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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: 820,736

In General New Year's Day Shugyo 2007 Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #221 You are subscribed to this entry  New 01-02-2007 12:59 PM
I'd like to say that I miss writing in this journal, but I don't. "Less chatter, more splatter," --- as one of the guys has said --- pretty well sums up my year. I'd like to think I'm all the better for it. Some people seem to have more words than days of practice under their belts...thankfully, I'm not one of them. You'll soon see why. For this also sums up last night's annual Shugyo.

It's been almost a month now without a single post-concussive symptom (aside from the time we did a warmup with very small, tight rolls) and I'm back to regular ukemi. It's absolutely heavenly. Only very rarely now will fast pivoting make me dizzy. Just in time, it would seem.

Last night was poorly attended, and I'm rather disappointed. I know Sensei was. One other senior student was conspiciously absent from what is considered an important dojo tradition and an experience that one gets only very rarely in this day and age. Thankfully, Jeremy, Garry (after having to deal with a flat tire), Matt and Jarod were able to make it...I wish more folks were.

The challenge was to (with no talking or pausing for breaks or adjustments) continually throw and take ukemi for at least an hour (for me and others who started early, it was an an hour and 15 minutes) without stopping, switching roles every 5 minutes and techniques every 20. The techniques were three different kinds of Kokyunage, and it became apparent right away how important it was to continually apply the five fundamental principles (in particular: relaxing, breathing, staying centered, and extending).

I have never done better Aikido in my life. I had to be almost completely exhausted for it to happen, but it happened. I think I can now fully comprehend Koichi Tohei's statement, marveling that he was being told that he was doing excellent Aikido when really, he was just dead tired (from his job) all the time. In an effort to conserve energy, I felt myself completely relax as Nage --- and as soon as muscle tension (especially in the shoulder area) was taken out of the equation, it became all the more obvious to me that all I could feel that remained was a connection to my centre. It was awesome. The throws became effortless. Sugoi! ;-)

I tried to place an even greater emphasis on breathing throughout not only each technique as Nage but in taking ukemi as well --- as the night wore on and we all got bogged down by fatique, I exaggerated this breathing as Nage in the hopes that my Ukes would follow suit...I'm glad that they did, for the most part. I know it helped me immensely.

It also became quite apparent at the very end, in my fatigue, that once again, I should not second-guess myself. Like others, in the last five minutes, I reverted to the "rocking motion" for ukemi instead of rolling out and found that it actually became harder on my knee than I thought it would --- it also became harder and harder to get up. Had I greater confidence in myself, I would have kept rolling out and it would have taken less toll of a toll on me. Lesson learned.

In the end, we all hung in there and did it. I'm so proud of everyone. I hope that they too learned a lot from the experience --- not only about Aikido, but about themselves as well. I know I sure did.

Happy New Year, everyone.
Views: 1842

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