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I finally figured out why I was haveing suck a hard time drawing uke up into Nikyu. as it turns out I need to get more of a circular lifting motion before I place ukes wrist on my shoulder. It seems to pull uke into the right position for Nikyu. Before I was just trying to pull uke straight to my shoulder causeing his arm to extend and stay there making me lose that S in nages arm. Just by lifting the arm higher than my shoulder before planting his wrist on my shoulder seems to bring uke around enough to force him to make that S in his arm. My timeing for the up, down, Nikyu is becoming more fluid.
For Sankyu my up down timeing is improving for that as well. I just have to remember to step in behind uke for tenkan so I'm out of the way of uke's fall. I also feel I have to use less of a forced sword cut motion and more of a lead the uke by the fingers motion when droping uke to the floor.
I'm looking forward to training this weekend. Our Nidan is coming in from Seattle. I'm going to ask him his opinion on what I should be working on for my Sankyu test.
I am a firm beleiver in avoiding areas were conflict florishes. I don't go into dangerous parts of the city if I don't have to. I try to keep a calm deamenor in the face of a verbal attack. I also know that conflict is enevitable. There are places though that people come to, work, or learn such as schools and libraries where conflict that does occur has to be dealt with. Whether by yourself or by the people responsible for the place of work, or learning.
What if one or two of those places that you go to find knowledge are rife with people who thrive on conflict but are left unchecked. This year I have experienced far too many times this phenomona. The latest incident was seeing a highly respected Aikido Sensei (Kensho Furuya) stop posting his knowledge on the web forum because of people who seem to thrive on aggrevating others for whatever reason. How does one deal with these people. I as a reader now have lost a legitimat source of good information on Aikido just because of the bad enery Furuya sensei was forced to constantly deflect.
IMO confrontational behavior, such as that which caused Furuya senseis departure, is what we as Aikidoka are supposed to be training to control. Too many of us think that the idea of controling this behaviour is only controlling the others behavior, but it's not. It's mostly training to control our own. Until we as Aikidoka understand this we will never learn from our training, and we will continue to chase away the people tha
My 8 year old son has been frequenting the dojo with me on Wendsdays due to cub scout outings that I have been taking him on right after class. We have been working on basic ukemi to start and he is already getting to be a high fligher. He threw me Zemponage a few times and I threw him the same (lightly)a couple of times.
When class started he joined us for our warm up exersises. He's starting to figure out those pretty well too. I think it will be easier to get him to come Fridays to the dojo with me now. I hope my daughter comes too.
I had alot of energy tonight. We had a couple of our new guys show up for class. I always enjoy working with the new people. They tend to progress so fast that you can see and feel it from class to class.
Sensei worked on alot of the technique I will be tested for next. The others being fairly new were able to handle the techniques well. It was good practice to be able to apply these techniques to the newer stiffer ukes. I'm forced to flow the technique properly or, especialy with the one guy, it doesn't work.
I have heard complaints in the past, in this and other forums, of Nage's being too rough on their uke's. Now I'm sure they are ligitimate complaints, especially if the nage is trying to muscle through the technique. I wonder though how much of it is due to the lack of proper ukemi to help protect against a firm technique. For eg. In Ikkyo I have been brought down to my knee on the spot by a nage rather than walking me down. This in itself is alright with me because I was told the proper ukemi for the technique which allows me to prepare for this downward pressure that puts me straight down to my knee, and or stomach. If I wasn't told the proper ukemi I could try to walk forward to my knee causing more torque on my elbow or shoulder which could damage to same.
As for nage, he's just trying to do the technique as he would apply it in a real situation. If we as uke's can't drop properly to protect ourselves so that nage is following uke around till we get to our knees, then we are not doing our nage's any good, because nage is not getting the feel for the intent or Ki with which to do the technique.
I'm not saying that nage should just complete the technique uncaring of uke. I'm saying that the nage needs to know wheather uke is capable of proper ukemi for the given technique. Thus the learning process extends to both nage and uke, and each is benefiting from practicing the "proper technique".
If nage is preforming technique without muscleing through it he/sh
On Monday the only people at the dojo were sensei and I so we worked on the techniques that I will be doing for my 3rd Kyu test. Interestingly enough two of the new techniques I'm going to do are just that, new. The first technique, katata kosa ushiro something, ends with the throw leveraging ukes arm over my out stretched arm. I have had sensei throw me with this one once or twice as a supprise throw to see how my ukeme would respond to something unexpected, but have never practiced it myself. I didn't have any problem initiating the throw. It seems to be quite simple and fluid. I find also that it tends to be easier for me to stay relaxed during this throw. Of course the ability to stay relaxed tends to help with connection to uke.
The other technique is a Yonkyo zemponage where the yonkyo is applied in an upward motion with the throw immediatly following. As I will be doing it for the test there is a pump of the arm into Yonkyo before the throw. I was having trouble with the pump because it felt like I was changing uke's direction too many times. We practiced an abreiviated version where there was no pump. It lended itself well to the throw, but it was difficult to apply the yonkyo. Mind you, even with the pump it was difficult to catch the yonkyo. We didn't get a chance to work on it too much because the few other yonkyo techniques we practiced prior to this made our nerves too tender to continue.
We next with some taigi (sp). Sensei was a bit sick wi
On Monday there were 4 of us training. We worked on munetski (sp) koteroshi (sp). Sempai reminded me how to make the turn to roll uke onto his stomach once he is on the ground. Turn hand holding koteroshi towards knot in belt of Uke and walk around following the turning hand. Uke will have no choice but to turn over on his stomach.
Sensei was helping me smooth out my Kote-giashi. The throw from a step and grab now comes from the downward energy during the enter. the joint lock itself is now merely a guide. Stability is still maintained after the turn into kote-giashi. This, I see, could end in a fairly high fall for uke if a lot of energy was given to the nage.
Sensei was also testing my ability to handle Ukemi supprises. He would throw me with a different technique out of the blue to see if I could adjust. Intrestingly enough during my ukemi I merely let my body follow the technique, reguardless of what we're doing, so if the technique does change in any way my body does the adjustment all on its own. I find the key to this is to stay as loose, and light, as possible.
We did Randori with sempai and I attacking sensei. It was a very fast randori and I was quite pleased to see that I am arobically getting fitter. After two sessions of randori I wasn't trying to catch my breath. In fact I felt like I could go another couple of rounds.
Been having a little trouble with my left knee since I banged it on the mat throwing myself to show a new student somet
I normaly only train on Monday and Wedensday because that's the only time I can get to a formal class. On last Wedensdays class I asked Sensei if I could come in on friday to train on my own. Sensei had already given me a key to the Dojo so I knew he wouldn't object, and he didn't. I also invited any one who wanted to join me if they wanted to. One of or new students said he'd be there and thus we were training together last night.
I was there about 45 minutes before he showed up so I spent half that time warming up, very carful to work out the stiffness of my back injury. I then spent about 10 minutes meditating using Ki breathing exersizes. I am still not very good at Ki breathing but it still helps to relax me, and with all the stupidity that has been happening to me at work lately I need all the help I can get.
After meditation cleared my head and got me relaxed I began to practice Jo and Boken Katas. I concentrated mostly on the weapon being in the spot that I was extending to, and not alowing the weapon to waver at the end of thrusts and strikes. I found in order to accomplish this I really had to focus on staying relaxed in the shoulders especially.
The new student that wished to train with me then showed up. We worked on a few stretching exersizes due to his poor fexability. I urged him not to force the stretches, but rather to relax into the strectches. That way he wouldn't hurt himself while stetching, and the stretches would help his flexabl
I was going to take a couple more weeks off from the dojo but sensei talked me into coming to a few classes to help with showing the new students the basic techniques. It was a good class going through the basics like irimi and tenkan. and of course we started with ikkyu. I didn't do ukemi aside from going down on one knee. it was fine for what we were doing.
I'm looking forward to taking ukemi again. I felt left out watching the senior student taking all the falls. I felt like a big playful dog watching kids play from my kennel. All I could do was wag my tail. Soon my back will be better and all will be normal in the dojo again. For me anyway.
I make this entry in fear that I may have to give up Aikido. I thought my back was improving only to have it get worse over dinner Sunday night, and I have been in a great deal of pain since.
I feel bad about it too because I was just getting to the point where my Ukemi was good enough to help sensei show new students how diffrent techniques would look like at higher speeds. We were getting new members this year too. I feel like I've failed the dojo, and let my Sensei, and friend down.
I feel like if I have to give up Aikido I'll be giveing up something that is a part of me. Its bad enough that I wished that I had discovered Aikido 10 years ago. I know that there is something in Aikido that I have been looking for, but haven't yet found it. If my back keeps me from training I'm afraid I'll never find it.
I have had, and heard many discussions on why someone studies the martial arts. Out of all these discussions I don't think I have heard anyone once say they study the MA's simply for the sake of excersize. They always say that they wanted to feel they would have the advantage if they ever got into a bad situation that may result in a fight. That's all very well and good, but realistically speaking the vast majority of us would know how to avoid those types of situations. It's been almost 20 years since I got into a fight. It was related to the fact that I was a bouncer at the time, and it only happened once in the two years I had that job. Not because there wasn't lots of opportunities in that line of work, it was because I was able to talk sense into the majority of the people who were causing the problems.
Now where am I going with this? Well its just this. I get the feeling that most people think they have to have a logical reason to train in the MA's. (I train so I can learn how to fight / protect myself). When was the last time you needed to fight or protect yourself? Why can't one just say, "I train in the MA's for exersize"? That is, after all what I do!
Well why didn't I just join a gym then? Been there done that only to find that pushing weights and jogging around in circles gets boring after a while. Why spend a couple hundred dollars on a one year membership that I only use for a month. MAs tends to keep my intrest because I learn something every