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Ok, so I haven't been keeping this up so well. Oh well. Anyways, this weekend I attended my first Aikido Seminar at my dojo. Our guest instructor was Peter Bernath, 6th Dan from the Florida Aikikai dojo. Woo boy! 6+ hours of Aikido instruction and it was pretty darned intense.
I've never worked on the mats with 30 to 40 people before. It was insane. No one got bad hurt and I didn't see any really bad collisions, though my wife got kicked in the head (not too bad, though). It was very interesting to see a very familiar and yet totally different style from Bernath Sensei. It was also a lot of fun working with some of my sensei's old classmates and other people I've never seen before. The crew from Prescott came down on Saturday giving the class a much needed influx of women. Without them the only women were my wife and another woman from the Chicago area.
Overall it was a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to my next seminar. Hopefully I'll be ranked by then.
Woo! Aikido was fun last night. We did some new, weird stuff. We did a tsuki kotagaeshi type thing where we grabbed uke's hand underhanded, stepped under his arm into a sankyo grip and then turned him back around into the kotagaeshi grip and did something very much like iriminage to throw him. Weird, but fun.
My front rolls are continuing to improve, though on my first or second roll on my right side I landed badly on my side bruising it all up. Ouch. My left side, though, was pretty good.
We also did a new version of kokyu where we locked out uke's elbows and then pushed up into his shoulders to throw him. Odd, but it worked. Kinda.
Lindsay is just totally kicking butt. I tempted to be a little jealous - she's just doing fantastic. She's definetly testing in a few weeks. She's gone to class 4 times this week, to my 2 times. I keep telling myself that I have to give my ankle plenty of time to fully heal and that there's no problem with me testing for 5th kyu in August. I'm sure I'll be fully ready by then.
No, I haven't quit my Aikido journey. I've just been too lazy to post here. Sunday I went to my 24th practice and I feel like I'm finally, slowly beginning to understand a lot more things. My ankle has hardly bothered me at all, though I still wear my brace. Every time I think about taking it off, I have a moment in class when I feel a tiny twinge of pain from my ankle and I decide to keep it on for another week or two. I don't think it's hurting my practice though.
I've begun noticing some of the physical changes that aikido is doing to me. I have finally developed some biceps after a lifetime of little arms. My chest and shoulders are showing improvements as well. I haven't lost much weight, but I am in probably the best shape I've been in in at least 10 years (which still isn't much to brag about). I'm very happy with my Aikido experience so far.
My wife, Lindsay, is now an Aikido beast. She's decided she's going to test for 5th kyu in February and I think that's fantastic. My original plan was to do the same, but since I missed three months due to my ankle, I want to wait until August to test. I really enjoy training with her. I call her the queen of nikkyo. She's also much more precise in making sure that she is doing each technique properly than even some of my 4th and 5th kyu partners.
Once again I'll say - if you're wondering whether or not Aikido is something you can do, I'm living proof that a very uncoordinated, clumsy person can at least ha
Man, the endorphins after a class of Aikido are fantastic. I don't know if natural highs are the best, but they're pretty damned good. No injuries at today's class! Yay! We did some interesting and different techniques tonight. I'm still frustrated that I don't know all of the names, but it's ok. By the end of class, EVERYONE was totally exhausted. That's a good hard workout.
On Sunday, Lindsay and I bought a video tape made in 1992 with our sensei (Glenn Brooks) and his sensei, Akira Tohei. It's a fantastic video tape and hilarious to see sensei with his long hair and mustache. I feel like I learned a good bit just watching it once, and I think subsequent viewings will help me and Lindsay learn more of the names of the techniques.
It's nice to leave class on such a high note and without any major bumps or bruises. I'm looking forward to the next class, hopefully on Sunday.
No pain from yesterday's practice! Yay! We had the instructor and several of his students visit from the dojo in Prescott, AZ today. I got to practice with one of them and she had really good form. We did a lot of the basics, and it was a really good work out. We did a modified kokyu doza which was different, some kind of way I managed to pull a muscle in my off arm while doing it - that is, the arm which isn't doing the pinning motion. Weird. But it wasn't any big deal. I'm just really glad that I didn't do anything that still hurts today. It's nice not to be all sore after a work-out.
I've noticed that I don't suffer from all the wrist pains that lots of people get when we practice nikkyo stuff. I think I just have really limber or loose wrists. Gotta get lucky somewhere, I guess.
16th practice last night - it was my first hour and a half class since I've been back from my ankle injury. My ankle did get weak towards the end of class, but it held up well. I didn't get any pain in it, though it still feels a little weak this morning. For most of the class I did pretty well, and Sensei had some time to spend working just with me, which was very helpful.
The bad thing that happened last night though, was when I did my first front roll, I landed really hard on my hip. It's sore as hell, though I don't think I hurt it badly - it just hurts. I really need to work on front rolls - it's the main thing that I really feel uncomfortable with in Aikido.
Forgot to add an entry on Sunday - I've been working WAY too much lately. I had a really good practice on Sunday - Carlos, one of the senior students was our teacher. We did a lot of new stuff that I've never seen before and each one had some really tricky ukemi required - and since I'm a noob, it was tough and very scary, but no one got hurt. Some of it looked like it could be used to hurt someone really badly if you wanted to.
With about 5 mins to go in class, I felt a sharp pain in my ankle. I bowed off the mat and sat on the bench. With each step, that sharp pain was there. I rolled my foot around and felt something pop. The sharp pain went away, but class was pretty much over by that time. I've had that pain before and it usually goes away quickly.
Getting over this ankle is not a lot of fun. But at least I'm back on the mat now!
Yay! No injuries today either! I had to miss Tuesday and Thursday night's practice because I had a cold and didn't want anyone else to share it. I'm so selfish sometimes!
Practice went great today. We learned some very different movements from what I've learned so far. They are difficult for me to explain, because I don't know the terminology. They all involved two hand wrist grabs, and the weirdest one was one that just had an ura component and then you did something to spin nage around and then put him down with a kotegaeshi, which was fun, but me and a 4th kyu just stood there until sensei could come show us what we were supposed to do. It wasn't intuitive at all, but once we learned it it was pretty cool.
This was my first practice where I partnered with my wife. We took turns doing a technique where we pinned each other with an ikkyo pin. Earlier I had almost thrown Lindsay off the mat, so then when she pinned me the first time, sensei told her to break my wrist. "It's only fair he said." Ha!
I'm also happy today because I found me a Mr. Sparkle t-shirt at the comic store yesterday. I love Simpsons shirts that have Japanese written on them. I have another shirt that has Homer dressed as a samurai and it says Baka Gaijin. Ha!
Yay! I'm finally back in practice after very badly spraining my ankle on July 31st. Yesterday was my first time back on the mat in more than 2.5 months. I'm so happy to be back at it. I was afraid that I would be horribly awkward (more than usual), but I got back to my previous level of newbieness pretty quickly. I was also impressed that I'm not quite as badly out of shape as I was afraid. It was a Sunday class, though, and just an hour - so we'll see how I do on Tuesday night when it's closer to 2 hours.
I have bought myself a super ankle-brace. It's a lace up type made of ballistic nylon that has velcro straps galore. If anyone is interested, I can let you know the brand name. It really holds my foot in place, but allows me to sit seiza (piece of cake) and do rolls and stuff. It worked great. I pretty much only need it now for doing Aikido and if I'm going to walk a few miles. I don't wear it on a day-to-day basis.
I'm just really, really happy that I'm back in practice. I'm going to endeavor not to hurt myself badly again.
Ack! I still have ankle pain... Mainly it's just when quickly climbing stairs. I can tell that PT is still helping. We have a range of motion doodad that you stand on and tilt your foot left and right using your ankle muscles. This morning I was able to put pretty much my entire body weight on it and it felt good.
But, my therapist wants me standing on one foot catching a ball. I can do it pretty well on my unhurt foot, but it's pretty hard for me to stand on just my right foot. It doesn't feel right. Bleh.
I am SO ready to get back on the mat... but I REALLY don't want to hurt myself again.
When sensei gets back, at least I won't be the only injured person. One of the other guys got his finger broken last Monday night. Ouch. I think some of the guys were getting a little rough and someone stepped on his hand. I wasn't there, but that's what it sounds like.