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Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > AikiWeb AikiBlogs > Seeking Zanshin: Blood, Sweat, Tears & Aikikai

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Seeking Zanshin: Blood, Sweat, Tears & Aikikai Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 02-24-2005 11:53 PM
One small gal + a dojo full of big guys = tons o' fun
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 270 (Private: 12)
Comments: 195
Views: 820,601

In General The Substitute Sensei Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #8 New 07-21-2003 10:05 PM
...can really make you appreciate your own sensei's teaching style. That's all I'll say about that.

Last Thursday, while Sensei was out of town, we had a couple of guests: both an ikkyu from a local dojo who had once trained with us briefly; and a guest sensei --- a shodan from out of town who had trained with us the last time he was in the city --- who we got to lead the class.

We started with some jo suburi as usual, only we learned a couple of different kinds of tsuki and shomenuchi strikes (since in his home dojo, they hold their jo differently in the starting position --- in some cases with the lower hand palm up) and naturally this made for a rather new and awkward experience. It was like learning to hold a jo all over again.

The guest sensei had us, for the most part, do both suburi and paired practice on only one side (right hand side) so as "not to make things more difficult" for us, but I felt this was a bit of a loss. As a beginner, I happen to like the fact that our Sensei has us practice both sides (both the strong right side and the generally weaker left side) of jo strikes, so that we have more opportunity to improve our weaker side --- even if it is a little more difficult initially. After all, if one ingrains this into their practice early, the less awkward and the less of a bad habit it becomes, right?

We also learned a new kind of ukemi, one you take from being clotheslined --- you fall back on one shoulder and roll up onto the next w ...More Read More
Views: 957

In General A Change of Pace Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #7 New 07-17-2003 12:51 AM
Just couldn't leave home without my weapons...

I took my bokken and jo out with me camping last weekend and was able to find the time to at least practice a fair amount of bokken strikes and the 13-step kata while there.

Practicing in the outdoors was such a liberating experience. Being able to swing freely, not only while breathing the fresh air but being out in the open instead of in a stuffy dojo where you're constantly having to be fully conscious of whether or not there's enough space (and if I'm going to accidentally hit another person). I found that (at least for a beginner such as myself) it frees the mind even more to being able to concentrate on the movements themselves. I'm sure that after a great deal more growth of experience and skill, it will become second nature to be inherently aware of the personal space I take up whenever I swing and move with my weapon but for the time being, I'm finding this kind of practice valuable (especially since my apartment is so darned cramped!)

Rollin', rollin', rollin'...

Sempai John led the class today while Sensei is out of town for the rest of the week, and it's been a refreshing change of pace. We did something a little different with our ukemi practice: completely rolling out of some simple throws as opposed to our usual reps of ukemi from a static standing position.

It was the first time (interestingly enough) that I have ever actually experienced having to do full (instead of half-)ushiro ukemi as ...More Read More
Views: 923

In General No Pain, No Gain Tally for the Week Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #6 New 07-11-2003 12:23 PM
-sore inner elbows (from being the recipient of some hard blocks during tae sabaki)
-sore inner hips
-minor bruising
-some strangeness going on in my left knee (from an especially hard tobu ukemi)
-straining in my left shoulder

-feeling of oneness and flow with bokken
-good tae sabaki back-to-back evasion/randori-like runs
-actually got through what felt like hundreds of reps doing strikes with a jo longer and thicker than I am used to (grrr...feel the burn!)
-better knowledge about the sincerity of certain training partners, and the self-knowledge that I am sick of dojo politics/soap operas --- I just want to train!
Views: 970

In General In Love with the Sword Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #5 New 07-09-2003 03:15 PM
...is what I must be. (And no snide comments about how it must be because it's "ooh, so...long, and mmm...hard", fellas! :-P)

Took up the bokken again at Monday night's class; this being after a couple of weeks' absence from Monday nights (mostly due to volunteer commitments and the like). I had forgotten how much I missed it.

I'm by no means any good at it (beginner that I am), but there's an immensely satisfying feeling I get from the movements, particularly in partnered practice when we do a series of exchanges back and forth culminating in a coup de grace/final "fatal" blow. There's something wonderfully meditative about it --- how all the strikes and blocks flow into one another, and when I feel myself completely behind and one with my sword, it's truly like it becomes an extension of me.
Views: 897

In General No Pain, No Gain (apparently) Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #4 New 07-04-2003 12:30 PM
Here's the tally for the week.

-sore shoulders and arms (feels tight if I try to put my hands on my hips)
-left knee feels...strange (no pain) but is better now
-slightly stressed wrists (from Nikyo, surprise surprise)
-achy toes (banged up from tobu ukemi, as usual)

-umm...it's a work in progress
Views: 1310 | Comments: 2

In General Nikyo Night Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #3 New 07-04-2003 12:20 PM
Initially started out with Jo practice (as typical of Thursday evenings), mostly a series of strikes including a few sweeps we don't do often (high, low, and mid-level). It quickly became apparent that we (as habituated as we are to the right hand high grip of bokken practice) need a heck of a lot more practice striking with the left hand high Which means I really ought to pick up my Jo at home again soon --- I think it is buried somewhere under a pile of books, gathering dust or something else just as useful.

We also did a variety of Nikyo, from shomenuchi, katatetori, etc. My Nikyo (as per usual) still needs a lot of work...not only do I have a habit of not letting my lead leg swing back to give myself additional room and leverage, but having such small hands makes it difficult (particularly from katatetori) to get a good grip on my partner's wrist --- sempai Jeremy suggested turning my hand palm up just prior to the grab, and that helped considerably. Add to this that I need to use my centre more, so I have a lot of work ahead of me

My one consolation last night was seeing a really hilarious billboard with my Sensei on it on the way back home from class. At first, I hardly recognized him (his face was so contorted); I just burst out laughing, and made sempai Garry (who was driving at the time) turn the car around so he could see it too. We figure it has great blackmail potential --- "I suspect classes will be an awful lot easier from now on," Garry chuck ...More Read More
Views: 1110

In General Nothing Says "I Love You" Like Randori Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #2 New 06-05-2003 10:12 PM
This actually made my night. It made me forget about my stupid chin burn, for one. And it made me laugh my head off, too. So if laughter is the best medicine, then my chin will be healed in no time!

The cause of the medical miracle I speak of is none other than Jim's round of Randori tonight. Not only did he get in a lot of throws, but the icing on the cake was when he threw Garry and proceeded to drag Garry's body in circles on the mat to avoid his other attacker. Sweet. *Wipes away a sentimental tear*...sigh...just inspiring!

I haven't laughed so much on the mats since the time Garry farted while being thrown by Kokyudosa.

Views: 978

In General IriminageFest = Chin Burn Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #1 New 06-05-2003 09:57 PM
Yes folks, you CAN have too much of a good thing.

Last night, after a couple of guys did another practice run-through of their upcoming Gokkyu tests, we did some Morotetori Iriminage. And Morotetori Iriminage. For the rest of the class.
Sensei figured that after last week's ShihonageFest it was time to move onto something else. Which is fine. Well, to an extent.

The underside of my chin was absolutely raw by the end of the night from the rough sleeves of my partners' dogis. Thankfully, it was just around the time that I figured I bloody well had enough of Iriminage, that Sensei ended class early. I guess in our dojo, when you start to smell blood, it's time to call it a night.

So now I'm starting to scab under my chin, which is great to show off to folks when you want to make them cringe (granted not as much of a shock to them as the gargantuan Yonkyo bruises I tend to get). But it's all good, because now it's healing, right?

Wrong! Tonight, we're running over another couple of guys' Gokkyu tests, and Sensei calls me up to be Uke for...Morotetori Iriminage!

Then when we started working on some techniques, what is it that we end up doing? Ryotetori Kokyuho. My poor chin...
Views: 859

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