I didn't have problems walking down the stairs the next day. Pulling a shirt over my head when I couldn't lift my arms above my shoulders was another matter.
I'm complaining, make no mistake about it - my body was screaming at times this weekend. For the stillness exercises like tenchijin and mabu, I'm convinced there are gems and aha moments that only come out when you push your muscles to failure. (I so hope that Neil is not reading this...) I've imposed muscular structure on my body all these years and when the muscles are completely torched, I guess you have the opportunity to discover correct body structure. When your quads can no longer support your stance but you try again and discover you can continue by opening your kua and dropping into it? Or you can't lift your arms anymore, but find that by adjusting your upper back and shoulder position you're back in the class again?
Sometimes it's just finding that feeling or position once and then the goal is a tiny bit less elusive. So often this past year I've felt totally clueless. I really appreciate the beauty of Ark's training program - he hits the training from so many different angles that it's clear why his students get this stuff. And that's just based on the small part we got in a 2 day seminar.
The partner exercises are valuable if your partner gives you good feedback and you're really listening. There is a difference in using muscle vs. structure, but can you honestly accept that you can't do it because it's not just a tweak from what you do, but a totally different concept? Feeling tiny Nori's soft power and watching her handle the burly beasts. Working with Hunter and making subtle adjustments to make and feel the connection between the hand and the heel. Dealing with the mental hurdles...
Ark likes to demonstrate principles with the beefier guys. It was quite the visual to see Ark do shikko with Jeremy on his back until Jeremy choked him out.
Then he picked up Chris and showed how to do shikko and then walk thru a resisting partner. Power that launched John and Fritz and had them laughing before they hit the ground. Franco doesn't have the bulk of these guys but he's strong and wiry - Ark's kick sent him flying back with a 'Kodak moment' look on his face. Ark moving at "regular" sparring speed, and then switching to demonstrably quicker movement from structure where waza just happens. whoa...
The movement exercises like ashiage and others help you transition body structure in stillness to movement. And to extend your range of movement while maintaining structure. After a day to digest things, I'm appreciative of all the undiscovered nuances of the training exercises. And this is just Aunkai lite...
Watching, listening and trying to absorb some of the Aunkai knowledge and perspective through the entire seminar had great value even if you couldn't do the exercises. Ark is expressive and communicates well despite the language barrier - Rob's value as a translator is incredibly understated. For both teacher and student, there's tremendous depth and knowledge and their ability to communicate other worldly concepts impressive.
I'll vouch for Tom's comment about these exercises helping one recover from back injuries, if appropriate for your type of injury. And yes John, you can impart force more directly into uke, so can you lighten up a bit when I'm on the airshield?
And what a blast to meet and train with everybody. Thanks for the privilege.
It all tied together and it all was good. TNBBC will be fun tonight. Well, maybe not the 1st half, but the discussion period afterward will be something.