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Yay! I passed my 5th kyu test yesterday! So, now I'm an official member of the USAF and I've got a new stiff neon yellow belt to wear.
The test was pretty rough, though, mainly because I'm still recovering from a nasty cold I had Tuesday and Wednesday. During practice yesterday morning before the test, I had to keep stopping because of excess nasal and throat congestion. That happened during the test too, and I couldn't stop. The result being that my mouth became incredibly dry because I couldn't breath through my nose. My endurance was also mostly gone. Stupid cold.
But, with the valiant efforts of my ukes (sensei replaced one right in the middle of the test) I managed to pull through. I'm very glad to have passed my first test, and I definetly hope that I won't be sick just days before the next one.
I was just perusing some of my older entries, and there's lots of places where I talk about my front ukemi and I thought I'd throw in a quick update. I think I can finally consider my rolls to be at the low end of the "good" grade. I pretty much don't think about them too much any more other than I always look forward to techniques where I get to do them now. I used to be terrified of front ukemi and now they're great fun!
My right side is still my "bad" side, but it's about 90% as good as my left and I don't really think too much about it any more. Every once and a while my head will touch the mat during a roll, but that's becoming more rare.
The point of this entry isn't to brag. I think it's more like, if I can learn to do front ukemi, then ANYONE can!
Does anyone else get disgusted (not really) by beginners who start off doing excellent front ukemi? I guess some people are just naturally better at it.
Yes, I'm still very much still doing Aikido, I have just been lazy about updating the journal here. I think I am enjoying Aikido now more than I have at any point since I began. I still don't feel like I'm particularly good at it, but I have noticed improvements, and I don't really expect to feel proficient for many years. Just doing Aikido is enough to keep me motivated and interested.
Some interesting things since the last time I updated:
I actually got to be uke for sensei for a demonstration for the first time ever a month and half ago or so when the class was basically just beginners. It wasn't a big huge deal, but still a first. Sensei is always picking any of us at random during class and using us for uke. It's always fun and sometimes scary. He did a shihonage on me that actually lifted me off the ground at the point where my hand went past my shoulder. That was interesting...
We are having a very important visitor lead a seminar in our dojo in March, so Sensei has been sprucing up the dojo. He bought all new mats and we worked hard last weekend getting everything set up for them. They are much harder than the old ones and everyone was afraid that doing ukemi would really suck, but now that I've worked on them for a week, they're not so bad. Just as Sensei said, I feel much more sure-footed on them which should go a long way towards saving my ankles. These mats don't fold, so there's no holes in the mats where they meet They also make the dojo l