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Last night's test went pretty darned well. In addition to the 2nd kyu test for Richard and me, we had two people test for 7th kyu -- Justin and Greg. Greg tested for some 6th kyu test techniques too, but he was not quite ready for those. Robert would have tested for 4th kyu, but he's recently back from a toe injury and didn't feel ready to test. He took ukemi, however. Micah (our senior student) suffered a freak injury to his ankle this past Tuesday, so he did not take ukemi. He sat with our sensei and was part of the testing committee (which consisted of him and our sensei *grin*). Craig, who has been with us for a month or two also took some ukemi. The other Robert (I think we'll call him Bob), who just started on Saturday and had previously studied TKD, mostly watched, but he provided some good ukemi for Richard and me when we had to test against kicks.
After the two 7th kyu tests, Richard and I tested for 2nd kyu. We started out with ki tests (unliftable body and testing whilst standing on one foot). Then we had an oral exam on a couple of key questions regarding aikido. That went pretty well except that I could remember very little about Earth breathing, heaven breathing, and human breathing. They came up as part of the question on meditation training. However, I acquitted myself well when talking about before-and-after-class meditation, and zasen meditiation. My blank on breathing was due to the fact that we hadn't practiced it for three or more years -- something o
I was worried on Saturday that the talk about dues had driven people off -- only Richard and I showed up. However, we had a brand new student come in and take his first class. My doubts proved unfounded on Tuesday. We had yet another brand new student and the regular crew. A total of eight of us showed up to train.
Richard and I test tonight for 2nd kyu. Justin and maybe one other (Greg) test for 7th kyu. Naturally I'm a big nervous, but I feel pretty confident that I know what I need to know.
It sometimes seems like, just as things seem to be going pretty well, something happens to make things more complicated again.
The good news is that we'll be testing in a week. Richard and I will be going for 2nd kyu. Overall, I feel pretty secure in the techniques I need to know. I still need to do a little research on the oral exam part of the test, but things should go well.
The unrest is about dues. Our dues will be going up from 55 to 65 or 70/month in the next month or so. To me, this isn't a big deal (for a number of reasons, but not because I'm rich), but a couple of students are worried about it. Our instructor has been pretty candid about the necessity of raising dues, an attititude I find admirable. The conflict is that some feel we should do more to raise enrollment rather than raise dues. Those who feel that way are in favor of some gimmicks for bringing people in the door. This is an approach that our instructor is not willing to try, and that upsets those who are in favor of it.
I tend to agree with our instructor. I especially dislike the practice of having people pay for three months of training up front, and then counting on them to not come back after a month of two.
In any event, I'm sure things will work out in the end. The strange thing last night was that everyone bent my ear after our instructor left last night. I suggested that those who really want to rais attendance should offer to administrate the discount programs so that our ins
Last Tuesday's class was very interesting. We had four beginners and two "old guys" (Richard and me). Richard and I only got to work with one another for the final technique of the evening. We were working on yokomenuchi irimi nage. After an hour and a half of giving careful, slow speed ukemi, I had a difficult time, at first giving more fluid a quick ukemi to Richard. After a reminder from our instructor, I started doing just that, and boy did it make a difference!
When giving a more fluid attack, nage's timing is very important. This is a pretty self-evident statement, but it was neat to actually feel the truth of the statement in practice. The main problem during this technique, for both Richard and me, was that if the off-balancing motion is not applied to the shoulder of uke's striking hand at the right moment, uke can wrap around under nage's arm requiring a change in technique to something more like men nage (throwing by the head).
When done smoothly, and with good kyusushi (off-balancing, I'm not sure I spelled it correctly), the technique goes off according to plan.
In any event, it was good to have a strong reminder of why good ukemi is essential to helping nage learn.
I think I'm finally starting to really get these down. I've learned two types of koshinage so far. The first is like a kokyu nage with the hips in the way. The second is more like wraping uke around you, thrusting your hips under his belt, and then unwrapping him onto the floor.
I've been doing pretty well with the second type, but was having trouble with the first type. Last night I felt like I was getting it; meaning, of course, that I could perform the same throw with both sides of my body, with a couple of different ukes, in a row.
Class last night went well in other ways too. We had a good turnout of students with two newcomers.
The last couple of classes have gone well. My back is feeling much better.
I taught class this past Saturday. With it being the day before a major holiday, only two other people showed up, and we only trained for an hour and a half, rather than three hours. I went over the basic jo strikes and then the first two kumi jo. I taught them just like I learned (and drilled incessantly) at the instructors seminar.
I should be going to class tonight, but I have a bunch of things I need to do around the house. So, I'll go on Thursday. I'll miss Saturday again because I'm helping my best friend and his wife and baby move.