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Well, no class Tuesday night because... the new MAT ARRIVED! HUZZAH! "It'sa very niiiiice! "(as Lan would say )
Wednesday: Lan's Class! Started off with a bit of jiyuwaza. I sucked. Me, Lan, Brandon and Robert all worked on different things. I gotta hand it to Robert: he's picking things up FAST! He had trouble with the forward rolls. Lan worked with him about five minutes, he figured out the problem, slight modification and Whala! Perfect rolls every time!
Very good job, Robert! You're on a "roll!" *sigh* (bad joke, had to say it)
Worked on Tenchi nage last night. That was good, haven't done that one in a while. Then we did more jiyuwaza... it was much better. THEN... just to keep things interesting, we worked on Hijinage (sp?). It's that cross arm thingy. Keeping everything right in front of you is key. I need to open my hip up more on this one. Overall it was okay, but could stand to be better.
Fun class! We're still waiting on the new tarp, but it should be here today ... or very soon anyhow.
2 more hours! At this rate... it's gonna take me a YEAR to get the hours I need to test for shodan.
Well, anyways... body movement and positioning is the topic of the day. Worked alot on it last night off of morotatori attack ( 2 hand grab on one arm ). Personally, I like this attack and pity the fool that makes the mistake of grabbing my arm/wrist with two hands. Off of this attack, blending is so easy. Staticly, you just tenkan and redirect. With motion, you blend and redirect.
We also practiced entering in on the uke, raising them up and cutting them over into ikkyo. Very flowing... very graceful (when done properly). And the power! When you tenkan around and cut the uke over... WHAM! There is no resistance! On this technique, shiho off of morotatori and yonkyo... resistance only works in your favor in SUCH a way that it really does feel like you are doing nothing.
On the yonkyo in particular, no effort on my part at all. I have HUGE hands and it just seemed inevitable that my thumb would hit the nerve and drop the uke on the spot! Humorous? No. Radial nerve! (That's a joke, the humorous is the larger bone in your upper arm. Har har!)
Anyhow, that was a blast. Looking forward to more of that. We wrapped up the class with free style kokyunage and high fall practice. I'm starting to like high falls. Can't say I'm getting good, but with a crash mat, at least they aren't intimidating anymore. The kokyunage, I need more practice on. I can do it, but it's getting sloppy and I'm forgetting more than I'm remembering. I'd like to do a
bummer, but no mats yet. We had hoped they were coming early... looks like they lied! /cry
Oh well. Had a good class with Lan-san last night. Lan, Brandon, new Robert and myself. Worked on kotegashi last night: Tsuki, katatedori and shomen, I think. It was good! Really getting down to basics: extension, keeping things in front of my center, not letting my arm get behind me, keeping the uke in front of me when appropriate, footwork... good stuff.
Afterwards, we did some practice on high falls. Taking a high fall from sumi otoshi is a TRIP! I find high falls very disorienting... very much so. I'd like to get better at them. Hopefully I will. My courage is coming up on em. I notice several times Lan would set me up for a fall and I really was prepared to go. Glad I didn't! But I could have and survived. LOL
Had my first class at 1st kyu last night. Got my belt and got a good dose of correction on things from my last test. Katatedori, Iriminage is one thing on the test I did NOT do well on, and we worked on it a good bit last night. Got my toe stepped on and it's nice and bruised at the moment... but otherwise, I'll live.
I woke up with a migraine this morning, so I'm gonna keep this entry brief.
Mat's are coming! Wednesday night, the new mat should be here and we'll be skipping class in order to bring it in and lay it out along with the new tarp cover. This is going to be nice!
Also, over the last weekend, Sensei Riggs put in over 20 hours of work on the last bit of repairs... still more to do, but it's looking nearly completed in the dojo. The new shomen was built and is looking sharp! Soon, wood trim work will go up along the top edge of the walls to match the shomen and give some contrast. Hopefully one day, we'll be able to put down some sort of wood flooring along the outside of the mat space to walk on... and then call the place finished!
Thanks go out to Lan Powers and John Couch for taking Ukemi for me on the majority of my test. Brandon and Madrid also participated on ukemi... and all in test prep: Thank you very much!
Thanks to my Sister and our friend Kat W. for coming see me test!
Thanks to my Wife, Leslie, for her generousity in letting me outta the house once in a while! (We've just bought a house, have lots to do, got baby on the way in a couple months... OH! BUT let's go AIKIDO! The woman's a saint! )
Thanks to Mike Cervantes! Good to see you Mr. Mike! Thank you for being there and looking forward to you being back on the mat with us.
And thanks to Sensei and Marty Riggs - You two are great mentors and friends. We have the mat on the way, the dojo looking great... only great times ahead! Woo hoo!
Ugh! Test is behind me! Finally! That's a load off of my mind... and it was NOT easy in the least. (Gotta lay it on thick, in case Sensei reads this! )
UGH! TERRIBLE! MEAN! HARSH! DOWN RIGHT ... uncomfrotable?
In truth, it really, really was. Quick side story: Sensei called for three attackers for Futari-gake: one on each arm and one choking me. At the last test, this was the opening of the randori... so after I threw these guys down... they all attacked! Well, that's not what Sensei wanted. He wanted ONLY Futari-gake and for me to do that a couple times...
HUH! Good news however, my randori kicked ASS! Uh! So proud of that. Best one ever for me.
Anyhow, if I have learned anything from this test... it is this: Get tested for the Test ITSELF !!!
I was so not ready for a test. I know the techniques. I know what to do. But in a test, if you flub... you can't stop. I KNOW THIS! And still I did, and then THAT would cause me to panic, make more mistakes, get in a hurry, get irratic, panic mess up more, start breathing shallow, get tired, start to muscle techniques...
DAMN visious cycle.
I really did think the test was a flub with a capital "F" until I got home and saw the video for myself. (Thank God for video camera's!)
Katame Waza - Overall it was pretty good. Lost track on my omote's. Need to polish these up more.
Iriminage - totally flubbed these. Dunno what the hell I was thinking here. I mean... I entered, I threw the uke down.
Well, Lan, Brandon, Madrid, Jason and I worked on my test requirements last night... and I think it's safe to say: I'm done. Dunno if I'm ready, but I'm tired of thinking about it, worrying about it, analyzing it, etc. That's it! I'm done! Either I'm ready or I'm not!
I wish things were better, however. Koshis just plain suck. Don't know that I'll ever like them or get used to them, but they suck and that's putting it nicely. Everything else, I'll probably be able to get by with, but that damn technique is the bane of my aiki-existence. Period.
Tonight is the test. I think I'll use the first thirty minutes of class to warm up and run through a few techniques. After that, I plan to sit off to the side and chill. Meditate. Contemplate nothing until the second half of class which will be designated for test time. I need to show up early to set up the video camera. I'm anxious to see me on film again and compare it to my last test. I know there will be world of difference, but man... I dunno.
Chalk up another two hours!
PS: I've received a lot of words of encouragement over the last several days. It's nice and appreciated... but only time will tell. Less than 10 hours to test time. I'm not worried. I just want it over with.
Last night was more test prep.I've never practiced (really) defense against a front snap kick, which is on the test this time... including the pin. I'm kinda hesitant on it. I have bad knees myself, so I'm very cautious when it comes to this technique/pin. The pin can be brutal, especially the yonkyo which "I" found just inside the ankle above the knot bone... whatever it's called. Vicious!
Kokyunage: I found enough to pass the test, but I wasn't happy with my performance. I really need to quit "stopping" like I do. KEEP GOING! DON'T STOP! One of these days... I'll do that. hehe
Kaiten nage: I need to extend more to catch the arm. Foot work is rusty as well, but I think I'm getting it. Now, the Ura version is a bit off. I know what I need to be doing... just getting there. I dunno. We'll see how the test goes.
Katame waza: Not worried. Just needs some fine tuning.
I think this test is going to go better than the last test. Derren Hill and I were partnered up on our last tests and taking the ukemi along with doing the techniques wore me out quick! If all I have to do is the techniques, I should be much better off this next test time.
Back in class Wednesday and then test on Thursday. If all goes well, I'll pass and then test Shodan this time next year. Sensei was already tripping over himself last night refering to me, Lan and Couch as the black belts. LOL Long story, I'll spare ya...
So, last nights class was kinda fun. Madrid worked on his test requirements while Couch, Lan, Sensei and I worked on our high falls. We're trying to get it down just right so that the fall is soft, or at least softer than just the old fashioned "slap" style. Lan has been watching Donovan Waite's video and so we got the chance to work on that last night.
Things to work on regarding high falls:
1) Lead with the back hand. Gotta REALLY REACH BACK and ease self down on the landing with that back hand.
2) Keep the kick over leg straight with the foot/ankle turned in so as not to slap with the ankles.
3) Straight up and over. I'm at an angle every now and then. Need to really straighten it out on the fall over.
Anyhow, Madrid passed his test. Looked pretty good! He kinda got in a hurry on some thing, needs to extend more. But, he didn't stop and he didn't NOT know at all. He knew it, he just needs to convience himself of that... but all in due time.
Afterwards, we worked on my exam requirements. Only had time to do Yokomenuchi Ikkyo (omote and ura) and got to throw everyone a couple times on each. Still need work on the footwork, but it's coming along. I felt much in control on the mat. Still need to work on footwork, but I realized, just a little bit ago actually, I'm not intimdated anymore. Before now, getting ready for an attack, I remember feeling apprehensive and nervous a bit... especially with Couch because he really gives a good committed attack. Last