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Ok so I am having that stressed out about Aikido feeling that I get every time that I am going to test. I ask myself questions like why am I testing? Am I really ready for this? All that kind of thing. Seems to be normal for most of the people that test. You want to make sure that your test looks as good as it can in a room full of people that are either looking at your demonstration to learn something, or are more advanced than you are and are able to see the things that could use more practice. :-)
The worst of it seems to be remembering the three vbariations that I have for each of the techniques that I have to do… Why is that so hard?
Tuesday night we were working on rolling, and I was trying to roll across the mat without changing my feet, and doing one side then the other side. I ended up doing cross body rolls for half of my rolls. This was strange, they were all good rolls, but some of them felt harder to do than others and I couldn't figure out why until Sensei came by and pointed out that half of them were cross body rolls, and said that they were hard, but looked good. I think that he thought that I was confused about rolling correctly. I remember when I was doing cross body rolls before and felt like a square, these were not like that at all, I must have gotten a little better at it. :-)
Yesterdays weapons class went worse than normal. I think that I am going backwards with every weapons class that I do….Egads!!!!
Went up to the dojo and turned in my test request form. I am always nervous about testing. Rick and I were able to get in a special test prep secession today, it was technically open training, but since no one else knew that the Dojo was open it ended up being just us two on the mat. It was a good workout.
Friday night I had planned on being at the dojo and had sent a note off to Doug, who has agreed to be my uke for my second kyu test, asking if he was going to be there. He sent back a non-committal reply. One of my customers had an emergency I needed to take care of so I didn't make class. I learned from Sensei that he had been there, and fired off an apology e-mail. Doug showed up at my practice with Rick, even though he didn't train he watched for quite a while and gave some good feedback. It was great!!!
All in all a good week, although I would have liked to have made the Friday night class.
Open training. Worked on Kaiten Nage the whole time, first with Luke and then with Nikki. I learned a lot, and have more of the basics of this down if I can only remember them. Extend the Uke's arm!!! All this time I thought I was working on extending me!!! Make the cut in toward the head real it is an Atemi, like you were going to throw them in Kokyu Ho.
Worked with Rick for a long time after class on tanto take away techniques, then spent a longer time even talking with Sensei about life. What an amazing man! So kind and helpful.
Hanmi Handachi (How in the heck do you spell some of this stuff anyway? :-))
Noel Amherd taught class tonight, it was a lot of fun. We worked on shoman uchi; Irimi Nage, Kaiten Nage, Kote Gaeshi. It was fun. Melissa worked on some of the Hanmi Handachi stuff too, and got a kick out of it once she got over strangeness of the idea.
We then worked with partners on open training. I worked with Melissa on this too, as she wanted to train with me tonight and work on some of the stuff that she has on her next test. It was good, and I think that she made some progress on shoman uchi ikkyo.
We then did some rolling practice, the beginners just rolling and the rest of us doing rolls when thrown from kaiten nage, and whatever you call that thing you use in ran dori when you get under one arm and cut down on the other elbow…. :-)
Wow two 108's in one day. We celebrated the anniversary passing of O-sensei by the 108 repetitions of the same technique. The interesting thing is the order of the events for the practice. Each person does their selected technique 108 times. The order of the nage uke relationshiop is also different. Senior person is Nage for one throw, then the kohi for one throw, then the senior person, then the kohi, then the senior person, then the kohi, then the senior, then the kohi. All in rapid order, a physical meditation when you get it correct and stop worrying about how bad your technique is. Then when you have done four repetitions of the technique, you sit in seza meditating quietly, when everyone is done on the mat, sensei does a reading of O-sensie's writing, then the bell rings, and you do four more, three sets of four with each of 9 partners makes for 108 .
I selected the same technique for both of the 108 practices today, Shoman Uchi Irimi Nage. I can't say that I did a good one in the 216 times that I did it today, not for want of trying though. Both classes were exhausting. The second more so because I had done it once already in the morning. The pace is so much quicker than the pace of a normal practice. The interspersion between physical activity, and stillness is strange, in a way reflective of the patterns of everyday life. We get so wound up in the physical activity that we miss the meditation moments most of the time.
Brion was in all of the classes today with us. I was able to train with him some. Not quite like last time when I kept him all to myself. We had a lot of fun at the Dojo, and he stated that he really liked training with Sensei.
We worked on Sankyo all day. Morning class lessons that I received. (Not necessarily what was taught, there was probably a lot more!) Line up writ, elbow, shoulder. Keep the Uke at the end of his arm so that you don't get an elbow in the face, keep your hands low near your center. Turn the Uke down by making a U with your thumb go from thumb up to thumb down, don't pull on the uke, don't try and push them with their arm, as this will loose the sankyo connection. You are the center of Sankyo as Nage. Lock up the Uke and rotate around the vertical axis of your body. Spiral in on the omote pin and use your whole center and body not just your hands.
Basics class we worked on hand position, and little details in applying Sankyo. It was fun working on it slow and methodical.
Second evening Aikido Sankyo as in the morning class, then opposite hand sankyo (From Shoman, the Uke attacks, rather than catch the striking hand, you catch the opposite hand while moving in. You duck under their arm and voila sankyo!!!).
Spent most of the last two days talking about Aikido, boats, and rigging with Brion, a lot of fun!!!
Sankyo morning class. Excellent class, Sensei had us work on Sankyo. He explained that Sankyo has to be very precise to work, and that a centimeter off is going to make it not work. It was great to be able to watch the demonstration of his Sankyo.
Worked on it with Niki, I was wounded shoulder, and she looked exhausted! We did ok on the whole thing though. I trained with Linda Foust, and that was good, learned a lot about trying the ura blend with the tenkan, stick out your arms, ukes arms fold around them blend thingy. That is really hard to describe!
Keep the grabbing arm low, at your belt, keep a good distance from the uke's elbow so you don't get popped, or if you do it is in the chest, not the nose. Use the arm to control the uke by having the joints locked, not pulling, or pushing. Twist the arm with the wrist locked as you cut to the outside….
Niki worked on my shoulder for about an hour after class, it feels a lot better!!! NIKI ROCKS!!!! She did tell me that I was not supposed to go to class tonight though as that would aggravate it, so I worked on the boat instead. Nothing that was going to fold me up as a pretzel though. M went to class and had a good time, her first time doing Sankyo.
Brion Toss called and said that he was coming down for the boatshow, and that he was going to be training with us on Thursday. That should be a lot of fun!!! Last time he was here it was a blast!!!
Went in to work with Rick on his test stuff. I am going to get to be Uke for the tanto part of his Shodan test!!! WOW is that cool or what!!!!
Rick and I worked together for a bit, then traded off and I worked with Bob Lavazzo a lot. It was great! I can see why people want Bob as a shodan uke. We worked a lot on my Swuri Wazza. I think that I may have learned a thing or two, hard to tell. Need to work on it more. Moving my "FEET" is part of my problem. Entering too deeply is another. I need to relax more, and just get off the line for the beginnings of the techniques. Pick a spot behind and just to the side of the Uke as the spot that I am "aiming" their arm for when entering. Keep low and close to the mat. Don't get so high up with my knees when walking. Guide the uke more to the mat. God knows what it is that I do with Yanko, cause I surely don't!
Somewhere in this whole process, I did something to my shoulder……
Morning class worked on Morote Dori Kokyu Ho, one of my favorite techniques. Sensei came by and became my training partner at one point and repeatedly ran into me like running into a mountain. He then explained that my goal of getting into position was taking precedence of my goal of taking Ukes balance. I tried it some more with both Sensei and my training partner, and found that he was of course completely correct. It was great, such little things like placing your foot right were Ukes foot is on the first step in make such a difference.
Worked on gykute dori Nikkyo. I was working with Niky and when I would pin her in the pin her elbow made this horrid popping sound, scared the shit out of both of us! Then I did it again. We stopped and talked about the fact that I was pulling her arm into me in the nikkyo pin instead of me into her arm, this was over flexing her elbow. So I started doing it the other way and found the pin easier to do, and more effective, and most importantly didn't scare either of us!!!
In Kokyu Dosa worked on moving with the initial placing of the persons hands on my wrist, and worked on the swirl move instead of the standard move. It was great. Also worked on breathing base, and staying centered, not using my arms as shock absorbers rather extending them, and being calm slow and technical with my shoulders dropped, moving from center. Obviously not all of this came together at any one time.
After class worked with Rick for training on
Stepped the mast yesterday afternoon, one high dollar bill off of the plate, so things are a little looser now. So back to regular Aikido and journaling to match.
Monday night I went to Oakland Hills Tennis Club with Noel. He was standing in as sensei for Sensei Gorden Teckel. It was wonderfull training with new people. Lots of fun.
The people there, just like the people at our dojo ranged from brand new to shodan plus. There were 7 of us on the mat. There was one newer white belt who I was able to train with a number of times. It was wonderful, I could see her learning and taking in everything that I was saying. It was a lot of fun being the sempei and watching and feeling the other person learning.
One of the other people there was very quick and agressive in his Aikido style. It was interesting to train with him also. I learned things about my Ukemi that were good to know. I also learned that I still have some of the deer in the headlights issues with people that I don't know, and that I am no where near that magical state where I can feel the energy of the person coming in towards me the first time that they grab me and do the technique so that it fits their energy.
Great to have the boat less of a looming deadline and more of a sustained project. The feeling is more of one of flow and ease of life again.
Went to a visitation of another Dojo with the Brits, Sensei, and Noel. It was Frank Doran Sensei's dojo. His aikido style is different from Sensei Gambell's. It was a wonderful class though, got to work with a lot of people from Aikido West, and Sensei Doran came over and worked with me 4 times!! Wow! At the end Sensei Gambell made a b-line in my direction and came over to work with me on KoKyu Dosa! It was awesome!!!
Great Morning class. Worked on Kote Gaeshi. I worked with several of the brits it was wonderful. Sensei had me up for Uke twice in the class. It was great!!!! Once I got bonked in the nose as a demonstration of what openings we create when we attack! It was shocking, but I learned quick!
We also worked on kote gaeshi but when the persons other hand (The one you don't have in your hand) comes around to punch you. We worked on Kote Gaeshi on that hand. It was great worked with the Brits a lot! They are wonderful to train with! We then did Semi Tochi (sp) instead of Kote Gaeshi. You could feel where the same things were involved, but the different flows of each.
Evening Class worked on Kote Gaeshi again! I had been working on the boat all day and was dragging butt when I got there. We had 22 people on the mat, and there was a lot of energy to play with. We worked on Kote Gaeshi again, doing some of the same things, but this time instead of Kote Gaeshi on the second punching hand we just too