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Aiki-Log -- Class #9
Wednesday, September 1, 2004 -- 7:30pm
The orange belt I ordered finally came in. It should've had a white stripe (for 7th kyu), but didn't. Norbert Sensei used medical tape to "fix" it up. I was finally able to line up with the rest of the 7th kyu folks. Started to feel like old times.
TESTING -- BUT NOT TESTING
We'll be testing on October 6th. I spoke with Sensei and asked how he wanted to handle my situation. I said I didn't think I was ready yet as I have quite a bit of catching up to do, but I that I'd test if he felt I was ready. He decided to have me help those preparing for the 9th, 8th and 7th kyu tests. That way I can get a refresher, help them prepare and get evaluated by sensei all at the same time. I might participate as uke during the tests as well. Cool! Works for me!
Since we're ramping up for tests, the first 30 minutes of class was (and will continue to be) dedicated to test prep. I'm the "floater". I help where needed. I was with the 9th kyu prep group this time. Since everyone else was pretty much self-directed, Sensei stayed with us. It was great to get the details I crave! It's been so long since I've been taught the basics that I've forgotten a lot of the little stuff. Sensei explained the details of bowing (standing and kneeling), seiza (down and up), my kamae was fine, he corrected some of my wrist warm-up positions and complimented me on my recovery from my back break falls without hitting, saying "yours are perfect." We didn't have any time to go over the two techniques that will be on the test, but we've done the first one before, and I remember the second one from 14 years ago.
I wasted my Dramamine… again.
Uke goes to jodan, shite holds their bokken down/back/to the right (I don't know the name of that one) and does a do giri (horizontal body cut) with at BIG step 45-degrees to the right as uke strikes. Uke bends forward, acting as if their internal spaghetti has just been invited to play on the mat. Shite does a BIG cross-step and tenkan, then removes uke's head.
I never quite managed to get the spacing right. My ma-ai after the tenkan was usually off. I think it might have been due to the mat being heavily populated and my partner and I being at the edge of the mat. If I could've stepped off more to my right as uke was striking I might have had better luck. I guess I'll try it on my kids and see what happens.
Our techniques were all based on hitting elbow throws. I share Karen Wolek's gumby syndrome (her journal is a great read!) and I was paired up with one of our sensitivity-challenged students. It wasn't too bad, but my elbows are still a little sore when I straighten them out all the way. The good news is I got to do a lot of forward rolls out of the technique! I guess I didn't waste my Dramamine after all. Unfortunately, some of my rolls felt like instead of and a few were all twisted up. I kept cross-stepping before the roll which made me go down on the wrong arm. Those felt pretty bad. Sensei said those are a #11 forward roll. I'm not there yet.
I got to work with a newbie too. He did pretty well, even though I was trying to help.
The last technique Sensei demo'd was for the brown and black belts only. However, when he asked if there were any questions I raised my hand before I engaged my brain. I asked anyway and after he answered he gently reminded me that this technique wasn't for me but "that was a good question."
Overall a fairly easy class (aerobically speaking). I guess test prep slows things down a bit. I still need to work on my get-upsi-waza for warm-ups though.
I needed to get this smiley thing out of my system. It won't be so bad from now on.