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Halloween is in the air What does nage do when uke comes out from behind another uke? Throw them, of course, using all the energy that circular movement provides.
Let's do a freestyle with our eyes closed and see what happens when we move first and then move again and keep moving.
Then I introduced my new kata tori kote geishe with short choppy steps instead of a sweeping tenkan...very ineffective because uke's balance never get's taken.
However, in freestyle it is often attempted and never works. No wonder people get so winded.
Halloween hi jinks continued into Ron's part of class when Dora and I experienced a mutual fall because we got confused who was nage and who was uke. We looked at each other and laughed. An instant replay was called for and we good naturally obliged.
The pace of class last night was peaceful, quiet and slow, perfect for me after a stressful day at work. The anxiety I brought in with me stayed behind. I felt refreshed, tired and relaxed after class.
We did some partnered movement, some ki walking, and did some awesome blue belt test prep.
Finally, Linda wowed us with an energetic freestyle tossing Ron and Scott around handily.
Ron is introducing ki testing in reps. We did some turning movements based on the basic shoulder ki test we all learn early in our training. Uke pushed on nage's shoulder as nage turned slowly to the side and then turned back. Uke works hard at keeping the testing constant so nage is really challenged. After 3 reps on each side we switched roles.
These reps are very calming to me. This training develops ki strength and body wisdom while moving; bridging the gap between static training and moving technique.
Ron tied the shoulder push ki testing while turning into kata tori ikkyo allowing us to explore moving ourselves from a place of centered strength so uke's balance was compromised and then easily led into a front fall. We worked in groups of three carefully watching Linda as she tried to sneak back into motion. We were supposed to be practicing ikkyo from standing. ;o)
Class always helps me step back into reality and last night was no exception. The shared exploration of a language we are all learning along with the good natured chuckles reassure us of the good in our world.
While everyone was getting a drink of water after Ron finished teaching I offered an idea about receiving correction. I said, "When your instructor corrects your technique please say thank you no matter how you feel inside. Do this as an exercise in mindfulness."
As I have thanked Ron or my uke each time I am corrected I have come to appreciate the time and attention given to me and my training. I have stopped listening as much to the defensiveness that pops up and am able to focus more on what has been suggested to me. As I work to incorporate the suggested idea into my technique my mind quiets because I am fascinated by the movement.
Since I have been relaxing into correction I have been calmer in my movement, training and my life outside the dojo. My interaction with my partner feels flowing. I don't try to be perfect anymore. I do the technique as I think Ron has demonstrated, trusting that if something needs to be changed he will tell me.
My mind still sometimes comes up with defensive comments but I always say "thank you" and work diligently to do what has been suggested. Then the negativity fades away and empty mind is reestablished.
My daughter Emily told me that Mercury has been in retrograde since last week. Maybe that explains why I have been dragging my heart around all week.
My mind comes up with some pretty creative negative thoughts, such as, "you should have stayed in nursing school" or "why did you divorce him?" Both laughable ideas.
My mind never comes up with spontaneous joyous judgments like: "Good job marrying, Ron" or "don't you have a beautiful family full of lovely grand children?"
So class last night was especially needed and especially helpful. It was an ordinary Aikido class at our dojo. We trained in groups of three, concentrating on 3rd kyu techniques with the formal finishes. Training always makes me feel better and the quiet practice of kata tori sankyo with the finish lulled me back to now again. Ron had us do other 3rd kyu test techniques separated by repetitions of ki testing that further focused our ki and settled me down even more.
I left class sweaty, tired and centered, able to relax into another evening after a long day at work. Menopausal hormones mess with my mind and age has made my body more achy breaky. My Aikido training continues to help me blend reality with the scary places my mind can take me.
Today we don't have class, so breathing from my center and remembering where my feet are bring me back to now over and over. I train where I am in the moment in or out of the dojo.