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Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > AikiWeb AikiBlogs > Seeking Zanshin: Blood, Sweat, Tears & Aikikai

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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: 820,746

Entries for the Month of September 2008

In Teaching On Teaching My First Class Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #237 New 09-18-2008 12:32 AM
How odd it feels to be writing this post. The title seems so surreal to me. I've been doing Aikido for almost seven years ago now, began keeping this blog in 2003 and after revisiting the old posts, realize just how quickly the time has gone by. I've spent so much time ruminating and critically picking apart my own study of this art that over the years it has rarely occurred to me to view myself in anything BUT a student's role. Yet for the very first time last night, I found myself as the teacher. Such a strange and foreign feeling.

I never really wanted to be the teacher, after all. Seeing how my own Sensei had become an instructor out of compulsion and necessity, hearing how he'd often regret not being able to practice as he would have liked --- when push came to shove, this honestly rather put me off the whole teaching thing for the most part. I figured that I would just get in the way of my training. I wanted to be a student forever --- to continually siphon off the knowledge and instruction of others and let someone else bother with how everyone else was learning. I'd told as much to Sensei. He'd occasionally "test" me and the other sempai out, letting us each have a taste of teaching by demonstrating a particular technique to the rest of the class. Unsure of myself and my own ability, fearful lest I portray a confidence not yet earned, I would qualify everything I said: "Well, as you know, Sensei would do this or say that, etc." and look over my should ...More Read More
Views: 2359 | Comments: 2

In Training The Heat is On Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #236 New 09-16-2008 11:16 PM
Without a doubt, training for 1st kyu has been the most frustrating, challenging experience of my Aikido life thus far.

It used to be that I was simply pissed off at certain techniques. Those of you who have followed this blog from its tadpole-ish beginnings (before I even turned 5th kyu) will remember well. Koshinage was once the bane of my existence. Then came along Aiki Otoshi. In essence, anything that involved me having to heft and --- for more than a nanosecond --- support the weight of anyone more than my size (which is pretty much everyone) was...let's just say: not pleasant.

But bygones are bygones. Now I have a new nemesis. There is a huge elephant in the room. His name is Ikkyu and he wears a brown belt. Where to begin?

We can start with the fact that when all is said and done --- counting numerous variations of: standing techniques, kneeling techniques, knife-taking techniques, sword-taking techniques, staff-taking techniques, combination/adapted techniques and reversal techniques --- Jeremy and I will have to know and perform well over 200 different SANITY-TAKING techniques. The object is "to be able to apply and variate techniques" after all. And at the very end of it: Jiyu Waza, multiple attackers. But then, to me, that's the fun part.

Not surprisingly, this is the very same test that we will have to perform later for Shodan/black belt. With two vital differences. For Shodan, it will all have to be "shinier" --- more polished, ...More Read More
Views: 1696

In Training 30th Anniversary Saskatoon Seminar (09/05-06) Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #235 New 09-09-2008 02:12 PM
Five of us (Sensei, Jim, Lisa, Anders & I) recently went to Saskatoon to participate in their 30th anniversary seminar this past weekend and came back happy to have made the trip (cramped legs and sore backs from the long drive notwithstanding). Due to it being a rather "special" seminar, not only did Kawahara sensei instruct, but so did the founding instructor of the dojo, Makoto Otsu. I suppose my only regret (as usual) would be in only being able to train during the Saturday instead of all weekend; mainly due to the long drive that would take up most of Sunday.

I really appreciated how Kawahara sensei focused greatly on Kaeshi Waza (reversals) during his portion of the class. Considering how reversals (along with Henka Waza: variations/combinations) form a part of our upcoming Ikkyu test, it was nice to see how Kawahara sensei in particular does them. I'm sure Jeremy would also have really appreciated seeing this as well. I did feel rather sorry, however, for some of the "greener" Mudansha (white belts) who I trained with that obviously had little to no experience with these techniques and were struggling --- sensitive to the etiquette regarding "shadow teaching", I was allowed to assist very little and felt badly about leaving them in the dark and tried to drop discreet hints here and there wherever I could in the hopes they'd figure things out on their own.

Another unique thing to note was seeing Kawahara sensei demonstrate a sacrifice throw as a variant of ...More Read More
Views: 2057 | Comments: 2

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