and a valuable learning experience (I'll have to elaborate more if I remember anything else and get a chance). Nakamura Sensei was very helpful (and I suppose empathic as well, also being another petite woman such as the likes of me) and gave me some great advice to (as she put it, and as I paraphrase it, "beat up the boys back home"). I'm definitely looking forward to coming back to train with them the next time I'm in town.

Next Stop: Toronto Aikikai (Monday and Tuesday).
Views: 1447 | Comments: 2

RSS Feed 2 Responses to "Training in Toronto: Aikido Tendokai"
#2 12-29-2003 02:07 PM
jducusin Says:
Yup, and yup again. Nope, I'm here solo --- though I hope to go with a bunch of folks from another dojo to the NY Aikikai 40th Anniversary Summer Camp this August (if I can scrounge the time off work, but it's unlikely ). As for NW Aikikai trips, there should be another seminar coming up this February we might be going to. How're things in the 'Peg? It's raining here, and I'm in an Internet Gaming Café where the Spacebar on my keyboard is flaky most likely from having been beaten to death (I have to hit it twice to get it to work) and I'm surrounded by a bunch of foul-mouthed little kids who are playing Starcraft and Diablo. :P Other than that, things are copacetic --- I'm off to the Toronto Aikikai to train in 3 hours. Apparently, from what I've been told, "they're more intense (than the Aikido Tendokai), but since you're from Winnipeg, you should be just fine".
#1 12-27-2003 11:53 PM
Kelly Allen Says:
Sounds like your having lots of fun, and learning lots too. Is this a personal trip or are you there with a few of the crew from next door? Kelly

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