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I'll be attending another seminar with Ellis Amdur, hosted at Itten Dojo in Enola, at the end of February.
I got a heck of a lot out of the last of Ellis's seminars at that location that I attended a few years ago. I learned a bit about ukemi, and a lot about atemi. The biggest thing that I learned, however, was that my size can be an advantage. Ellis helped me see that there are advantages to my size, which until then, I had considered *only* a disadvantage.
Ironically, the fact that I started to accept my weight made it much easier for me to lose it over time.
In any event, I've got a bit more experience under my belt since the last time I saw Ellis. From the brochure on the seminar, it looks like this seminar will be similar to the last one. This will give me a chance to approach his particular views on ukemi (which struck me as very similar to our own at my dojo) with a more informed and open mind than the last time.
Last night, 7 February 2005, our dojo held a series of kyu rank tests. All the regular attendies, except our most senior student were tested. Micah, who has been at first kyu for a while, is getting ready for his shodan test hopefully sometime this year. Our instructor cannot test us for Shodan; those tests must be done at a seminar or camp in front of the AAA teaching committee.
Anyway, we had two guys test for 7th and 6th kyu; one guy for 6th kyu only; one guy for 4th kyu, and two of us for 1st kyu -- six of us total. Everyone who tested did a very good job on their tests.
I had a mild level of anxiety about the test all day yesterday. I've felt pretty good about the techniques I was supposed to know, but I still had the basic anxiety about testing, demonstrating, what I know. With Richard (the other guy testing for 1st kyu) and I being the last to test, we got the chance to take some ukemi for the other guys, which provided a nice warm-up and a chance to get rid of some of the anxiety. By the time our tests started I was pretty well settled down. Richard and I tested simulaneously, often taking ukemi for one another.
The first thing we did was the tai sabaki for sword, for shomenuchi and yokomenuchi. We also knew them for tsuki, but we weren't tested on them. After that were a number of 0pen hand techniques: sumiotoshi, sudori (which I messed up once), kotegaeshi, ikkyo, and jiujinage -- not much different than previous tests except in the attacks used. The othe