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It's been a while. I guess a little update would be in order.
In May I tested for 3rd kyu and passed. I made a few mistakes, mostly due to nerves I think. And it felt like I was going a mile a minute. But after looking at the video (we tape all tests at our dojo) it looked like I was barely making any effort at all. My uke had just gotten back from a trip to the UK. She literally got off the plane, got home, kissed her family hello, picked up her gi and hakama, came to class, got on the mat and was told to be my uke. She didn't have any time to be jet lagged.
We had our seminar in June with a sensei visiting from Syracuse. He didn't do anything flashy which was great, but demonstrated simple (meaning…those "simple" techniques which are simply difficult to execute) and basic techniques. I always find it really interesting to learn from other instructors and see how they teach techniques slightly differently. Our Sensei once said that seminars are meant to confuse you, make you think.
Our only female black belt has left the dojo. She and her family decided to move to London (UK). She trained at the dojo for eight years. When she started she was already a black belt in karate, so training in aikido presented her with many challenges. For her last class with us Sensei asked her to teach. We had a lot of fun. It was also a good way to distract her. She said to me and another woman at the end that Sensei seems to know just the right thing to do.
A while ago she told me a story about when she continued to train during her third pregnancy which was four years ago. She had told Sensei she was pregnant, but none of the guys knew. She trained well into her pregnancy before Sensei told the class one evening after training. She laughed when she remembered the expressions on the guys' faces when they heard. They were all like "HUH!?" Afterwards, though only one of them was really willing to train with her. The rest were afraid to. Three weeks after her delivery she was back training.
I miss her already. She's one of the most interesting, straight up, grounded people I've met. And one of the most positive.
Now that I've caught up…on with the present, or at least with the not too distant past.
Last night we had a great class. We were instructed by the soto deshi. We did tsuki attacks for the entire class.
He used me as uke for tsuki irimi (blocking the tsuki to the outside). Since I didn't know what technique he was going to demonstrate he went slowly for the first couple of times. But for one of them when I attacked I felt my head go back and my feet went flying up from under me and then my back was on the mat. It was awesome. I didn't even feel nage touch me.
I never would have thought that I'd enjoy being "clotheslined".