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This has been the schedule week from hell for me. I am taking a class, and it requires about 4 hours of homework a night. It really does not leave time for Aikido. That said, doing Aikido has become part in a way of who I am. So while I only got in three classes this week, and I was late to all of them, I worked as hard as I could. I felt the tension of sitting at a desk all day, working on mentally stimulating subjects, fall away with the physical workout in aikido. It was a great week. We worked on Irimi Nage all week long, probably my weakest technique. Tuesday was frustrating, but I was learning, Thursday was so frustrating, I felt like I couldn't even get the stuff that I knew in there, let alone the new stuff that Sensei and my sempies were teaching me. Thursday we worked on Irimi Nage all class too my frustration was even worse on Thursday than Friday. Friday we worked on Irimi Nage from Kihon, and worked on getting our technique as precise and accurate as possible while doing them. This was great, I focused on some of the things that I was doing, and when working with Sempies had some great stuff pointed out to me, I also was blessed in being thrown by Sensei a lot on Friday, and it was great, I could feel some of the parts of the technique when we were doing it slow, that I would never have understood, or have been able to see watching. It was great. Working with two of the Sempies really helped me out a lot, the smoothness, and ability not only to blen
Wow what a training night. We worked on Shiho Nage for the entire night form Kate Dori, Shoman Uchi, Yokaman Uchi, and Tsuki. Then we worked on reversals out of Shiho Nage, and how to counter the reversals! It was pretty intense, and opened my eyes to some of the next level beyond what it is that we do on the mat most days. The whole idea of a physical conversation that is Aikido took on another level, there can be a multitude of rebuttals and counter points. This was wonderful, even though my ability to do a reversal was very limited. Most of the time I didn't quite end up where I was supposed to.
I am continuing to work on the idea of the hop jump in Shiho Nage, and it is continuing to elude me. Most of my Ukes think that I am just doing it wrong, as they are used to the grind your partner around method of the technique. I really want to have the quick turn after you have started the grind their elbow around, I have seen the simplicity, and the compassion in it, along with the smoothness of the flow that isn't there in the grind the elbow and shoulder around version.
I was the crash test dummy for almost the entire evening. Sensei's knee is still bothering him, so Noel and I did almost all of the demonstrations. Even going slowly so that the demonstration was easily discernable by others it was a lot of work. I felt like it was the most energetic class that I had been to in a long time.
Then I was the person doing the technique, and Noel turned around
Evening class one. Was doing the demonstration with Sensei for Tai No Henko Kihon, and forgot about the kihon bit, and stepped through, he laughed, I realized what I had done, and we did the rest of the Demo correctly.
Worked in the first class on the basics of Shiho Nage. It was fun to work with the beginners on these techniques. I was trying hard to get the little jump realign bit working that Sensei has shown us, with a lot of the beginners feeling like I was not very good at the technique. One of them even corrected me, so I did the grind the elbow and shoulder around method of the technique to him, what Victor calls "wearing the Uke like a glove". The Uke really liked this, it was a good technique, and effective, but it lacked that touch of compassion and skill that I can feel just out of my reach with the other method.
Evening class two:
M stayed for this class and worked with a lot with the Yudansha. We again worked on Shiho Nage. It was really a good class. Although at the end I was really tired, and could feel myself making mistakes because I was so tired. I again felt like I needed 1.5 evening classes.
There is a connection that I can feel in weapons work specifically with Noel that I think I should be A> Feeling with everyone, B> Feeling in Tai Jitsu also. However it involves getting out of my body and into the space, timing, and distance between Uke and I, and somehow paying attention to their body, and connection to me, (More than just their
Worked on Direct Entry Ikkyo before class with Rick. I can't get the timing and the intent right. I think that this has something to do with being large, and trying not to intimidate people all my life, so that when I am in a situation that I am supposed to intimidate people for the start of a technique, I find it extremely hard to do so.
Class was Shiho Nage from Kihon, Shoman, and Tsuki to the head. It was great, worked with Rick several times, and with Anna, Linda, and a Yodonsha. In working with Anna I think that we both made some interesting connections to life through Aikido. I had been thinking about our last time on the mat doing Shiho Nage for two days, and thought about the beginning of the technique, and how I could change the way that things work. It was interesting to try the first of these things which was a tiny pull on her arm when we were connected, and then to ride the energy back as she pulled back. It worked pretty well to start things smoother and to get some flow happening. However it kind of felt like cheating in some way, especially when I am working on some level on effortless aikido. Will have to talk to Victor and Sensei about it. Maybe tonight!
I managed to trip on my Hakama for the first time today, it was inevitable, while I didn't fall over, both Sensei and Rick noticed it and welcomed me to the hakama club while laughing.
Doing Shiho Nage from Tsuki to the head, Sensei pointed out that I have to actually act
Weapons class. Worked on the paired practice for the 31 cout Kata from 13-27. It was fun, although there were parts of the area from 20-27 that I didn't do as well at as I would like. So much of this is confidence and you body teaching your mind, instead of your mind teaching your body. Seems strange to write that and read if from my keyboard still. Michael form Belgium would surely smile knowing that ultimately I came over to his viewpoint that the body and the mind have to be together to work effectively and for the fastest learning.
The thing with weapons class is that I work on weapons less that 1/5 of the time that I work on TaiJitsu. This means that my weapons work seems to be crawling along, and that I am still a very beginner in it. I have to start working on it outside of class more. I have to put some time aside and work on at least the Katas and the Suburi when I am not at weapons class.
Morning class, worked with Anna on the feel of not making the other person feel anything. It was Really interesting to watch her getting it. We also worked on the degree of Omotee ness that one can use with different people. It is always interesting working with her, and today especially so. Worked on Shiho Nage the entire class. Worked on Making sure that your movements were from center, and that your hands stayed in your center. Then we worked on the two different ways to get into the position where you are behind uke, ready for the "throw". One way is to extend the Ukes center around, so that they are basically always off their center for the whole move, kind of grind their should and elbow along your body and back. The other one is to do a quick pivot, and a little adjustment. It is really great when you get it to work, as it is not anywhere as intrusive, it does seem a harder way of doing it though. I worked on it for the class, and the next class. Thinking about how the energy of the other people flows how the flow of energy of each of you makes a conversation, how to feel the physical conversation, and allow it to take place, yet do good aikido.
Evening Basics class.
My Hakama came!! I washed it, and wore it to the evening basics class. M was on the mat again. We worked on Shiho Nage again, it was good. I got to be crash test dummy for both the tai no henko and for one of the shiho nage demonstrations. It was amazing. Sensei's technique is so fluid, so s
Kote Gaieshi from Shoman, and from Yokman, both the attacking hand and the other hand craftly captured with an atemi. (My atemi sure needs work. It isn't real, kind of like my playing with sticks, I don't want to bop people.) M was on the mat, I worked with her some, Noel did, Krista did too. Victor and Noel co-taught, and it was a wonderful class. I worked with Victor, and he also critiqued me on some of my moves when working with other people. I completely by accident managed to push an emotional button of someone on the mat. I was concerned about them, and said something that evidently had been said to them many times before. OOPS! Where I thought it was just a friendly concern it seemed to the other person to be a personal attack. Ykies! So I had one section of the evening talking on the mat with the person trying to explain that I was just genuinely concerned, and not taking a dig at them.
We also did Kote Gaieshi from Yokaman with a flowing block from the opposite hand, then directing it down and away from us and grabbing it with our other hand, and then Kote Gaieshi. It was so smooth a couple of the times that I did it.
Krista was back on the mat in her very flowing self, with amazingly bendable arms. I like training with her because we are absolutely opposites in so many ways.
Victor worked with me on my staying upright and not bending. I worked with M on the same thing. It was very interesting, degrees of difference.
A good class, Noel taught. Lots of inner aikido and thinking in this class for me. Not because it was structured that way, just because I was in that space. Wonderful KoKyu Dosa with Anna who refused to be tipped over at the end by any standard means, It was great, later in the day the physical side of it clicked for me, and I understood that there was a way to gently and without a lot of muscle to tip her over. Maybe next time we are on the mat together I can give it a shot.
Evening class: Got to be crash test dummy for with Doug who was teaching in Senseis absence. Worked with a lot of the newbies, and a couple of my sempies. It was interesting being crash test dummy and having people rush out to bow to me. It was kind of cool also having done the technique with the person instructing, and to have felt some of the flow there while giving a demonstration of the best Ukemi that I could.
Wow a triple class day of Aikido!
Morning class worked on Tski Kote Gaeshi, Shoman uchi Kote Gaeshi. After class worked on Morote KoKyu ho with Anna, Noel, and Candice. I think that I got a little smoother at it. I also worked on Sankyo with Candice. It was a good after class mat secession. We did accomplish a lot. Candice was making noises about my testing again in the next test secession. I don't know that I will have the requisite number of training days. It was good to hear her say it though.
Basics class, worked with a variety of people on Tski Kote Gaeshi. Some beginners and some sempies, it was a really crowded mat, and some care was needed to make sure that everyone remained safe. Strangely in a few situations I was the most senior of the four people who could bump into each other and had to be the one that was most aware of the situation. It went well, and I worked on being present during Ukemi and focusing on the Nage and their intensions and energy.
Second evening Class. M has decided that she is going to join the cult :-) and has signed up and gotten a set of white pajamas. She got on the mat for the second secession tonight. I worked with her for the beginning of the class, and we did some Gykute Dori Ikkyo. Sensei came by and said that I was doing Ikkyo with Melissa very well. The technique was good, and my slow and gentleness were wonderful. WOW! I quipped back that I knew that I had to sleep sometime, and he laughed.
Sensei was away so Noel taught the class. Worked on Ushiro Ryote Dori with a press down on the elbow with Victor, the Usjiro Ryote Dori with an arm around Nages neck with Noel, don't know what that was called, but it sure was interesting. Also worked with Victor on making things flow easily and not be pushed. This is still a lot of work for me, and I don't get it often. Victor and I also worked on Ushiro Ryote Dori Shiho Nage which I actually felt worked without pushing on him once! Wahhoooo!!!
Noel taught me some about KoKyu Dosa and moving from center in the technique. Heck you are supposed to get your hips involved there too! I don't think that I ever have until now.
M was on the mat again. She had a good time, but got a little frustrated at the end of the class when things seem to have been harder to follow for her.