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Worked on everything for the test w/ Julia and Rick. It was good still working on shiho nage ura kihon nagari. The blend is still a bit challenging for me. Did two person jua waza and actualy moved out of the way, and did some techniques!
It was cool I felt that my techniques were a lot more effective in this setting than I would have guessed. It was amazing that things did come out. They were generally centered, or completely calm, but there was some stuff there!
I missed a whole week on the mat due to a business obligation. This was a bit stressful as I am trying to get ready for my 5th Kyu test on the 25th. I noticed that while I was away, that I think that the 4 months that I have been doing Aikido have changed me significantly. Sales has not traditionally been my strongest skill set. However this business show was amazing. I was able to outsell everyone else there. The reason was pretty obvious to me. I was blending with the energy of the people that came into the booth. It was amazing. Several of the members of my team remarked that they had never seen me be able to communicate with the potential customers like I was doing at this show. I immediately recognized it as Mental Aikido, and had fun playing with it. There was one lady that I did mentally Tenshi Nage? But other than that one response to a vigorous mental attack I was calm and a lot more centered than I have ever been on the road before.
The end of the week was rough though, and I knew that I was missing my mat time. It was so good to be back. I was worried about what I would have had slip I the time that I was gone, but when I started working with Rick it was all there still, and I felt so so so much better at the end of the time on the mat. It was like loosing tension in all of my body.
Evening class I worked on test materials also. I felt a little stressed about the test, because things seem to keep breaking or getting new parts added to them. But ev
Originally Rick was not going to be able to come in today. He called to say that he was going to be in today unexpectedly, and would I like to meet him to train. I headed out the door, and met him there. We worked on all of the items on my test, we went through the complete test two times, and focused on areas in each of the techniques that I was having problems in. I uked for Ricks variations on Kate Dori, Morote dori, and Ryote Dori (Same had wrist Grab, Two hand Grab of the wrist, and both wrist grab) and one where I grabed his gi shoulder, and then shomaned him in the head. (He told me what that was, but it is not on my Rosetta stone, so I will have to hear it a couple of hundred times before I get it). It went well, was hot, and good. Rick says that I would have passed the test either time, it still feels like I am very much a beginner, and that I really have no clue what is going on when we do the test practice.
108 to commemorate O-sensei's passing. This was wonderful. Basically you select a technique which you practice 108 times, and focus on each part of it. The pacing and rhythm of the practice is very different. You do your technique once, your partner does their technique once, then you do yours again and your partner theirs, alternating until you have each done the technique you have selected four times. Then you sit on the mat and meditate, other pairs around you slowly finish and begin to meditate too. When everyone is in the meditation position, and breathing, Sensei reads a passage from O-Sensei's book. Then he rings a bell and you again trade off with your partner four times, then another meditative secession and reading, then another set of the same technique, then the bell rings twice, and you trade partners silently and begin again. This pattern continues until you have all done 108 repetitions of the technique you chose to focus on.
It was wonderful. The passages that sensei picked for the readings seemed like they had been written especially for me, and helped address specific things in my life and my aikido practice. In a way it felt like more than Aikido, and brought home to me at least that Aikido is more than the time that we are on the mat. It was wonderful, and doing everything in a meditative form was new to me. Aikido can be a meditation in motion.
Two of my partners today, Victor, and Julia were both doing Shiho Nage. I learned a lot from ou
Shiho nage w/ white belts then with Victor and Blair. Kokyu dosa w/ Sensei. My shiho nage feels really bad in motion. I have issues w/ where my feet go. Tomorrows 108 should help with that. Doing anything 108 times with concentration should help whatever it is that you are doing. Victors direct entry seems much easier blend to me, his way of making you "fit him like a glove" is very powerful Aikido. Sensei wants us to do it with a drop back for the test though and since he is grading the test I am going to do it with a drop back. I am also sure that there are reasons that we are doing the drop back blend for the fifth kyu test, and not the entering in blend that Victor was doing.
More test practice, concentrating on Shiho Nage. I learned that I have to do this one in motion. Since I had no idea I started working on it in Motion. It was not easy, my feet were really in my way. Getting the drop back like Sensei wants on the test seems difficult.
Worked on the test curriculum for 5th kyu. Gyukate Dori Ikkyo, Gyukate Dori Irimi Nage, Gyukate Dori Kote Gaeshi, Katate Dori Shiho Nage, Tai no henko, and Kokyu Dosa. Need to take a big step in Ikkyo, make sure that my outer foot is turned away from Uke in the first move of Shiho Nage, make sure that I am patient in Irimi Nage waiting for the uke to get around to my arm before I try an throw them. And in all things remember to breath. This test has taken on an importance for me that somehow transcends what I know logically to be it's place and importance in the world…
Sensei said that the tests would be on the last week of May probably the 22nd, 25th and 27th.
It was one of my better sticks class. Managed with some help to make it through the entire 31 count paired Kata both sides. It was good. The amazing thing was watching the intensity with which Brion's weapons work takes. It was very intense and very controlled it made the person that he was doing the work with have a wide eyed view for a bit. It was way too intense for me. When he and I worked though he toned it way down.
Brion came back again and we again trained together for the full class period. It was again interesting to compare techniques, and Sensei again showed Brion and me where there were differences in our techniques, and why. Brion practiced doing Irimi Nage from the shoulder grab, and like it a lot. I worked hard on getting in next to Brion in Irimi Nage, and found that by staying close I was much more effective. Brion worked on it till he got the same feel that you get with Sensei that your feet just flip out from under your body, and you fall down. Amazing watching Brion and Sensei work together and speak together was like listening to two really well enunciating Spanish speakers speak, you know enough of the language to understand the basics of the conversation, and you can hear and slightly understand the finer points of the grammar, like how to conjugate a verb, maybe…