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There's nothing like an injury to make you do your technique right. while I was at the Aikikai I hurt my ankle, and to a lesser extent my shoulder while practicing break falls. It was all my fault, because I was so over zealous about doing break falls I jumped (excuse the pun) into them to quickly. Interestingly enough whenever I was thrown into a break fall it wasn't a problem. It was when I was practicing them that I hurt myself.
Any way! Afterward I was occasionally rehurting my ankle during rolls because I wasn't tucking my knees enough and my ankle would slap the mat. OUCH! This forced me to tuck properly afterward to help protect my ankle. I also found in the past that my rolling was good in practice but in throws I would neglect to tuck, and slap, the ankle would hit the mat. Now that it causes pain I make damb sure I tuck properly. Once my ankle heals a bit more I intend to practice the break fall again. Only this time I will take it a bit slower.
A week and a half after he got his surgury my sensei decided to return to the dojo to instruct, not train. I think it was too early but it is not my place to say, although I did say it. I think the biggest reason for his early return was he wants to get me and another ready for testing in June before an inportant high ranking Aikidoka arrives to do a seminar for us. I will be testing for 4th kyu and the other guy will be testing for 2nd kyu. I am quite nervous about the test. I'm sure I'll do fine. I think I am meeting the requirements for qualifiying for my next rank. I have been noticing sensei raising the bar a little more lately, to my delight. I am enjoying the new challenges.
I am looking forward to our seminar in June. The last time "he" was here I learned a lot from him. He is quite highly regarded for his ukemi so I hope to pick up some more pointers from him since I place a great importance on ukemi. My forward rolls are becoming quite fluid and soft. I can do a quite a few of them in succession with no consequence. I would like to work on my ushuro ukemi more. I would also like to do more arobic conditioning exersizes.
Sensei has mentioned that if his knee doesn't heal that he would only be able to take our training so far. Well I think that as I'm only a 5th kyu I have a long time before that becomes an issue. Unless of course he stops teaching due to his injuries. Oh well we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.
The Dojo I currently train in is closed for a couple of weeks due to a surgury my sensei had to have to repair an injured knee. Our style is Shin Shin Tau Tsu. Next door is an Aikikai where I ask (upon the suggestion of my sensei) their sensei if it was ok to train there till my sensei is back in action. The Aikikai sensei graciously allowed me to train and I was there last night for the first time.
We started out with Jo training, begining with what I thought was a complicated Kata. Of course any Kata would be complicated the first time. lots of spins, foot work, and unfamiliar change ups with the Jo itself. Technique was quite different. We moved on to a partnered jo kata that was easier to grasp and very cool to watch at higher speeds.
When we were done with the jo we started throwing technique. we started with a Katatadori tenkan ouijiji (sp). At least I think that's what it's called in shin shin tau tsu. Not sure what its called in Aikikai. The shock to me was that even though the technique was almost identical in our dojo the ukemi is ushiro. There it is a forward roll. The thing that made the difference in this was upon spinning uke from tenkan there is an atemi to the face that causes uke to shift his balance enough to set him up for a forward roll. I was impressed that such a suttle difference in technique could result in such a dramatic change in ukemi.
We did Kitenage, long and short version. Technically I saw no difference but there was s
Ah! Aikido Journals! What a great Idea! I have read a few of the other journals with intrest and I see this as being a good learning tool.
I might as well start from the beginning and explain how and why I chose to study Aikido. It was a bit of fate that steered me to Aikido but first I'll take you back many years before that faithful day.
I grew up in a fairly Isolated community that was 2 hours from the nearest dojo. It was the Mid seventies and Bruce Lee was making MA's popular on the big screen with his Movie Enter The Dragon. When I saw the movie I was facinated be the grace and skill of the legendary Lee. I longed to be able to do what he could do. When the High school found a Judo Instructor from an adjacent town to come in twice a week to run a Judo class I jumped at it. It wasn't Kung Fu but you take what you get, right.
I studied judo for 5 years this way before the sensei finally moved to greener pastures, and I was out of a place to train.
Again I longed for the chance to continue on with the MA's, but life kept throwing me curves. 25 years later after I finally earned the time and money (and was haveing a mid life, and a mid drift crisis) I decided to find a MA to train in. I search many a dojo and dojang but they where either WAY too expensive or the times that they wher open didn't jive with my work times (I work a night shift). I was beginning to get discouraged when I happened to be walking along the beach where my wife and I bought