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It is becoming quite common that I only post an entry in this journal 2-3 times a year now. I swear this last break was not my fault this time. I have taken two years to come to the realization that I MUST return to my Aikido studies. I have mentioned sufferring from back pain on here before, and still trying to overcome to return to Aikido.
Turns out, after getting some x-ray work done, that I have stage 3 (advanced) scoliosis ranging from my lower lumbar to upper thoracic spine. My lumbar spine has a 17 degree curvature (spaning 5-6 vertebrae) and my thoracic spine has a 24 degree compensatory curve (spaning 2-3 vertebrae). I am in pain everyday, but when I excersice, it subsides. Doctors told me that it is ideopathic, and has probably been developing for my whole life as a result of my left leg being 2mm shorter than my right. So, my spine is shaped like an S. How can this happen???? I am only 23 years old!!!! I have played sports for my entire life (baseball, basketball, soccer, etc.), and now my doctor is telling me that I should not even jog or run. Apparently I can only do activities that are non-impact, or it could progress the curves further.
Over the past few months I have concentrated on staying stretched out and doing various strenthening excercises for my spine. What if.....I modify my Aikido training when I return, and remain conscious at all times of things I shouldn't do while there. I
Today I was late to work (2 hrs) because not only was there a book signing at the dojo for my Sensei's book, but a weapons demo!! Who wants to miss that!? Not me.
Anyhow, my back issue is still present, but I will be getting back to training non-the-less. I plan on being back at the dojo full-time (2-3 classes...full-time for me) on Janruary 1, which is the date of the New Years seminar. I will need to get two prep classes in between then and now. I have been away from the dojo for 8 months now. I also found out today that there are many students of aikido that study regardless of injury (specifically back). I think the stretching and rolling will relieve some tension.
I swore before that I would not take breaks from training. Well....Monday night I went to class after 9 long months of no training. I have not felt this good in months. Partly, the reason it took me so long to get back was because of a lower back strain/injury which has improved. I think attending class the other night has actually helped stretch my back out. Love this stuff.
This morning was my first class back since taking a break for two months to finish the semester of school. I realize now that I hate taking breaks from training. It is not so much that I forgot things, like I thought would be the problem, but it is that when I took a break from my Aikido training, I almost stopped working out all together. Then, when I went back today, I was struggling just to keep up with the warm-ups, because they work the whole body. By the end of the warm-up period, I had already broken a sweat, which normally did not used to happen until about half way through the class. Anyways, it went well for the most part and I am going to strive to not take any more breaks, and if I must I dont want them to be two months long. I am also going to start taking my training more seriously.
Today I bought 'Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere'. I am looking forward to it for a good summer read and hope that it will give me a little more in-depth knowledge. The beginning of the book also states that it will later discuss a workout routine specific to Aikido for 'off-the-mat' time, which I want to incorporate in my training.
Lastly-I think I am going to start running to the dojo in the mornings. It is 2.3 miles one-way, but I think that it will be good for me. I am more worried about the run back. haha.
I have unfortunately been unable to attend regular classes at my dojo due to work and school schedules. I am only able to go once a week if I am lucky. I cant wait until school is over because this sucks. I guess everyone has to take a break sometime.
So I work for a security company and the other day my triaining supervisor came to me and said that he wants my help in developing a self defense program for our building's management staff and security staff. He had just gotten back from a 3-day seminar in which he learned basic self defense tactics from the same person that did our handcuff training at work. For a long time, I have been telling him that the new hires should be trained in some kind of basic self defense for safety and liability purposes. Because he knows about my study of Aikido and knowledge of basic martial arts principles, he wants to teach me what he learned, and for me to assist him with teaching it to everyone else. He also said that because of the Aikido training, I can through a few things in there along the way that might compliment some of the techniques that he wants to teach.
The best part about his is that on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of this week, I will be pulled away from my normal duties at work, and I will be doing a 3-day training thing with him.........and getting paid for it.
Lynn if your reading this, I would like to try and go over some things with you before class on Wed (tomorrow) if you were going to be there.
Last night we did something new, or at least something that is new to me. We learned 6 breath throws in order from #1-#6. It really helped me to remember everything that we had gone over by learning the variations to a throw in sets. Very helpful.
9am-Everyone on the mat! Shihan Bill Witt took center stage, and opened the Seminar with a handful of syundo counters.
There was very little room on the mat, not even enough for me to be a good uke and fall during each practice of the techniques that Sensei Witt had demonstrated. There were so many unfamiliar faces on the mat because several dojo's were there practicing, and it was nice because it was the first time I ever trained with anyone from other dojos.
10:15am-Sensei Howard Hoa Newens is now the main man, and demonstrated several syundo techniques as well as some irimi throws.
Today was a very interesting and eventful day.
The 70th birthday of my Sensei (Sensei Dang Thong Phong of Tenshinkai Aikido)
The Anniversary of my dojo (Tenshinkai Aikikai)
The Anniversary of the Tenshinkai Aikido Federation (TAF)
The entire TAF community in my area, along with many others, went to a beautiful Chinese Seafood restaurant for a dinner and birthday/anniversary celebration. I saw so many interesting people that I did not even expect to see. Sensei Fujita was there, along with several California Senate/Congressman peoples, and the Mayor of the City. Sensei Phong was given a key to the City of Westminster and all this other stuff. I was so amazed at how this thing was put on, and I did not think that it was going to be so huge with all these important names in Aikido in general.
I did not want to leave early, but it was worth the little time that I was actually able to spend at the dinner before having to leave. This has just made me that much more interested in the art of Aikido, to be sorrounded by so many high ranking people of the art.
Yesterday's class was good. We did just two techniques for the entire class, and the second one was just an add-on to the first one. They were Ki excercises for the most part, and they felt good when I was able to flow. Then, about 5 minutes before the end of class, we did that one technique (cant remember what its called) where both aikidoka side knee to knee, and take turns grabing eachother's wrists. You are supposed to use your breathing and Ki, I think, to push them over. I absolutely cannot do this, haha, I keep using my upper body strength to do it. lol
Today in class we did some nikkyo technique when faced with a suki (spelling? Punch). And we also did some kotegoshi with this as well. All was well.