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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: 820,825

Entries for the Month of March 2009

In Testing Ah, Ikkyu: that Cruel Mistress Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #248 New 03-27-2009 11:08 PM

So much for getting lots of sleep before last weekend's seminar.

In between preparing homemade deer jerky for the drive, Thursday night was spent going over Jodori and Tachidori as well as a couple of things that were still rather hazy in my memory. I was tired, cranky, utterly frustrated with myself and looking back on it I exhibited almost all the signs of overtraining. I didn't get to bed until 2AM. During the long drive out on Friday, I did get to sleep in fits and spurts in the car but mostly in between a great deal of visualizing - sitting there with the test and my notes in my lap, running through each technique in my mind and particularly going over in succession (without referring to my notes) all of the sets of technique that I would have to independently determine and call out (ie. the "any 5" sets, Henka Waza, Kaeshi Waza and all the weapons work).

We got into Saskatoon on Friday evening, I carb-loaded with a pasta dinner and after a bit of socializing with our billet host, settled in for the night in their basement with some mats and sleeping bags generously loaned to us and thought nothing of it. I stayed up a little to do a bit more visualizing and lay down to sleep. Or so I thought I would. Now it used to be that as recently as in my twenties I could sleep pretty much anywhere and have a great night's rest. I could sleep on a floor. I could sleep curled up in an armchair in a strange position. It didn't really matter. I ...More Read More
Views: 4364 | Comments: 3

In Testing Pre-Shodan Periodization Training Notes Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #247 New 03-27-2009 01:47 PM
EVALUATION NOTES - Current Strengths & Weaknesses (from greatest to weakest)

- good form
- smoothness of movement on techniques I know well
- stability at the end of throws (though still need to eliminate "hopping" to maintain balance/need to lower more)
- extension

- power
- speed
- timing on certain techniques (mostly Ikkyo's beginning and Koshinage's middle part)
- centre sometimes lifting up on upward-movements

FROM PREVIOUS MACROCYCLE (leading up to Ikkyu test seminar)

Competitive Microcycle: 1 WEEK (March 16-20, 2009)
- Rest break from all conditioning
- Continued test-specific training, run-throughs
- Addition of technique visualization

MACROCYCLE: 52 WEEKS (starting March 23, 2009)

MESOCYCLE 1 - TRANSITION PERIOD (post-Ikkyu test seminar): 2 WEEKS, 1-2

- Week 1 (Restorative Microcyle): Rest break from all but Aikido (with break from specific test technique practice)
- Week 2: Return to adding Kettlebell training to above; addition of stability/rooting exercises on off-days

MESOCYCLE 2 - BASE MESOCYCLE: 8 WEEKS (April 6 - May 29, 2009), 3-10

- Continue Kettlebell training 3x/week and add heavy bag work/striking practice (gradually transition back to heavier weight training regimen during last 3-4 weeks)
- Return to HIIT sprinting on off-days and add sport-specific exercises, some with or without Medicine Ball (ie. Additional variations of squats, stability/rooting exercises, Med Bal ...More Read More
Views: 2835 | Comments: 2

In Training March 20-21st Saskatoon Seminar Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #245 New 03-23-2009 11:21 PM
What a long weekend. Boy, do I feel bagged. Two seminar days aside, it doesn't help that we got so very little sleep on Thursday and Friday night; we also encountered some really thick fog on the way back home last night that kept me wide awake as Jon's second set of eyes on the road in the dark, so most of the drive was spent warily alert when I could have been sleeping. :-P We got back into the city around 1 last night and although I didn't have to work today and slept in, I could still use some shuteye. I'm surprised we weren't all absolutely kooky during class tonight.

Kawahara Sensei seems to be doing better with his health, from the looks of things - at the very least he was certainly in good spirits. Although a translator was not present at this particular seminar, I actually found Sensei relatively easier to understand - I think that he made a point of trying to state very clearly (or as clearly as possible) what we should and shouldn't be doing and even went so far as to try to break down techniques into steps, counting in Japanese as he moved through them.

In a way, I think that in not having as much verbal instruction, one is able to concentrate far more on the visual information they are receiving. Case in point, I took an American Sign Language (ASL) immersion course some time ago where you could only sign (or even just fingerspell) to communicate - you weren't allowed to talk. In spite of this, a number of the other students still tried to whisp ...More Read More
Views: 1692

In Testing My Pride VS The Dojo Curse Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #244 New 03-19-2009 02:34 PM
To test or not to test, that is the question.


Last night, Sensei ran me through my mock Ikkyo test. The only things we didn't go over were the optional weapons portion (ie. tanto/tachi/jo-dori).

Feedback from Sensei ranged from specific...
- on Yokomenuchi Kaitennage (ura), making this more distinct from omote by cutting uke's arm more away from his centre (I need to remember to grab uke's sleeve to do this well)
- needing to perform Ushiro Ryotedori Koshinage "Ikkyo"-style (arching up uke's arm)

...to general - from big things:
- really needing better extension throughout all Koshinage

...to little things:
- throwing out more (not so much down) on Iriminage
- keeping a wider base before the throw on Shihonage (instead of this nasty habit I've picked up of bringing my feet together just after the last pivot before it)


The verdict from Sensei was that it was a competent test that, had I performed it for Kawahara Sensei the same way (even with the few bumpy bits), it would definitely have been a pass. The thing is, I've never been one to be satisfied with just a pass.

While I was pleased at how much I was actually able to recall (memorizing my lists and doing a lot of visualization beforehand really helped), I still don't feel like the test was as "solid" as I would have liked. I don't know if I can really help the standard I've set for myself. Up to this point, every test I've done has been smooth - no "brain farts", ...More Read More
Views: 2207 | Comments: 3

In Testing One week to the seminar! Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #243 New 03-13-2009 04:04 PM
Just a scant four more classes, including tonight, until our impending doom - I mean, test. How ready am I? Tough to say. Sensei seems to think so. And our dojo has a policy of not letting you test until you are beyond ready.

We drive out next Friday.

Personally? Well...I feel like:
- my body is well-conditioned
- I have a great nutritional plan (though the foodie in me is absolutely sick of slow cooker turkey and baked salmon and fully intends to celebrate with sushi after all is said and done) - I start the pre-event Creatine tomorrow and intend to carb-load the night before the seminar
- my asthma is under control (and now very little is left of the nagging cough and chest congestion from that cold from weeks ago)
- my post-workout recovery could be better but I'm also planning on increasing my sleep next week

The only thing that remains is to have confidence. That, and run through:
- Jodori
- Hanmi-handachi Ushiro-waza (any 5 techniques)
- 5 Kokyunage (any attacks)

What I really want to do is run through the whole darn thing from start to bitter end to get a feel for the thing, well, as a whole. That would make me feel much better - at least in better knowing the gaps in my memory.

Of course, whether Jeremy and I even test all depends on The Man. Kawahara Shihan will watch us like a hawk during the seminar and determine from what he sees if he wants us to test for Ikkyu there. In other words, I will have to be prepared to practice techn ...More Read More
Views: 1495

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