I haven't posted in a while. So much going on right now.
I've probably been to a dozen classes since my last post. Most at Salem and some at Beverly.
The classes that stick out in my mind are the choke class....
Yep. We spent one night just doing choke techniques where poor uke is getting choked. I actually don't mind these too much. A got a few good ones in. The biggest part of these chokes is to get that knuckle right on the neck in the right spot.
Another class that sticks out a bit was the recent Friday night class with Alan. I was lucky enough to get the kendo instructor for a partner. He's absolutely amazing, and his ukemi is so good you can really apply a technique and not have to worry about hurting him. We did some awesome iriminage. We had each other spinning around totally offbalanced the whole time. Some times you can miss things when you go fast. The couple things I was messing up he helped me with. At one point I had him so off balance there was no way for him to get out. In other words, I was doing the technique well at that moment. I also remember doing hip throws that night. I got Eric as a partner which is getting to be a good thing. His hip throws have been improving steadily, and his ukemi has been getting better as well. This particular hip throw was one of the easier ones for me. I spent the whole time trying to make it better.
Another class that sticks out was Monday's class in Beverly. In fact the past couple of Monday nights have been interesting. Lots of tae waza. Lots of otoshi and ogoshi. He's working us towards something. I believe it's called makikomi. I'm guessing that there are many ways to get there but you start off with a close body connection and come down on top of uke (leaving some space if you like their ribs intact) and you are in a dominant position on the ground. More judo than aikido I'm guessing but still fun to learn. Along the way are the slews of otoshi and ogoshi we've done. I can see how easy it is but somehow it isn't percolating 100%. I just don't get down low enough for most of these. I know it... and yet... I am still not fixing it. I'm wondering if this is a lack of concentration on my part. It's one thing when you don't see a problem. It's another when you see it, know what you should be doing, and don't anyway.
Sunday was interesting in that I had a new instructor called Ray (he's actually been around quite a while but hasn't taught in a bit). I haven't seen enough of his aikido yet to tell what his style is all about. I've seen him around a few times over the past couple of years but never on the mat. We were working on controls that day. He kept stressing that uke should never really be comfortable. I love this concept for controls. Particularly sankyo. Uke should feel the control at all times. Never let it loosen.
He kept things kind of light which was ok. It gave me time to work on some things. I'd like to see more of his classes.
My latest efforts are just spending 5 minutes or so on my knees before/after class. I want to be able to move more fluidly on the ground. It's funny. It's so not interesting to most people that you just don't see a lot of youtube video's on it. However, I saw one with a guy speaking Japanese (I think) showing a way of moving around. He was doing it slowly enough to see where he was putting his knees and more importantly, his balance. I've seen a few videos where someone is just cranking around on the floor but no one is showing you how they do it. Now... I can knee walk and tenkan fairly well but not move like that. So... I'm working on this a little. Does it have a practical purpose..... eh... not as much as other things. Still, it's something I've seen and want to learn. This is why I like Aikido, you can spend your life just picking one little thing after another trying to improve something.
After the past couple of Friday/Sunday classes I've been helping Eric still with his test. He actually asked me to uke for him. I'm trying to clear the decks so I can come on a Wednesday for the test.
Wednesday's are near impossible for me. Short of a special occassion, I can't escape for aikido. Lately, I've missed a slew of monday classes at Salem but I've been able to make it to Beverly's later class time. I usually like to do them back to back but I have to help out at home still. At least I'm able to hit the mat for the late class. There are days I wished I worked in town so I could hit Cambridge for a lunchtime class. Think of all the class time I'd get in then!!