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This week we're working on the moment of "impact", the split second that happens At the grab, so Sensei had everyone do hard, forceful morote dori attacks, strong and faster. I was having fun with it, finding my extension, moving my center, not forcing the technique but really feeling the directionality of uke's movement and simply letting them go where they were trying to go.
Of course at first the boys were being pretty tentative in their attacks, so I kept asking for more until they were giving me stuff I could Work with and now have the bruises, albeit invisible to my eye, to not show for it.
What was curious was my ukemi. Either I wouldn't allow the throw but walk right under their arms- the technique being morote dori sayu iriminage, if i dont want to be thrown in iriminage I don't lose my balance, or the inverse, or somethng like that.
But this was extereme.I would just spin out and laugh. Or fall down badly. I couldn't remember which shoulder went with which foot tucked. I backpedaled.When I did manage to fall my toe would get stuck between mats, or go up my gi, or I'd have to abort a roll due to impending collision;I just couldn't take technique for anything.
I finally brought it up to Sensei, who had me attack one of the nidans, and we watched me get halfway turned around- I can't remember the exact technique by then, maybe an ura iriminage from morotedori- anyway, I stated backpedaling and saying 'see, like this" and Sensei had my partner hold me there at that point and asked me what I was trying to say and it was clearly "Don't Meke Me DO This"
Yes, the girl who trains Specifically to learn how to let go of having to be in Control or Everything can't let go. Quel surprise. I learned years ago that I am never going to be the world's greatest uke. I can't take what I put out and Thursday we were really putting it out.
This morning (Saturday) I observed; I don't like to train when I've been out too late on Friday night. but I usually attend class anyway. This morning the attacks were katatedori, but the same thing, scrutinising the moment of the grab, first the physical and later in the trraining, for those who could grasp it, the energetic., which of course applied to the black belts. I was watching their bodies at the moment of the grab, seeing how each of them reacted-some moved away from the attack with their center, some
sheltered their heart centers, one jutted his head & chin forward as if in defiance. Which Is how I know I react to the hit, bull my way right back through whatever is attacking me. It was cool to watch this lessening as training progressed, opening up their centers and their body languge change from Escape to Invitation.
Sensei pulled me aside and told me "Jo, your starting to become a Senior Student" and I thought he was about to compliment me when he said "I want you to start concentrating on watching the black belts" But he didn't mean Technically, he meant Behaviorally. He wants me to embody more of the interpersonal qualities that they have.
" Last week somebody said something that irked you and you threatened them with your stick. Senior Students don't DO that"; And went back to teaching.
I nodded, went and sat down and watched the whole cavalcade of possible reactions I would have had five or threee or two years ago, the rebuttals, the excuses, all the protests, everything that comes up whe I feel Like I am being told I am not Good Enough. And knowing it highly probable that I was just farting around with whoever it was I was interacting with, and also knowing full well how aggressive I can appear when I am trying to be humourous, or worse, ironic. I know how people react to me negatively even when I am doing my damndest to be positive (or even when I am just simply Being Positive, it can be a little overwhelming to see a boisterous, happy, excited me, too), and I know that while their reactions are "erroneous" most of the time, I Cannot change other peples reactions, I can only change the input that they receive from me, which means a tighter rein on my output..
But I must be Good Enough or Sensei wouldn't be demanding this of me Now, rather than six months ago. This is like when I had passed my third kyu test and Sensei told me that as I was then I would never have passed a second kyu test. Well, yeah. But I started training for that next test at that moment and a year later that was the most enjoyable of all my tests so far.
And I know he knows what kind of terrible emotional condition I 've been in for the past year, I'm suprised he believes I can rise ths far out of where i've been living so soon.
After class I went and sat with him as he folded his hakama and said "Thank You for the hit" and he smiled and said Your'e Welcome.
This is the year I train to embody the qualities of a yudansha so that maybe Next year I might be one. Not probable, I haven't yet decided to test for first kyu this year if asked, but possible.