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Lately aikido has been a blur. My recollection is becoming hazy and its hard to pick out details. Every now and then, I seem to recall something I did from a previous class, but mainly it is like a vague dream where you randomly recall a moment when something happens to remind you of it out of the blue. I've been diligently showing up to class and trying to do my best to get better. Ninety-nine point nine percent of the time, I am looking forward to class.
Saturday's class went well. Sensei took the day off because of his knee. Caley taught class instead. Don and I were the only two there for class. Because we are both 5th kyu, Caley decided that we would work on ikkyo, nikyo and sankyo since they will be on the 4th kyu test. I still need a lot of work on nikyo and sankyo, so I really appreciated the extra work. Eventually we went on to other things: such as kokyunage, kokyuho and kotegaeshi. Towards the end of class, sensei came up and watched. He offered some helpful advice along the way. Before I knew it, our hour and a half class was over.
Tuesday went well. I don't really recall much at all (this is where the hazy dream symptom kicks in). I worked with Simon a few times. He is doing well and follows direction when given. I try not to tell him when something is wrong (how can I when I myself am a beginner?) Instead, I either try to back lead him or make a point of emphasizing something when it is my turn to do the technique. I worked with him on shomenuchi ikkyo (omote, ura and ushiro variations). It seems that he favors the ushiro version because he did that one the most and often forgot to do the other variations unless reminded. I was feeling good after class and I went downstairs to change. My "Tuesday Moment" occurred when Tai Chi started. All the sudden, I was so over training. I was tired, my whole body was sore (been having back problems that seem to be getting worse instead of better and I am using other muscles to compensate) and I just really didn't want to be there.
It was hard to keep my mind focused while doing the form. Instead of focusing on my form, my mind drifted to other matters. I had a hard time reeling my mind back to the matter at hand. Eventually, I knocked some sense into myself and I slowly began to get my focus back. Towards the end of the class, I was pretty much back to my old self again, but I was still glad that class was over. Once class was over, we drove Marc home. I sat in silence most of the way trying to figure out what was with me today. I don't think it is burn out. I guess everyone has days where they have short attention spans….
Wednesday was a bit worse. Part of it was because I was irritated. My husband doesn't like to listen to me sometimes and it annoys me when he thinks he knows more about something then I do (when he doesn't). I am certain of the fact that I know more about the inside of my car (specifically what each button does) then he does. If I tell you to push a button, don't argue with me saying "It doesn't work." when all the while you are pressing the button I just told you to stop pushing because that is the wrong button. Something petty I know, but it irritated me beyond belief. I was still annoyed when we got to the dojo. I honestly think part of it is that I was slightly cranky to begin with. It seems like whenever I have a call out, I end up cranky later in the day. I think the call outs take its toll on me mentally and physically (I froze my butt off on a mountain summit today!)
Since weapons was the first class, I went upstairs and got a jo (every month we switch weapons and May was bokken month). Well, Marc comes up with his bokken and shinai instead. I confirm that we are doing bokken and then go up and grab a bokken and shinai off the rack. Turns out that Marc keeps using me to demonstrate what we are going to work on next. Whether he did it because he felt I was best suited (I wasn't the highest ranker there and that is who they normally use for weapons) or because he knew I was cranky, I don't know. Somewhere during the hour of weapons work and corrections I was receiving, my crankiness eventually wore off. I even worked with my husband a few times and I wasn't cranky with him anymore, but even if I were, I wouldn't act snotty in class.
Sensei came and taught the second hour of aikido. We worked on a few variations of tai no henko at first, but eventually moved on to a few different variations of sankyo, kotegaeshi and kokyuho throws. Some of them were really interesting. There was one in particular that I had to take slow because if I didn't, I would do exactly what I wasn't supposed to do. My instinct was to step in and turn, but we were supposed to slide in and turn into kokyuho. I made sure to take it slow so I can ensure that I did what I was supposed to do. Over all, it was a good class. For iaido we worked on some basic draws, some basic standing forms, some standing kendo forms and then eventually did some shoden forms from seiza.
I did receive a few corrections (I'm assuming these were all aimed at me):
Tighten pinky a bit more at end of cut
End cut just a half inch to an inch closer to my body
Swing out more on one cut in ryuto
Keep saya closer for noto
Yesterday's class focused on the progression of iriminage. We first started from ai hanmi and did the irimi variation. Then we went to the irimi-tenkan variation. I was accidentally taking my partner even further though. I was irimi-tenkaning, but I was also turning another 180 degrees…. Gah. Once I finally got that down, we went to the variation I had just been doing that was wrong. Once we worked on that a bit, we went to the irimi-tenkan, irimi-tenkan variation where you end up basically cutting them down via shomen with one hand and pulling them down with the other. This wasn't so bad once I got the idea. For some reason, I actually got the footwork fine. I just had to keep uke off balance a bit more for the final cut to work. Once we did that, we went on to ryotedori iriminage where you pull uke into you, twist them all up and then throw them away. This one was fun to be thrown by. I was working with Don on this one and he is SUPER tall and quite stiff (plus he has a bad shoulder), so I was struggling a bit. I'm guessing my hesitation to not injure his shoulder didn't help my situation at all.
For the second hour of class we worked with the jo. My hands were so sticky from sweating that I had a hard time letting the jo slide in my hands. We worked on shomen against shomen, tsuki (two variations) against shomen and a few other things, which I don't recall the name of. Anywho, one movement in a mini kata we worked on involved a move very much like makiotoshi. Marc kept trying to get me to hit his hand harder. I just couldn't do it. I can't whack away at his hand… I know he knows how to avoid getting whacked... I have seen him do it. I just can't bring myself to whack his hand. His response to this was whacking MY hand harder. I have the basics of how to protect the hand that stays on the jo (sink with the attack, turn in the hips and let jo be taken down), but he moves faster then I can to keep up with and I can't always lower my hand in time. I think he may have been whacking me to entice me to whack him back, but it didn't work. Anyway, my hand was going numb at times and I could see the bruise forming while we were still working on it. I didn't say anything and just tried to move a bit faster. Needless to say, my first thumb joint has a bruise the width of a jo and it hurts to move my thumb a bit. Hopefully, it will feel a bit better for Saturday's class.