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Today we started with morote dori kokyu ho and I was working again with Jim. This time I was paying more attention to my sit fall and luckily haven't hurt my knee more than it is. It still hurts a little, I think it will be ok in couple days if I do not injure is again. My kokyu ho still needs some attention, but it's better I think. At least now I feel sometimes I really can throw Jim.
After that we did 31 jo kata partner practice first from 22-31, then from 1-12, 12 -22 and finally 1-31.
I thought we finished with jo kata and will do bokken suburis this week, but sensei desided to spend one more week on this.
I found out that I attended enough classes to take 4rd kyu test on December 4th, but it's so close. Sensei alklowed me to skip it, but if I can make it, I will. The faster I get my brown belt, the earlier I'll be able to participate in advanced classes, so now I have a reason to advance fast. After that I don't care about my belt.
Saturday class started with half hour ukemi class. We were practicing kote gaeshi and taking ukemi with concentration of slapping and kiai. Sensei says when class is small, kiai and slapping helps to pump up the energy level. Well he is right, but... Ok, he is right.
Then we had the main session and the energy level was really hight... So high that I injured my knee. I was working with Jim and he is unstoppable as usual, with that additional energy from kiai and slapping I was flying all over the dojo During one of tenchinage I'gone on my knee instead of directly on my butt. That was less fun... Anyway, I survived. I guess if anyone of those guys who keeps asking about effectiveness of Aikido ever trained with Jim, they would be more concerned about their physical integrity, than about its effectivenes
Then we did koshinage, without the final throw, just blending, loading the partner of your back and balancing. It seemed very difficult, but doing it right is pretty effortless. During kokyu doza I felt how really my knee hurts and haven't done my part as nage (taking ukemi is ok, but moving on you knees is pretty painful).
Then there was weapon practice and we did partner practice. This time with Phyllip, who haven't done this part of 31 jo kata partner practice (22-31), so I spent this class working slowly and explaining him some parts. Of course I did not remember some of them myself, so sensei had to help us several times, but overall we did well and Phyllip learn
We started with a strange type of kokyu doza (a strage beginning indeed). Uke grabs nage's hands from the bottom, so the connection is not so strond to do the usual kokyu doza. First movement is dropping hands to your knees palms up, then raise your wrists toward uke's armpits, now cut as usual kokyu doza. I still don't get it and sensei saw that. He asked us to do the same thing with one hand and it's much more understandable. The trick is to feel the connection with uke - his hand is the continuation of your hand. Sounds like some ki trick
Anyway, next one was shomenuchi sankyo and we concentrated on keeping the uke's hand in arch so that he can't escape during the technique. I also noticed ans memorized foot work, which I was missing before. After you grab the wrist of the uke in sankyo, step into him, then step back with other foot keeping the arch, another back step, kneel on the back foot, handchange, kneel on both feet.
Then we did jo kata from 22 to 31 and sensei announced that next week we will work on bokken suburis. I'll have to do jo kata after class with someone to keep it in mind.
Then we did shihonage omote and ura from morote dori, first stepping to one side and working with one hand, then stepping on the other side and working with the other uke's hand (uchi and soto ?) I knew something is wrong and after class Jim helped me to discover the problem. When raising the hands I place the right at my forehead (lower or middle part of it), instead hands shou
Today was brown/black belt class, so I was again on my own. I did some forward rolls, then sit falls (they are now much better), then some knee walking and pivoting. Last half an hour I did bokken cuts. Not it's amazingly easy, my hands are not so tense now and while cutting I'm actually resting. The only time I have to use my muscles is to hold bokken in front of me before cuting and at the end to fix the cut. Raising is not a problem, the position with raised sword is relaxed after sensei shown me the right position of hands - stick them up, do not drop bokken too far behind you. Then cut, which is a relaxed movement. In the beginning, the left hand is leading, when it reaches the belly button, it stops and right hand continues with hips and body turning a little to the left to give right hand more extension (compensating the distance between two hands). That way both hands are extended and cut is very powerful. Sensei noted that sometimes when the left hand arrives to the final point, I pull it a little back. I don't get exactly what that means, but kinda feel that. I think I was not extending enough the left hand, therefore when right hand finishes the cut and body turnes, I have to move the left hand to correct it's position. Extending left hand (cutting a little further) I think solves that problem. Other than that, sensei did not tell anything about my cuts and I feel much better about them.
Yesterday's practice started with 32 Jo kata partner practice from 22-27. I did pretty well since Andy showed me this last time. Then we did morote dori kokyu ho and I was working with Lucy. Strangely what was working perfectly with Jim - a very resisting guy, does not work with Lucy I can't explain why, but I feel it doesn't. I guess this happens again - I start to understand the technique, combine the pieces into something meaningful and then it breaks again. And the same process from the beginning. I guess this evolution and collapse will never end...
Anyway, then we did a lot of suwari waza. Let's see... We did yokumen - kote gaeshi, yokumen - sankyo, shomen - kaitenage. And all this on our knees! The last one was very confising in the beginning until sensei showed me and I've got how to think about it. When attacker performs shomen strike, go off to a side (outside) and do a continue uke's attack like a yokument strike with opposite hand, the other hand stays at the forehead. Afterwards, striking hand leads uke's hand in the circle down, back and up, and the other hand cuts to uke's head. Then step.
I'm back after almost one week. I was late since I forgot to set my alarm on, so guys were doing 31 Jo kata partner practice from 22-31 when I arrived. I managed to do only defender's role once and it was over. After that we did a tachnique started from Ushiro Riote Dori, you bring both hands in front of you hara, step to a side raising and dropping the hands, moving under your arm, then ikkyo, change to sankyo, 3 steps and pin. Isn't that easy? Next was almost the same, but when you move under your arm you catch the wrist of uke and then proceed with the rest. Then we did Iriminage from Ushiro Riote Dori. You do off to the side with front foot and step back so that you are behind the uke and proceed with Iriminage. I can't describe details since it's unusual to me. Then we did Yokumen attack, Shihonage, butin the middle you change the technique to Iriminage. Feels very strange to me.
After the class I asked Andy to help me with Jo kata which I missed and we did it several times. Now I can say I did the whole kata!
Wow! Today was hot! Not the weather, but the class. We started with Morote dori Kokyu Ho. Finally I know what was my problem. When I step and drop my elbow and shoulder, move hands right up, do not pull to outside. That's much easier. Then we did 31 jo kata partner practice from 13 to 21. Thrust higher!
Then we did suwari waza... a lot of it with shomen attacks initiated by nage, yokumen attack and iriminage and some others that I can't remember. The last one was a new one. Nage is in seiza, uke comes with shomen or yokumen attack. Nage just lies on a side (90 degrees) escaping the attack, one foot at uke's foot, the other one srtikes the knee. That simple The important thing is to lie down at 90 degrees from the line of attack. If you lie back, you are too far from the attacker.
On Saturday all sensei's were out on seminar with Goto sensei and we were practicing with Dan (our nidan sempai). We did forward rolls and a small correction here - do not place the hand too forward, just next to your foot. In that case you keep your balance as long as you can and during throw minimize the time you are unbalanced.
Then we did some excercises to keep our balance while leaning backwards. Just stay one step in front of a wall, then curve your body back and touch the wall with your hands. Be sure to keep yourself balanced so you can walk along the wall. Then we tried to do back roll from that curved position.
Then we did 31 jo kata.
Today I was working with Jim. The whole class we did kaite nage. That was nice, it's pretty complex technique and we do not do it often. We did both kaite nage soto mavari and uchi mavari from shomen attack (foot work in the beginning as ikkyo), then from yokumenuchi attack and the main difference for me was the footwork which in this case is yokumen responce and then hands meet each other. A lot of intermediate atemis, which is nice to practice especially with Jim (he will do the atemi for sure and you better block it). It's a challenge to be his uke and I like challenges. I was able to perform this technique in a preffy fast phase, but I tryed to slow down. Sensei's correction was not to step too much and too far from uke during the last step.
Before bowing sensei said that it was the coldest day this year, but I did not really feel that. Both me and Jim were feeling pretty energetic.
Today was black/brown belt training as always and I did my stuff on a side. Guys were doing some advanced jo partner practice and certainly had fun. Well I had my share too! I started with forward rolls. Not that they are perfect, but I felt better than the last time. Then some sitfalls and I liked them too, some suwari waza, stepping on a side. Then I did a lot of bokken cuts and felt they are improving. The only correction sensei did this time - he asked me to leave more space between hands. I told sensei that I would be grabbing higher than the line denoting the end of tsuka, but he told me not to worry about this since the line is made in incorrect place. Just make sure your left hand is at the end of tsuka and the right hand in 1 fist higher. Other than that my cuts felt really well. Then I did some jo practice - first 12 moves in 31 jo partner kata as a defender and as an attacker. Overall today's class went very well. This was a day when everything just happens to work I like it!