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I just found out last class that kote-oroshi and kote-gaeshi are the same thing. Up till then I was under the impression that the difference was the direction that the torque of the wrist was applied. ie oroshi would be the wrist bent so fingers are pointing just outside the fore arm to cause uke to sit to ushiro-ukemi. Where gaeshi would be rotating the wrist to twist the fore arm to cause uke to go head over tea kettle break fall ukemi. (hows that for a technical term)
So those reading my last post wondering what the heck I was talking about I hope this explains it. If there are Japanese terms that differentiate what I have described above, by all means make comment.
Took both kids to the dojo to train today. I think that my daughter has finally decided that martial arts in general is not for her. She likes the idea of haveing a martial skill but only wants to put half her heart into it. That's fine with me. After three trips to the dojo she now has enough information to make an informed decision.
My son on the other hand. HOLY SMOKES! He's taking to Aikido like a duck to water. He seems to be eating up every aspect of it from dojo etiquette to Ki exersizes and tests to kokyu-nage. Speaking of kokyu-nage, I showed him katate-kosa-tori kokyu-nage for the first time. I was worried that it wasn't going to be easy due to our size difference, but he picked up the basic movements so well that he's quite capable of preforming the technique with surprisingly little cooperation on my part as uke.
Another one we have been working on is mune-tsuki kote-oroshi. He is really getting the basic technique down well. He now tenkans so that we are back to back with very good foot work. he "picks up the quarter" from his knees rather that his back, so he is well balanced for the throw. last but not least, he is realizing the difference between kote-oroshi and kote-gaeshi and the difference in ukemi it produces.
Even though we worked mostly on kote-oroshi I told him to throw me kote-gaeshi a couple of times, being mindful of not "cranking" the throw, but rather guiding my momentum into the throw. I gave him an idea of what I meant
For the last couple of weeks I haven't been able to physicaly train so I have been reflecting on the psycological aspects of Aikido. One of the things I have been thinking about, and ultimately aspireing to, was the spliting of the mind.
When I was first introduced to this concept it was the idea that during some techniques it is necessary to split the mind of the uke in order to make the technique work as in Kokyo dosa or the heaven and earth throw. But recently I have come to realize that not only do I have to split ukes mind in some cases, I have to split my mind as well, and always.
What I mean by this is I have to split my mind to coordinate my right hand with my left hand. Then I have to split it again to coordinate my hands with my feet. Then I have to split it again to make my apendages work from my center. Then yet again to control my instinct to tense up while preforming a physical throw. Add to that the need to control my breathing, connect to uke's center, be aware of my surroundings, and extend Ki, my mind is now split in quite a few directions.
Of course I'm incapable of spitting my mind in that many directions. I'm still having trouble with two. I see other Aikidoka that seem to have this ability and am inspired to know that it is possible. At least to the extent that these Aikidoka can do it. I can't help wonder at the point when one is able to think about, and control all these things simultaniously, is this the point this person becomes en
Yesterday my son had a bad day at school to the point of being expelled for a day. I can't help but wonder if it was partially my fault. The day before my poor sleep patterns were catching up to me and it was showing up as irritability and negativity on my part in front of, and towards the kids. It was nothing blatant or abusive, just a negativity that the kids (in particular my daughter) called me on.
My son being very sensitive to this type of thing seemed to take on this negativity the next day. Without getting into details, it ended him up in serious enough trouble to get him expelled from school for a day. It just so happed that this is the same day that we had been planning to go to the dojo to train. My first instincts were to not take him as he was being so negative about everything that he wouldn't listen to what I was trying to show him. After some thought though I decided to take him so that it didn't seem like I was giving up on him. If I was having trouble keeping him on track I was just going to stop and give him the option of continuing or going home. As it turned out he stayed very focused and we had a good training session. Afterwards I noticed his negativity was gone, and his tense (more manic) demeanor was more relaxed.
It was then I knew that these training sessions are exactly what we need on a regular basis. There was something about helping calm and center my son that was equally calming and centering for myself. I have said in the pa
Between a demonstration our dojo will be doing for some high school teachers, posts made on another journal about an injury, and a reflection of how I was physically when I started Aikido, I can't help but realise that Aikido can be for literally any body. From the person who is interested in the aspect of Ki developement to coordinate body and mind, to the one who is in it for self defence, to the person who starts it just to get back into shape, and every one in between. The multifacets of Aikido can be practiced and used by everyone.
When I started Aikido I was severely out of shape and wanted something to learn from as well as work at so I had an incentive to keep returning for the work out. Over time, as I realized how much more there was to Aikido, I continued to practice for other reasons. The philosophy behind Aikido has helped with my relationships with my family members (in particular my son). Also the centeredness and calmness I get out of Ki breathing and meditating has also been life changing for me.
I look back a mere year and a half ago at how I felt physically then and how I feel now, to me it is a difference of 20 years younger. I felt 10 years older when I first started. Now I feel 10 years younger.
I see people with disabilities and injuries who adjust their training to compensate yet still find copious amounts of things to study and train in in Aikido.
While discussing how the demonstration will unfold we concluded that even though the
On Monday, due to some self inflicted back stiffness(snow, snow, snow), we worked mostly on Ki tests, and some techniques required for the 1st and 3rd Kyu tests coming up. The Ki tests are primarily done while we are doing our warm up exersizes at the beginning of class. I am finding the Ki tests are getting slightly more difficult, but at the same time I am learning new things from them. Different test energies produce different sensations (for lack of a better word) that I have to develope in order to transfer the test energy through my hara and into the ground. I am finding with some tests that it is still impossible for me to find that right "feeling" in order to pass the test.
There is a test with Ikkyo-Undo where the hand is blocked from either raising or lowering. I can muscle through that technique to make it work, but that isn't a pass. I need to somehow just allow the energy of my hand to pass through the blocking energy of the Ki test. The mechanics of passing this test still eludes me.
It is funny how the mind works, or at least my mind. Sensei can call for just about any technique that we've worked on and I can execute it to some semblance to how it should be done. But! When Sensei says to show him 5 variations of so and so techique I draw a blank after the first two or three throws. This should be easy because the majority of the techniques break down into Ikkyo, Nikkyo, Sankyo, Yonkyo, and Zempo variations. Of course there are more, but if
It was just Sensei and I tonight. We started out with warm up as usual except I was the one leading the warm up. We pretty much do warm up in the same order every class, and I pretty much know the order of the first half. It's the last half that's a little cagey for me. It's so much easier to follow someone elses lead. Not only that, when your doing the leading it forces you to start thinking about what exersize comes next while your doing an exersize. That invasive thought then distracts me from what I was doing and the next thing I know I've not reversed the exersise on the count of go. There is something to be said for the mind body coordination exersizes of leading a class. I'm glad it was just sensei and I, otherwise I would have been even more self conscious causing me to flub even more exersizes.
After exersizes we started working on throws that will be on the sankyu test. We stopped to play with the showmen strike for a momment, to see how easy it was to accept this attack using one point and unbendable arm. I asked Sensei to strike me as hard as he could. I would step in using unbendable arm and centered stability, and no matter how hard Sensei swung at me it was as easy as catching a base ball. Sensei took a turn at this as well. I showmened him about 4 or 5 times progressively getting harder till the last two times I was swinging full force. Now I'm 6'2" and 230lbs. Not braggin or anything but to stop my momentum dead in its tracks is a pretty
Due to some miscommunication between sensei and I, I ended up at the dojo by myself on Monday. I used the time to work on my Jo and Bokken katas after I finished a good warmup/workout. Threw in some shiko and ukemi and I had a pretty good sweat on after an hour.
Towards the end of my workout I started to hear people show up next door. I thought this would be a good opportunity to train there again so I asked that sensei if I could join them. He said certainly, and thus I was training for another two hours. Good workout!
We started out with paired bokken practice. The first technique we practiced involved uke attacking in showmen. Nage counters by drawing the sword and slicing uke's arm pit, and moveing forward and off line of uke as he raises his sword for the attack. The technique is finished by nage turning 180 degrees under his sword so it remains pointing in the same direction as before the turn, and showmen striking ukes sword close to the hilt. I couldn't help but notice the relationship between nages body movements in this bokken practice, and the near identical body movements required to preform Shiho-nage Irimi.
I saw no other relation ships to empty hand in the other bokken techniques we practiced. I did notice how powerful a suttle move can be if the bokken is moved from your center. ie: Keeping my hands in front of me, using my wrists to control the bokken for parries, and my hips and legs for power during thrusts.
There will be some changes for me in the new year that may affect my training. I'm not sure if the changes will affect my training for the good or the bad. At the end of the month I will be moveing to an afternoon shift from a night shift. I will then have Wednsdays and Thursdays off. This means I will be moveing my training times from Mondays and Wednsdays to Wednsdays and every second Saturday. Less training but if sensei starts a kids program on Saturdays after regular class then I would consider that as extra training time.
I won't be able to bring my kids on Friday evenings as I had planned but maybe the kids program would remedy that (hint hint Sensei).
I am looking forward to getting off night shift but I hope it doesn't mess up my training too much.
We had our biannual seminar with our esteemed sensei from Seattle. I always enjoy those seminars because I learn so much in such a short period of time from him. He is very good at describing suttleties that make or break a Ki test, or greatly improve a technique.
I got to spend a lot of time being uke for him as everyone else was injured in some way (not Aikido injuries). That was great! Sensei must have told him I have began brekfalls because he snuck in a few on me.
Some of the memorable pointers were the change I needed to make in my ushuro ukeme to standing position. I failed a Ki test to stand. I was then told to use my abs more to place my one point forward enough to stand rather than extending my arms to gain momentum to stand. I made the change with some success, but I really need to practice that one more. He had me make a suttle (and I mean suttle) elbow, shoulder drop to make me more stable when offering my hand to uke. I was astounded at the difference such a suttle change made in my stability. He showed us two other versions of happo waza. One was a tenkan version, the other was a sword cut with knife hand version. The tenkan version realy takes some getting used to. We worked on the eight direction sword kata.
I only managed to get two days of four that he was teaching. I wish I could have gone to the other two, but because Christmas dinner was at my place I was behind the eight ball to prepare the house for the 15 people that will be