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It was an interesting class. I was Ok on the order of things in the 13 count Kata. The rest of the stuff seemed really off today. I have no idea of the names of everything in the weapons class. We did something that seemed to be all the possible moves again. This was interesting. I did better than last time, as I stood there looking at everyone else less, I think so at least.
There was an interesting mental lesson today. That confidence made a big difference in practice. If one of the people in a pair was confident, it made the other more confident, even if one were somewhat unsure. They would work out the right answer together if one of them was confident. If both were less than confident in what they were doing, then both would stop even when one of them knew what was going on. There are some lessons here that are a good take away to some of the other things that are going on in my life.
I think that I need to spend some time outside the dojo practicing some of the weapons stuff. Something else to get into the schedule. I think I can fit it in though, and I am beginning to see how it applies to the rest of my Aikido practice in regards especially to foot work, which seems to be my challenge.
One of the interesting parts of the training was when I was training with Vaughn, who for some reason has an intimidation factor for me. ( I have noticed that others don't so much have the same issue with him.) I mentioned this in a way at the circ
In The Dark!
Power went out 5 minutes into the class. We carried on in the dark with a lot of candles being lit around the dojo. It was really neat. There was a whole different set of senses that were brought into play while doing Aikido this way.
We did Gykute Dori Kote Gaeshi. It was really fun. I learned a lot more about Gykute Dori Kote Gaeshi tonight, there was more of a focus on what the Uke's wrist felt like in the pin with the decreased focus on seeing the ukes wrists etc.
The class went by really quickly. It was very different. Most people seemed to like it.
Bought another Gi today. Washing the old one twice in some days was getting a little much.
What a Work out. GUY takes a BIG FALL!
We worked on three on old techniques, and previously studied techniques, and one new technique. The old ones were Gyakute dori Tenchi Nage? Gykute Dori Kote Gaeshi, and another one that I can't recall. Then we learned a new one, which involved Nages Arm under Ukes Arm Close to Ukes body, and a toss of the Uke forward…. This is a neat one, but I had a hard time with the footwork on it. Sensei came over to show us how to do it better. I was in the non rolling group, Sensei must have decided that I was being shy, he gave me a big throw….(Well it felt like one!). I was a little spooked for a second, then rolled perfectly back to my feet when I hit the mat. It was magic! And so so so smooth. That is the thing that I have noticed the last few times that I have been Uke for Sensei, the flow and smoothness is unbelievable…
We worked a lot on flow and footwork today, it was a lot of movement, and my Partners all seemed to be going at light speed. It was interesting. I kept up but was sure winded several times.
Lots of sweat. I don't understand how people can not get a workout doing this.
The new move, which I have got to get the name for seemed impossible on the footwork for me.
Went to evening practice. There were about 6 or so of us there, Sensei was absent, so Victor took over the class. It was a little different, but mostly the same as if Sensei had been there. The teaching was good, and the people the same. The atmosphere was only slightly less relaxed, as one would expect when the senior students were running the dojo. I was worried at first, as the only other dojo that I had been to where the sempei were teaching did not feel that good. Ours felt good, there was still laughter, and a lot of good feeling in the building.
We did Morote Dori Kokyu Nage. Victor had us work only on the hand part for a little while, and I sure learned a lot this way! It was amazing. When I focused on only the hand part, I could see easily where I needed to apply some more concentration, and learned quicker on what I was missing on the hands. I wonder if I practiced just the feet a little if that would help too. SPIRALS!
Then we did Waza (IS this the right word? Or is it Jiyu Waza?)!!!! Wow that was really cool!!!! This was for a lack of a better phrase staged reality training. I paired up with Don, and did my best to pop him one a couple of times. It was cool, as it did not of course connect with him. Ok I did hold back a little, but not much. You gotta worry about popping people when you weigh in at 250 lbs…. Even if you do think you are not going to connect. Then Don grabbed me a few times. He did attacks that I had been introduced to the defens
Went to sticks practice again. We did all the motions that one does in sticks. There were a LOT of them. It was amazing. There were a lot that I did not get. I can see where sticks would help with distance, and with knowing where your center and energy are going. The end of my stick wobbles around a lot!
We then did the 31 count Kata, and a practice with a partner in which we added a lot of movements together. It was cool, but I can't say that I am of a sufficient level to get anything other than the fact that my stick wobbles a lot more than everyone else's out of it.
Worked on Morote dori Kokyu nage for the entire class. It was interesting. I like it, but it is very complex for me. I got to be both uke and nage with sensei, and that was cool. Intersting notes: drop elbow, shoulder, and spirt for leverage, don't drop your hand. This is hard to focus on. Also face your opponent well, and make sure that you get your homi (foot position) pointed at them. The first step in toward them should put your foot at a 90 degree angle to their foot, like in good Tai No Henko. This is key, otherwise, they can kick you in the groin (As sensei lightly did to me! Still an eye wide opener when I felt it! No pain, just the notice that he could do that!)
The other thing that sensei pointed out is that the more "weak" the position of the Nage in the start of this technique, that is the more that the Nage's thumb is down, and the shoulder raised by Uke, the better position that the Nage is in to do the spiral, the more rotational room the Nage has to work with to get Uke off balance. So that the very thing that seems to put the Nage at a disadvantage is actually nage's greatest advantage in this situation. Sensei related this to life, and how when we think that we are the most weak it is because often we have failed to see the positioning, and assets in light of their power. This strongly relates to some other work that I am doing right now, which is not directly Aikido related.
I don't understand those people that say that Aikido is not a work out. I s
We did a little of Ryote Dori Tenchi Nage (Both Wrist Grab heaven and earth throw.) Then we went on to Morote dori Kokyu nage?
This technique seems so easy, but the more I practiced it, the more that it escaped me. Working with a variety of people on it. When I was working with Victor, it was interesting that instead of his normal just stopping when I did something, he pointed out more of the things that I was doing wrong, and said "This is a really tough one, you will get it eventually." It was interesting to try and use my elbow to take away ukes center. The whole thing was probably the easiest looking throw I have seen so far, but seems to be the hardest I have attempted.
We pared up a little later to work on whatever we thought that we needed to work on. I learned how to Katate dori Shiho Nage- Oomote and ura. This is really cool! Sensei came by and corrected me and my partners several times, and I got to feel it as uke done by sensei. Pretty interesting stuff when it flows. I like this one a lot. It seemed a lot easier after Morote dori Kokyu Nage. That could be because it was my first time doing it though. They always seem easy the first time, before you figure out that you need to change everything a little or a lot…. Sensei talked about the relation to the technique empty handed, and the technique or using a boken or jo. This was very interesting, and I immediately saw the similarities between the two motions and hand positions.
Tai No Henko (What in the heck does this one mean?), Ryote Dori Tenchi Nage, (Both Wrist Grab, Heaven and Earth Throw) Kokyu Dosa (Breath Exercise). With my new found knowledge of what there was to be gained out of working with other beginners, I found that I like the beginner class better than I have before. I didn't spring for a Yudansha immediately every time we changed partners. This eliminated a lot of stress from my training tonight. I wasn't worried that they would all be "taken" before I bowed to one of them. Although I was picked by both Roy and Don at points throughout the evening. It is neat to have one of the higher belts pick you to train with. Roy pointed out the slightest variations in how I used my earth hand in heaven and earth throw made a huge difference. Sensei talked about starting the move and the turn before your uke connected, so that you had flow, if you wait till they are connected, then there is a stop in the energy and the flow. I worked with one of the other beginners and realized how if they made mistakes that I knew about (Note, I think that I make mistakes every time, I just don't know about them yet. The ones that I do know about I still make every time I do a technique only those I am working on eliminating the ones I am ignorant of are a store against boredom in the future! ;-) ) I learned a lot in thinking this way, and feeling what it was like to be uke for another beginner.
Worked on Tai No Henko, Royte Dori Tenchi Nage (Both Wrist Grab, Heaven and Earth Throw) and Shomen Uchi Irimi Nage (Strike to the head with open bladed hand, Entering Throw.), then Sensei showed us Katate Dori Irimi Nage(?). (Uke Grabs wrists with both hands, you slide forward foot to theirs, then slide up back foot, while brining hand up, this puts the uke off balance, you slide forward foot forward again, and uke falls over). It was the first move that I felt like I understood and got a little piece of the first time I tried it.
I could not figure out what was happening with my rearmost hand, Sensei came over and had me do the technique on him several times, each time stopping at a place and showing me how he could strike me, until I worked out how both hands should be to stop that from happening. It was really neat!
After class I was talking with Rick and Julia about how much easier it was to work in the morning class, and the late evening class, than it was to work in the beginners class. Julia pointed out that most things that require two people are easier when one person knows them well. Then she pointed out that there was real knowledge to be gained in working with beginners (which I am still one!). Beginners not knowing what is going on are not going to be fluid, and go with the moves as well. They actions are more like what it would really be like on the streets. This gave me an insight into why the senior folks in the dojo like train
Ryote Dori Tenchi Nage. This class was a little frustrating for me. Seems that I spent most of it with Ukes that would not connect, or would not stay connected to me. One partner kept letting go half way through the technique and falling over….. I started wondering about this, until I worked with one of the Yudansha that connected well. I try really hard when I am a Uke to connect well and follow with the technique. I can't say what it feels like to other people, but I hope that I help the Nage learn…I know that when I connect well with someone that knows the technique well, I learn from being the uke! When someone does it not as well, I learn from that to. Like people that have a light earth hand in this technique, if they move it by 1/2 and inch it takes my balance away a lot better, smoother, etc.
Do the people that do not make a good connection as a Uke, want you to not make a strong connection to them when they are Nage? Should I be lighter in my connection to them when they are lighter in connection to me?
I like partnering up with some of the higher belts, they seem for the most part to connect really well. This could be a learning issue, and that we will all get better the longer we are doing it?
I have noticed that I find several of the people particularly intimidating on the mat. I have noticed that when I am intimidated, my skill level plummets. Need to be more in the moment when working with these people. I think that there is some