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Weapons! Wow more people and stick involved. Again Sensei says that my attacks are not at all real, and that I am almost always too far from my partner or too close! Weapons seems to elude me more than anything. We did the 10th kumi jo. I did eventually get the step into the attacker person on when I was the Uke Jo. Although the throw part I think I was too timid in. A Good sticks class, as no one got bonked by me!
I dont' feel very graceful or confident with the Jo, I worry about bonking people more than I worry about the technique, and I guess that is what comes out.
Missed the morning class, as some business called, but made it up by going to both evening classes. We worked on Yokaman Shiho Nage, in the basics class, and Yokoman Sankyo in the second class. It was a lot of fun. My sankyo definitely has problems with the foot work.
I finally felt that I got the drop back energy at the end of class.
What an interesting class. We worked on Nikkyo. I for the entire hour and a half with Victor, I got some of it, still not quite to the I move in the right direction mode with it yet. Sensie described the waves of motion to us, while demonstrating. Most people don't take their uke low enough, so that the nikkyo becomes a contest of strength, go lower, use your forearm to control the ukes arm, then do the hand grab, then start up, as the Uke comes up, use your back leg and go down, the force is much greater, and the position much better. At the end make sure you give the Uke room to go into as you bring them down to the mat.
Sensei also showed us the reversal for the technique, it was interesting as it brought out the idea of control of a situation. Who really has it, most of it is thought, and making sure that you are doing, not waiting for an opening.
This tied in somehow with always looking at your opponent, being ready always.
The Uke should try to come around to face the Nage, so that they can grab the forward leg and push the Nage over, the Nage should do their best to not allow the Uke into this position.
There was a glimpse into something bigger and more spiritual in here, I intuited and understood some of it, but not enough to get it into a concrete series of thoughts. Probably partially working with my body which I am sure has a lot of stored in it, and partially being in the space where working on this stuff is not only Ok but expected to be wo
Arrived half an hour early for morning class this morning because I was screwed up on time. Turned out excellent, got the perfect parking space, and had time to practice the 8th Kumi Jo with Julia before the class started.
In the morning class we worked on Sankyo. It was a lot of fun…I started getting it more or less, not anything close to mastery, but up from clueless. Sensie asked the whole class if they had any questions, I asked how it was that you pushed or pulled the uke down at the end of the move. He then called me up and demonstrated on me!!! Wow the first time that I have gotten to be a crash test dummy in class in front of everyone. Sensie uses a rolling down of the shoulder to get the uke to the mat, kind of like the throttle on a motorcycle. It is amazingly effective! A lot more than I would have though, no pushing, no pulling just some little spiraling and twisting, and you go down powerfully but oh so gently.
Then I was working with Nikky on a variety of stuff, some Sankyo and then Juwi Wazza. I noticed that she was always looking in my eyes no matter where we were in the technique. She then asked me as I was working with Julia, (we were a group of three), if I had lost track of Julia. (I had!). She said make sure you watch your uke all the time! It was wild when I started! Changed the whole idea of Marshal for me. It was really wild. Much better connection to my Uke, and I have started to look at the Nage the whole time that
Weapons class. Today we did the 7th both versions, and the 8th….Of what you may ask…Good question, it went by too quick, and it was so radically new, that I was focused on the techniques and not the name. 9 I asksed on 6/3 and was told that these were the Kumi Jo's) The 8th involved using the jo to Nikkyo your partner! Wow this was new! And in the 7th you pushed your partner back with your stick on their elbows while they were mid strike! This was really different. The Goal of the 7th was to irimi naged your partner with your stick! Wow!
I went really slow, and was corrected on how to hold my jo again…Wish that I could get something down in sticks so that it flowed a little more. It makes me feel like such a lumbering clutz! Sensei pointed out again that my stick attacks are not near the person even, let alone on target. I am afraid of whacking someone…He joked and said that I should not be the one that is afraid, that he was the one that knew what he was doing, and that if anyone got whacked it would be him….It didn't help….
Then Sensei rolled out of the throw in the 8th, and WOW it was like watching something out of an action movie, a complete forward roll while holding a stick, then he was just standing there with his stick again! He did it a couple of times, it still was like magic! I can't get my rolls to feel good all the time, and here he was just a natural as could be with a roll out HOLDING A BIG STICK!
If I don't quit, and don't die, and practice
Working in the basics class on Nikkyo wow, this seemed a lot harder to me than the Sankyo this morning. I didn't get anything that felt right in this. Working with Doug I was never really sure if I managed to get the Nyko part right. The footwork setup, and the fact that Nyko only works if your partner comes around the corner in a dedicated attack were learned by me late in the class. Things made a little more sense then, but not what I would call cognitive connection. Setting up a base for Nikkyo that takes the energy of the earth through your back foot and into the Wrist of your Uke while making perfect sense seemed to be slightly beyond me….
Back on the mat!
Due to some personal responsibilities outside the Dojo, I was only able to get back on the mat for the first time after my test, today. It was good to be on the mat again.
We worked on Shoman Uchi Sankyo omote this morning, it was really interesting. Working with Rick who's Ukemi is close to heavenly. We worked on it in class with lots of instruction by Sensei. It felt a lot like the first day that I started Aikido all over again. I had no idea what in the heck I was doing on this technique, ok so some of the footwork was a tiny bit familiar, however I tended to head off in the wrong side for the operation of the technique. Ura when we were working on Ommote today, and with the wrong hand for connection. I am sure that you could make this work if you were a little more knowledgeable than I am, but I would just get befuddled and have to start over again.
We also worked on Tai Sabiki (sp?). This was really neat, the idea was to make contact and take some of Ukes balance away as they were either directed off of your path, or you got out of theirs. Sensie also stressed that the start was not sideways like a lot of us were starting but the same start as in Tai No Henko. This was good to learn. It did make more sense.
The pattern of semi-proficiency, to absolute clueless is a new one to me in a lot of ways. I felt like I had made some progress in passing my 5th kyu test, however today, I felt like I didn't know anything again. This felt invigo
Had my test this morning, passed it, now I am a ranked Aikidoka. I have a little color in my outfit. The test was a bit stressful, but during most of it, the only people in existance were Rick and I, the rest of the world dissapeared. I think this is "being in the moment".
It went well, the only things were that I seemed to step on Ricks foot once, and my right Backroll was the worst that I have done in a long long time.
The test was a strange time warp. It feels good to have it over though. Several people have already started talking about having me test for 4th kyu next go around.... Seems early to start thinking about it for me, but the sempies do seem to give good advice.
Linda started working with me on stuff for 4th Kyu right after the first tests in the evening!
Candice tested this morning and made second kyu. Then tonight Don testesd for Second Kyu it was a lot of fun to watch.
So now that I have reaced 5th Kyu, I have logged the journey from starting to look for a Dojo through first belt. Something that I had found no information on when I went looking for it. Knowing that everyone's journey is different, has this journal helped anyone else? Feedback would be appriciated.
Practiced for the test with Rick, then with Pat and one other unranked person for quite a while. It was interesting, and really shed some light on the fact that this is an art, and not a complete science. Different people require different things in a technique not only because of physical differences, but because of emotional, and energetic differences as well.
When working with the other unranked people I am very gentle, and very slow. This is interesting, it points out to me the huge holes that are in my techniques. Also the lack of flow with people that are nervous about what is going to happen next is hard to overcome. Part of this is that I am not all that good at the techniques, even after practicing them for months and months, so there are places that I am "DOING" the technique to the person, instaead of flowing our energies together. As a matter of fact the times that I flow are really rare, and always catch me off guard, I have asked several of the sempies after one of these events have happened "Did you do that or did I?" They always smile back big, rarely say anything back.
A bit distracted, but worked with a variety of people, including Pat who is also going for his 5th Kyu test. It was interesting. It is so much easier to work with the Sempies, they almost do the work of the Nage for you when they are your uke. The issue is of course that if it is to be an effective physical self defense practice, then we must have it be effective against people that are like the beginers, stiff, harder to lead in the technique, and requiring more precise timeing.