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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: 817,567

In General Nikkyo Gone Terribly, Horribly Wrong Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #177 New 04-14-2005 08:05 AM
You know one of those days when you just feel completely in the groove? It seems like time slows down just for you, because it's like things are flowing perfectly --- you're moving in just the right way and at just the right times that it's as though you've set up your ukes to take their falls just at those ideal, split-second-window-of-opportunity moments that make them impede each other...these are the moments we train for, those moments of pure, unadulterated bliss when you're flying high and you don't think anything could possibly bring you down. *sigh*

Well, it was a beautiful randori up until that point.

Ken came at me Ryokatadori (double shoulder grab) and I *tried* to reciprocate with a double Nikkyo...in retrospect (while waiting for three hours in Urgent Care at the hospital) I figured that I could have done a number of other things that would have been better --- particularly a technique that, when done improperly, would not cause me to drop my weight right on my locked arms, thus spraining both my own rotator cuffs rather badly. I could have done the throw where you cut the elbow down while simultaneously lifting uke's other elbow. I could have done the throw where you irimi and go for the guy's face/throat. But noooooooo...

Suffice it to say, I'll be sitting on the bag tonight and possibly for a few subsequent nights until these puppies heal up. :-P
Views: 824

In General Ushiro Ryokatadori Nikkyo Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #176 New 03-23-2005 11:39 AM
...is (among many things) the new bane of my Aiki-existence. Naturally, this one is going to be on the Sankyu test.

Actually, it's not that bad...after at least a few dozen reps, I *finally* started stepping to the side of uke (and not behind) like I'm supposed to. :-P Gak! Other areas I need to work on include:
- thrusting my arms up and back more as a means of distracting uke
- once I've got uke's arm down, to raise my body up instead of pushing down on his arm on the way up

And this is just for Omote...I haven't even had a chance to work on Ura yet. *sigh*
Views: 832

In General Elasticity of Mind and Body Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #175 New 03-22-2005 12:08 AM
Quote of the Day:
(A bit of context first --- Ken was telling me about this guy who invented what I've taken to calling "Cat Fu", this form of Kung Fu with scratching strikes in it after seeing his cat fight in his backyard.)
Heard while sparring...
Ken: "Hiss!"
Me: "Hiss!"

We culminated the Tae Sabaki portion of class tonight with the closest thing to sparring we've done yet. After the usual, more structured exercises in countering atemi, we were told to put these together and randomly exchange blows slowly and either evade, block and counter these. Apparently, we'll be doing this more often and thank goodness --- because it's a heck of a lot of fun. I'm really loving the practice not only with blending with strikes, but also getting the opportunity reacting to spontaneous attacks. Both the challenge and the key to it is to be able to do this proficiently in a relaxed manner without tensing up. This, of course, only comes with practice. I think that gradually, if we keep this up, I'll be getting to improve in the areas of timing and improvising in response to whatever happens to be thrown at me.

Well, at least one can only hope. :-P
Views: 789

In General Tossing Midgets Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #174 New 03-19-2005 02:19 PM
"Gah! He cut my butt! I hate it when that happens." --- Sensei, without a doubt, wins the Randori Soundbyte of the Day

...with as a close runner-up, some commentary from the sidelines:

Jeremy: (Observing the duct-taped Randori boundaries,) "It's kind of like Thunderdome."
Sascha: "Two man enter --- one man leave!"

Well, I watched the video. And...
You know...it never really occured to me before, but man --- am I ever *tiny* compared to everyone else in the dojo! (Well, other than 8-year old Matthew, but uh...) No, really. People would have to remind me.

I guess this could be due to one of a couple of things --- because:
a) when you're in the middle of actually doing technique and stuff, you're just so pre-occupied with it that nothing else matters, and
b) duh, the guys just don't look so big all up-close (especially when they're on the receiving end of a good Yonkyo, as Sascha surely would attest when got him real good a few times the other night *chuckle*)

Well, it's funny --- it's like watching this little kid scooting around all over the mats. :-P But anyhoo. Yeah.

After watching the video a couple of times, I realized that those rounds of Randori where Sensei would complain that I wasn't doing tenkan enough --- I was getting mostly Yokomenuchi attacks! Sheesh! No wonder. I mean, come on.

So from now on, I'm going to make a point of asking the guys to attack me with less classical atemi and more realistically (which Semp ...More Read More
Views: 613

In General Hurtin' and lovin' it Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #173 New 03-18-2005 03:37 PM
The pain is good. It reminds me that I'm still alive. You wouldn't think that a person would need reminding, but I do.

Last night saw my Kohai Ken back on the mats after a half month's hiatus, as well as a total of six of us "old hands" out for class, which made Jo practice a little more fast-paced. In other words, we worked on multiple exchanges straight through instead of Sensei having to break them down into one-two step exchanges for simplicity's sake had we newbies on the mats. Not that we don't appreciate newbies --- it's just a nice change to be able to challenge yourself in terms of putting it all together as smoothly (or in my case, not-so-smoothly) as possible.

Sensei taped the whole class (Randori included) plus each of us doing the 13-step Jo kata on our own. Funny how having an audience --- even one as seemingly-passive as a video camera --- can make folks so nervous. After watching my Sempais all rush through the kata in an obviously nervous fashion, I turned to Garry and whispered, "Remind me to slow down." Yeesh. And breathe, while I'm at it.

Worked on test techniques --- in my case, it was Morotaedori Iriminage, which I keep getting mixed up with the one Morotaedori Iriminage we used to do that seemed to be more on a linear plane. (No, really. I could have sworn this is the way we did it for Yonkyu.) Needless to say, this one's different: you lead uke by dipping down and the raising of the arm into Iriminage is at the edge of uke's stren ...More Read More
Views: 602

In General Et tu, Bruté? Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #172 New 03-16-2005 09:25 PM
In belated commemoration of The Ides of March, we did a fair amount of Tanto Randori tonight. Heehee --- just kidding (about The Ides of March part, that is). We did indeed do a few rounds of Tanto Randori each while Sensei videotaped us. Gak! I'm starting to think that the camera may very well be a kind of Brutus to me...friend or foe, or a bit of both?

Well, the idea is that we'll be passing around a copy to view and take a closer look at what we've been doing. Naturally, this is in the hopes of catching things from a different perspective. There are undoubtedly a great many interesting aspects which you miss while you're nage and you're in the thick of it and you've got three guys on you at once and you're backed into a corner and suddenly the duct tape boundaries Sensei has lain down on the mats to limit your movement make you feel like you're in a really stuffy closet and the knives just keep coming and coming and suddenly, they're everywhere...*Breathe*!

So, yeah. Gee. Can't wait to see how bad things look. And to remind myself of it by rewinding the tape and playing it back to myself again, and again. :-P I'll just keep telling myself that it's that painful process of shedding one's ego in order to make progress. Yeah --- that sounds good. So good in fact, that I'm almost convinced.
Views: 816

In General Back in the saddle, yet again Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #171 New 03-15-2005 04:40 PM
Back on the mats last night after a week's hiatus due to yet another blasted cold. Figured that the guys wouldn't appreciate my spreading my germs all over the mats, even if I did start feeling a little better later in the week (better safe than sorry). Seems that it must be going around, since I wasn't the only one away for a week for the very same reason. I'm pretty well fed up with these darn things --- I was just saying to folks that I've never had so many colds within such a short period of time. Normally, I'd get sick maybe twice a year, but I swear --- as of late, it's been more like six times within the past six months. The theory is that it's stress-related. Whatever the case, I'm getting it checked out, because this is just crazy.

Mondays are always a good way of easing back into the swing of things since we do a bit of Bokken and Tae Sabaki. We've also been throwing in (no pun intended) a couple of rounds of Randori at the end, which has been a nice way of mixing things up a little. Last night, we did it with Tantos...usually, this is the bane of my existence but largely thanks to Sensei's reminders to Tenkan, it wasn't as bad as it could have been. I think my Randori is actually getting a little better these days, but I know I should shut up about it "before Murphy starts listening".

Poor Sascha got it bad in the solar plexus while being demo uke for Sensei and pretty well doubled over onto the mats --- I've never seen anyone go so red in the face ...More Read More
Views: 789

In General FINALLY...(the rest of the pics!) Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #170 New 03-05-2005 10:24 PM
The remainder of the pics from the seminar in Manila with Shigero Sugawara Shihan have been scanned and uploaded --- they can be found under my AikiWeb image gallery at: http://www.aikiweb.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=2331&password= (although it may take a day or so before the images are approved by AikiWeb site admin). Share and enjoy!
Views: 875 | Comments: 1

In General "In the Zone" - Thurs. March 3rd, 2005 Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #169 New 03-05-2005 08:53 PM
Remember how Sensei kept saying to me, "less Irimi, more Tenkan"?
Well...who knew that you could actually go through a whole round of Randori pretty well doing Tenkans from one attack to the next? *Whoa* :-D
Views: 1194

In General Feeling Energized: Mon. Feb. 21 - Thurs. Feb. 24, Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #168 New 02-24-2005 11:53 PM
Monday night:

Interesting perspective on Sankyo from Sensei regarding the three planes upon which one creates tension in uke's wrist to perform the technique --- the horizontal (side to side), the diagonal (spiraling up uke's arm) and the vertical (forward).

Wednesday night:

Worked more on Sankyo, this time in Suwari Waza. I kept forgetting to place my shin between me and the crook of uke's elbow for control before the hand-change. Sheesh. My bad.

The test technique I was asked to focus on was Ushiro Ryotekubidori Kaitennage. Once again, I still need to keep uke low and make sure the force throwing him is more perpendicular to him.

We did a couple of really good rounds of Randori (though I've still got to work on more tenkan than irimi --- what else is new) that left me feeling quite energized. Love it when that happens. Water is so darn tasty afterwards. :-) I cracked open a nice, juicy organic rambutan (yum) and made myself a lovely stirfry when I got home to treat myself for a change.

Thursday night:

Sensei really sped things up on the 31-step jo kata tonight --- I don't think I've ever had to do it that fast, but it was a nice challenge. I started noticing a new bad habit --- cutting corners on the strikes in order to keep up with the pace. Now, I'm not sure if it's really bad zanshin or whatever or simply trying to flow from one movement to another...hmm.

We did a couple of different types of Kokyunage in a circle tonight (nage in the ...More Read More
Views: 860

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