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Well, got some more keiko in before my next self enforced layoff. The knee held up well for two friendship seminars. There was a little swelling, but not much pain, and inspite of increasingly vigorous practice as I got used to romping again, no serious problems. I am carefull not to land with the bad knee bent, switching sides for the ukemi mid-air when needed (quite tricky sometimes, when being thrown by a 5th dan).
The aikido kenkyukai group here has Kirisawa Sensei in town for eight months! good training, good beer, fun all around! They had us participate in a embu to welcome him into town. Looking forward to training with them much more.
Here's an abbreviated review of the Utada/Ikeda Friendship Seminar:
at the Friendship seminar given by Utada and Ikeda Sensei this past weekend, both instructors focused on breaking the uke's balance at first contact.
Ikeda Sensei stressed relaxation and using your center to capture uke, even if uke didn't know it, and maintaining that off balance through-out the waza. Ikeda Sensei was clearly a master at sensing uke's balance, and obtaining kazushi without uke even knowing it. He would have you grab his hand powerfully, even 4th and 5th dans, and then when you were sure you were in control, he would say 'nope', and throw his uke effortlessly. You could actually see uke's knees buckle, and then they were done. At one point, he demonstrated how by using his center to move uke, he could make uke look like they were
It felt sooooooo good to be back on the mat. The knee is holding up well, I won't train on thursday, so I can rest it well for the seminar this weekend. I hope to have a good review sometime monday.
It didn't feel like the month and a half or so layoff caused much harm. It was a light practice, so I didn't put much strain on the knee at all. I think I'll be able to get in a couple of good sessions this weekend. Then I'll try once a week until rehap on the knee is done. So far so good...