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One of the other black belts has recently returned from a week long seminar. Charlie took it upon himself to turn the class over to said instructor so we could get some fresh ideas. The class, unexpectedly, turned into a weapons class. Whoo hoo!
The idea was to use the sword as a way to open up the technique. Which it did a splendid job of. Uke position was from a cross hand grab and we did several variations of simple techniques. When it all came together it looked really cool. I was working with Charlie at one point and we both were pretty comfortable so we picked up the pace a little bit. I always give Charlie a little extra commitment when I'm uke. As I was getting whipped around and trying to find my line to take the throw, some other students stepped into my line and I had to make an adjustment. Somewhere in the process Charlie unintentionally tested the durability of his bokken on my skull. Let me assure you it's a very solid piece of oak.
The practice really gave me a new aspect on how the technique is supposed to feel. The sword wont let you bunch up and force the application. It just won't work. When you get it right it is just a beautiful sight that looks and feels effortless.
We also got introduced to silent hard falls. That's gonna be a work in progress for a while. I'll keep ya posted.
Tuesday marked my introduction to Koshinage. A wonderful little technique in which you step into Uke and catapult him/her over the lower part of your back. (please excuse my generic descriptions) The technique looks like it has potential to be a whole lot of fun when fully executed. We, the small group of Tuesday practioners, were only allowed to test out balancing the weight of Uke to get the feel of proper positioning. When Sensei was through with his sermon and it was time for us to grab a partner I noticed everyone scrambled rather quickly. Then I looked to my left and realized why. Since everyone had claimed a partner, mine was to be a fellow who weighs in around 240-250 pounds of "Big Fella". Oh joy!!!
It was one of those on and off days. We worked projection, take downs and pins from Sankyo. For the most part I did fairly well. During one variation I compeltely missed something and just stood their looking like a dear in headlights. Better luck next time. During line throws I almost got chucked through a mirror and one guy came at me a little faster than usual so he got thrown a lot harder than he was expecting and landed real awkward like. We all cringed in unison, fortunately he wasn't hurt and kept his sense of humor.
Tonight Bob is back. Which means I might actually get my Gi. WHOO *and might I add an enthusiastic* HOO.
Tuesday was one of those frustrating, "I don't get it" days. I understood the concept behind the techniques. The application, on the other hand, was a completely different story. Of course, by the time I was feeling half way comfortable with it, class was over. Thursday, however, was a completely different story. We were working on a technique where uke locks up your wrists from the rear. The idea was to bring the outside part of your wrists together, get your elbows underneath uke's, bring "ghost hands" up to about face level, and step off a bit. From here you could project, or simply drop. Something just clicked. My uke was Charlie who is the Sensei for Tuesday classes. After a few "feeler" attempts I did the technique. To my surprise, Charlie was across the room sporting a big 'ol grin. "Heh...that was good one!"
The next one same result. My God.....could it be that I'm actually starting to get this?!?!?!
The rest of the class followed the same pattern with a few variations. We worked the technique with one hand which ended in a joint lock take down and pin. We worked both hands, step around, into a heaven and earth thingie. Yes I said "thingie*, deal with it !!!
Bill was the guest Sensei for the Thursday class. You all remember Bill don't you? Bob Noha Sensei (the owner of the school and instructor for Thurs Sat. classes) is out of town. So now I get to spend another week landing on the zippers in my warm up pants, cause Bob has my Gi. Pardon me while I burs
I have opted to voice my opinions here instead of continuing certain threads. I don't want to feed any fevered ego's or spark another redundant debate that never really goes anywhere. Instead I'm going to rant here, in my journal, where my opinion rules. HA HA HA!!! *evil laugh*
Ranks. Are they important? To a certain degree (no pun intended) yes. Obviously it is important to distinguish who is who in a dojo and in the m/a community. My problem lies with people focusing so passionately on how many Dans this Sensei is or how many Degrees that Sifu has achieved. This person was givin his rank by this guy who studied under such and such who once had a cup of coffee with this other guy who trained with a midget who once knew the hair stylist of the founder of *place style of MA here* All and all a lot wasted breath and it seems to be missing the point all together. Those who are the "real deal" have no need to flaunt it and like minded individuals are sure to follow.
The fact of the matter is any one can spend 6.99 get a black belt apply a bunch of red tape, make up some goofy ass name, become the founder of said goofy ass name, and proclaim themselves to be 20th Supreme Universal Allmighty Omnipetent Dan. They will, most likely, convince a few people and then....let the threads commence.
Perhaps this seems to sound a bit long winded....but I really don't see it as being that far off from the truth. Look what happened to Kenpo. My god what a colossal cluster ****
I have a confession. I like getting tossed around, and enjoy taking some good-natured puishment. I have always felt that to fully understand the application of a technique, and it's affects, one must expierience it first hand. In a very realistic fashion. I have always been an enthusiastic Uke in previous studies. I have been a favorite "whipping boy" of some of the more rough and tumble instructors that I have crossed paths with. I take a good fall, I bounce right back and, like I stated earlier, I enjoy it.
Tuesdays are a more technique oriented class at my Dojo. Most of the classes that I have been to have focused on energy work rather than physical application of technique. Last night I attended the Tuesday class for the first time. I had a blast.
We worked on joint locks, take downs and throws. I will admit to occasionally resisting a little bit more than is sometimes necessary. I'm a creature of habit. I like to play with the person applying the technique. I like to know the technique will work. I like the other person to know the technique works.
Sensei caught on to what I was doing, and for the rest of the night he used me frequently to demonstrate the aerodynamics of bald people. He actually apprechiated that I was not just allowing the technique to happen. That to get me down you had to use the technique correctly. So did my fellow students. One guy said "It felt more real. When I finally got you down I knew how the technique was supposed to feel." Which m
I've put many many hours into weight training. I'm a pretty strong guy. I can push a lot of steel off my chest. I can throw 100 rapid punches holding 20lbs in each hand. Yeah for me.
Bill is in his 70's. Weighs about a buck-forty, soaking wet, and holding a brick. He's been training in Aikido for thirty years. At first glance, one might assume that Bill is weak. One of my favorite sayings comes to mind: "Assumption is the mother of all F***-ups!"
I was Uke for Bill last night. Bill is deligently trying to help free me of my "When in doubt...resort to brute strength and ignorance" attitude. During my Nage portion of the technique, I kept trying to force the outcome. Using my arms instead of my KI. I would center and do the technique correctly once or twice, and I would feel a world of difference between the two. Eventually however I would slip back into forcing it. Bill stopped and just stared at me. "Your arms are impressive." he said as he grabed my bicep. "...But these mean nothing."
He took the Nage position and insisted I resist. "Come on...Give me some resistance." A little smile lit up Bills face. I resisted. I really did. I didn't know quite what to expect, but I sure as hell didn't expect to land on the mat as hard as I did. Bill schooled me. Yeah for Bill.
By the end of the night, just as I was starting to get some consistency with my Ki, class was over. I could have gone on for three more hours. I hoped on my chopper fired it up and shot out into the int
Last night I stepped on to the mat for the first time in almost 6 years. My previous expierience lies in 15 years of American Kenpo. So I thought I was pretty educated. In some aspects I am...but as I discovered last night. In other aspects I am very very green. The class had about 7 students. Most of which were at the shodan level. My instinct told me I was in for a long night. Here I am the new guy, from a different background. I stand about 6'0", solid 180lbs tattoos galore and a bic'd head. A real tough guy I was expecting to get made an example of. Thats the thought process I came from.
What I expierienced was something not just completely different, but on whole other level. I was welcomed with a genuine warmth and invited to work out (I intended on just viewing an advanced class). I obliged. We started with some warm up and went into rolls. Fortunately I still have some balance and equilibrium. Rusty, yes. But not as bad as I thought. We then moved on to some techniques. Old habits die hard...I immediately assumed Kenpo posturing, stance and rigidness withour even realizing it. The Shodan I was working with chuckled and I asked what I came from. I told him and he replied "Oh don't worry about it. We'll fix that." It was an odd feeling being in a dojo and being encouraged to completely relax my body. It felt even stranger when it started to click with me. The more I relaxed the easier the techniques became.
The less I anticipated an attack the easier it was to