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Yesterday I participated for the first time in "advanced class" (since my dojo is pretty big, we have classes seperated to 'beginners', 'year plus' and advanced. Even though i'm there for more than a year and a half, i'm in a beginners group).
Due to my schedule, I can only attend Beginners and advanced classes, so I asked the Dojo head if i can try advanced, and he said sure. I was kind of frightened of not being able to keep up, but actually it was pretty nice. I think I was the lowest ranking person there by atleast 3 Kyus (I'm on 5th kyu) , but I knew what I was doing most of the time,
I noticed that most students tend to take plenty of breaks, while in my class our sensei forbids breaks unless you're "fainting". I managed to get through the class with no breaks while maintaining a good pace, a respectable posture and honest attacks, I guess mostly thanks to the rigid regime of beginner's class.
Anyways, now I'm officially invited to advanced class. I wonder if I should go there once a week, appending to my twice a week beginners, or jump into 4 classes a week right away. I'm thinking to maintain a minimum of 3 classes a week, while allowing myself to miss one advanced class for socializing.
Warning: Long incoherent post, it's just a self reminder to my current state of mind.
It just occured to me, that perhaps it's not only due to the heat and my over perspiration, but rathe me getting out of shape, and rationalizing it with tomatos and how they can help you out. What happened to the days I could run 10 Kms on army shoes with a full vest and M-16 while chanting stupid songs?
I had a week off of aikido due to vision laser-correction surgery (now I can roll AND see what's up) and I realized that I should start rebuilding my stamina somehow. But I don't want to go to the gym again, I hate it.
And I don't want to run along the beach, it's not me.
I considered swimming in our pool (since it's small, i thought i'd tie myself with a rope to something stationary and swim without moving), but for now i'm just doing general excercises in my room and play hackysack as much as i can.
I know it's not the best form of excercise, but it's the one i'm most likely going to stick to, and I hate being exhausted in aikido classes, damnit.
Yes, I agree. I learned using three words borrowed from judo: kuzushi, tsukuri, and kake. Kuzushi is the most important (least for me where I am at now) because if you don't have it, you don't have the other two. So, you have balance, then you have being in the right place at the right time or the "fit", and finally the end of the technique or the "throw".
I totally relate to that. Last class we had jiyu waza, and my partner was my sensei. He attack constantly and didn't let up, saying "keep moving, don't stay in one place".
I managed to take his balance and try a kotegaeshi, but i wasn't positioned well and he regained his balance and the technique failed. But he still said "good job".
Using the above terms, I guess I achieved a Kuzushi for a fraction of a second, but failed the Tsukuri.
My instructor frowns upon drinking during class, and even discourages drinking right after it. Since I sweat quickly and allot from every cell on my body (except armpits and palms, strangely), I usually get so dehydrated that halfway into class I'm exhausted and gasping for air. So I asked him why he discourages drinking. He gave me several health and training reasons, and suggested I eat some watery fruit after class instead of drinking.
The next class I came prepared with a banana and a tomato, and ate the tomato before class. and BY GOD did it change my life. All of a sudden I could breeze through the class, working hard as usual, without losing my breath or needing a rest. Same thing happened the next class - Interesting what a tomato can do.
I recently purchased Ellis Amdur's video on Ukemi, and threw in his book "Grappling with the myth of the warrior sage", since I like reading as much as I can about every hobby I pick up.
I was expecting to get more from the DVD, but ended up reading the book in my bed every night and pondering deeply after every chapter. I'm not a person to fall for kitsch writing, but the book truly raises questions that has plagued me from day one on the mat, and even worse - questions that I haven't even asked myself, and should have.
The DVD on the other hand, didn't even show a single fall I recognize and I have no idea how I can practice anything I've seen there during class. I'll have to inspect it further
Just a quick thought. Now, back to work.
I came with a better feeling to class, a little more "open up", and it really helped. Asking questions did help after all Also, our instructor started the class saying "lately i've been teaching you advanced techniques and I noticed all of you have bad basics! so today we'll be doing the basics again". Boy did I need that. I wish I had someone to practice with so I won't forget them again.
I don't know why, but for the last several weeks, I go to classes and feel disconnected from what's going around, I feel like i'm doing evreything wrong and that i'll never get it right.
On the other hand I did have a few insights into how to do things, but overall I go to class not expecting much and by the end of it my throat is soar from disappointment.
Last class the head of the dojo gave the lesson, and the first thing he did was sort of a circular excercise, i got to practice with a new guy and we didn't understand it. since it was a big class and the instructor was on the other side of the room, we just stood like idiots trying to see what others were doing. later the instructor did it with me, and i still didn't get it. he said "you do it ok without getting it, don't worry", but he's just a nice guy i know he didn't want me to feel bad, that's it.
In my thursday class we learned to effectively block a front punch, and the leg movements, even though very simple (switching stance), was very hard to do quick enough and I totally didn't get it right by the end of class. I decided to start doing ashi sabaki training bit by bit at home because I feel it's very vital.
In the aikijujitsu class we learned a block from the same attack, but with a different method, which was really interesting. I wish I had someone to practice with because these blocks need to be instantaneous to be effective and that can't come without practice..
Well, just as I expected, one lesson after that good one, it was back to normal, with me feeling like a nincompoop with everything I'm doing.
I always tell myself that it's a good thing, I'm still very very new to Aikido, and if I feel i'm not doing things good, I atleast know where to improve!
I had to miss another week because I'm playing a high profile show tonight, but hopefully this will be the last missed class in a very long time.
I took a week and a half break from Aikido for a snowboarding vacation. When i got back, I felt like I quit aikido and had to start it all over again. I was a little nervous at the beginning of the class that I'll suck, but actually it was one of my best days ever. Everything went right for a change!
I'm usually very tight and not flowing, but I felt very loose that day, I didn't use allot of force in the techniques and the instructor even complemented me, which he hardly ever does.. He evevn combined some judo throws with aikido locks on me and i took them easily, usually I'm very surprised if something unexpected happens.
At the end of the class I helped Vicky to train for her 2nd Kiu test. I'm only 5th Kiu, but I had to explain her the difference between Nikyo ura and omote. She asked the instructor and he told her "Roy knows what he's talking about".
I don't know if it helped or not, but I hate taking breaks :/