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Had 2 vets show up who are no longer in the PTSD program, but are still at the VA facility. They said they would still show up, and they are. I told one of them, if there were 6 or so vets in where ever he is now who might want to do aikido, I would be glad to do something with them. He said he would really like that and he thought there might be a few guys who would want to do it. He also said he is working on getting a pass for Saturday so he could come to the dojo.
I took a couple of new guys through the relaxation demo described above. They said they could feel the difference. When we did irimi tenkan [enter & turn] I had them try doing the move with upper body strength and when they felt "locked up", I told them to relax to their center, and finish the technique. I did this a few weeks ago, and got the same results this time, people really noticed the "power shift", the change in how they gained and held control when they were relaxed.
We finished up with some chair techniques. One of the things this demonstrates is how important it is not to use upper body strength. In a chair it is much easier to utilize your naturally lowered center of gravity.
(Original blog post may be found here