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We worked more on Ryote Dori Tenchi Nage (Both Wrist Grab, Heaven and Earth Throw). It was good, we did it with both the two step, and the single big step in again, like Tai No Henko. We have spent a lot of time on this technique. (I more so because I have been in two classes a day when possible. Something that most people do not seem to do.) It still plum evades me sometimes. It seems like it should be getting better after all these practices, but I am not sure. My feet seem to be my biggest problems. I stop and think about them all the time. If I don't they seem to stay in one place, stuck to the mat, and everything goes awry.
I started Aikido on the 15th of January, meaning I have been at this only 11 actual training days. Feels more like three years, in a good way. There is a lot to learn. Watching some of the Yudansha I can see that they are still learning a lot!
In Kokyu Dosa I was paired with a new partner that did some kind of a spiral thing that was amazing….Still didn't get how that worked, and have never seen it before!
One interesting thing that happened in the morning class was that Sensei was showing us the similarities between Royte Dori Tenchi Nage, and Shomen Uchi Irimi Nage (Strike to the head with open bladed hand, Entering Throw.) I has seen a debate on the web about what to grab when doing this. Some felt the neck, some the head, others the gi. Sensei showed us with the gi grab. I worked with one of the Yudansha that learned at another
We have been working on this all week. It is a really tough technique for me. Timing, patients, flow, balance, footwork, hands changing positions, feels like this has one of everything in it. Sensei had us doing 6 versions of it Two Step Version, one Step Version, 10 degrees, 90 degrees, and 180 degree version, he was trying to get us not to think about it, to just flow with it, do what felt right both as Nage and Uke.
This ended up being funny because at one point I didn't pick a technique, my partner Bob, a Yadansha, flowed into my outstretched hands, and ran right smack into me.
It was amazing! We both laughed. Sensei came over and pointed out that when you had your hands out it meant that you knew what you wanted to do, and were ready. He said it was a good idea to pick a technique BEFORE you stuck your hands out.
Working with Bob was neat, as I got to work on the being in center and removing? Taking? the center of your Uke. Bob is really good at this, sensei even better, now that I know what I am feeling.
Twice during the class I got to be Uke to sensei when he was showing something to my partner and I. This is really neat. At first I was a little spooked, but then let go and trusted him.
Observation, when you get good at this Aikido stuff, even if your uke does not know what to do, when you do the technique well, the uke will go where they are supposed to because they have to. Flow. Flow Flow.
Worst Class yet, but I still learned a lot.
My allergies kicked in half way through class, and I sneezed about 200 times.
Sensei came over and was helping us get where we were supposed to be on the mat so that we did not throw into the middle. I was listening, and thinking and pointing, and he thought I was correcting him. (Which I wouldn't think of doing..) So he told me that we never disagree with a Sempi.
Later when I was working with one of the black belts, he came by and was helping the black belt with some footwork, and he said; "That will also help your uke with his Ukemi". I then said; "and I can use it, my ukemi sucks". Sensei let go of the Yodansha and came over and looked at me. "We do not make negative judgment statements about others in the dojo, nor about ourselves". I withered under his gaze, and said; "Thank you sensei."
Then I was working with another white belt. (My first time ever doing that), I thought that we were doing ok. Trying to get the whole Tenshi Nage thing down was really hard along with the foot work. I was also trying to stay centered, drop my center, lead with my earth hand, stretch my heaven hand up, figure out when you earth hand became miraculously in back of the uke, etc. Sensei came over, and said; "Blanco and Blanco, white and white, less throw, more flow." I think I was playing too rough.
Wait it gets worse:
In the circle at the end of class, Bob one of the Yodansha had said that he was having a really hard t
Went to Weapons class for the first time today. If the first time I went to Aikido was like going to a dance class with two left feet, then weapons class was like going to a tap dance class with no rythm, and two left feet.
It was interesting, but I am not sure that I got anything out of it.
Went to two classes today. Both of them were much more traditional in format. Not with the silence, you have to steal the moves idea, but a demonstration of a technique, and the practice of that technique for the entire class. This was new to me, but very good, I don't think I would have done as well with this in the beginning. Two weeks of being able to work on some techniques in every class helped me acclimatize nicely to the concepts in the Dojo. The timing was right for me, like that magic that has been every instant that I have been in Aikido so far, perfection of the moment is amazing.
We did heaven and earth throws Morote Dori Tenchi Nage . We worked on Tai No Henko. We worked on Koku Dosa. For the first time I think I get part of the idea behind Tai No Henko not all of it mind you but part of it. If I connect to the Nage I don't have to guess at which way to go, I feel it. The Morote Dori Tenchi Nage seems so far beyond my grasp, I can't Uke for it very well even. I sand wondering where everyone's feet are supposed to be, while my Nage patiently looks at me. And AGAIN states; "You have to move for this to work". My fear? of my own feet occasionally nailing me to the spot. The idea that I have come to like these people around me; "I don't want to look a complete idiot" occasionally filling my head. Yet I know better, this is about being a beginner, about being in the moment. Think about looking the idiot and you guarantee it. Be in the moment, and no matte
On Saturday I went to the Dojo, got suited up, warmed up, and then we watched 2 5th Kyu a 4th kyu, and two 1st kyu tests. It was very interesting. I have been feeling lately, that every time I think I am learning one of the techniques that it completely changes again.
In watching the tests, I could see that there were some parts that seemed very similar to what I was doing, even at the more advanced levels. Does this mean that it might get easier to learn as I go along???
No pulling or pushing seems to be necessary, it is all forms of spirals, and getting everything over your center...Or it could be something else totaly...
WOW, Peter had his 4th Kyu test tonight it was interesting to watch. I learned a lot about testing, about rank and the like. Sensei stated that it was not so much that he got everything correct, but that he showed the signs of mastery. He went on to explain that Peter learned from his mistakes during the test, and continued in spite of them. Looking on with my Japanese handicap it never looked like anything was wrong. He completed a move when one was called for. The one that was called for was a cross body strike, and he had done a same side of the body strike, the end was completely different, but it looked effective anyway. I suppose that other people knew what was wrong, but if Sensei hadn't called out other stance (he used the Japanese word of course), I would have never know what was up. He passed, it was good to see him relax afterward, he does seem to have been pretty nervous about it.
I had the opportunity to work with someone new tonight, a yudansha, whom I have never met. His name I am afraid slipped me completely. I learned that I had been doing the Gykute dori Ikkyo completely wrong not only with my feet, but my hands also. I am not supposed to grab the uke's wrist, until it is below my center. I had been grabbing it instead of making a blade out of my hand. It was hard to unlearn this. I also
I could still feel the effects of having overdone it on Tuesday. It was a good secession today. I received a lot of help from Sensei on my Tai no henko kihon. (The moving one??). I seem to have a lot of issues with this, and my norm seems to be to forget who's turn it is, and then to forget which way I am supposed to go, and run into them. While this has to add a certain comedy to those around me, it does make me feel awful. It seemed to go easier with Sensei, then again everything does when he works with me. It's like I get to do something on remote control, he has me grab him, then magic and he controls the major muscle groups of my body. (How does he do that?)
Later in the class, practicing with Linda, I was trying to understand what exactly it was that I should do when uke on Gykute dori ikkyo, standing there grabbing her wrist seemed to not be realistic, or helpful to her, I truth it seemed kind of lame. I asked her about this, and Sensei came over and explained to me that as we went through learning, I would become a better Uke, and then I could do more to help my partner. Later we would add motion to these moves, and even reverse them on our Nages if they left us room to do so. He felt I was doing well, and explained that part of working together required that the uke had to be able to safely take a fall, take the energy that was involved in the technique. I knew this, makes sense, I don't want to get hurt. It would happen, and we would work on it as we we
I decided to do three classes yesterday. Looking back on it, about 2.5 would have been a lot better. I was amazingly tired at the end of the day. My body could not figure out how to open the door to my house, and walk through it at the same time, so I managed to sit down on the stoop instead of coming in the door. M wife came out, looked at me, and asked if I had intended to sit there? Wow, what a workout was all that I could say in answer to her.
Doing everything wrong is strange, just about the time that I think that I have something down we change partners, and I end up with a different yudansha who explains everything in a different way, stresses a different part of the exercise, or has some slightly different hand position. Somehow I know that they are all correct, but my brain feels like it is going to explode!!!!
The most enlightening experience of the day was a long secession with Victor. He is probably the strongest person that I have ever met. Amazing. We worked on Gyakute dori Kote gaeshi. If I did something wrong in the middle of a technique, he would just stop. Bang, and then he would look at me, ask me what I was doing wrong, and wait for an answer. I worry that he may think I am severely retarded, I know I am starting to wonder myself! I think we got through maybe 3 complete repetitions of the same technique in over half an hour. We started god knows how many, and he would just stop in the middle at some point. Reasons I remember: I thought tha
Went to Open Training
I had no idea what that meant. Sensei explained it to me after I was the first one there and standing on the mat alone for about 15 minutes, wondering why he was not dressed in his gi. I didn't ask, but soon he came over, and explained that it was not a class per say but time for us to work on techniques with each other. Sensei was not involved, most of the people who showed up about 5 minutes after my discussion with Sensei were practicing for the test this coming Saturday. I felt really ackward, worse than at class, I had no idea what I was doing until Rick came onto the mat, and we walked through the normal warm up session. I practiced with Rick at first, and when Rick went to practice with his Uke for his 1st Kyu test on Saturday, I practiced with Victor. Wow he is a powerhouse, also a Yudansha, didn't know that. Only found out at the end of the class when he took his Hakama off. He pointed out that I was holding the wrist too high on one of my techniques, and had me bring it down to my center, it was much more effective. During our practice it was apparent that he knew a lot more than me, and was really powerful. In demonstrating one of the techniques to me at one point I did a complete face plant on the mat. Victor was a little more gentle after that, neither of us said anything, but it went slower after what had to be an ungraceful power dive by me into the mat.
It was a good training session, I learned a lot, worked on all of my t