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Hmm... tonight, if you didn't guess by the subject head, we did breakfalls. We almost never do breakfalls, as most of us are newer, and there is rarely enough speed to make them neccessary. Well, consequently I suck at them. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, other than "landing in pieces," rather than all at once. I mean, I know what I'm doing, but not what to do about it. We have thick crash mats, so nothing we do ever really hurts me. Some other students seem to think they're not so soft, but I've never had a problem with them. Anyway, even though I'm breakfalling wrong, I don't get hurt doing it, which is good because I could pretty much do it the whole practice if I wanted to. It seems as though I'm landing on the "wing" area of my back, and then my feet come down and my hand drops later. Like I said, it doesn't hurt, I just know I'm doing it wrong. Oh well.
Tonight, we talked a little about some of the more esoteric aspects of Ki, which is something else we almost never do. Our instructor was talking a bit about trying to feel other people's intentions, making a connection even before the moment of contact. It was pretty interesting, but now I want to know if there's a way to try and work on that connection outside of the Dojo. I try to empathise with people I talk to, to think about what they're thinking about or imagine what they're feeling. This is a far cry from that sort of connection that you try to feel in the Dojo, however.
Hello again. In class tonight we were having a bit of fun with some tanto techniques, and a situation came up that was both fun and informative, but perhaps ill conceived. We have a student who is relatively new and a genuinely nice guy who is also a Marine. He's been out for five years, but he still has "it" in him as I'm sure he always will. When we were doing one of the techniques he reverted to his previous knowledge of knifework and he kept changing up the attack. It was supposed to be something like an upward scoop from the hip into the lower abdomen, like maybe something that a person who didn't really know how to use a knife might do, but he wanted to do all sorts of other things. Ok, I think we all know that he knows how to use a knife, but it wasn't the time or place to show us his skills. Not to mention that when our instructor came over to try out some of the other attacks, he decided to give the instructor a hard time and really fight everything that the instructor wanted to try. Now, I'm not saying that it's never appropriate to try things out, or to test someone's technique with some resistance, but this was a lot of resistance. He even manages to scratch the instructor's hand once, drawing blood. Here's the thing, our instructor didn't mind at all, in fact he was having fun with it and was trying to learn how to switch up his technique based on what the uke was doing. It wasn't a bad exercise, and it was sure fun to watch, but it ended up looking a
I think that I've mentioned this a few times, but I work at a movie theatre as an assistant manager. One of the only things that I would call a perk about this job is that I get to watch free movies. Actually, it's required that I watch movies if I put them together, which seems like less of a perk considering the quality of most Hollywood drivel. At any rate, once in a while something comes out that I actually want to see. The Matrix: Reloaded was one such movie, and I've watched it twice already. I'm not bragging, though, I just wanted to talk about some of the fighting. I was hoping that there might be some Aikido, as I'd heard about one of the supporting characters, named Ghost, was a Japanese martial arts expert. He was only in the movie for about 2 minutes total, and he didn't do anything; now that I think of it all the stuff I heard about him was for the upcoming video game. I was also excited about Morpheus using a Katana, as I'd seen a few pictures of him holding it. Anyway, the fighting was, as always, very very good. The only real problem is that it's all Kung Fu, and only like one kind of it to boot. Nothing wrong with that, I love Kung Fu movies, but it doesn't look right with a Katana. I was looking for some nice kenjutsu, but the swordwork was just more of the "swinging it around like a sharp object" variety. I guess it wasn't totally bad, I was just expecting a bit more from that scene. There was one part where Neo started to do a Kotegaeshi, bu
This was a first for me. Tonight we did a small two person randori, with just about 20 or 30 seconds for each nage in rotation. Sensei started off by mentioning some bits about what we were doing, that any technique was okay, and some strategy. He then told us to keep it at about 3/4 speed, for us new guys, and he went up first. I thought he did quite well, I'd never even seen this done before, but I've certainly heard about it. I think he was following all the ideas and concepts that I've heard people mention, and I was pretty impressed overall. We went with a basic rotation, uke twice then nage once then sit off the mat, etc. We all went through twice, and overall I think everyone did well but me... as one of the two uke it was just plain fun, and was surprisingly hard to get close to nage. I always thought that the uke were being nice by waiting while a throw was getting worked out, but now I realise that it's usually because a good nage keeps one uke between the other while they're doing the technique. Amazing! It was fun feeling like we were really testing some things out. When my turn was up as nage, I simply didn't do well. First off, I couldn't get the techniques that I know I know out of my body. I could think, "ok I know what I'm supposed to do," but I couldn't get it working. Then, to really get my goat I just plain froze up when one of my uke grabbed my Gi at the shoulder. Arrgh. I know a few techniques out of that, but I couldn't summon them up.
So why am I bothering to post this? I'm not sure, but just because nothing serious came up doesn't mean I didn't learn anything. I got to work with the "silent partner" again, one of those who doesn't like to tell you what's going on, but shows you. I love that, and he's the only one in our Dojo who is consistently like that. We did some more fun techniques today, along with the old standbys. I have no idea what they're called, but one was a bear-hug breakaway from behind. I was shocked at how well it worked if the timing was right on. We also worked on a shoulder grab technique that was slightly unusual. I've worked on it before, but when I was VERY VERY green, not just VERY green. Tonight was one of those nights that felt comfortable, fun, and left me feeling great. Not to say that it was an easier time, actually as our techniques were simpler and there was only one of the newer people there it was more technique and less explanation. I noticed that our instructor was doing less of the play-by-play technique slow-mo before we tried it, so we did more tonight than we have in some time. One thing was a bit different, we don't have a "traditional" style Dojo, it's the second story of an old schoolhouse turned gymnasium that was then turned into the Karate, Judo, and Aikido Dojo that it is today. Anyway, on Thursday there are alwasy children's gymnastics going on downstairs, upstairs, or both. The funny bit was that tonight someone was playing rather loud polka o