Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Shikkyo, Ikkyo, Nikkyo

Started the night doing iriminage. I seem to get it mostly right. Once in a while I'm not connecting the person to my center as well as I'd like.

The we did some suwari waza. First omote and ura ikkyo's. They we moved on to a nikkyo. Somewhere in the middle we practiced just moving around (Shikkyo). So we spent a lot of time on our knees. This was particularly tough for Kim as he doesn't have the best knees to begin with. I felt as though I did well enough. It wasn't until the end that I got the nikkyo's down to the point where they looked good. At least I got to end on a successful note.

Not sure why but Kim got pounded last night. Sensei picked on him a lot to demonstrate various nikkyo's. It could be that he wants me to see the technique or that he wants kim to feel what it should feel like.

My ribs still hurt a little from two weeks ago but I started to finally turn the corner on them. This morning they even felt better than the day before so aikido isn't making them worse.

DAPI:2 (pre-existing rib pain from two weeks ago)
Day After Pain Index

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

So Much For Progress

We did some exercises that I've done in the past. A couple of irimi variations. What's interesting is that sensei had his 4 year old join us this class. At the end of class he was sort of going down the carpeted stairs like a lot of kids do.... on his butt. Then he sort of just rolled off onto the floor.

I whisper to sensei so his kid doesn't get any bright ideas...
ME: When I was a kid I used to do somersaults down the stairs.
SENSEI: So why is your ukemi so bad then?

D'oh. So... I have no idea if he was kidding or serious. I thought I had improved. Maybe I did... maybe I went from abysmal to lousy. Which is fine in my book. Ah... one comment will not deter me. I will master the forward roll one day.

These past two weekends I raked my lawn by hand and picked up 33 bags of leaves and thatch. I didn't have a single sore muscle. When I did this 2-3 years before I hurt all over.

So, if nothing else aikido is working some muscles.

My ribs still hurt a bit. Last night after class I started taking an anti-inflammatory for it. I think that helped some. I'm hoping that if I take this for a few days it will be enough for me to heal up.

DAPI: 2 ( but I went in with pain in the ribs)
Day After Pain Index

Friday, November 18, 2005

Smacking Sensei Upside The Head

Ok... we did some rolling this class for the first time in a while. I think my recent rolling adventure on Saturday has enouraged Sensei to have me roll some more. I did fair which means that my rolls probably sucked but except for one roll... none of them hurt.

We moved on to iriminage. Actually we did a couple of different techniques.... all unremarkable. At one point though Sensei asked me to strike at his head. So I do so. Over and over at his direction. Then he didn't move far enough back. I stopped short as I didn't want to really hit him for no reason. Then he said that sometimes there will be nights that he will take a hit and maybe this was one of em. Then requested that I strike again.... and again... each time with him stepping back out of range. Then .... he didn't. I still stopped short of hitting him but my attack was so committed that the energy had to go somewhere. I changed my position and ended up launching myself in his general direction where he sort of caught me. Although I think he was trying to show me that getting hit was no big deal... I think he also wanted me to make better more committed attacks.

I just couldn't hit him. Maybe I'm not cut out for martial arts but I find it difficult to hit another human being when I know I am not going to be hit. If I were boxing.... I don't think I'd have a problem at all. Maybe at higher kyu grades there are more atemi expected and received. At that point I think I could do it but for now.... no.

One cool thing. At the end of the night, sensei wanted to demostrate all the different things we were learning or going to learn soon. I was uke for the demo and was able to flow with him really well. There was even a couple techniques I was not familiar with so I had to just go with it and I moved right with him. So my ukemi has gotten better in this respect.

DAPI: 2 (Sternum still sore from Saturday, small sore spots here and there from last night)
Day After Pain Index (I'm old I hurt easy)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Re-Direct Force

So this was an interesting class. Sensei taught with just Kim and I in attendence. Basically for the whole class we did exercises that stressed connecting to your center and using it to move your partner. Basically all the moves were the beginnings of techniques.

For example, Grabbing the wrists from behind. Sensei grabbed me and had me so of duck under. The first time I apparently used muscle. I tried again and Sensei said I did better but apparently still used a tiny bit of muscle.

Day After Pain Index

Monday, November 14, 2005

Rolling, Lots of Rolling

I went to Aikido class in the Salem Dojo on Saturday. Holy heck. Although Sensei was there he was not teaching this class. Some black belt was teaching. I guess he's taking over the Saturday class at Shodokan for a while. The problem is... no one told him I'm incapable of rolling.... so he did a normal practice which meant... stretching.. followed by rolling practice. I'll always try. I didn't do too badly actually. Also, he preferred us rolling for ukemi during the practices rather than breakfalls. So every exercise I had to roll.

All in all, I didn't do too badly, I only jammed my shoulder once. So, although they are still bad, I'm improving the rolls I think.

One thing different about this guys teaching.... He had us working in a line rather than in partners. Also, he liked to start off in a dynamic position and not static. This means that rather than uke just grabbing wrists and such, uke walks/runs to nage and attacks.

Overall the whole class was very vigorous. Huge workout for me.

This is one of those weeks where I wonder if I'm making any progress at all? I could do all the techniques he asked of us (5th kyu stuff) but I needed to be shown a couple of them once more.

How come I don't know them all at this point? It's not like I haven't done each one. Perhaps it's because we only meet twice a week and I'm still a beginner? Makes me wonder if I'll be capable of retaining enough at once to grade. I don't think I'm hopeless.... but I sure would like to practice more. I just don't have the free time.

One thing I noticed though.... I had an easier time with the techniques once I recognized which ones he was doing. They were different enough that I had to sort of translate it in my head. At the very least they started different (dynamically).

DAPI: 2 ( sternum was still a little sore but not bad really)
Day After Pain Index

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Yay Nikkyo Night

It's seems like along time where we did anything requiring a pin. I really missed this. Overall... things were doing really well excecpt I was hunching over during one technique..... Francesca tried to correct this by asking e to widen my stance to a ridiculous amount. I realized at the end that I was looking down at the floor again.... when I look down my whole posture changes for the worse. I thought I was over that bad habit.

Overall... had a good time but I've felt looser in the shoulders on other nights.

Kim had trouble applying the nikkyo pin... he also seemed to have some difficulties puting me down on the mat. At the end of the night I reminded him of the two things we learned in previous classes that he can do.... One is to take steps to pull the '3-legged' table off balance.... the other thing you can do is bend the elbow and lower down. Uke has no choice but to go to the mat.

Day After Pain Index

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Another Sweat-Fest

Francesca taught again. I'm pretty sure that she wants to step the pace up on our training. Apparently, she feels it's important to practice more vigorously. We practiced a couple of techniques that are on the 5th kyu test.

Greg actually showed up. It was really nice having someone more experienced to train with for a change. His one month absence started when he took a weeks vacation to do something fun and amazing. It took him a week or two to find his way back into the dojo. He said he'd be gone Thursday but he'd return the following week.

Kim took his cue from Greg to start resisting again. I guess Kim figured that it's what you're supposed to do since a more experienced aikidoka(Greg) is doing it. I think he's wrong for doing so. Sensei told us on at least two occasions that as beginners we shouldn't resist. Kim has forgotten this or perhaps substituted his judgment for sensei's. I won't do that. I think its egotistical to do so. Hopefully he won't get hurt doing this.

Last week I decided to stop babying Kim. All this time I've really been holding back to make sure his ukemi was up to snuff. Also, I didn't want him to get discouraged. So.. now that he's been doing it for a couple months I think its time I start treating him like everyone else. I started throwing him at a more normal speed and force. Don't get me wrong... I'm still letting him take the fall... I'm just being less gentle in general.

Last night Kim twisted my wrist up a little badly. Instead of bringing my wrist up over his head and reversing his direction for the throw.... he jammed my wrist toward my body, bending it more than this exercise usually does. It actually hurt a little last night but feels perfectly fine today.

Francesca banged on us for etiquette again. I don't mind the small speech but she really chose her words poorly. She suggested that we were getting lax in our etiquette. The fact of the matter is... we never properly bow to O'Sensei at the beginning of class because the tatami and kamiza have to be set up. Once everything is set up we are sort already on the mats so sensei actually said it was ok to sort of skip it. So... It's not that we were getting lax.... It's that sensei Bob didn't stress that as necessary. Since I've been to a regular dojo with a permanent mat I know to bow in properly and do it in those situations.... I just never did it in ours because I was following sensei's last instruction. I didn't try to correct her poor choice of wording as I didn't think it appropriate and really.... what would it accomplish. We should just be grateful that she can come in and teach when sensei isn't around(which seems to be a lot lately).

DAPI:2 (muscles feel a little worked)
Day After Pain Index

Friday, November 04, 2005

Ditch Diggers Are Annoying

I'm trying to get to class on time and they block off the road I have to go down for a mere 100 yards. So I follow the detour signs to discover.... there are no more detour signs. They expect you to know your way around apparently. So I roam around for 5 minutes trying to find a way in to the street. After this I gave up and drove back to the barricade and spoke with the cop who was manning it. Turns out they are digging a ditch way up past where I need to go, so the cop moves the barricade so I can get through. All in all ... I end up 10 minutes late but Francesca commented that she was surprised I found my way to class at all. She hit the same barricade but knew the roads well enough to get in. A GPS would have been nice at that point. Actually... a road map would have been nice too... except my wife keeps taking it out of my car. I gave her a map but she lost it so she uses mine again.

Anyway.... back to aikido. It was iriminage night. We worked on uke's footwork and then worked time after time on the technique. I'm guessing this isn't the last of it as Francesca seemed to be determined to have us learn this well. Also... she was trying to get us to be a little more rigorrous in our training. Problem is Kim loses track of who is attack who and on what side and is not sure what hanmi he should be in. So we have to have a small chat almost every time he is nage. As his uke I let him pick the side and I adjust accordingly. Even if he does the same side 4 times in a row by accident.... I let him. Problem is.... Francesca will try and correct him so we have slow practice.

My biggest problem with the technique was for the tenkan I was turning past 180 degrees for my feet. Also.... I seemed to clothesline Kim a lot. I need work on this still.

DAPI: 1 ( no pain at all)
Day After Pain Index

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Hey... Another Bokken Night

Sensei had both his kids at the dojo so normal training wasn't even a thought I think. He had Kim and I doing two bokken exercises. One is a simple step off the line and cut... the second was a turn the sword to deflect the opponent blade and then cut.

At one point he had his daughter in one arm and asked for me to perform a cut so he could show us something. I hesitated because there is no way I could allow myself to hurt her. Turns out he was very much out of sword range(on purpose). He did make some kind of comment saying he would do the "Lone Wolf and Cub" thing. I was shocked. Although I read the series when it first came out it never occurred to me that he ever read a comic. The thing is... I ordered it about two weeks ago and was going to give it to him so he'd have some "bubble gum for the mind" to look at. I'll ask him tonight if he ever actually read the series.

DAPI: 1 ( no sweat )
Day After Pain Index