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Aiki-Log -- Class #18
Wednesday, September 29, 2004 -- 7:30pm
I got to the dojo early and stretched for about 20 minutes. Once the room became available (the aerobics class finished up) I went in and started laying out the mats. This was the first time I've been alone while doing this. Usually I'm helping one or two others. I was taking my time, doing a careful job, lining things up and I was surprised at how meditative it was! I was just "doing the mats" without any rush, focused on the task. I really enjoyed it! I was actually somewhat disappointed when Norbert Sensei showed up and helped me finish. I had completed 3 of the 5 rows and was hoping I would get it done by myself.
Norbert Sensei: "Thanks for helping me."
Me: "Oh, I was doing this for you?"
Norbert Sensei: "Everything you do in here is for me."
Me: "My motivations were much more self-serving than that. I figured it I wanted to get some extra mat time, there needed to be mats."
I had Norbert Sensei help me with my footwork on the 8-direction cut. I was doing it right, but I wasn't sure. I did some rolls. I've progress from to on my way to . I need to find a good way to do ukemi at home.
John Sensei showed up and I asked him about my struggles with grip strength. He wasn't aware of any thought process that would help; I'd just have to work on it. So I'll just keep thinking "Pinky-Power" and start leaving my index fingers relaxed while gripping. Hopefully that will help.
Lots of people showed up early and paired up. I didn't have anyone to work with so I did a little bit of solo-waza from the 9th, 8th and 7th kyu tests. Then I got a chance to watch Sensei tweak the techniques on a few people so I went into sponge mode (spongi-waza?) and just watched him wander around the mat helping adjust things.
Then I noticed Norbert Sensei on the mat as uke for our only 6th kyu, trying to explain a pin while being pinned. I approached and asked if they'd like to use me as uke. They were both grateful. I was really pleased because I got to be uke on my first sankajo technique in this dojo! Then we progressed to a fairly simplistic-looking technique that ended up involving Norbert Sensei and our two most senior black belts in helping the poor 6th kyu get the initial blending block worked out. I got uke'd by all of them and had a blast helping out!
When John Sensei started class, he had us do test prep but said he'd evaluate how things were going half way thru to see if we needed more time. I worked with the details-don't-matter 8th kyu again. True to form, he didn't want to polish his techniques and just wanted to work on the openings. We did actually start at the beginning of the 7th kyu test and worked our way to the bottom of the list. There's 1 jo waza, 2 tanto waza, kamae, any 2 of 4 basic dosa, any 4 of 6 wrist-grabbing waza and 1 "previous technique". I had fun because he found out on Monday that he was doing the pins as basic when they needed to be the 3-palms-up type (is there a name for that?). I haven't done that in a long time and he needed to work on it quite a bit. Unfortunately, he only wanted to be shite so I only got to do it once.
Evidently, everyone was doing pretty well because Sensei had us line up and gave each kyu testing group a modified technique based on one from their test. We worked on that for a while and he roamed around giving a 2nd or 3rd technique to work on for each group. The size difference between my partner and I (I'm about 10 inches taller) made a huge difference in how we did things. The 2nd one didn't work for him (on me) at all. But I could do anything I need to with him. I was surprised since being shorter often turns out to be a benefit. Not this time!
I barraged Sensei with questions about the classes being conducted next month by Kenji Nakazawa (5th Dan -- visiting from Japan). He'll be teaching 7 classes at our dojo between October 14th and the 25th. I won't be able to afford to go to all of them, but I'm going to try to attend as many as I can. I should at least be able to make it to the ones held on our regular class days (reduced cost). I guess there will be a dinner / banquet at Andiamo's Italian Bistro on the 24th. I'd like to go but, again, will be a problem.
1. I enjoyed my matitation!
2. I got sankajo'd!
3. I got to do 11 techniques in one class! (5 new ones) Not counting 3 bukiwaza.