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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.
Today before I went to work, I did a little Aikido technique practice/warnup at the house (kinda becoming a little ritual thing that I practice technique even though I am away from the dojo). After this I wanted to work on some stuff that could make me more blade conscious with practice. I got an old piece of cardboard and hung it from the ceiling with a string. I then pushed it back and forth, pretending that it was a person coming in and out at me, attacking me with a blade or some kind.
I found out that this was an excellent way for me to practice my tenkans (90 degree). And with the idea in mind that the 'board' had a knife or blade, I was able to also include some knifing footwork and stances.
Even though I am getting a lot into the knive and FMA stuff, its only for the purpose of learning how to defend myself against one. I think that Aikido defenses (getting out of the way), are a great help to anyone in a knife fight because you are then able to use the most reliable defense against someone with a knife....run!!! lol.
I think that this will become part of my usual ritual of studying techniques outside of the dojo on my own. I think that doing this puts you more in-tune with yourself doing it on your own, because you are the only one around...its your own private dojo.
I hate leaving class early! I feel like I am being soo disrespectful. I had to leave class 1/2 hour early today because I had something to take care of for work, and I feel bad about it. I know that I should not consider it such a big deal, but I don't want Sensei to think less of me. Gotta do what you gotta do.
And while we are on the topic, I have noticed that there are a few different students in the weekend classes who show up to class 45 minutes late when there is only 45 minutes left. What is the point of this?! lol.
And by the way I am not to happy that next week will be the last week that I am able to attend weekday morning classes until this coming school semester is over.
Well anyways. Still having a little bit of trouble with my breakfalling. I am able to get off of the ground, but not more than an inch or two. Practice continues...
I think that I am back in my groove now, since I was sick the last few weeks.
Class today was good, worked on nikkyo and kote-goshi (spelling?) techniques, as they apply each in two to three different ways. Lynn met with me for about 20 minutes before class upon my request for him to show me a little more knife work and technique (if you are reading this, thanks Lynn; and by the way I think that in my spare time I may build myself one of those dummies we were talking about. Got any tips?). We discussed slap blocks and the five angles of attack rather than Marc 'Animal' MacYoung's nine angles. Its really hard to apply the pivoting and footwork to the five angles that we were going over, but I guess that I will get it in time.
I have just about finished reading The Art of Aikido: Principles and Essential Techniques by Kisshomaru Ueshiba. Started reading Don Pentecost's "Put 'Em Down, Take 'Em Out!", which seems like it has a lot of useful information. Then I got two other books; one knife book by 'Animal' and then the knife fighting Encyclopedia by Hochheim. Thanks for everything Lynn, and the video compilation to!
Wow! Im really liking this stuff!!
I practice my techniques for both Tenshinkai Aikido and Knives at work now...figured out how to manipulate the system. . haha
Whenever I go out of town or am sick, like I am right now, I hate missing classes at the dojo. I feel like when I go back I have to relearn a lot of the stuff. Anyways, I have missed two classes this week already, so hopefully I will be better by tomorrow so that I can go.
Attended the New Years Day Seminar at school today. I was very impressed with how many people showed up. We practiced many different techniques that I have never even seen before. For example, today was the first time that I have ever seen a nikkyo technique beginning with a catch and then a tenkan. There was very little room on the mat and I was surprised that not one group or person collided with another. The mat was so crowded that while practicing a technique we had to end it before the throw because there was no room to throw anyone. I think that I got some good pictures with my camera, and quite a few guests showed up to watch the class. I wish the warm-ups had not been cut short because I felt as though I was not totally stretched out.
Overall my first real seminar that I participated in was a lot of fun.
Well another year has past now. I will have been studying Aikido for a year when January hits. I cannot believe that my New Years Resolution from the beginning of 2004 was to study Aikido, because its the only resolution for the new year that I have ever kept for the entire year!!! haha. I guess I must really enjoy it. In fact, I woke up today, and headed down to the dojo, knowing that it is a holiday, anxious to train. Upon arriving I saw all the lights off and nobody parked out front. I read the sign that I have read about 30 times already that states, "Closed December 31." I was looking forward to training so much that I completely forgot.
Class last night was probably the most intesnse class that I have participated in since starting my training almost a year ago. For the majority of the class all we did was break falling and rolling techniques. I have never done break falls so much, but it payed off because I am getting more comfortable with doing them. We did alot of riotitori (spelling?) throws into rolls and break falls.
I wish I would have gone to class this morning, but I would have only gotten 4 hours of sleep.
I HOPE THAT THE ENTIRE WORLD OF AIKIDO HAD A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAS A HAPPY NEW YEAR.