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Hinagiku Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 10-22-2009 12:47 PM
Daisy Luu
Martial Arts Musings
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 52
Comments: 102
Views: 4,088,487


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In Training Shadow Training Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #35 New 09-03-2010 07:15 PM
"When you are injured and decide to come watch class anyway," Sensei said, "there is a word for that. In Japan, they call it ‘Shadow Training.' You are still training, because you pick up things while observing that are not so obvious when you are absorbed in a technique." In the last few weeks, I've managed to bust up my left knee doing something I don't even remember, and my lower back from taking a bad fall from koshinage. I can't say I've gotten clumsier lately, as I keep up with my stretching and take care of myself through class, so it must be that the training has gotten more intense, and I am trying out different techniques and ukemi that I have not touched upon much before. These are the first few injuries that actually took me off the mat, but because I cannot resist the pull of the dojo, I come to watch.

Learning with the eyes is different than being able to feel it out with the body. You catch more things by observing other people's postures and movements, and yet you miss that element of trying it out for yourself. I take notes, keep my eyes on the mat, and even catch my hands going up now and then in an effort to imitate Sensei's movements. This is my body's way of yearning to get the motions right. I get frustrated when I see how a technique should be done correctly, but cannot mirror it myself. So much of aikido is based on feel.

I think back to when we were doing kaeshi-waza, reversals. To turn a shihonage into a kokyu nage, there is this brief transition of turning around uke and extending the leading shihonage arm from the center to set up the reversal. This transition was something I had trouble on, and no matter how it was explained to me in different ways, I couldn't grasp the concept. Finally, Sensei had my Sempai perform the technique on me, so that I'd be able to get a sense of the movements involved. It's hard to describe what it felt like—the movements were so controlled and concise, the extension was swift and sure, leading my body out and around a certain way, and then I was wrapped in this brief, spiraling feeling like I was caught in a cyclone before my arms were lifted below the elbow and my body was launched forth in a kokyu-nage throw.

I think of how I can replicate that when I get back on the mat. But while I sit on the side, I pay close attention, absorbing aikido into memory, mulling over the concepts, grasping at the shadows to form words that make sense in my mind.
Views: 4134 | Comments: 5

RSS Feed 5 Responses to "Shadow Training"
#5 10-06-2010 04:28 PM
jducusin Says:
Glad to hear you had a speedy recovery. I had to do that for a couple of weeks or so, too ("shadow training") a few years back, post-concussion. Not the same as being on the mats, but definitely better than nothing!
#4 09-09-2010 06:55 PM
Daisy Luu Says:
Thanks, guys. I'm all better now, and back on the mat. Thank goodness--as nice as it is to sit aside and watch sometimes, I'm not sure how much more "Shadow Training" I can take! All ready to go at those koshi's again.
#3 09-08-2010 02:16 PM
ninjaqutie Says:
Hope you have a speedy recovery! I once heard that injuries can be a blessing. You have to learn to minimize your actions or use your center instead of using your arms to cheat. In this case, you are forced into observation, but I'm guessing you are gaining insight into the details that you miss otherwise. I personally love watching other people and when sensei corrects them, I try to take that correction personally and implement or omit that as well.
#2 09-08-2010 02:14 PM
ninjaqutie Says:
Cont'd from post above: You get the benifit of seeing and learning from others mistakes (which doesn't happen too often because you are too busy practicing yourself) and you get to watch the grace and beauty when done correctly. If your dojo has a wide range of ranks, you can also see how the tecnique evolves with experience, which is neat to see as well.
#1 09-07-2010 09:31 AM
Budd Says:
Ugh, hope you heal quickly - one of the hard parts is giving your body the time to heal appropriately, while also rehabilitating yourself via getting back to activity in ways that strengthens the taxed areas without pushing them too hard. Feel better fast!

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