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For about 2 years now I have been practicing Zazen meditation, and trying my hardest to improve my concentration. There were a few details I once had trouble with, especially trying to establish a feeling of breathing with my Hara. But after a years practice it now feels as if my lungs are in my stomach. Eventually I became able to incorporate all the elements that make up proper meditation, so then my next objective was to master my breathing without panic.
So, now two years since I started this I can now live off of- without any panic less than 60 full breaths per hour. A normal human breathes at least 1,800 times per hour, believe me it was hard to achieve this. Now, since I quit smoking 7 days ago my lungs capacity will increase more everyday, so within a month I should be able to make each breath last at least a minute and a half. My Aikido should improve in matters of stamina and power, and man it feels good to be able to breath again after ten years of smoking.
I wonder, just how long it will take for me to be able to make it to one breath every 5 minutes.
Last night was rough, I am really new to Aikido, about 4 months 3 classes a week now. Since my first day I have been doing Shiho-Nage and the finale has always been the same, pull the wrist to the floor. Last night Sensei told all student 3rd Kyu and up to do tobu, anyways I started practicing with a Senior Advanced student. I attacked yokomen and he did Shiho-Nage on me, then my turn, I am still concerned about getting the basics down, I grabbed his wrist turned and then proceeded to pull down reflexivey. Oops, forgot he was supposed to do tobu ukemi, just about killed Uke in front of Sensei. I tell ya, I would have been pleased not to have ever made a mistake like that.
So far no-one has ever taken tobu on my sloppy beginners Shiho-nage and so I did what came natural to me after all the practicing of pulling the arm down. But, it is good the I realized as my knees began to bend that my pulling hand felt less pressure and became a point of rotation, I realzed in time what was happening and stood up. Had I not done that there could have been a serious injury. This is a major lesson for me, not only to be extremly careful, but that this just goes to show that when I attack as Uke mistakes can happen and I have to trust these guys with my life, and one day I will be the senior and someone else the beginner, pray to the Gods I am as lucky as he.
Anyways smoking has been an incredible hinderence to my practice, rolling causes my to feel like dying, and periodically durin