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This week went pretty well. I don't really recall too much of what we worked on this week. I really need to stop being lazy and do this journal thing more often or at least write down what I did and then use them to type later. Tuesday we had a female yudansha visit. She has her own dojo a few hours north of us. She had trained with my sensei under Chiba sensei for a while and I think she also trained in Japan as well. I have heard a lot about her, so I really enjoyed getting to meet with her and train with her. When I worked with her, we were working on iriminage. She was very helpful and told me that I was bouncy (in a good way) when I was uke.
Wednesday's class was based around kokyuho. I actually had one of those rare classes where I could feel myself sinking into my hips and turning. We started off practicing tai no henko and then progressed into variations of kokyuho. Usually, I struggle with sinking into my hips and rotating, but it was coming effortless to me this evening. I don't know what caused me to be able to do this, but I have an feeling that it won't be there next time I try to do them! It comes and goes. My only wish is that it slowly becomes more and more frequent. One of my favorite variations we did was from gyaku hanmi katatedori. You tenkaned around like you were doing tai no henko and then your rotate 180 (you end up facing the same way you did when you started) and all the while you are taking uke around with you. Once you finish spinning, you then turn back 180 degrees as you throw uke. The only thing I did notice that I need to work on is that my rear foot can get stuck instead of rotating on the ball of the foot for the finish. It happens more on one side then it does the other (I can't recall which side).
Yesterday's class was a bit over my head. There was two sandans, a nidan, a 2nd kyu and me. Sensei went and sat down in the back of the room and basically called out techniques. We did the following from suwariwaza: katadori (ikkyo through gokyo), the same thing from shomenuchi and the same thing from katadori shomenuchi. We then did hanmi handachi: gyaku hanmi katatedori (shihonage and some other thing I don't know the name of) and ryotedori variations. We then went to tachiwaza: yokomenuchi variations, tsuki variations and morotedori variations. Now, several of these things I had never done before, so I had to quickly absorb what the other was doing to me while I was uke. As far as the variations go, this was a trial for me as well. I kept trying to recall what I had learned. I was able to do better with some attacks then I was with others.
For the other things in class, sensei just had me be uke. Sensei had me get a tanto and I attacked nage two times each of: shomenuchi, yokomenuchi and tsuki. Then he had two uke grab morotedori on nage. Luckily I had taped my wrist (it has been sore lately) because one yudansha in particular was whipping me around. I got thrown into a breakfall a couple times and more then once my taped wrist was cranked on. One time nikyo was particularly painful. Alas, that is part of training at times. As long as I can prevent myself from getting injured, I don't mind.
After a while, sensei had us line up in the back. He then stated that the nidan was now a sandan and the 2nd kyu was now a 1st kyu. They had just taken a very informal unannounced test. He then had us do some Feldenkrais to help us relax and stretch out. He then had us line up so a few people could leave. He went down and told several people how they have changed and progressed. I was hoping for some feedback, but I didn't get any. Boohoo. Those of us who could stay, he had grab a bokken so we could work for a bit on a partner form. That went well. Sensei had me work with him so the other two could go a bit faster if they wanted. All in all, it was a good week of training. Saturday I was definitely swimming in the deep end of the pool. Although I wasn't keeping up with the higher rankers, I would like to think that I easily stayed afloat. Now, I need to work on doggy paddling. I know that eventually, I will doggy paddle and then I will develop a nice stroke and will be able to swim in the deep end with the other higher rankers. I know sensei didn't expect me to be able to do all of those things, nor did he expect me to do most of those things well, but the fact that he thought I could handle all of that makes me feel that I'm not doing too bad.
Oh, well I have been on my medication for a few days now. Amazingly, I am not as tired as I was before, so the meds really are working. In fact, on Thursday sensei commented to me that my color looked better in class and that I didn't appear as exhausted as I have been. I told him that I was feeling better, but that too many rolls still makes my head feel strange. He asked if I would be in class Saturday, to which I said "Of course. I only hope that I can actually stay for aikido unlike last week." Sensei then told me that I could sit out at times if necessary if that would make it possible for me to train. It seems that he does not like it when I miss class. Maybe that is because I don't miss class often, so when I do it is not the norm. Maybe it's because he wants me to work on the 4th kyu techniques. Maybe it is because he likes having a student who shows up regularly. Maybe, maybe, maybe…. the list could go on an on. Who am I to speculate what is going on in his head? All I know is that I like to train!