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Been to 3 PT sessions so far, and I can already tell a substantial difference. I'm finally walking around well without my brace. The only downside to PT is the excersizes I do there make my calf muscles horribly sore. But that's ok because my ankle is getting better.
First session was pretty danged scary because I was still wearing my brace and hadn't done much of anything with my injured foot other than walking. The therapist manipulated the heck out of it which was really scary - I kept imagining him twisting it just enough in just the wrong way - I guess it's a trust thing. It's not so bad now because I'm pretty sure he knows what he's doing.
Doing something frightening for the first time (or the first time after a long time) usually leads to increased confidence, and this is definitely the case for me. PT has increased my confidence considerably. PT also allows me to see where I need to improve - I can tell I still have a ways to go. But, thank goodness that I know longer feel so weak walking around on my (previously) gimpy foot.
If you've recently had a serious ankle sprain, I seriously recommend speaking with your doctor about getting Physical Therapy. It's worth any hassle.
While out of class with my slowly healing ankle injury, I'm now able to enjoy Aikido vicariously through my wife. She started this past Sunday and is having fun. Of course, after Sunday's and Tuesday's classes she was way too sore to go to class last night, but we should be able to go again on Sunday. She's really enjoying class and the other women in class are very grateful she's there. I have a buddy at work who's wife wants to join as well. Pretty soon we'll have a class full of girls. :O
My ankle is still getting better day by day, but I still expect to be out of practice until towards the end of September. I'm still bummed by that, but since I intend on taking Aikido for quite a long time, a month and a half isn't very long to wait - especially since I don't want to injure myself again anytime soon.
Yesterday I watch my first rank testing. We had 6 students testing for rank. One for 5th kyu, two for 4th kyu, one for 1st kyu and two for shodan rank. The rank tests were exciting and educational. Watching the two shodan candidates was very cool, because that's stuff that I'll eventually learn!
Sadly, I'm still not able to train. I went to my regular doctor for an update on my status and because the ankle was still swollen last week - his prognosis is that I'll be off the mat until the second half of September. Apparently my ankle sprain is about the worst it can get without breaking bones or tearing tendons. Major bummer. But, I have no plans on quitting Aikido or even being particularly upset about my injury. I'm going to keep attending class at least once a week (I'm shooting for twice a week), and when I'm ready I'll get back at it.
I'm disappointed, but still excited about learning Aikido.
Yup. Ouch. Twisted my ankle right at the end of an otherwise excellent practice. Sundays are usually just an hour class. Spent the whole hour training with some excellent sempai and then towards the end of class Sensei had everyone do random attacks with each other. This time he allowed us newbies to participate - slowly. So I did, with two different partners and actually learned a couple of things. Then, Sensei came over and had me be uke for various different attacks - this was a lot of fun. A lot of fun right up until I got my foot caught up in my pants, twisted my ankle, and fell down like a ton of bricks.
Fortunately, it's no where near the worst I've done, and I can put my weight on it. It swelled up pretty bad at first, but we put ice on it. After 20 minutes or so, I was able to drive home. Sensei said I should change my story to save some embarassment, but I think I'll stick with the comedic effect. I have no macho ego to tend to.
No telling how long I'll be out of practice, but I doubt it will be for longer than a week.
After 11 practices, I may finally be learning the names of some of the techniques. In today's class, Sensei seperated out the beginners from the rest of the class and drilled us in some basics. I'm really glad that we got this special attention. I think I learned a few things.
We drilled Shomen Uchi Ikkyo, Nikkyo and Sankyo and the various pins each entailed. This was pretty cool, especially since Sensei made sure we did them all correctly (or at least as correctly as newbies can do).
One of the other newbies is a Japanese girl. When she was first paired with me, she was very apologetic about any possibility of causing me any pain. This both amused me and annoyed me a little. After a few times, I told her not to worry about causing me any pain - that's kind of the point of the pins. I told her that if she really hurt me I'd scream very loudly. To her credit, she quit apologizing and did the techniques very well. I did learn that nage doesn't have to be particularly strong to make uke hit the mat. That was cool.
Whew. Today's practice was full of new things. Sensei went to a seminar up in Chicago this past weekend and brought back a class full of new techniques for us. I've never experienced a choke hold until tonight. That was... interesting. The take down was pretty scary and I didn't want to try it on my partner. Just learning the choke part was hard enough.
I think I'm slowly learning to do better falls and slowly learning to blend with my partner better. My footwork is progressing as well, I think. It's still difficult to remember what goes where and when, but I'm slowly getting the hang of it. I will just keep practicing. I'm not looking to master anything any time soon. I'm just having a great time learning all this new stuff.
Tonight I was introduced to a new world of foot pain: Suwari Waza. It was my first time learning to walk like that. Sensei makes it look so incredibly easy. I immediately learned that I have a whole new set of muscles to develop. Ouch. But it's cool and I think I began to get the hang of it. Of course, doing the technique on the floor was totally different and it was very difficult to remember what to do in what order because I was so concerned about putting my knees in the right place and all. I need more practice. But ouch!
Hopefully I'll be able to get to practice on Thursday, because I'll be out of town this weekend.
Yay! Less than a week later. Today was the Sunday morning 1 hour class. One of our blackbelts led the class. I managed to get through another class without injuring myself. I don't think I'll be too sore tommorow, which is great, because I may go to practice again tommorow night so that I can have Tuesday night to myself. We'll see.
I did get the opportunity to do some front rolls today, and while I still don't think I'm doing them all the way correctly, most of them felt better, and I didn't pull anything or land to hard.
For the last 10 or 15 minutes of class, we watched our sempai practice with multiple attackers. All three of the black belts participated along with a brown belt, a blue belt and a yellow belt. It was one of the coolest things I think I've ever watched. The yellow belt even took a turn at being nage. Looks extremely fun and frightening - like most everything in Aikido. Our female black belt was extremely graceful and she didn't move much at all while sending her attackers flying. The other black belts were equally impressive if not quite as graceful. The yellow belt did an admirable job, though you can certainly tell the difference!
More than a week later. My wife has been working long hours and I'm still scared to bring my 7 year old to practice. I don't want to hear the "Daddy, I'm bored!" routine in the middle of class.
I'm very glad I went tonight. As usual we had a great class. There was one technique (no, I can't remember the names) that I just couldn't get and just couldn't get and then, all of a sudden, a light bulb turning on in my head and I could do it right just about every time! That was a very cool feeling. I really enjoy how sensei teaches. We start with a very basic move and then we add more and more things to it. Tonight we ended on a very graceful and beautiful technique. I need to start learning the names of these things.
Driving home is always trippy. I have pretty bad astigmatism and I wear contacts during aikido practice. Apparently I have dry eyes, and when I'm driving home, my eyes are dry. This makes the astigmatism halo around every light source really exagerated. It's like I've been eating magic 'shrooms - visually at least. Combined with the endorphines from practice, they must be some GOOD 'shrooms.
I have such wonderful titles for my journal entries don't I?
7th practice was in the late morning of July 4th. Sunday morning classes are always just 1 hour instead of an hour and a half. I'm still not very good at remembering the names of the techniques, but the class focused on techniques where the attacker grabs one arm with both hands.
From there we progressed till we began doing the same technique with the attacker grabbing a jo now instead of an arm. At this point, Sensei pulled all of us beginners out and showed us basic things to do with a jo. This was pretty cool and I think I learned a good bit.
I'm going to HAVE to get more practice at doing front rolls. One of the black belts is pretty concerned that I'm going to hurt my shoulders. I haven't yet, but I did pull a groin muscle going into my first roll. Ouch. But, as with most of the things I've done to hurt myself, it's not as bad as it could be.
Next class is on Tuesday or Thursday if my groin is still bothering me. It is better this morning.
Today marks the first practice I've had just 2 days after the previous one. For once I wasn't too sore to practice soon. Yay! It was, as usual, a fantastic experience.
We have two students in the class now who are newer than me, so it may not have been coincidence that none of the techniques we learned today involved any throwing into forward rolls. It was all back throws and locks. I also experienced my first tanto (is that right?) training which was pretty cool.
I am beginning to learn that someone who attacks a skilled Aikidoist with a weapon is going to regret it. One technique we learned tonight would easily break the arm of a knife wielding attacker unless the aikidoist was extremely skilled and WANTED to not break the arm (though I guess that's the point of Aikido, right?). We also learned a groovy pin and a couple of nasty holds to do to anyone foolish enough to attack us with a knife (wooden or otherwise).
Sitting here at home just after practice, I'm experiencing some pain in my back. I think I took at least one fall improperly, though I'm pretty sure I did ok for a beginner on most of my back falls. I think I may be hurting tommorow, but I don't think it's anything nasty. We'll see. Last time I thought it was nothing nasty I was out for a couple of weeks (though I guess that's not REALLY nasty).
Apparently there will be practice at the Dojo on the Fourth. If I'm not hurting too bad, I'm going to try to be there. I'm having a great time