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Seeking Zanshin: Blood, Sweat, Tears & Aikikai Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 02-24-2005 11:53 PM
One small gal + a dojo full of big guys = tons o' fun
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 270 (Private: 12)
Comments: 195
Views: 779,098

In General "Interactive" Kata, and The Beginner's Blues Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #59 New 11-08-2003 12:35 AM
Last night's (Thursday) class was pretty typical in format, but certainly by no means boring or common in the least!

We started of with Jo practice as per "S.O.P." (Standard Operating Procedure, as my husband would say), and ran through the 13-step kata...then we ran through the kata (drum-roll please) in pairs. (!) Now, I had never done this before, so it was a heck of a lot of fun to see it all come together. Well, as much as it could come together --- there was a heck of a lot to remember too But I really loved adding this new dimension to the kata --- one in which things were suddenly more dynamic, and you had to be aware of the actions of another and your relation to him (both in position and energy), as opposed to simply following something that you had memorized. I do hope we can practice this more often!

The rest of the class was devoted to practice our centering and leading, and I'm glad we set aside time to do this.

[Side Note: One thing I wish we did more in class (even briefly) is practicing breathing --- if only to stop in the middle of a class to let all of my tense fellow-aikidoka get into the habit of relaxing. Luckily, I'm feel fairly relaxed most of the time (it probably shows), but sometimes I think I can also be too relaxed (ie. "wet noodle").]

But I digress. Heh --- I could say that I'm feeling some progress in this area (Ki development, centering, etc.), but that would be quite untrue . I'm certainly not letting it get me down, though; I'm just letting things come as they may and continuing to do my best.

I recognize that this is not uncommon --- that many other beginners such as myself also have trouble in these areas initially and pay more attention to technique. So I am working to keep myself "balanced" in a manner of speaking, by discussing my own technique not only insofar as physical positioning of myself (which I suppose is really to be expected at this stage of my training), but also not neglecting what I am doing in terms of how things feel. Am I straining? Am I coupling my actions with my breathing/Kokyu power? Am I "muscling" uke? How is my balance? Does it feel awkward? I constantly ask myself these questions and check myself on these all the time...hopefully it'll pay off.
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