Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Only 5 Minutes Late This Time

With my new job I'm still working out the commute times. I'm so far distance wise that I'm not sure what I can do about this. I don't like being late but Bob specifically told me not to worry about it.

Started off with a couple rolls and then formed a line to have Greg do what I believe was kaitenage from a sitting position. He threw each of us a couple times. Then Bob threw us each with a crosshand grab. He said he wanted us to react to the throw. If the throw was soft we should roll, if it was hard... do a breakfall. I have no idea what he intended for me but I did a breakfall of sorts for both throws. Problem is.... I still don't get a good slap for my hand. Somehow for this breakfall, I dinged my groin. I had some small discomfort for about 5 minutes.... never did that before. Since I have two kids already I'm not too worried about it.

Lots of stuff on our knees for this class. We did hanmi handiche irmirnage. We did other thing from our knees as well.

Bob tried to keep the testing partners working together(there is a test coming up on wednesday). For whatever reason, I was purposefully partnered with Serge. In fact... where we switched partners at one point... he switched us back. Serge is actually one of the few people that ever hurt me on the mat. You can check my old posts about it. He did a kotagaeshi too well and I didn't manage to relieve the pressure quick enough. I actually had to sit back for a minute before I could continue practice. That was quite a while ago though. Since then, he's more aware of being careful around me, I've progressed a bit, and he seems to have an attitude change of sorts. I was wondering if Bob knew that Serge is unpredictable and simply didn't want to pair him with one of the newer beginners or one of the people who were about to test.

Serge tends to talk a bit too much on the mat. It's bad enough to the point where you may only get one throw in and he spends the entire time trying to teach what he thinks you need to know. Occassionally, he may be right but really you need to do the technique.... not just talk about it. As for his attitude change... he no longer likes to throw anyone hard it seems... also... he prefers not to take a vigorous ukemi during practice. At one point we were doing some flavor of irimi nage and he thought I was throwing him too hard. I really wasn't throwing any harder than I've received from others... and I know his ukemi is easily up to it.

After class, we were told we could stay for a free practice. After trying a few knife disarming techniques on me, rather than doing something.... anything... for practice... he spoke at length at least 20 minutes... I have no doubt he would have continued had I not herded us towards the changing room.

The gist of his talk was.... he was happy... didn't feel the need to prove this to others.... and went on with a zenlike attitude regarding the application of aikido in self defense. He also specifically mentioned that if someone is practicing with him and throws hard he will not respond correctly as uke. His point is... that you are treating him as nothing. There is a bit more too it than that but reading it would not be fun.

This is all nice, but I haven't reached a stage where I'm competent yet and would really have preferred to practice rather than listen to him talk about his personal epiphany.


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Oh Man, The Mat Was Cold

Weather is definitely taking on a bit of a chill on the sunday morning classes. Because of the upcoming test we had two students who don't usually show for Sunday's class. We had Mark who tests for 5th kyu and his uke. Interestingly enough, he's asked Buddy to be his uke for the test. He was my uke for my 5th kyu test. Although not the best partner for blending, I though he was pretty good to have for a test. I almost put his head into the wall for one throw. We started too close to the wall.

As for today... it was yokomenuchi day I guess. We did yokomenuchi kokyunagem yokomenuchi kotagaeshi, yokomenuchi shihonage, yokomenuchi ude something or other ikkyo.

So... overall... it was a non-vigorous morning workout.

Monday night I have no idea where I'll be practicing. I'm still working out my work schedule. There is a chance I may go to Shodokan... there is also a chance I'll go to a dojo in Methuen.


Friday night skipped

I was having such a nice time with my family on Friday I literally forgot about aikido class until it had already begun. At that point I just as soon hang out at home. My new job, family and aikido are all wrestling for time. There was a span of 2 days in a row where I didn't see my kids. This was horrible for me. Maybe others are used to this but I'm not.

Anyway.... still working out the new schedule.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I Was On Time

Tonight's Tuesday night class starts at 6pm. I found a way home that was slightly better and left a little early. So Pete taught this class. There were 10 people tonight. For a Tuesday night... thats a larger group. Part of that I'm guessing is that there is a test coming up. I think at least 4 of the attendees were brushing up for the test. 2 more were newer members of the dojo from the last start. I myself, am spotty for Tuesday's.

There is a possiblity that I may attend one or more nights a week at the Methuen Dojo. I haven't been there yet but I may go to take a look around. I'd rather not leave Shodokan and no matter what I'm guessing they'll see me every Sunday regardless. If the later classes were still running regularly Monday nights this wouldn't even be an issue.

So.. anyway... the class... we did lots of moritetori. We did a kokyunage, a shihonage, a kotagaeshi, and a kaitenage. The kotageashi... he tried to teach in a class a sunday or two ago. I couldn't do a think with it. Tonight, I did it almost naturally. It was excellent.

My ukemi has been soft the past couple classes. Another reason to be psyched.


I Was Late

I just started a new job which has turned my schedule upside down. Hopefully it will settle down in a couple weeks. I am experimenting with different ways to get home. Monday night.... I choose poorly.

So. I dressed quickly and stretched out a bit. Then once I got the nod to enter the mat I stretched a little more and joined Buddy and someone else doing a hami handiche, kaitinage of some kind.

I walked into class dog tired from the drive. I left feeling awake and perky. Nothing better for recharging the batteries.


Sunday Morning... George is Back

There is a 64 year old guy named George who used to attend the Sunday classes on a regular basis..... he came back. I haven't seen him in months. The break did him some good. He still barrel rolls but they look a little better. He was getting the gist of the technique being taught most of the time. Now... that doesn't mean he does it effectively... but he is stepping where he is supposed to and using the correct hand in the general correct motion. That's pretty good. He had to take a couple of breaks I think he gets winded more easily than he used to.

Still.... got agive the guy credit for showing up and plugging away.

One of my favorite techniques was practiced.... some form of tao toshi(sp?). Great through to practice breakfalls with.


Saturday, November 18, 2006

5th Kyu Cerificate Has Come In

Alan's class was interesting. We had a good number of beginners with us. The most experienced among us was John. He sat quite a bit right of center but I lined up next to him anyway. Then a couple of people sat in a row next to us, then interestingly enough one the newest beginners (started about 2 weeks ago) sat sort of on her own more in front of O'Sensei's picture off to the left a bit. I noticed but didn't say anything as we were lined up... I was curious why she chose that spot but not enough to ask. John, in a not so eloquent way yells out "Hey... do we smell or something". He meant it as a joke of course and it was kind of funny... but really, he shouldn't be yapping in line and I'm not certain he just didn't freak her out a little. I can't tell if she's a little uptight or just trying extremely hard to be proper. I was going to talk to her a bit after class to welcome her but she and the other beginners ran off the mat. They apparently didn't know they should be helping us sweep I guess. They'll figure it out sooner or later. I haven't had time to look over to see what they are up to I thought I saw some shihonage over there.

Alan worked us on practicing entering in different ways.

At the end we did some jujinage. I was both disappointed and relieved that he didn't want us to do the throw. I don't mind taking this throw a few times but Alan has a habit of doing one technique for up to 30 minutes. I don't think I could do 30 minutes of ukemi for that throw one after another without a break.

My 5th kyu certificate showed up. I wasn't expecting it for a couple of more months. It was presented to me by Mr. Mulligan last night after class. It has my name... and is signed by the chairman who I imagine is in Japan. Also it was signed by yamada sensei and finally by sensei mulligan himself. Hopefully it will be one of many. It also comes with a little book where you record your seminars and future grades.

On my way out, I had a quick discussion with Mr. Mulligan. He made a point of telling me that he's noticed that when I come Tuesday's I usually change O'Sensei's picture for Kano's so the judo folks can have the kamiza set up for them already. He mentioned that I do it in a most respectful and thoughtful manner and he really liked that. I just do what I've learned from others which is bowing to Kano and O' Sensei after changing the pictures.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Sorry for the delays folks...

New posts coming out soon... some even with a few details.
I'm starting a new job shortly and this is putting a damper on my free time.

One of the highlights coming up is how a second person dropped me during the back stretching exercise. This ever happen to you? How about twice? How about, I only weigh 175lbs.

Started a tad late

I'm guessing Pete was coming from work far away this night. It's very unuusal for him to run late at all.

We warmed up with some ukemi. Then even though it was a 1 hour class, we got in a bunch of techniques. For the most part I was having a good night.

One of the ones we did which I always find cute is you start off maybe with a yokomen or something then you sweep the arm up into something looking like an ikkyo. Then you step in and turn just as you pull the arm down and through then maybe finish with a kotegaeshi or something.


Packed house. About 14 people attended. A few people who come other nights came monday night. Also, someone who was nursing an injured shoulder came back... etc.

I was picked for a kotagaeshi demo. One of them was fairly fast. I'm almost convinced I can take a faster kotagaeshi than I used to. The only time I really got hurt bad enough to need a minute to recover was taking a kotagaeshi from someone. I think I can deal with that level of speed/effectiveness now. Perhaps in another 6 months... it will be even better.

Two of the beginners stayed after class to work on the hamni handache kaitenage more.

Bob and I worked on the 31 jo kata for a little bit after class. The second class hasn't really been well attended. It's a bit sporadic to say the least. When I am the only person wanting to do a second class, I suggest to Bob that I would be quite happy working with jo or bokken as this is something not done lots in the classes I can attend.


Sunday morning

Sunday morning....

Two of the newer dojo members joined Tony and I for sat morning. We could actually form a line.

Foot still hurts a bit from a previous class. I was dropped by one of these beginners for a back stretch. So... If you've read my earlier entries you should remember that I've been dropped once before. On that occassion I managed to roll off and fall gently to the ground. This time I was more aware what was happening and rolled off earlier at a higher height. I should have just kept rolling but I guess I came down on one foot torquing my ankle a little. Doing nothing and crushing my partner isn't an option for me. I must outweigh her by 45lbs.

Leftover ankle pain from previous class

Friday Night

Friday night with allan.

Practiced entering when someone does a yokomen strike. You do your own and match their movements.


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Randori - Lite

Bob taught instead of Alan this week.

For the kaitennage demo Bob picked me because 'You like this'. He is right actually. I love kaitennage. I like flying around. For the most part I was able to go with the attack. I wish I could see him move when this is happening. I'm curious how fast he is actually moving when he's doing the throws. It feels a little fast but certainly not beyond what I can handle. All the instructors that I've worked with both past and present are able to respond to my attack without really hurting me. They have good control. One of these days I'll ask to put a video camara in for a class or two.

Class culminated with a mini 3 man randori session. I'm guessing it was all the students first time trying something like this. I particularly enjoyed it. A couple of things that occurred to me after the experience.... either my shihonage sucks under pressure or I need more practice(I know I wasn't unbalancing uke as much as I should've). The good news is..... I didn't feel a sense of panic at all. Of course.... I know no one is really going to hurt me but still, having 3 people run at you at a good clip can be unnerving for some people.

Once or twice I managed to throw my attacker in the direction of the other attackers. I did get thrown pretty hard in one session where I was one of the attackers. I didn't get the wind knocked out of me... but darn near.

(Some small pain in my ankle but it bears weight fine)

Building up from one thought

Bob was kind of moving us along from one thought to the next.
We started off with a simple back stretch... that everyone seem to have trouble with.

We did a bokken exercise (8 direction cut)

We did some judo exercise.... happo no giri. We grabbed each others lapel and each others elbow and moved uke in the 8 directions.

We also did some tenchinage

No late class tonight.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Sunday Morning

Tony and I attended. We worked on all kinds of things. I remember doing lots of different techniques which focused on uchi and soto hand movements to start off. One was bringing both hands over for a nikkyo. After uke is down then do something else.

Ended with koshinage but no actual throw. We just got to the point where we balanced uke on the hip. Not sure why we didn't complete a few throws. But really, its everything that leads up to the throw that matters. The final movement to throw is just the final step.