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I've never ever really written any of this down and I was mulling over it the other night and there were bits that seemed fuzzy so I'm going to write it all down and see what I end up with.
If any of this makes any kind of sense to anyone..........
Cauldron stiring: Tenchi nage, Kote gaeshi, kaiten nage. Imagine standing in front of a large cauldron of something really thick like porridge and stiring with a large pole. To stir you have to move your whole body from the hips in a circle.
Morning yawn: Suwari waza kokyu ho, Irimi nage, shiho nage. Lifting the upper body/pushing the arms forward with the spine.
Switch morning yawn: Ude kime nage, Tenchi nage, Sumi otoshi, irimi nage. Collapsing the body inward and forward/down.
Screwing in: Ikkyo-rokkyo. Irimi nage, shiho nage, ude kime nage, kote gaeshi (?).
Turning the foot outwards producing tension in the hips and back, pulling the body down.
....you're standing on one foot and you're relaxed and the guy, who's bigger than you, is leaning into you and pushing as hard as he can and breathing heavily. And you're just standing there wondering what to do with your free floating foot.
Then he says "How do you do that?" and you have no idea because you've only just realised that you can do it!
The other question I have to answer "I don't know" to is "Which posture do I need to be in?" Sensei says that at my level I shouldn't be bothered about which posture I'm in, so I'm not. But lower kyu grades have to be so I spend a lot of time going back and figuring out which posture they should be starting in.
Other people make me realise how much I do intutively; how much my body just does by itself.
So I just decided to totally relax, I mean spaghetti arms. I found that 4th kyus and up could take ukemi to varying degrees. The newer guys just crumpled in a heap. Literally they couldn't stay standing long enough for me to get through the technique.
The technique seems to work better if you don't try to do it. If you remove the "I will do ikkyo on this person" and just have "I will do ikkyo; they are irrelevent" there seems to be a massive increase in effect.
Irimi nage on the newer guys. I only did it once. I didn't grab him I just rested my hands on him, maybe pressing in a bit, I'm not sure but not grabbing. It was like having a ball and bouncing it off the floor as hard as possible to see how high it goes and with out using the arms, only people tend not to bounce. I was horrified; my uke was fine, was even laughing about it.
It's odd and so counter intuitive. How far does this Akido rabbit hole go?
"Discipline. Traveling in pursuit of Truth. To pursue aikido, or any martial art, as a path to self-improvement involves more than training. The word "shugyo" connotes a continual striving for technical and personal excellence. KEIKO, or training, is only one component of such striving. To pursue aikido as a Way, requires a continual reexamination and correction of oneself, one's attitudes, reactions, dispositions to like or dislike, etc"
I've been mulling over this Shugyo thing. In response to one of my blogs Niall said " Exhaust yourself physically and mentally - and spiritually if that's what you want too. From the shugyo - that ascetic practice - maybe you will find an answer."
Somehow this seems like a really good idea. Maybe what I need is to go and exhaust myself. I think once the nonsense of Christmas is over I'm going to go mental see if I can't up my training to daft levels for a month.
So I'm sitting on the mat minding my own; Sensei is up taking ukemi for his instructor and it dawns on me that I'm the fourth most senior person on the mat and there are a lot of people on the mat and everyone above me is an instructor.
Suddenly I feel like the tip of the sword. We're here to teach weapons work to a new dojo and I'm in the thick of it. I don't get to skitter around checking people moving from pair to pair. No, I have to train with someone and I have to get things right because the guy in front of me is trying to learn from me and so is everyone who can see me. I have to perform perfectly, over and over again.
I am not Alex: I am an example. Yes, if they get stuck they will probably ask one of the instructors but in the meantime they're looking to see what I'm doing; there's that pause at the start of training where everyone looks around to see what to do and today they were looking at me.
I find these situations where people clock on to the fact that I'm the senior student of the senior student of the guy teaching and suddenly people really want to train with me. This whole new ranking system develops; the sandan or yondan over there isn't important: ikkyu over here is because he's in the lineage. I'm the senior person in this lineage that's training, I must be trained with.
For me this is odd, I feel like a nobody, I'm just another person on the mat; I'm there to do my own training or to be Sensei's dogsbody as he is his instructors dogsbody. A
Woe betide anyone who gets in my way as I get up to uke today. I hope there's more than just our guys grading, I want something juicy; a third kyu grading at least.
I love that pause after they call "Ukes please!" And our dojo looks around and then at each other as no-one moves and then someone says "Don't worry; we'll take all the ukemi today!" and we charge back in.
The problem is me. This is a strain of thought that I've been mulling over for a while. So often in Aikido I see people doing things wrong not because they haven't learned the right way but because they don't like the right way; it doesn't mesh with their personality.
One guy I see occasionally on courses and such can't just make yokomen uchi or shomen uchi with a weapon. He has to be unusally expressive in his movements, presumably he thinks this makes him look cool or something but the guy is so off balance that he's in danger of falling over. This is true of all his Aikido from what I've seen.
There is too much him in the form and it is creating a blockage in his Aikido. His cup is too full of how he thinks it should be. So often in Aikido we make things a vehicle for our personality rather than a vehicle for traveling the path.
And this is where I am. There is a way the world works and I am doing things to suit my personality rather than in harmony with the world and I am stuck. I'm trying to drive a dog sled down a railway track albeit with some success; I'm swinging away like mad and I am off balance.
In Aikido I impose myself on the kata rather than listening to what the kata has to say. I feel I impose myself on life rather than listening to it. There is a path to everything. Want to be a lawyer? There is a path. Want to be a Doctor? There is a path there is a form to follow. There is the form of a student, the form of a doctor, etc.