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The techniques we covered last night were morote dori shihonage, morote dori jujinage, morote dori koshinage, morote dori udekime nage? (elbow throw), and another one the name of which I don't recall.
My poor partner for morote dori jujinage. I couldn't remember which hand I was supposed to let go of when doing the throw. I had to ask EVERY time which hand it was. And he patiently told me each time, "the bottom hand", but it just wouldn't click. For some reason I had a major mental block. Sometimes I'd let go of the bottom hand, sometimes the top and couple of times both hands. (In those cases it was because his arms were slippery with sweat.) By the end of it he was laughing about it because he used to do the same thing.
I dislike any and all Elbow Throws. I think the Japanese term is Udekime nage. I don't like doing it to anyone because it can be a nasty technique on your joint when done or received improperly. And because I'm not comfortable doing the ukemi for it I especially don't like receiving the technique. I think it's because I anticipate it being an unpleasant experience.
Later while we were doing morotedori koshinage my partner was having a hard time getting the proper form, so Sensei came over to demonstrate…on me. Til last night I'd never done a koshinage technique. I am a shorty at 5'1". Sensei is a very imposing 6'3". He joked that doing koshinage on me was going to be hard work. He showed how to take
Last night at weapons we did 21 count jo kata again. Sensei had us do it as a group first and then senior students worked with those who were having a hard time with the exercise.
Sensei then had the beginners do the kata on their own. I was first. And silly as it may sound, I was nervous. Shaky even. I bowed to O'Sensei and proceeded to do the kata. It went by very quickly. I may have held my breath for most of it. At least I remembered what to do. At the end Sensei said to keep practicing. I need to extend my arms and relax my shoulders and think of the jo as an extension of my body.
December 2, 2004, Patience
Last night the children were distracted by an unfortunate moth that had landed on our white canvas mat during their running warm up. As little feet stampeded around the dojo skirting the moth I tried to pick it up and take it to an open window, but it kept evading me. One child called it a big mosquito. Another child tried to swat it and I asked him pointedly if he would like me to swat him like he did the moth. After the moth was safely outside we practiced for their tests.
The children will be testing in a couple of weeks. We focused on tai sabaki omote and ura, kokyu nage one, two, and three. They worked really hard for the most part. One child had to sit in the corner until he was ready to practice and not fool around.
In the ladies class I worked with a newcomer. I was amazed at my pat
I think my body needed a break anyway. This morning I went for a run, the best one I've had in several weeks. It was 5:30 and still dark. The air was clean and cool. When I was visiting my parents last weekend, my father suggested that I take my jo with me on my runs as there have been two attacks on women in recent weeks. In both cases the suspects were caught. I tried to imagine how I'd run with the jo without my arms and legs getting whacked by it.
I've been asked to audition for a play at the local amateur theatre I belong to. It's called ‘Wake' written by David Widdicombe. The director seems to think I could portray a sixteen year old daughter of a mortician who attends wakes to meet boys. I had vowed to limit my theatre activities to set painting, but this is a one act play and hopefully won't be too intrusive on my training schedule…IF I get the part…that's a big if.
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