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lunch time, being taken to a BBQ to meet the man! Dixies BBQ in Bellevue is apparently a very famous eatery, although you wouldn't think at first glance. It's a run down old garage converted into a ................well.........garage, that just happens to have a counter and a few tables inside. Having said that, the queue was out of the door. We were greeted by the "crazy eyed" owner, who asked us where we were from and made us stick pins in one of the many maps hanging on the wall.
Took about 10 mins to get to the front of the queue during which time I was informed that the owner wasn't in fact "the man", I got the strange feeling I was being set up......... I plumbed for the very large pork sandwich and once ensconced in our seats, old crazy eyes came round.
"he needs to meet the man" my colleague says to crazy eyes. He goes out the back and returns witha bowl of orange/ black sauce. "two or three" he asks In a voice that was way to squeaky and grating for his size. "small I say" as I make space in the side of the carton for the sauce he has been spooning on my colleagues plates. "this aint goin' on no paper" he squeaks, "it goes on the meat or you don't get none!"....... He places about half a small teaspoon full onto my sandwich, I take a little taste...................................one of my colleagues starts choking and coughing up, steam pouring from his ears as his face gets redder and redder, he's a veteran and knew what he was getting into! Me, my mouth,
A bizarre moment on Friday evening found Stumpy and me both working in the same building at the same time, 1 floor apart in downtown Tokyo. How weird is that?
After a bite to eat, he dragged me kicking and screaming (honest, he did ) back to Geronimo's Shot Bar. Where, despite some very persuasive attempts to get me to drink more alcohol I managed to survive a second Friday evening with him. I think my saving grace was his attempt to get me to drink a "Canadian Caesar", it was just so repulsive that it put me off ingesting anything else for the rest of the night. Honestly, I can't think of the appropriate words to describe how bad it tasted, nor print the few inappropriate words that I can think of, sorry Michael, but urrrghhhhhh.......(shudders)
After that, it was water all night!
We had another good old chin wag about Aikido, and he told me a top secret bit of info regarding the senshusei course, but has threatened to come to England and burn me out if I reveal the details here.................................... so if you really want to know, go to www.senhuseisecret.com where some anonymous person has posted the details ................................................................................ ...nuh huh, you didn't really think I'd do that did you?
I eventually forced myself to leave the bar around 11:30PM. Standing on the platform at Roppongi, I had a second bizarre moment for that day. Waiting for the train to come (that Oedo line is bloody slow!
Well the blogs up to date, eventually..... It`s my last day in the office here, flying out tomorrow, what can I do tonight?
Ummmmmmmm, I know, how about a farewell drink with that friendly Yoshinkan chappie down in Roppongi . Have arranged to meet up with Stumpy again for a farewell drink after work tonight, although I have promised that I will only be having a "half"............ Am I stupid or what (again, I didn`t ask for comments from the peanut gallery thank you)?
Honestly, no, really, I`m travelling tomorrow, I can`afford to get messed up like last week!! (that`s why I`m writing it here up front before I go, so if I do get drunk, not that Mike would do that to me again, would he? , he`s got nowhere to hide and everyone will know who`s fault it is..............hahahahahahaaaaaaaa ).
Before I leave, one comment on the very cool menu system at the izakaya I went to the other night (a different one). Most Japanese izakaya have a very extensive picture based menu. This one was no different, except that it was all on a touch screen. All you did was look at the pics, touch the one you want and add it to the list, once your list is complete you press send and wait. Food starts arriving shortly after. When we arrived at the izakaya, my colleague ordered a coke without ice through a real live waitress, when we ordered a second drink through the automated menu, it also turned up without ice. How cool is that, it must have recorded my voice when I placed the initi
My last training session in Japan this trip, Going to Nakano dojo tonight, the hombu of our association (within the Aikikai). Sugiura Sensei, Nojima Sensei and Kaicho will all be there. Sad that it`s the last one, but kind of glad, it`s costing me a fortune in laundry bills at the hotel to get my keiko gi washed, 2000 yen each time (10 quid or $20) same price as one of their $B!H(Byummy$B!I(B breakfasts which am now avoiding as the local Starbucks is 75% cheaper and far more appetizing.
Work drags, well, I`ve got to write up these blog updates haven`t I? I`m late, gotta dash back to the hotel, pick up my freshly cleaned, and pressed keiko gi, yep, they do at least press my gi when they launder it (suppose that makes it worth 2000 yen then), and then get over to Nakano................
I get there just in time, Matsumoto Sensei doesn`t remember me, but then why should he? $B!H(BOh,......... BRYAN!!$B!I(B, he remembers, or at least makes it look like he does . Class begins and .............................. everything just turns to the proverbial brown stuff. I thought after 14 years of practice I`d at least be able to offer a passable attempt at doing this stuff, but no, not tonight............
Before long, $B!H(BBryan!$B!I(B, Matsumoto Sensei calls me up, $B!H(BIt`s been a while$B!I(B he tells the class, $B!H(BBryan`s from England$B!I(B. $B!H(BTsuki$B!D!D(B.migi!$B!I(B he says, I step and punch and hit the floor like a ton of bricks.......