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Well, it is good to be back! I missed class from the 10-14tth because my husband and I moved into our new place. What a bunch of work moving is. A pain in the butt I tell you… unfortunately, we are still renting, so there will be at least one more move in our future. As to when… I have no idea.
Anywho, my return class on Thursday, the 15th was an exciting day for me. Nothing special happened that day other then my return. I was just glad to be back because I felt like I hadn't been in class forever! I guess I didn't really realize how much I trained until I couldn't. I really only missed three classes because my normal week consists of training Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. I was surprised to learn upon arrival at the dojo that Sensei was out of town. Boo. :O( To top it off, my first class back was only for an hour because the second hour class got cancelled for that day. Perhaps it was for the best though because I was still a bit tired from the move and I still had plenty to do around the house.
Saturday was great. The class was pretty intense and we did all sorts of stuff I have never done before. Several of the techniques involved rolls, which is always fun. There was one technique in particular that is now my favorite. At the end of class I asked what it was called and I was told it really didn't have a name. The catch all could be kokyunage, but it could also be called jujinage because the arms are crossed. I will do my best to describe it though. You start of in katatedori ai hanmi and you do ikkyo. Once you have them in ikkyo, you let your hand slip off their elbow towards the front or away from you. You then reach back under their arm and grab your wrist. You then stand up and turn towards uke. This jams them up with their own arms. You then put your right shoulder (if they grabbed your right hand to begin with) into their left and complete the 180 degree turn. You can also drop to the floor as you turn to add a bit more pop to the technique. Uke has the choice of either doing backwards ukemi or turning and going into a breakfall. Needless to say, by the time I got home I was a bit tired (I was still pooped out from the move).
Well, I am just about to fall asleep when I receive a call from a friend offering to come over now with her husband to help us move our bedroom dresser and chesser upstairs. We had tried taking them up with a dolly, but the stairway turns and the dolly wouldn't make the turn, so they have to be carried up. Now, I must tell you that this furniture is no ordinary furniture. One piece weighs 567 pounds and the other is about 300 pounds! So it was me, a female friend- Darla and her husband all pushing and pulling this stuff up the stairs. Needless to say, it took us about an hour to get both pieces up there. If it weren't for her husband working out as much as he does, they never would have gotten up there. He was a life saver (literally). Darla and I both commented that, that was the first time we ever though we would be killed by furniture. Darla later told me "I have moved a lot of furniture and that was the heaviest f*@!ing furniture I have ever moved!"
After they left, I realized I hadn't taken my medicine, so I do so and begin doing laundry. I am already exhausted from the furniture and my meds begin to kick in (they can make me really loopy like I am drunk or something). Well, I laid on the floor with my faithful shih tzu for about 45 minutes. HAHA. I must have fell asleep because next thing I knew my husband was coming in the door. What woke me up was Meili running down the stairs to greet him. Needless to say, I had carpet marks imprinted on the right side of my face. He was surprised to see that the furniture was upstairs when he got home and I told him it was magic. Of course he called me on it and I told him about my help.
Yesterday's class Sensei had come back. YAY! He is getting ready to go to the seminar with Chiba Sensei, so he was giving a few of the students who are going up there preferential treatment yesterday. This isn't to say the rest of us weren't getting attention, because we were, but he was just giving them a bit more. Hopefully, whatever they were working on will come in handy for them. I always like when Sensei comes back from a seminar because he brings what he learned to our dojo and we get to do it. So, even though I can't go this year, I may still get to do some things that the other people will be learning. All of the techniques we did were from katadori. We started off doing the beginning to ikkyo. By this I mean, take them to the point where they are bent over, but don't step towards them to take them down to the ground. Once Sensei felt we were doing alright, he had us do the complete throw. At one point, Sensei called me over to demonstrate something. He showed how you step back, throw the atemi and then how you cut the arm. He was trying to explain to us that nage had to keep their center towards uke instead of pulling uke on top of them if you turn sideways as you cut. Sensei did this to me a few times and then he began throwing me. It was very similar to sumiotoshi. He also showed how uke is supposed to come into nage to receive the motion via having me do the right and wrong things to do. At the end, Sensei grabbed my head, turned it and it put me into a breakfall. The landing wasn't bad, but my slap was horrible. So bad in my opinion I was embarrassed about it! My husband even commented about how bad it was after class. Boohoo……
We also worked on katadori ikkyo to nikyo and katadori straight into nikyo. These went fairly well. For this I worked with my husband. I enjoy working with him for the most part. HAHA. The one thing I have a problem with is that he doesn't come back up after a technique. So, once I did ikkyo, you are supposed to let uke come back up before you apply nikyo. Well, I would release enough for him to come up and he would just remain bent over. This isn't the only technique this happens to. It is just something he has to work on. Heck, I am still working on that! I try to be as connected as possible to nage, but I know I am not always connected. Sensei likes to do nikyo and when he eases off, you are supposed to jump back up and he does it to you again, releases and you jump back up. After a while, it kills your legs frog jumping like that. HAHA. That is one where I can say I do not maintain a connection the whole time. Maybe with more practice… and leg strength.
Sensei then switched it up to katadori kotegaeshi. I love doing kotegaeshi because for the most part I can seem to get this technique. I especially love being uke for this technique because the ukemi is fun. You can either take backwards ukemi, do a breakfall or do a hybrid type of fall. You can have a lot of fun with this. Since the partner I was working with doesn't really whip you around, I just turned and did the hybrid fall. Not quite a roll, but not quite a breakfall. I can't really explain it. Sensei came over and told me to try to use my hand and fold over uke's hand. That helps determine the direction the throw will go. Before that I had the one hand in the position to grab for kotegaeshi and the other hand was knife edge (edge on hand on the pinky side) over top of my other hand. It works, but the tip Sensei gave me helped make it a bit easier and uke went down easier then before. It is something I will have to keep in mind for future practice.
Finally, we worked on katadori ikkyo to sankyo. I didn't do too badly with this. I discovered that I am better on one side when it comes to grabbing sankyo then I am on the other. I have also noticed this on other techniques. Oddly enough, the ones I have noticed it on are when I am better on my left then the right. Who knows….. haha. One thing I can say is that I left the dojo feeling pretty good. My ikkyo felt great tonight. I used to dread katadori ikkyo and now I feel like I am better at it then I am the others. One thing I noticed tonight is that I was turning more with my hips and sinking down into my hip joints. I had my body weight forward, had a strong foundation and ended up in what I used to consider the "funky aikido stance" where your front foot is turned out and away from your center. I don't know why it clicked with me last night, but it did. I am hoping that I can carry over that same feeling into the other techniques. I just love it when you have those moments where something clicks and all the sudden, it doesn't seem so difficult anymore.
Last night after we got home, we ate and then watched some tv. I went online from 9:30 till almost 10. I got off and then sat on the couch and wrapped myself in a blanket because I was a bit chilly (the house was cold for some reason). Well, I ended up falling asleep till about 10:30. I told my husband that I was going to go up and shower to be ready for bed at 11. Well, I got upstairs and decided to lay down on the bed for just a second….. I'm sure you can guess what happened. My husband came up at 11 and woke me up. I told him I still had to shower before I went to bed. The hot shower felt good and I wanted to stay in there forever, but I was still pretty sleepy. I don't know if it is from the move or if my body is fighting to prevent me from getting sick, but I have been awfully tired since last Saturday! I guess only time will tell. In the meantime, I will just keep an eye on my health. Other then being more tired then usual, I feel fine.
Things to remember:
1.) Fold uke's hand when doing kotegaeshi
2.) Sink into your hips more…. It works (and now you know what it feels like….no excuses!)
3.) Come closer into nage when nikyo is applied not away! Seems counterintuitive, but it is safer on the wrist