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The UK is currently experiencing a heatwave, and Sensei is amazed that so many of us have shown up at class
Fortunately we work on joint locks tonight instead of projections, Sensei making the point that taisabaki is the driver and the technique application can be varied easily
One of our ungraded students earned the nickname 'Crusher' from me, after several vice-like crushings to my thumb joints and fingers during the course of ikkyo application. His enthusiasm is commendable, but I pointed out (and physically demonstrated) to him the difference between control and crushing with strength. He hadn't quite grasped that using all of his muscle strength is not the way in Aiki. I will attempt to convince him that he will live to fight longer if he learns to apply techniques in a more relaxed way, using the strength of his centre, and kokyu to power techniques
Later, during the discussion in the pub, Sensei and I answered a question from this student about the relative ability of graded students to 'take' throws.. He was under the impression that anybody wearing a black belt was fair game and could take whatever was thrown at them I immediately used myself as an example of why this assumption could not be made, and also another yudansha who sufferes severe knee problems. Sensei said that communication is the key - you ask if you're not sure what the other student can do and he doesn't volunteer that information This also
Due to being away for archery next Friday, I decided to go to the Tuesday class this week so I can at least stick to my goal of 1 class per week
Having shaken the nerves from before class 1, this time I was better able to think about what I was doing during the class
We worked on a version of ikkyo where tori moves his hindmost leg about 45 degrees sideways, while dropping his centre (and uke!) straight down. Uke tends to land with a bit of an ooooof!! but the technique is very effective
I'd rushed out late and forgotten my waepons bag but Ivor Sensei loaned me his spare bokken for the 7 suburi. It is a very light bokken so it didn't hurt, and we all got to count from 1 to 10 in Japanese, which was still in the memory bank somewhere
Finally I had my best moment in suwari-waza koyku-ho, at the end of class. I was tired, my arms were feeling the suburi, and my partner was a strong guy... but I relaxed my arms more and more and let my breath power the movement...
My return to Aikido was an important day for me. Having got myself somewhat unfit over the last 2 years (archery is great, but it isn't aerobic exercise ) I wasn't sure I'd survive a 2 hour Aikido class...
Fortunately, my body remembered what to do I actually surprised myself at how much ukemi I could still take My technique as tori wasn't the best, and I kept falling over my hakama (didn't tie it on tight enough ) but I thoroughly enjoyed myself, worked with some great partners, and best of all managed to train throughout the whole class
Next morning I was aching so much I could scarcely stagger around, and this feeling didn't wear off until Monday
Ho hum. My goal for the next class is to ache for only 1 day afterwards...
Having been missing Aikido for a very long time, I finally plucked up the courage to do something about it My boss Ali (who I originally introduced to this wonderful art ) was guest teaching a class at a nearby dojo, run by one of my good Aikido friends. Ok, I'll go along and watch, take a few photos, then when class is over I'll see if I can still roll...
Training ceased for me in October 2006 following a rear-end shunt on my car by an idiot who thought I'd moved on from the T-junction before I had. My lower back and tailbone were damaged, and I thought that was the end - I could no longer be thrown
Watching the class was fun, but I had to force myself to get on the mat and try to roll - I could so easily have chickened out - but I am no coward and made myself do it. A few gentle forward rolls, then a couple of backward rolls, and hey - I can still do it
Afterwards in the pub, Ivor Sensei who runs the club told me I'd be very welcome to come back, and that everybody would respect that I cannot be thrown in certain ways. This was great news!