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This sucks I've been sick as a dog with a lung infection and out of Aikido for a week now, and I'm still sick. By the time I get back I'll be so stiff from lack of exercise and as if Randori wasen't bad enough, every time I take more than two days off it feels as if it's my first time. Oh well, these Antibiotics better start working or I'll have to Yonkyo that doctor.
Yesterday has gotta be the wickedest class I've had so far. Me and one of the guys have been going to Aikido for around a year now and I guess its gotten us in good shape. We talked before class about how frustrating Aikido can be as a beginner, and mentioned how shameful it feels to be basically fighting and not do as good as you hope in class.
Well when we got in we were doing shomen-uchi yonkyo, and man we just beat the crap right out of each other for an hour straight. We each felt nasty pain and it got both of us heated, so when he attacked he was actually trying to take my head off, and I'd slam him down with everything I had and yonkyo his wrists hard, and vice versa. The whole thing was being done at our highest possible speed. And for either nage, if there was even a little slack as uke we'd get right up and try to punch eachother in the face with total honesty, which of course would cause nage panic and have no choice but to improvise the yonkyo to save ourselves from a black eye.
This had to have been the absolute best training day I've had, we've never fought so hard, except with Sensei. This is how I want to train when it's a technique that can be safely executed on uke, or on me as nage with that kind of ferocity.
Well I've screwed up my arms. I've been out of class for 4 days now. Monday we were practicing striking and I guess I didn't have a good view of what Sensei was doing, so when I had to practice I was hitting wrong. One of the guys was holding a focus mitt, and he put all his body weight into it, I thought we were doing a corkscrew backfist, seemed kinda odd to me at the time too. Anyhow I kept hitting the mitt and since there was no give to it my wrist kept bending while locked, so I pulled my tendons in my forearms. 30 hits later Sensei tells me we're doing a loose hook; if only I'd known.
So, the next day I woke up and went to get coffee and noticed my arms were hurting, grabbed my cup and couldn't hold on and dropped it. Since then I needed two hands to hold on to things and yet still my hands were shaking. Can't squeeze a fist, and working istough, I have trouble pulling the cap off of a marker- sucks you know, I work using power tools. So, hopefully I heal up by Monday and get to go back to class, my arms and wrists are starting to feel a bit better now anyway. Geez I hope they don't scratch my name off the attendence sheet, it's kinda like getting kicked off the Island.
I shouldn't have compared quitting smoking to holding those postures. I didn't think, the class eventually ended and I went home. So I stopped punishing myself, sooooo to with smoking. Bloody nicotine. But, ohhh do I feel goooood.
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