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A hot, sweaty and intensive session - the weather has been particularly warm lately and the church hall was like an oven when we arrived
Only myself and one of our soon-to grade for the first time students turned up for class, so we did some 'polishing' for his upcoming 6th kyu test...
It was very useful for me to run through the basics again, as they are not identical to what I learned before, and I don't want to give anybody in my dojo wrong information!
Sensei trained in a group of 3 with us, and it was hard going for unfit me I had to have a puff of the inhaler as the pollen count is very high and I get hayfever related asthma sometimes when I exercise. However, I kept going, as improving my fitness is one of my goals in Aiki
I was struggling with kotegaeshi omote, as usual... One day it will make sense... I was also messing up on nikyo ura - until I paid attention to Sensei's initial movement and realised that I needed to get uke's balance by drawing their arm out a little rather than trying to skip around their back immediately In the UKA this technique starts like ikkyo ura - in previous styles it was generally applied right away, so more brain-re-training needed
Our other student was screwing shihonage on me pretty tightly, and doing the old 'flushing the chain' to end the technique Sensei corrected this and made sure he was moving forward to throw rather than stepping back. My ukemi wasn't coping with the technique being applied at an awkward angle, but as he got the wrist more into his centre it started feeling much more under control and less sore
Today I have sore arms and a nice bruise on my wrist I am not as tough as I used to be! Sensei asked me at the end if I was wanting to grade under the UKA. I said I wasn't particularly keen to, as I've done enough gradings in my time and am not bothered about doing another - I just want to train Sensei said he just wanted to check what my expectations were, which was very good of him I honestly doubt I will be able to get into shape to survive a UKA dan grading (I've seen enough of them at Summer School to know what is expected) and I'm not as young as I used to be The trouble is, I don't look my age - I'll be 40 in two and a half years time and I look about 27 My body feels more like 45 with the inactivity over the last 2 years
The other issue is the cost - a Hombu ratified dan grading is expensive I've always been quite happy to take off the hakama and wear a white belt when training with other organisations, so it's not the trophy for me!
At the end of class I discovered that my gi bottoms (my dad's old judogi ones from the 1960s) had ripped badly across both knees, so I've ordered a new aikidogi (size 4.5 - unfortunately my size 4 gis don't fit so well anymore ) which should fit. In the meantime I'd better get the sewing machine out and patch the judogi knees...