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It'd been more than a week since I stepped onto the mat. It was nice to be back. It was especially nice because this week there is a gashuku on at the dojo. The Ibaraki University aikido club/dojo has come down to stay at the shin dojo and train at Tanrenkan for the week.
Last night I started out working with Adam, the Australian sotodeshi who has been in Iwama for a couple years. His wife recently had a baby (his wife is Aussie as well, they both work for Nova, an English conversation school or eikawa) but that hasn't slowed him down on the mat. He's very strong but doesn't use his strength to blast through you on a technique. He is very earnest about his training and I always learn a lot working with him. He doesn't talk much but the little hints he gives every 10 minutes or so are invaluable. Most of the time he's reminding me of things he's already heard Sensei yell at me about. Once in a while he points something out those things we should all be painfully aware of -- like dropping the hips for tae no henko or keeping arms extended for ikkyo. He reminds me a bit of Jorge in that regard, except without the physical punishment Jorge sometimes uses to reinforce his point.
After doing tae no henko kihon and ki no nagare, Sensei split me and Adam up and put us with white belts from the Ibaraki University dojo. The split up was a little ambiguous since he broke up a group of three (Ibaraki U students, two white belts and a black belt, working together) a
Alicia and I are looking to move down to Iwama in the next few weeks. It's a done deal, putting in our 30 day notice and everything at Heart. I'm really looking forward to living down there, being able to walk, ride, drive a matter of a couple minutes to the house instead of driving 30-40 minutes. It'll also be nice to have the summer off!
That's right, thanks to progressive thinking, Alicia will be supporting my aikido habit over the summer until the Iwama Junior High School contract becomes available at the beginning of September! We did all the math and figured out that averaged out, we would make just a little bit less over the year when compared to our other options. The main reason is our contracts will be 8 hour days instead of 6 ... small price to pay considering the commute we're avoiding would have been about 2 hours daily anyway. Might as well be getting paid for those two hours and get some lesson planning done. . .
So we checked out places in Iwama and wrote down the building numbers of three or four apartments. When noone lives in an apartment, there are no drapes so we could also see which ones are currently available and we could take a peek inside to see what kind of living space we'd be getting.
We're pretty sure a two room place would suit us. People hear two-room and they think, like in the States, that there are two bedrooms, a living room and a kitchen but no, I mean two ROOMS, like two rooms, a tiny kitchen and a bathroom. So, yeah, we could c
This is a journal entry from January when I took my girlfriend to Saito Hitohiro Sensei's dojo for the first time last month. She had never trained aikido -- she had only watched one training session, in America, at Hans Goto Sensei's dojo (http://www.baymarinaikido.com). The first entry is my journal entry, the next is hers. Remember this is all our own interpretation of things -- her understanding of the world of aikido is, so far, somewhat limited and as such she sees things in a very black and white fashion. Any constructive criticism is welcome. Criticism that is less than constructive can be mailed directly to me at email@example.com
PS - though we've both had trouble making it to training on a nightly basis, we're training as much as possible and she's still enjoying herself immensely!
At keiko, we did the starting ritual of tae no henko (kihon and ki no nagare) and morotedori kokyu ho, then a morotedori henka waza, then straight into ikkyo for the rest of class. I'd never seen Hitohiro Sensei with a brand new aikido student. The fact that it was a foreigner with no japanese language ability added to the grandeur of the moment. . . and that it was my girlfriend just blew my mind. It was spectacular. I've seen Hitohiro Sensei annoyed, angry, indiffirent, and, on occasion, I've seen him in a good mood, bordering on buoyant. Tonight was a buoyant night. He seemed in a very good mood.
Welcome to my aikiblog. This blog will consist, mostly, of entries copied from a blogspot equivalent journal I have at http://ibaraki-bryan.blogspot.com
I will, on occasion, post something exclusive here.
Please remember everything included in this journal is from my own limited view of things. I'm a new shodan (got my blackbelt almost one year ago, just before coming to Iwama as uchideshi last April) and I feel I'm at the stage of training where I need to really concentrate on the basics again. I'm hoping to keep a training journal, noting aspects of certain techniques that were less than obvious to me in the past (or those parts that always seem obvious in hindsight but that insist on remaining vague and obscure on the mat).
Feel free to email me or make any comments you like here or at firstname.lastname@example.org