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This morning was my first class back since taking a break for two months to finish the semester of school. I realize now that I hate taking breaks from training. It is not so much that I forgot things, like I thought would be the problem, but it is that when I took a break from my Aikido training, I almost stopped working out all together. Then, when I went back today, I was struggling just to keep up with the warm-ups, because they work the whole body. By the end of the warm-up period, I had already broken a sweat, which normally did not used to happen until about half way through the class. Anyways, it went well for the most part and I am going to strive to not take any more breaks, and if I must I dont want them to be two months long. I am also going to start taking my training more seriously.
Today I bought 'Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere'. I am looking forward to it for a good summer read and hope that it will give me a little more in-depth knowledge. The beginning of the book also states that it will later discuss a workout routine specific to Aikido for 'off-the-mat' time, which I want to incorporate in my training.
Lastly-I think I am going to start running to the dojo in the mornings. It is 2.3 miles one-way, but I think that it will be good for me. I am more worried about the run back. haha.
I have unfortunately been unable to attend regular classes at my dojo due to work and school schedules. I am only able to go once a week if I am lucky. I cant wait until school is over because this sucks. I guess everyone has to take a break sometime.
So I work for a security company and the other day my triaining supervisor came to me and said that he wants my help in developing a self defense program for our building's management staff and security staff. He had just gotten back from a 3-day seminar in which he learned basic self defense tactics from the same person that did our handcuff training at work. For a long time, I have been telling him that the new hires should be trained in some kind of basic self defense for safety and liability purposes. Because he knows about my study of Aikido and knowledge of basic martial arts principles, he wants to teach me what he learned, and for me to assist him with teaching it to everyone else. He also said that because of the Aikido training, I can through a few things in there along the way that might compliment some of the techniques that he wants to teach.
The best part about his is that on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of this week, I will be pulled away from my normal duties at work, and I will be doing a 3-day training thing with him.........and getting paid for it.
Lynn if your reading this, I would like to try and go over some things with you before class on Wed (tomorrow) if you were going to be there.
Last night we did something new, or at least something that is new to me. We learned 6 breath throws in order from #1-#6. It really helped me to remember everything that we had gone over by learning the variations to a throw in sets. Very helpful.
9am-Everyone on the mat! Shihan Bill Witt took center stage, and opened the Seminar with a handful of syundo counters.
There was very little room on the mat, not even enough for me to be a good uke and fall during each practice of the techniques that Sensei Witt had demonstrated. There were so many unfamiliar faces on the mat because several dojo's were there practicing, and it was nice because it was the first time I ever trained with anyone from other dojos.
10:15am-Sensei Howard Hoa Newens is now the main man, and demonstrated several syundo techniques as well as some irimi throws.
Today was a very interesting and eventful day.
The 70th birthday of my Sensei (Sensei Dang Thong Phong of Tenshinkai Aikido)
The Anniversary of my dojo (Tenshinkai Aikikai)
The Anniversary of the Tenshinkai Aikido Federation (TAF)
The entire TAF community in my area, along with many others, went to a beautiful Chinese Seafood restaurant for a dinner and birthday/anniversary celebration. I saw so many interesting people that I did not even expect to see. Sensei Fujita was there, along with several California Senate/Congressman peoples, and the Mayor of the City. Sensei Phong was given a key to the City of Westminster and all this other stuff. I was so amazed at how this thing was put on, and I did not think that it was going to be so huge with all these important names in Aikido in general.
I did not want to leave early, but it was worth the little time that I was actually able to spend at the dinner before having to leave. This has just made me that much more interested in the art of Aikido, to be sorrounded by so many high ranking people of the art.
Yesterday's class was good. We did just two techniques for the entire class, and the second one was just an add-on to the first one. They were Ki excercises for the most part, and they felt good when I was able to flow. Then, about 5 minutes before the end of class, we did that one technique (cant remember what its called) where both aikidoka side knee to knee, and take turns grabing eachother's wrists. You are supposed to use your breathing and Ki, I think, to push them over. I absolutely cannot do this, haha, I keep using my upper body strength to do it. lol
Today in class we did some nikkyo technique when faced with a suki (spelling? Punch). And we also did some kotegoshi with this as well. All was well.
Today before I went to work, I did a little Aikido technique practice/warnup at the house (kinda becoming a little ritual thing that I practice technique even though I am away from the dojo). After this I wanted to work on some stuff that could make me more blade conscious with practice. I got an old piece of cardboard and hung it from the ceiling with a string. I then pushed it back and forth, pretending that it was a person coming in and out at me, attacking me with a blade or some kind.
I found out that this was an excellent way for me to practice my tenkans (90 degree). And with the idea in mind that the 'board' had a knife or blade, I was able to also include some knifing footwork and stances.
Even though I am getting a lot into the knive and FMA stuff, its only for the purpose of learning how to defend myself against one. I think that Aikido defenses (getting out of the way), are a great help to anyone in a knife fight because you are then able to use the most reliable defense against someone with a knife....run!!! lol.
I think that this will become part of my usual ritual of studying techniques outside of the dojo on my own. I think that doing this puts you more in-tune with yourself doing it on your own, because you are the only one around...its your own private dojo.
I hate leaving class early! I feel like I am being soo disrespectful. I had to leave class 1/2 hour early today because I had something to take care of for work, and I feel bad about it. I know that I should not consider it such a big deal, but I don't want Sensei to think less of me. Gotta do what you gotta do.
And while we are on the topic, I have noticed that there are a few different students in the weekend classes who show up to class 45 minutes late when there is only 45 minutes left. What is the point of this?! lol.
And by the way I am not to happy that next week will be the last week that I am able to attend weekday morning classes until this coming school semester is over.
Well anyways. Still having a little bit of trouble with my breakfalling. I am able to get off of the ground, but not more than an inch or two. Practice continues...
I think that I am back in my groove now, since I was sick the last few weeks.
Class today was good, worked on nikkyo and kote-goshi (spelling?) techniques, as they apply each in two to three different ways. Lynn met with me for about 20 minutes before class upon my request for him to show me a little more knife work and technique (if you are reading this, thanks Lynn; and by the way I think that in my spare time I may build myself one of those dummies we were talking about. Got any tips?). We discussed slap blocks and the five angles of attack rather than Marc 'Animal' MacYoung's nine angles. Its really hard to apply the pivoting and footwork to the five angles that we were going over, but I guess that I will get it in time.
I have just about finished reading The Art of Aikido: Principles and Essential Techniques by Kisshomaru Ueshiba. Started reading Don Pentecost's "Put 'Em Down, Take 'Em Out!", which seems like it has a lot of useful information. Then I got two other books; one knife book by 'Animal' and then the knife fighting Encyclopedia by Hochheim. Thanks for everything Lynn, and the video compilation to!
Wow! Im really liking this stuff!!
I practice my techniques for both Tenshinkai Aikido and Knives at work now...figured out how to manipulate the system. . haha