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I had debated whether or not to go to class, as I was tired from a trying day at work. But it ended up being worth it. I was more alert than I thought I would be and forgot all about my tiredness and my work preoccupations. Funny how that happens huh?
Last night I took ukemi for Sensei for two techniques. Shomenuchi kokyuho and Shomenuchi kotegaeshi. My shomen strike was fundamentally wrong. It wasn't straight in, my elbow wasn't bent, and my arm was too tense. So I guess I was open to a blow to the face and a broken arm. I stood corrected.
There will be a grading next month. We don't know who's testing yet.
Sensei told us to focus on our basic movements. To see them in the techniques we do and check our form. He said not to be overly concerned about getting to the end.
November 24, 2004, Screeching Tsuki
We did jo training last night using a tsuki attack. We did up to eleven different techniques, but I don't remember their respective numbers. They were all blending together for me. I'd pay close attention to what Sensei was demonstrating and wonder, "Okay. How is that one different from the last one?" Oh. The grip is different. Or he stepped back on the block. Or he didn't step forward on the strike. Some detail or adjustment that is so minute that it's almost invisible to me.
While I might be able to follow what he demonstrates most of the time, because I am uke first I forget what's supposed to be done when it's my turn.
My practice partner, a shodan, was trying to show me how to do the strike to the head for number eleven (I think it was number eleven). It's done with one hand. He explained how to step back and then use my hip motion to propel my swing. He neglected to block though and got hit right in the left temple. Luckily I was doing it slowly and it didn't hurt him, but it still concerned me. After I struck him he said, "Yeah that's it."
Sensei said not to worry and that he wouldn't forget to block it again…at least for the rest of the class.
Throughout the class my hands were sticking to the jo. So EVERY time I did a tsuki the screech of flesh on varnished wood could be heard in the dojo. Not a nice sensation.
November 25, 2004, Play by Play
Last night two of the students in the children's class were asked not to come back until they were ready to pay attention and not disrupt everyone from learning. These particular students did make it difficult to teach the rest of the children as we were constantly telling them to sit up straight, be quiet, pay attention…etc.
The women's class was a really good one. There is a core group of five women that attend classes regularly, not including myself and the instructor. We started off with about twelve, but this is a good size. Two of the students are teenagers, one extremely shy and the other extremely talkative. The talkative one has a tendency to give a play by play of whatever technique we're doing. "Okay, so now I start on my right foot, then I turn when you tsuki…oops I didn't quite get my thumb on top of your hand, sorry, then I step back with the leg that's in front…" etc. She'll go right through to the pin at the end. I indicated to her to minimize her chatter, but she started to whisper through the technique instead. It seems to help her learn though, so that's what's important.
After doing warm-ups (no killer ab work as per usual) we did ukemi practice. Forward rolls, backward rolls…then some suwari waza. It's good to see the progress that they've all made.
We did Ushiro tekubidori kotegaeshi and tsuki kotegaeshi. If there's a technique that I enjoy doing it's anything with kotegaeshi. I'm even starting to like iriminage. And nikkyo.
November 26, 2004, Crankin' it
There were about a dozen of us in class. Our dojo is not that big so we had to be very mindful of our ukemi.
We did shomenuchi kokyuho, shomenuchi kotegaeshi, shomenuchi nikkyo, shomenuchi iriminage.
My partner for shomenuchi kotegaeshi was really cranking my wrist, but not moving my body forward at all as he wasn't turning his hips and I was still in his ma-ai. When I suggested he step straight back, turn his hips and apply less pressure on my wrists he seemed to be listening, but ended up doing the same thing he was doing previously. When I showed him what I meant he said, "Oh, I see," then kept doing what he was doing previously.
For shomenuchi nikkyo ura, my partner was having a difficult time making the transition from the cutting motion of his top hand to grabbing my hand to apply nikkyo. So Sensei had him just do that over AND over again before doing the complete technique. Then he had trouble making the grab with the bottom hand from the start of the technique.
We were supposed to have our dojo Christmas picture taken last night to send out to our aikidoka friends, but there weren't enough people. We're going to try again next week.