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Woo! Just got done with my 5th practice. This was another fantastic class. This time there were a lot of new sempai. Great to meet new people who can teach me new things! We also had two new people start today, so I guess that makes me someone else's sempai. Not that I have very much to teach.
Today was my first practice to use any sort of weapon. We did a few jo staff techniques - throwing people who grab your jo and throwing someone coming at you with a jo. Very cool. Very fun.
I did a bunch of front rolls in class today, most of them sloppy. I do think I'm getting better though, but I'm pretty sure I'm gonna be pretty sore tommorow. I hope not too sore because I'm planning on going to practice Thursday night.
I'm finally starting to get into the swing of things, however basic my swing may be. Sensei actually said that I did something correctly - several times! I'm finally getting to know how to stand opposite my partner and how to do the basic footwork - not great, but I don't feel quite as clueless as I did when I started.
I still need to do the techniques kinda slowly, but I'm learning to speed things up a bit. A couple of the people I teamed up with today went through the motions pretty fast. That was scary and fun. Mostly fun.
I'm looking forward to my next class. I just hope I'm not TOO sore tommorow.
Yeah, 2 weeks later and I went to my 4th practice. Why two weeks? I injured a muscle in my abdomen which hurt for 3 or 4 days and I could still feel it for about a week after that. I didn't want to aggravate it at all. I could have gone to practice on Sunday or Tuesday, but had family things going on both of those days.
Anyways, today's practice was the best yet! I don't think I've ever had this much fun doing a group activity! I smiled all the way home. Tonight I actually did techniques involving front rolls, all of which I at least attempted. I may have pulled off one or two, but I doubt it. Wonderful fun though. I pretty much participated in everything. It felt fantastic.
Sensei paired me up with a Japanese white belt. We both had a difficult time figuring out a particular technique (me much more so than him) so Sensei came and showed both of us how to do it by doing it to us. That was incredibly frightening, fun and educational all at the same time.
I still have a maddeningly difficult time remembering everything that I'm supposed to do, but I can tell that I am improving, however slightly. It is very gratifying when I figure out how to do something. It's a lot of fun to do back falls and front rolls. I don't think I got hurt tonight, and that's a great thing.
Toward the end of class, Sensei showed us some very simple Ki excersizes. They were amongst the first I've ever done. Amazing. Aikido is almost worth doing just for the Ki stuff alo
Well, by Thursday morning, I was pretty much not very sore at all. So, I did end up going to practice tonight. I really enjoyed it, but I must confess a bit of apprehension or something before actually getting my butt into the car and driving to the dojo. I think maybe it was embarassment for being such a newb, but I know that's a foolish thought. So I banished it as well as I could and proceeded on to practice.
I'm glad that I did. Tonight I was pinned for the very first time in my life and I learned a little bit about wrist locks. It was fun and frightening at the same time. Fortunately sensei paired me up with very nice and patient sempai.
Leaving Aikido I felt energized and refreshed. I'm ready to hit the mats again on Sunday morning!
As for soreness, I read in several places to get a homeopathic (naturopathic?) rubbing oil for soreness with arnica(?) and to rub that into sore spots after taking a hot shower. Did both tonight after practice. We'll see if that helps at all tommorow morning.
UPDATE - NEXT DAY: I'm not very sore at all! Just a bit on my upper legs. However, I think I pulled a muscle in my lower abdomen. I think I did my first roll very incorrectly. It hurts when it gets stretched. If the pain doesn't diminish this weekend, I'll probably need to see a doctor.
All day yesterday my quadriceps were horribly sore - from Sunday morning's practice. I felt like an old man going up and down the stairs at work - heck even getting into and out of my chair. This morning that area is less sore - not a whole lot less, but less sore. Now my inner thighs are yelling, but not quite as unbelievably as my quads yesterday.
I really want to go to practice tonight, but I'm not sure yet if I'd be able to do much of anything. I know that I need to keep working on my rolls, but I'd hate to not be able to go the whole 2.5 hours. The next practice is Thursday night, and if I can't go tonight, I'm pretty sure Thursday won't be a problem. The question is, if I go on Thursday, will I be able to make Sunday?
I'm sure after a couple of months, these muscles will wise up, get stronger, and I won't have quite this problem.
Had my second practice today. This was an hour long practice presided over by an advanced student. I went into practice a bit sore from Thursday, but it didn't hinder anything. I had the honor of practicing with several black belts who went to great pains to help my clumsy self.
I continued to learn back rolls and I've started fumbling around with front rolls. It's NOT easy or intuitive, though I'm sure I'll get it with lots of practice. At least it feels more "right" when I do it not so horribly.
Last night was my very first Aikido practice and my very first experience with any sort of martial art. I had previously visited the dojo to make sure that this was something I wanted to get into and learn. It was. Everyone at the dojo is very nice and welcoming and sensei seems to be an awesome teacher.
Some background in case you're reading this and wondering if it's something you can do. I'm a 35 year old, most sedentary male weighing in at about 200 pounds. For a couple of months now I've been walking for about an hour 5 nights a week. That's all the excersize I've had in years. I'm not really fat, but I'm certainly not in any great shape. After watching an Aikido class and now participating in one, I can say it's definetely something I can do (with a LOT of practice). Don't be afraid to take that first step.
Fortunately there was another beginning student - it was nice that there was someone else who was almost as clumsy as me. This also alowed Sensei to pair us up and teach us a lot of things.
Primarily we learned footwork. Avoiding attacks by stepping out of the way. While I can see why everything works the way it does, none of it initially felt natural. I was spending too much time trying to remember which foot I was supposed to lead off with and in which direction I should go. Mildly frustrating but gratifying everytime I got it correct. Needless to say, I need a LOT of practice.
We also learned the proper way to fall on our backs. I