I Was On Vacation
I headed down to Baltimore for a little while. Since I knew I would be down there I decided to find a dojo and take a class down there. I ended up at Baltimore Aikido.
I was curious to see if there would be many differences in the practice since they would be influenced by different shihan.
I stayed for two classes in a row. We started with back stretches, moved on to a rolling exercise where nage sort of has two unbendable arms out and windmills uke as you move (trying to put some hip into it).
We also did something very similar to a waki gatame but instead of focusing on the elbow (which is what I've done in the past) nage seems to be more focused on the shoulder. Nage ends up in a stable, sprawled position lying on top of uke and the mat. I wasn't sure how to apply pressure to uke for this one.
We did a shihonage that I've done in classes before where the head goes down as you rotate around (uke's elbow at one point is over the shoulder for a possible armbar). Continue around and you get a nice shihonage.
Bokken were brought out where I wrestled with a simple exercise. It took the entire period for me to even come close to getting it right. It was a simple blending with the attack, step offline and then cut uke. I think I need to pick my bokken up more at home.
We did some other stuff. One of the cooler exercises we did was a cross hand grab. Nage would turn his palm up and affect uke in cool ways.
I had an absolute blast in the class. I can only hope I get back again.
Check out their web page and head down for a class if you can.