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At Saturday's class I was told by Sensei's uchi-deshi that I'd be testing…he thinks. And that I should practice as if I were testing.
We did forward rolls, backward rolls…and solo breakfalls. One can never have too much ukemi practice.
I remember years ago when I was first learning how to do breakfalls. I was petrified because it seemed like I had to give up control over my own balance, which to anyone would be unnerving. And the thought of not having my lead hand out reaching for the mat was just ludicrous. I felt I was leading with my head and that my head would be the first thing to touch the mat!
Saturday was the first time in years that I'd done the solo breakfalls. I'm much better on my left side than on my right. When I do them on my right side, my limbs are all over the place when I land.
One bit of advice that I remember receiving from one of my sempai a few years ago was, "Watch your feet leave the ground. That's what keeps your body round."
I had debated whether or not to go to class, as I was tired from a trying day at work. But it ended up being worth it. I was more alert than I thought I would be and forgot all about my tiredness and my work preoccupations. Funny how that happens huh?
Last night I took ukemi for Sensei for two techniques. Shomenuchi kokyuho and Shomenuchi kotegaeshi. My shomen strike was fundamentally wrong. It wasn't straight in, my elbow wasn't bent, and my arm was too tense. So I guess I was open to a blow to the face and a broken arm. I stood corrected.
There will be a grading next month. We don't know who's testing yet.
Sensei told us to focus on our basic movements. To see them in the techniques we do and check our form. He said not to be overly concerned about getting to the end.
November 24, 2004, Screeching Tsuki
We did jo training last night using a tsuki attack. We did up to eleven different techniques, but I don't remember their respective numbers. They were all blending together for me. I'd pay close attention to what Sensei was demonstrating and wonder, "Okay. How is that one different from the last one?" Oh. The grip is different. Or he stepped back on the block. Or he didn't step forward on the strike. Some detail or adjustment that is so minute that it's almost invisible to me.
While I might be able to follow what he demonstrates most of the time, because I am uke first I forget what's supposed to be d
My intro is titled Return of a Prodigal in the Introductions forum, posted Oct 2004.
Last night at weapons class we did 21 count jo kata. I'd never done it before and was doing ok when we were working in a group. But later on during the class Sensei got each student to get up on their own to do the kata in front of everyone, starting off with the black belts descending to the beginners. Of course the advanced students did their kata without hesitation. When it was my turn I got up there bowed to the kamiza and totally blanked out. Nothing came. Had I remembered the first move, tsuki, I probably would have been fine. So anyways, I stood there for a few seconds staring at O'Sensei, frozen. Then Sensei asked one of the black belts to do the kata with me. I was just fine working with her. Just a couple of miscues. She told me afterwards that it's very different doing it on your own. I guess it's because you have no other visual cues to work with.
When I first started aikido it was a chore to train in weapons. I didn't make the connection between open hand techniques and weapons training for a long time. I'm not sure when it clicked for me, but now I find weapons training essential and, maybe more importantly, enjoyable.
November 18, 2004, Little Monsters
Last night I saw part of a kid's class that one of the senior students was teaching. It was at the end of the class and there was complete mayhem. I felt bad for the