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Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > AikiWeb AikiBlogs > Seeking Zanshin: Blood, Sweat, Tears & Aikikai

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Seeking Zanshin: Blood, Sweat, Tears & Aikikai Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 02-24-2005 10:53 PM
One small gal + a dojo full of big guys = tons o' fun
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 272 (Private: 12)
Comments: 195
Views: 542,813

In General New Year's Day Shugyo 2007 Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #221 You are subscribed to this entry  New 01-02-2007 11:59 AM
I'd like to say that I miss writing in this journal, but I don't. "Less chatter, more splatter," --- as one of the guys has said --- pretty well sums up my year. I'd like to think I'm all the better for it. Some people seem to have more words than days of practice under their belts...thankfully, I'm not one of them. You'll soon see why. For this also sums up last night's annual Shugyo.

It's been almost a month now without a single post-concussive symptom (aside from the time we did a warmup with very small, tight rolls) and I'm back to regular ukemi. It's absolutely heavenly. Only very rarely now will fast pivoting make me dizzy. Just in time, it would seem.

Last night was poorly attended, and I'm rather disappointed. I know Sensei was. One other senior student was conspiciously absent from what is considered an important dojo tradition and an experience that one gets only very rarely in this day and age. Thankfully, Jeremy, Garry (after having to deal with a flat tire), Matt and Jarod were able to make it...I wish more folks were.

The challenge was to (with no talking or pausing for breaks or adjustments) continually throw and take ukemi for at least an hour (for me and others who started early, it was an an hour and 15 minutes) without stopping, switching roles every 5 minutes and techniques every 20. The techniques were three different kinds of Kokyunage, and it became apparent right away how important it was to continually apply the five fundamental ...More Read More
Views: 1173

In General Another Slow Progression Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #220 New 11-29-2006 09:31 AM
...at least that's what it feels like. Well, it must be six or seven weeks post-concussion now and in spite of the occasional momentary wave of nausea (which will often overcome me at rather inconvenient times, such as mid-conversation with others :-S ) things are very slowly getting back to normal. Or that's what I'm telling myself. The guys on the forums here weren't kidding about feeling tired. It's like I'm just now getting my energy back. And still, I have to pace myself.

I've started doing half the ukemi drills again (10 out of the 20 of each kind) and have finally been incorporating the occasional breakfall (say, one out of every 4 reps). Despite my classmates' concerns, it's not so much impact that is making me feel ill nowadays --- it's pivoting. I'll start doing a quick bout of tenkans in a technique or as a result of taking fast ukemi for Sensei and this hazy kind of dizziness will begin; at which point, I'll take a moment to rest or continue practicing slowly.

On the breathing front, my Asthma has greatly improved (or should I say, diminished?) since we picked up a HEPA air filter for the bedroom; I'm no longer wheezing in my sleep, and my peak flow readings have been consistently closer to my personal best (averaging 360-400 these days) than they've ever been. It's been weeks since I've had to use my inhaler. Thank God.

I've been keeping a Daily Training Log these days as well, keeping tabs on not only my peak flow, daily nutrition (meals and ...More Read More
Views: 732

In General It REALLY Sucks to Be Me Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #219 New 11-08-2006 06:45 PM
We're not going to the seminar. I'm just not well enough yet to be taking falls. (Even if we were, we have no means of transport out there, it turns out). And it's practically unheard of in our circle of practitioners to go to a seminar and not take ukemi. Which is fine by me. I'd rather not go out at all than get there and not be able to perform well. C'est la vie, I guess. Happy now, brain? I hope so.
Views: 1254 | Comments: 6

In General Cross Your Fingers... Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #218 New 11-06-2006 09:29 AM
The Saskatoon seminar with Kawahara Shihan ETA is five days. Here's hoping I can make it through the 6 hour drive nausea-free (what more the seminar itself...)
Views: 914 | Comments: 2

In General Sucks to be Me Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #217 New 11-02-2006 11:26 AM

Well, Happy Halloween to me. I can't tell you how much this sucks. After spending a nauseous, dizzy afternoon at work doing barely anything to provoke it, I'm here "on the bag" again, wishing that movement (or even just sitting here) wouldn't make me feel sick.

I'm watching everyone go through the ukemi drills, missing it badly --- I'm also trying very hard to hide a smile at seeing folks try desparately to keep up with Jeremy's "faster" paced set that I know doesn't challenge him (baby steps for beginners and all) and realize that I miss the *really* fast ukemi we've done before; where there's hardly a moment's pause in between rolls, if any.

Of course, this also leaves the Suwari Waza demo ukemi to poor Garry again, due to Jeremy's bad knee and my shaken noggin'...that is, until it comes to the shoulder osae --- at which point, Jeremy must step in). I can't help but chuckle a little about it. I swear, between the three of us, we might actually make one complete and uninjured person to take ukemi right now. And we shall name him...FrankenUke.

It's a shame that even laughing to myself here makes me want to puke. I've been taking it (well, comparatively) easy since a brief, yet triumphant return (well, it was for me) to the mats on Thursday upon my (very welcome, yet short-lived) discovery that I wasn't feeling any of the post-concussive symptoms. They were doing a very slow 13-step jo kata after all, and I figured, what's the harm? You should hav ...More Read More
Views: 938 | Comments: 2

In General Control Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #216 New 10-23-2006 02:22 PM

As I watch Sensei, Garry and Jim work on paired sensitivity exchanges, I'm led to ponder just how misleading the idea of control can be in Aikido. It seems that in the process of wishing to regain control of situations that seem beyond it (ie. being attacked), our natural responses to it (ie. struggling) ultimately only result in our allowing our attacker to have control over our body --- they end up leading our aggression instead of it being the other way around.

It must be extremely counterintuitive to some --- like feeling as though by blending and not struggling, one is giving up their control somehow; whereas it is in fact the converse that is true. It is as though by "letting go" of our attackers (in the sense of allowing them to continue along the same aggressive movement as they intended), we are in turn letting go of our own ego and aggression. Very counterintuitive indeed. This in mind, it's no wonder that so many people have difficulty with it.
Views: 851

One of your Favorites! In General The Wonderful Irony of Aikido Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #215 New 10-23-2006 02:16 PM
More Thoughts from "On the Bag"...10.20.06

Gosh, I love Aikido. I swear, the more I do this art, the more fascinated I become by it. When I consider the "give and take" exchanges we often practice, I cannot help but see the significance in how blurred the line between attacker and defender become.

We have spent so much of the past year (particularly the Summer) interchangeably going between these kind of exchanges and ones in which there are a distinct uke and nage as well as many more blending/sensitivity excercises (ie. Sticky Hands, Blindfolded Randori, push/pull exchanges). So much so that more often than not now, I find my body automatically responding with blending and deflecting actions, even when I am assigned the role of uke.

I can't help but smile at the thought of how this art manages to refine you even when you least expect it. What more for the aggressive individual who starts off hoping to use their learning of the "tricks" of Aikido to defeat others --- only to find that over time, by way of merely performing the movements and their fundamental principles, his own aggression has been "tricked", conditioned into submission instead! What wonderful irony!

Even the principles of good ukemi --- seemingly designed for self-preservation --- can condition one's body over time to blend and absorb incoming force, if you let it (the operative words here). You can thank the human body's muscle memory for that...the words "intelligent design" always come ...More Read More
Views: 11676

In General The Etiology of Pain Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #214 New 10-20-2006 07:44 AM
So it looks like I'll be "sitting on the bag" for a little bit. A dubious honour, I know, but I just received my first concussion (albeit a mild one) during last Saturday's class. I guess this makes me a serious martial artist now.

I suppose I could just blame gravity. Taking a fall in close-quarters from a fast leg sweep, when it came down to My Head VS Garry's Bony Shin, Garry's Bony Shin won. Thankfully, it wasn't too bad (relatively speaking) --- I didn't get knocked unconscious, after all.

So here I sit, trying not to feel so dizzy and nauseous, helping out with the Beginner's Class and watching poor Garry have to take ukemi for Sensei in my place all week during the Regular Class. I'm sure he must be as pleased as punch now that at least Sascha can take some of that...pleasure from him.

Hopefully these symptoms go away soon so that I can get back to my life --- granted, they may not be as bad now as they were a few days ago, but for lack of a better way of describing it: it just plain sucks. I'm getting motion sickness from a bleedin' elevator ride and a 5 minute drive, for crying out loud --- what more were I to tenkan a lot or do ukemi right now. It just plain sucks.

But it's a head injury (read: medically-speaking, a Very Big Deal) and heck, I happen to like my brain, thank-you very much. Contrary to what others might believe, it rather comes in handy. So as soon as these nasty post-concussive symptoms disappear, it'll be a gradual pro ...More Read More
Views: 890

In General Transitions Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #212 New 09-20-2006 09:29 AM
Well, Fall is here again and with it, change. For one, the dynamic in the dojo is in a very positive state of flux demographically-speaking --- not only is Jim back in town from Ontario (pleasantly surprising us all last night), but started on the mats again just as two young sisters (approx. 8 and 13) had their first beginner's class. They both seem eager to learn (the younger girl being pretty enthusiastic and the older sister a little more serious/intense) --- I took them through the basic ukemi rocking motion and Shikko before we practiced some Tae No Henka and beginner's Randori (simply getting out of the way of Tsuki attacks). Considering it was their very first class, the girls seem like really quick studies --- I hope they stick it out...I think we've also broken a dojo record: we've never had this many females practicing on the mats before! Needless to say, I'm rather excited about it. :-D

Test preparations have started again, and I'm gearing up to test for Ikkyu in a year. It's still tough to believe how time has flown by...I'll have to go into some detail on my own conditioning, "study" and practice preparations in my next post --- got to get back to work now. :-P
Views: 786

In General A New Aikidoka? Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #210 New 07-11-2006 04:01 PM
How could I forget --- *clears throat* IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!
On Canada Day at approximately 10:30PM, Andrew's wife gave birth to a baby girl named Ruby Addison (sp?)! So he'll be on hiatus for about a month but maybe one day, years down the line, we'll have another female practitioner in the dojo. Of course, that's if her dad sells it to her right. ;-)
Views: 780

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