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Last night's class consisted of a LOT of irimi. I just suck at it. I got so frustrated with it, I just went and sat down with the full intention of just being uke for the rest of the night.
Well, I started out again on the next technique with the intention of doing only the tai sabake. This was helpful. After a bit, I was throwing, because I really had no choice... if it worked, I had to go with it.
Irimi and Koshi's are two things I need a lot or work on. Hopefully in the near future, I'll get out of the rut I'm in and back in the zone. Only time will tell.
As a side note: Karen W. keeps daily logs on her classes and thereby can track her training hours. I'm in need of doing the same, so from this point on, I plan to keep a log here on the web noting what my classes were and thereby keeping up with hours.
Last night's class was really a good one. We worked on shiho nage all night and though Sensei didn't say anything I haven't heard a million times already, it really started to "click" last night!
Keep your hands in front of you, like your holding a sword.
Raise it up, pivot and cut... like you would with a sword.
Keep a good connection with the uke's center: musubi.
These are all things I "knew," but for whatever reason... I saw them all again last night for the first time.
"Connection" is the key and also the ki of Aikido. You can sit there and move your body or arm or whatever all day long. But if you don't have a connection to the uke, you aren't going to move them at all and you're gonna get hit! Totally open to atemi without good connection.
And once you have that connection, you can do so much more and do more effectivly by keeping your hands right in front of you. Not an inch to the side... not to the side of your body... but RIGHT in FRONT of your CENTER!!
It never ceases to amaze me how time will tick by and I hear things over and over... but every now and then, it all just CLICKS. Suddenly I'm not listening, but hearing and understanding.
I once said you have to figure something out 100 times before you finally get it. Hopefully, this is one of those moments! Only 99 more to go!
At this rate, I'll be ready for black belt by the time I'm 102 years old.
Kato Sensei is going to return to Texas soon: first two weeks in June. I'm looking forward to this. His last trip here, I did not do anything to agressive, just kind of went through the motions. This next trip, I hope to fully participate and really learn more what he has to show us. THAT... and get him on video better than last year. I didn't have him in the screen the whole time as he moved around a lot.
Other news: our dojo has resigned from the AAA. There has been a big change up within the AAA organization. Things were difficult with them in the first place. You have to attend many seminars and as you get higher rank, you have to attend Camps which are only held twice a year and usually in Chicago or either the east or west coast. That means, it round numbers with air fair and food, lodging etc... you can count on spending close to $2,000 to go attend camps and seminars just to become ELIGIBLE to test! That's rough. Anyhow, that is behind us and we're independent for a while till something else presents itself. Time will tell.
Work is progressing on the new dojo space. The downstairs space is almost ready for walls to go up. Windows have been cut out for the downstairs office, floors have been cleaned and preped for staining, ceiling tiles have been removed upstairs where the dojo will be. I hope to be back at the new dojo helping with walls next week... got caught up on my rest this past weekend... thank goodness!
Classes have been filling up! Here lately,
My sensei is teaching at a new location. It's a long story, none to pretty. I'll spare you the details, but suffice to say... it was time to move.
New location takes a little more work. We have to set up mats before each class, take them down and put em away at the end of the night. THEN we clean the place and leave it just as we found it. Work...
My shoulder is doing better. I injured it when I tried to roll when I should have done something else. But time off has helped it much. Still gets sore, but I'll live.
We've been working on a future dojo location. Man, is that gonna take some work! Gotta totally renovate the whole place. We'll be months before we get moved in there, but it's coming along. It will be nice once we have it up and running.
Anyhow, we're all back on the mat. A lot of new students are coming our way. I'm very pleased with the new interest. Not only that, but these are high school kids who are very inteligent, quick-study's and eager to learn! That's always good.
It amazes me all the subtle details that make a technique work. Just a slight adjustment in your feet will open up the hips and make the whole thing work better. Really shows me how much more I have to learn.
My ikkyu test will be coming up in August or September. I have a long ways to go. Need to get in shape to get my endurance up. If my next test is anything like my last... I'm a dead man.
I'm broke, so no aikido for a month. That sucks.
The dog has chewbone pieces all over the living room, gotta vacuum... HUH! Women's work. (JUST KIDDING! IT'S A JOKE!)
Let's see... it's raining outside, that makes walkin' the pooch messy when we get home.
I haven't been sleepin' too good lately, groggy and tired at work. (I think that is symptoms of aikido withdrawl.)
Did I mention I'm broke? /sigh
On the good side, I still have my humor! And if I didn't have my sense of humor, well.. I'd be a rather dull person, huh?
Oh well... trudging right along! Ever onward and into the great Unknown.
Sensei was talking to me today about upcoming tests: one this year, me the following, another 6 months after me (or so) and a lot of lower ranks moving up in the world.
I don't know why, but the thought of becoming a black belt has always been a heavy burden and daunting task to me. "With power comes great responsibility." There is something to that, despite it being a line from a cartoon character film.
Becoming a black belt, to me... at this time, means many different things:
1) Having to teach. This involves time to pass on what knowledge I have and making sure I'm teaching it correctly.
2) Pressure. I'm still trying to learn AIKIDO! Sure, in class I'll give tips and make observations, but I don't consider that teaching. And sure enough, I'll ask Sensei about it and he'll point out something I hadn't even thought of yet... on top of what I did. "Oh yeah! Oops! Yeah, do that too!" /blush
3) Legacy. I don't want to get out there for a test, screw up and make myself and my instructor look bad! Granted I'm still at least a year away, but I never did like tests, written or otherwise. When I get tested, I am a student of my instructor... a representation of what he has been trying to communicate through his own aikido. I don't want to make either of us look bad. And on top of that... what I teach will be forever thought of as something that was taught to me, whether I'm actually teaching it right or not!
I guess I'm feeling the pressure and it's scary. I'm stil
I do a lot of surfing on the net, like many people I know. (Sensei!) In the process of my surfing, I came across a means to create a "Blog."
Funny thing about blogs, I still don't know what the hell Blog means, but I do know what it is: it is a means for me yap all I want, say all I want and people can listen or not! Win-WIn! I get to vent and people get to listen if they so choose.
I just started it the other day, so there isn't a whole lot there, but the potential is there. We'll see how it goes.
Last night I posted a quick yap about aikido. In so doing I found other people in my area into martial arts. I'm hoping this thing might be a good way to spread the word about aikido and get our numbers up!
Not very often do you meet a person who gives so selflessly of their time, money, effort and more that they make you take a step back and think.
Lan Powers and I have been playing Cat & Mouse as far as giving gifts and such to each other since day one, but Lan started it.
Always willing to lend a book, hand down a hakama or weapon, go in with you on a pizza or buy you a drink (Dr. Pepper is choice), Lan is quick to jump at any such opportunity.
A few weeks ago, Lan aquired some wood that he wanted to turn (literally) into Jo's and last night, he presented me with one. Made of hickory, he turned and sanded and worked it until it was a light and straight weapon of choice. He DARED to compare it to the 40 jo I had bought on line, but he fails to realize that nothing on line will ever hold the value that a hand made item has.
SO... thanks go out to Mr. Lan Powers: Fellow Brother Nice Guy and all around good friend!
Another thing I wanted to touch base on, because I'm so "worldly" and "awe-inspiring"... is my signature quote which reads:
Knowledge and Experience together are the cornerstone of Wisdom." J.A.E.B.
I made this my signature because it is, to me, the most profound thought and concept I have ever had in my life.
Knowledge: Growing up, we go to school, we join clubs, we go on adventures, we read books and watch t.v. Always, we are doing something to broaden our horizons and learn more. Never know when you need to know all that trivial crap. And it is: Trivial! SO MUCH IMPORTANCE was placed on grades in school. What do they matter now? If you have your degree, then who cares that you made straight A's in the 3rd grade? Might have some baring on whether you make it to Harvard or Florida State... but otherwise, big whoops!
So we cram and cram all this knowledge into our heads. What for? Does it mean we live a better life? Nope. Some of the most intellegent people I know are alchoholics. Lawyers, Doctors, Politicians... a big majority have lives that are so twisted and messed up, you'd wonder how they got their position of power in the first place? Who knows?
SO... Knowldege does not beget Wisdom.
Experience: "Gotta try everything once to see if you like it!" Uh... don't think so. My brother-in-law once told me this. Because of him and that saying, I've tried driving a corvette at 15 with no license, escargo, freshly squeezed orange juice that cost 5 per 6o
I talk about this all the time, thought I would go into a little more detail for those of you that take time out of their day to pop by. And by the way: Thank you! It is my honor to see the number of "Views" going up each day.
Intention. When a person Intends to do something, they form a thought, decide that this particular thought is good for them and then act on it. Now, whether or not the action takes place is irrelevent. Once the decision has been made that it WILL HAPPEN: then you have Intention.
This is a point that is very specific to aikido training. "Ki extension" is a form of intention. O'Sensei once put emphasis on Kiai: the shouting before an attack. That isn't what I'm talking about here.
I was commenting on another person's journal what "No mind" meant. My answer was complete and total stillness, calm, peace and quiet. If you have to think to yourself,"Hey! I'm at peace and thinking of nothing!" ...well, then you just started thinking of something, didn't you?
Intention comes from that stillness. Intention comes from No-mind. When you are calm, cool and collected. You are thinking of absolutly nothing and the thought of "I am going to do X." has come and passed just that quickly... that is the birth of an Intention. It is a very powerful feeling, especially when all your heart and soul is backing it up.
Once upon a time, a couple friends of mine were squaring off and getting ready to fight. The names were being slung and trash was being talked