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NOTE: First off... we are now up to date! WHOOT! The previous entries cover all of June and most of July
Well, last nights class wasn't half bad. We started off with quite a bit of stretching. One of my favorite stretches is when we lay on our backs, with our butts against the wall with our legs extended up towards the ceiling. Then, we lower our legs out to the side and let gravity determine our stretch. Because I had stretched before class, I was quite surprised at how far my legs actually went! If this keeps up, a straddle will be back in my repertoire in no time. WHOOHOO! I haven't been able to do straddles or splits in some time because of my lack of stretching.
Usually in our Tuesday class we tend to focus on weapons (at least in the summer), but since we have a new kid, Sensei decided to focus on body arts today. After our warm up, we worked on our forward ukemi. It is actually one of the few things that I have become comfortable with. When I first started, Sensei would always correct my forward ukemi (my previous style did things a little differently). Well, after a lot of hard work and focus, I am proud to say that I am even noticing a difference in my ukemi! My main problem, which I have fixed for the most part is keeping my arms extended into a ball. I used to collapse and Sensei was always afraid I would bash my head. That never really happened though since that was what was ingrained in me previously. I must say though, my new way of rolling feels a lot smoother then the old way and I can't imagine going back. I am even to the point where I can just roll on one arm and not even put the other arm down for support (unless I am really being whipped around in which I use it just as a precaution). After working on rolls from the knees and squatting, Sensei said those of us who were comfortable could do it from standing. Our goal was to stand on our tippy toes and just let our body fall forward. At the last minute you were to roll. I wasn't doing too bad, but Sensei encouraged me to kick out one leg behind me, which would help me go over one side better. That seemed to help. :O)
After our forward ukemi drills we partnered up for tai no henko. I am getting more and more comfortable with this. Sometimes I don't move enough past my opponent and thus I don't get them off balance as much as I should, but realizing my mistake is the first step to fixing it right? Once that was done, Sensei decided that we would work on kaitenage (soto). I worked with the new kid and he didn't do too bad. The one thing I didn't like was I didn't quite feel like I was close enough to him. I will have to make sure to correct that next time I work with him. We stopped at the point where you extend uke towards the floor. We didn't capture the arm or the back of the head in preparation for the roll. I thought it was a good starting point for the new guy, but he has done kaitenage before (but skipped the rolling).
Once that was done, Sensei decided to have us work on counters. He explained that if uke was to push (from katatedori ai hanmi) all we had to do was turn out of the way. In this case, we took it into tai no henko. He also explained that if uke was to pull, then we are to step forward and take their momentum. Uke would begin to twist our arm and we would then shuffle forward and take our hand to the top of our head. I was working with a pretty tall guy and I didn't quite feel like I was twisting him around enough for his back to be towards me. Perhaps I wasn't shuffling in deep enough. We didn't work on this for very long, so I will have to correct this next time it comes around. Once while performing the technique, I managed to scratch myself on the forehead with my thumb nail. It hurt more then I thought it would, but that was because of the sweat on my forehead getting into the scratch. Today I have a nice little dark scratch on my forehead. HAHA.
Sensei then showed us another counter but said that he would save that for next time. All in all, it was a rather enjoyable class. The class started out with four of us, but a fifth person came and joined in at the halfway mark.
On another note, Sensei asked me if I Howard and I would be attending the seminar in August. I told him that unfortunately, Howard and I wouldn't be able to afford to go ($600 for both of us plus boarding our puppy). He actually seemed sad about it. I wasn't sure how to feel. I felt bad because I would actually LOVE to go, but we just can't swing it financially. At the same time I felt good because for him to seem down about me not going must mean that he likes me as a student.
Some things to fix:
1.) Keep uke close to your body for tai no henko
2.) Keep uke close to your body for katatedori ai hanmi (soto)
3.) Extend your arm out and down in an arc for katatedori ai hanmi (soto) I believe this also lead to a few of my problems
4.) Don't scratch yourself in the forehead (HAHA)
5.) Try to turn uke's arm more when doing the counter from a pull
6.) When doing forward ukemi, kick out one leg behind you, which will force you to take ukemi on one side
7.) Turn head and look back at uke as you are doing your forward ukemi
1.) This has nothing to do with aikido, but I slammed my middle finger on my right hand in my drawer at work and it seriously hurts!
2.) Left knee has random shooting pain, but doesn't last very long