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John Boswell's Blog Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 02-26-2005 10:02 AM
John Boswell
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 87
Comments: 41
Views: 140,982

In General Back again Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #17 New 02-03-2005 10:21 AM
Well, got back on the mat sooner than I thought. I returned to class last night and just took it easy. I took no real ukemi, but mostly went through the motions putting emphasis on the hand and feet positions.

The shoulder is feeling considerablly better. When I informed sensei that I had a large bruise on my chest (something that took a few days to develope) he was rather relieved and assured that my injury was in fact something that would heal well. Where tears in tendons/ligaments take longer to heal, a tear in muscle (thus causing the bruising) will heal faster and better.

AND... that seems to be just the case here.

We've been working on the basics as many newer students have their first test coming up soon and.. it never hurts to go back to square one.

Lately we have been doing a variation on katame waza, different from what I was first taught. The slight changes we've made seem absolutly HUGE to me. But now that I've had some time to think about it and look it over, the changes really are sublte and it's becoming easier to grasp in my mind. But boy, in the begining there... I was all," WTF???" Totally lost.

But I'm liking these changes, very A to B. Clean, simple, defined, and they have such an impact on the power behind the technique. I'm getting to where I don't hardly remember what I was doing in the first place. If I had to go back and do my 6th kyu test all over again, I guarentee it would be COMPLETELY different... and not just because of time, bu ...More Read More
Views: 361

In General Feeling much better. Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #16 New 01-24-2005 01:56 PM
Howdy! And welcome back to another thriling and exciting entry on...

Well, the shoulder is healling up nicely. I have almost full range of motion, though to do so is very tender. At work this morning, I was adding up figures from several documents. Just flipping pages made my shoulder ache! LOL Figure that one out.

What could have been serious has turned out to be a minor inconvienence... thankfully. It has given me a new appreciation for the human body and all it can do and put up with. I mean, I'm 250 lbs. and I LANDED on my shoulder! And nothing broke? A) I'm very lucky, but B) The body is very strong. I need to take better care of it as it is doing well by me.

On a more serious note, I've been looking down the road on where I'm going with aikido. My classmates talk TO me and ABOUT me as though there isn't a doubt in their mind that I will one day make shodan. To me, 1st kyu (even 2nd kyu) seemed a world away to me. Now I have achieved 2nd kyu and 1st is knocking at my door.

It is strange to feel this way, but shodan seems an impossibility. I can't help but wonder if this last accident wasn't some sort of unconcisous effort to stop myself and get in the way.

Over the period of my life, I have rarely achieved the goals I had set for myself. Things seem so much more harder and difficult until it is behind you... then it seems so easy. On the ski trip I just took, I couldn't help but keep focusing on the negative: how I ...More Read More
Views: 382

In General Time to polish the mirror Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #15 New 01-19-2005 02:56 PM
Last night... after a wonderful class that was both fun and informative, we were wrapping up class with an oyowaza technique that should not and was not all that hard: cross hand wrist grab.. nage blends to the inside raising the uke's arm up, takes a small step through, pivot and cut down. We've done this before, I'm sure.

I had been slapping out all night and that was working fine for me. For whatever reason, I thought, "HEY! I'll ROLL outta this one! or wait... maybe not, but I could! but nah... but then again..." CRASH !!!!

I've had some hard falls before, but this was by far my dumbest. Landed right on my left shoulder, heard a nice, juicy crunching noise and layed there like a dead duck. In between the laughter and finger pointing, I called out for sensei to come check me. Luckily nothing was broken but my GOD did it hurt!

X-ray's indicated I just jammed it all nice and tight. As I sit here, I've got a cold pack on my shoulder. It is considerably better today, though I won't be on the mat for a while. Truly, I am greatful for having Sensei Riggs as my instructor as he is a chiropractor and can coddle me tell me it's all gonna be okay.

Lessone to be learned: Do not Q & A (question and answer repeatedly) yourself on the mat! Either do it or don't, but don't try to figure out your plan of attack in the middle of a roll! *sigh*

Funny thing though, just that night before class I was telling Leslie what a struggle it was getting to class. I had had a pissy day ...More Read More
Views: 380 | Comments: 1

In General Am I that selfish and/or arrogant? Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #14 New 01-17-2005 01:50 PM
I ponder this everyone now and then. Often times, you'll find me posting my opinion on the boards and it seems like I'll chime in on just about anything. I once told someone that I open my big mouth in the hope that one day I can look back and see if I have had much of a change over the years.

Re-reading my last entry, I had to stop and wonder if I'm not just a little too full of myself or if I'm actually right. One could come to the conclusion that: being 2nd kyu, 3 years in aikido and a general forte for butting in... that I "tell" people too much instead of just listening and learning for my own sake. I justify it by looking for the faults in others.

Now, I wasn't lying about the situation... he was trying to go too fast. But still.

Someone once said about this or a similar topic: If you have to ask, you probably aren't. Meaning, that I even ask this question of myself should be proof enough I'm not THAT selfish or arrogant. But still...

By the way: Interesting news... Leslie and I got a dog this weekend. He's a two year old Golden Retriever/Mutt named Chet. Sweet boy, house broken, calm but energetic. Bad news is... I'm inheriting my mother's beagle,"Emma." She's one year old, HYPER!! and we're gonna have to house break that one. God help us.
Views: 458

In General Weapons work: Quality vs. Quantity Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #13 New 01-14-2005 11:40 AM
The other night, we were working on various jo kata. In so doing, one student I worked with made it a point to go as fast as he could and push the limits of his and my ability. Thankfully, I was able to keep up with him. At one point, I reversed it on him by stepping up the pace to a range that he had to back away and stop.

"Well, if you can't keep up with it, you can't practice. So... let's take our time and do it right!"

This was a major help. By doing kata at a healthy and calm pace, you get the repeatition "in" to learn the kata, but at the same time your mind gets time to form questions: why am I doing it this way? am I blocking or setting up a strike? what is my opponenet going to do next?

Aikido practice in general, but reeealy with weapons, should emphesize QUALITY of technique over speed of it or number of times you did something.

I once read that bokken strikes should be practiced with 100 strikes per day. Well, that's one thing... but if you just rush through them to get them done, what was the reason of doing it at all?

Take your time.
Think about it... but not too much.
Be there for a purpose, not just to hurry up and move on to something else.

Good stuff.
Views: 440

In General Back in Black! Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #12 New 01-12-2005 09:11 AM
Once upon a time, I had a hakama. It didn't fit too well so a friend passed it on down the line to another worthy student. Then Christmas came and my wife got me one. It looked HUGE! Mostly because it is.

Well, made it to class last night. Lan was there and I told him to go check it out, as I left my hakama out on a shelf to put on just before class. Well, he and another student got a kick outta how big it was. The koshita HAS to be at least twice the size of their own. So, we all got a good laugh outta that and then I go put it on and head to class. The laughter stopped. Guess what? It looks like it fits! LOL

/sigh I'm too damn big! The very least I can do is loose weight, so... with my return to class and various changes in diet and health: Weight is enemy # ! right now and I intend to loose it!

Meanwhile, class was good. Worked on basic kokyunage off a 2 hand grab. Next was Shihonage.. now, this was interesting. The partner (uke) I was working with was less than HALF my size. He had to weigh around 125lbs. if that and only slightly taller than 5'ft. which made things interesting. I was closer to him in height when on my knees... which is where I ended up on the Shiho.

Things to work on: Kokyu Ho hand position. Sensei Riggs has either gotten stronger or at least more intense with it... but he's changed from the last time I was in class. Moving just his wrist, I can feel my balance go. Should I let up on my grip to release the pain, he just enters in and throws ...More Read More
Views: 379

In General Did I mention Christmas yet? Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #11 New 01-08-2005 08:57 AM
Guess not!

My wife, God love her, is a very supporting wife despite my short commings. For christmas this year, she gave me two new pairs of Gi pants from Bu Jin. These are awsome, by the way. My other pair are wearing thin in the knees and are the basic cheesy ones you get with a cheep gi. But Bu Jin makes them with: velcro clasp instead of buttons or clips, belts that can tighten and cinch but not pinch (poet and didn't know it.) and ZIPPERS! That's a good thing.

Anyways, I needed those and am greatful. ALSO... she got me a hakama! Now, I'm not black belt, but I've wanted a proper hakama for a while, just too cheap. She got one on clearence and the length is great! However, the width is "XL" and I'm a big guy, so I thought that should be right. But ya gotta see this thing! IT'S HUGE ! Really gotta get it to Sensei and get his opinion on it.

If you ever order from Bu Jin, make sure they know your measurements before ordering. I have a feeling I'll keep this thing despite the size. I got a Gi from them off the clearence rack and it was too large as well. Need to start ordering the "L"arges instead of "XL's".

Next up on my list: Best Aikido: the Basics and Ikeda Sensei's 4 part DVD on various techniques! I've seen the Irimi video, and it's very good. Looking forward to getting all 4, but on the DVD version.

What did you get??
Views: 488 | Comments: 1

In General Skiing and Aikido Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #10 New 01-04-2005 09:50 AM
Just got back from skiing in New Mexico a few days ago and that was both scary and fun! How does a person who is afraid of heights, hates being cold and wet, is over 6'2" tall and 250lbs get the nerve to strap on a couple boards and slide down hill? I'll never understand me, I sware.

BUT... I had fun and learned a little bit along the way:

* Tenkan helps in turning! Yup. True story. Whenever I wasn't too paniced about my speed, etc. I would decide to turn and think to myself "Tenkan" and it helped! Moved much better from the hips, was able to relax a bit more, stay over my hips better, concentrate on One Point. Then my speed would pick up and everything would go out the window and I'd be back in panic mode.

* Ukemi is a good thing! I only fell once, but I slapped out on a side fall. Thankfully it wasn't a breakfall... that would have been a very bad thing. Of course, with skis on, theres no "rolling out of it" and keepin on keepin on! LOL

* Randori: Being the holidays, everybody and their dog (Yes, there were dogs on the mountain, believe it or not!) were out skiing over this particular week. Being able to manuver around and through everyone came easier with past randori practice. When your getting off a lift chair and there are 5 punk snowboarders piled up at the bottom of the ramp... and you're moving 20mph... you learn that moving those punks is better than crashing into them. Better yet, tuck and duck through two of them and get on past them is even better. ; ...More Read More
Views: 512

In General SNOW! ... and other things Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #9 New 12-22-2004 09:07 AM
Three days till Christmas and there is snow falling in west Texas! I love it! Nothing like snow to make the world seems new and different, especially in a desert area llike ours.


In other news, I've been reading my sensei's thread about frauds in the world of aikido. It amazes me that some people would compare O'Sensei's starting a (now) major martial art to some people in the world who study TKD, Judo, ninjutsu or whatever for a couple years and then run off to start their own art... compare that guy to O'Sensei?

What a joke.

You have only to look and listen to O'Sensei's direct students to know that M. Ushiba knew what he was doing.

You have only to watch the video footage that does exist to know he knew what he was doing.

You have only to actually READ the biographical information on O'Sensei to know that these upstarts in the world are a joke compared to The Man.

Who are we to think that after five or even 10 years in any or varied martial arts... to think that we can then run off and start our own organization and be taken seriously? Even Stephen Hayes was in the military as well as a serious student of a Grand Master for well over 10 (I don't know exactlly) years before even considering starting his own study and organization. He is FAR more qualified than 99% of the jokers out in the world and even HE catches a lot of hell and isn't taken seriously by many. S. Hayes is worthy of resepect. You might not like him or care for what he teaches ...More Read More
Views: 435

In General 2005: A Year for Improvement Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #8 New 12-18-2004 09:42 AM
Well, I was up till midnight last night working around the new apartment, hanging pictures and things. My wife and I moved in back in November and we're still getting settled in.

I've missed a lot of aikido classes for this reason, among others, but I'm determined that that is going to have to change with the new year.

Resolutions almost always have a way of never working out, but this year that can not be allowed:

1) I need to lose weight. Anyone watching that "Biggest Loser" show? Dang... I'm so tall, I hide my over-weight-ness very well, but I do need to drop some weight. The lightest and healthiest I have ever been was in California when I weighed apx. 200lbs. I'm 6'2" by the way, so that was pretty damn skinny for me. Dunno if I'll shoot for 200, but 210 would be nice and is a far cry from the 250 I'm at now. Over a year ago, I was 285 and had NO idea how bad that was. I dropped some weight for my wedding in March 2004, and when I went back and looked at video of tests and such... and saw what 285 looked like, I was in total shock. I STILL look huge compared to class mates. I put one guy in a bearhug during a jiyuwaza and it look like someone just threw a sheet over the poor guy. Thank God he had good technique or I might have crushed him! LOL

2) Get to class ON TIME and on a REGULAR basis. Being late has become a problem with many class mates, including me. Back when I first started, I always beat Sensei to the dojo. Now I'm lucky to make it for bow-in. Not ...More Read More
Views: 468

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