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Anyone who has been with me through ALL my tests know my nemesis is nikyo ura. Today I had to demo it with our "judo guy" who is big and bulky and really clamps down, or so I am told. All I know was while I was doing the technique Sensei starts yelling compliments on how uke was really coming at me and how well I was carrying him and I even managed to Complete the technique and do it Better on the other side.
There is hope for me yet...
Now, about that jiyuwaza...
. At least I wasn;t the only one who sucked last night,and I think i am entering better on jiyuwaza but I also got the same damn correstion I ALWAYS get-too much head & shouolders while simultaneously trying to back away from uke. I Can't Feel It.. I know this is the body's default position when I feel threatened, the system just wants to plow through any opposition so my head goes forward while my center goes back and I get stuck in the middle.
Bill, my other teacher, told me I was "doing fine" but i'm all freaked cuz I'm going symptomatic with my mdical stuff on the mat now and this has never happened before.medical stuff being essentially non-life-threatening and largely psychosomatic and stress-elated and very,very annoying and disr=tracting on the mat.
Right now I am ready to not only bail from the test but my theatrical and social plans for the next two months.
I will not die
I will not quit
I will cry a lot
Watching my most immediate sempai working through her variations for her 1st kyu test tonite, I suddenly realised that soon there won't be anyone senior to me training for a test the same time as me.Nancy will be our only first kyu just as I will be our only second kyu. Since we all train for the highest level test, we are all training for the 1st kyu test, but I still have someone "ahead" of me to emulate.Someone else who is under the greatest pressure owing to a harder,longer test.
Soon enough , she will test for shodan and I will test for 1st kyu and then there won't be anyone ahead of me in the test cycle; except for one sandan test that ought to be coming up in the next year or so.
I don't like the idea of being senior test candidate.At least its two tests away, maybe I should just slow down and let a couple of the soon-to-be fourth kyus catch up...its lonely at the top.
Not to mention we are running out of Dan test quality ukes....
I bet you hate it. I thought I'd hate it but it seems that I have some kind of talent for it.Maybe just because shihonage is my favorite technique. Maybe because we worked on shihonage for three classes in a row.
But there's nothing like ending two classes in a row with one person after another telling me how good I looked, or felt, on the mat.
Worked variations of shomenuchi also,today. My entire test seems to be repititions of kotegaeshe,kaitenage & iriminage. From shomen,tsuki,katatedori.Not a terribly daunting set of techniques.
I need to work on my yonkyo and LOTS more jiyuwaza. I wouldn't complain if we worked on that All the time instead of just during test prep. And then really, only the test candidates really get to play.
And as soon as this test is over I want to start working on my attacks...
So according to Sempai, all of us sucked on Thursday so I shouldn't worry. I'm not worried! I"m just going to train my best and if I fail I can take the test again, and I will have learned something anyway.
So today we did variations.From tsuki and from yokomen, and got "good" both times i went up. My test has three variations, he had me do five and it just flowed.
The problem with being one of the senior kyu grades is my test will be second to last and I will be cold from sitting still for so long!Glad the test will be on a saturday morning insteada Thursday night! We get sun in the windows in the mroning,nothing like a face plant on a hot mat!
What is so cool about this test is that I am fully prepared to fail it.I'm only doing it cuz Sensei invited me to.I know that what I *do* manage to assimilate on an energetiv level at least will stay with me and next year I will pass.
I still outrank all my kohai by two belts anyway so I know none of them witll pass me up in a year!
That IS what all this is about,ain't it?
Really,since my training isn't about technique anyway.its fine with me. I can always use to culltivate more humility! And tonite's jiyuwaza didn't get nearly as shredded as last week's, though I am getting lots of feedback on my wimpy ukemi. I am going to beg to do some heavy concentration on attacking after the test is done.
Training for second kyu. I am seriously thinking about asking Sensei to give me another year.Shomenuchi Ikkyo Omote. Every test it gets Harder.Every test theres more stuff to think about and then forget about thinking about. I get up to demo, Do it again. Do it again. Do it Again.
At least he hasn't yet told me I'm being too brutal, considering how angry I am these days its surprising. Funny, I took up a martial art because I had a lot of anger and learned that you really cannot apply anger energy to aikido. Kinda defeats the Purpose!
Suwariwaza. OY VEY. First, lets call me up to demo uke. Then lets practice for a while, and then lets call me up to demo nage while everybody else rests their knees. And then lets do the ura...my toes hurt and its only just begun
sez Janet:but (to quote myself) you suck at a higher level now!
And to give myself *some* credit, the dojo was still full of paint fumes and I know that they were affecting me. And my ukes were pretty much all white belts,I did one of the suwariwazas with an 11-year-old who anticipated the defense and positions herself "correctly",and the guys are basically bricks...
I'm just not certain that I can give Sensei what he is Looking For on this one.
Janet:hmm. I say, trust the process, don't think about 'what he is Looking For", just train/prep cos the way aikido plateaus/spurts, there is plenty of time for growth/breakthrough between now and test time.
from Ghostcat, who just made Sandan in Oz:
Sometimes I just know when to not go to the dojo. Saturday I felt kinda crappy and woozy but I knew the Best Place to Be was at the dojo, even though I didnt' make it all the way through class. But tonite there is this undefined feeling of not quite rightness that I just don't want to bring down there and share with my classmates & the kids.
I've really learned to like training with the kids, they're really very inspiring and watching them progress so quickly makes me feel good about both them and myself, and since I am a roll model (spelling intentional) I don't want them to see me when I'm grumpy and I don't know Why(why I'm grumpy. I know why I don't want the kids to see me this way!).
Maybe I'm copping out on my training, maybe I'm protecting the kids, maybe I'm protecting myself.
Maybe I just had WAY too much chocolate & sugar last night and I'm paying for it today. Its not as if I had something Better to be doing- I could be Working but I feel like I shouldn't even be doing that, so now i'm going to conciously go Do Nothing.
If I make it to SF tomorrow nitgjt and theres training before the tests maybe I'll get on the mat. Maybe I won't.
Charlie's class is Test Prep. He usually forgets this a couple of months after the latest test cycle and goes back to his big, swoopy, Frank Doran-style techniques with ten different changes of direction which leave you asking, couldn't I have just done something easy like Yonkyo?
NOw, however we are cramming for Rich's Shodan and I get the benefit of piggybacking along. We all always train for the highest level being tested, its the only time I get to do koshinage or knife take-aways. Most of the techniques we worked on tonight were on my test-Ikkyo-Yonkyo, both variations. I really only need to Get the Ura's on Nikkyo & Yonkyo and polish up my Sankyo. I have do do it from shomenuchi both standing and kneeling and it hurts my broken toe.
I got to work with Charlie quite a bit and he wouldnt let me take ukemi, just wazawazawaza most of the class. How am I ever going to be able to do magnificent ukemi if nobody gives me practice?
My jiyuwaza/randori is better than I expected. Of course my ukes were taking it real easy on me but I ran away much less than on my last test. And I actually didn't practice jiyuwaza for my last one so its no wonder I sucked! At least I remembered a couple of techniques!
So I feel pretty good about this test. Naturally my life has taken this sudden turn and I'm Busy as all hell, just when I expected to be twiddling my thumbs for the next 2 months!
I've been senior student in the Basics class at the dojo for quite some time now. And I have really loved it;I adore Bill, our instructor, and being his uke has been both ejoyable and humiliating,sometimes simultaneously.
But its starting to feel like its time to move along to the Tuesday night class and concentrate on technique. And I just don't have it in me to do the two in a row. And there are suddenly several things happening on Monday nights that I really want to do.
I have an opportunity to practice with one of the best Grateful Dead cover bands in the Bay Area, and would give me a chance to dance to live music that I love once a week. There are monthy bondage workshops in the city and a new friend who likes to play with rope( though thats the entire extent of the relationship-bondage with no strings!). There's Irish dancing in Berkeley. Like I can even think about dancing right now cuz
I was getting thrown last night and my toe got stuck in something and I'm all taped up now and hobbling about with a stick and ain't dancing or training for a week. Good thing I danced for Hours Sunday & Monday! And I'll watch class tomorrow night...
But I digress-
The Monday night class is very small and Bill drives a fair way to get here to teach, so needs a minimum number of students, and I'm afraid if I'm not there to keep numbers over two he'll give up teaching the class entirely and that wouldn't be good, we Need a basics class!
Got a couple of weeks till I need to st