Monday, October 27, 2014


Went to aikido class Sunday morning.  Since we worked on ryotetori stuff I'm guessing that this was one of my weaker points during the test.  Like I said.... I have no clue what I did and I did nothing that I planned on for the test.  No idea why that happens.

So it was a fun class working on some mostly familiar techniques.  There was a tai-otoshi in there that Peter was showing that I had some trouble getting to.  After several runs through I did one that was easier for me.  Basically, bounce uke with a small lead, then do a throw.

Great class.

Then I head home.  My wife tells me that the kids TKD dojo was having a free core strengthening class for anyone that wanted to attend and she wanted to go.  So I feed everyone a quick lunch, throw on some sweatpants and head for the kids dojo.

We did pushups, jumping jacks, some punching and kicking a bag, leg raises, did some yoga like positions, all kinds of stuff.  At one point we did some squats and some exercise where we rise up on our toes.  For some reason these two particular exercises were easy for me.  Maybe because of the years of aikido.  We're always getting up off the mat.  We ended with some light stretching.

Keep in mind that also this weekend, I did hours worth of outdoor work around the house, and more inside the house.  Took the kids for a Halloween thing which meant parking the car far away and walking in to town.  So, I had a busy weekend(starting with Friday nights class and test).

Today I can feel my legs were worked and I'm a little overall weary but really nothing hurts.  So I likely did a reasonable work out.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Tonight Was Test Night

We started off with a class.  Bob taught.  Had us doing some basic stuff but it was excellent to focus on some of the points he was making.  Also, my knees were a little stiff when I first arrived.  That first class warmed everything up.

One of the techniques was a ryotetori kaitenage.  This version was a little different than the one I'm used to.  Usually I move both hands up in a circle to get kaitenage.  In this version, you do the technique with one hand and the other is free to grab the head early.

We had a ten minute break and then we started the testing.  One guy begged off because his knees were in bad shape.  A second guy delayed because he felt he wasn't ready.  That left myself and Ryan.  Ryan was called first to do his 3rd kyu test.  I hadn't seen him in a long while.  His aikido is noticeably improved from when I saw him last.  He was fine for his rank back then too.  He had a terrific test.  He's a strong guy though and still tends to muscle his way through techniques.  He was wiping the floor with his uke.  Chris gave very strong attacks and Ryan responded by plowing him into the mat every time.  Very fun test to watch.

It was a good test for sure.  As for me...

I had a different Chris as my uke.  I was a little nervous about having Chris take ukemi for this test but had did fine.  I owe him a big thanks for doing the test with me.  The test itself was a blur.  I really didn't plan exactly what I was going to show.  Instead, I focused on some possibilities, and concerned myself with remembering different entries.  Different entry will present different opportunities for techniques.

The test is over and I couldn't even begin to tell you what I did for techniques.  I just reacted to what was given.  Especially the koshinage and tanto techniques. Chris and I had no agreement as to how I
was to be attacked.  He did whatever and I just reacted.  I tried to get him to do a moretetori attack but I got an ushiro attack instead so I just went with it and did the koshinage that fit for it.

So my test was nothing planned.  It was just me reacting.  On the whole I think the test was good but I had a few sloppy spots I didn't like.  Also there were times I repeated a technique simply because I think I forgot I had done that one.  The longer they let me go the more I did though.

Then we did the freestyle portion.  Ryan did lots of varied attacks.  He did well.  Especially since he didn't realize he was even going to do a freestyle.  It normally isn't on the test.  Shodokan often does a freestyle for 3rd kyu even if it's not required by USAF.

My freestyle was generally good.  Kept people off of me.  There was one moment where I let someone get behind me so I would get a chance to deal with two at once.  The second guy backed off when he shouldn't have so I shrugged the guy off my shoulders and moved in to throw the second guy.  The third guy was behind the second.  I was often trying to line people up and dump one guy into the next.

The test itself I was relaxed for.  The freestyle actually had me mouth breathing a little bit.  I wasn't totally winded but I was breathing harder than normal.  Really only noticed it when they called time and I sat down.  I wasn't sucking wind or anything.  Just breathing heavy.

Had a great time tonight.  Pass or fail I had a great experience.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Uh oh Test This Week

Shodokan slid the test night forward a bit.  It was laughingly set on yom kippur.  No way I could make that one.  I sort of feel obligated to test now considering mr mulligan has been pushing me to test for a bit now.  I certainly feel as though I'm good enough to deserve the rank.  However, I haven't really been practicing for the test.  I'm frustrated because it's not going to look very polished.  The past couple months have been full of lots of distractions.

The person that originally offered to be my uke hasn't shown up in a Friday class in months.  So, I haven't seen her at all.

Peter was kind enough to let me do a run through this morning.  First time I've even practiced the test.  Did ok.  Was a little sloppy at some points.  Chris was kind enough to uke for me.  I'm concerned about his current physical state.  On a good day his ukemi is tentative.  Now I also have to worry about him hurting himself during the test.  I have to take him at his word that he will be ok for it though.  Maybe I'll pick easier falls for him.

I wouldn't be sad if the test were pushed another week or two.  But I'll take it when it's given.  Worst thing that happens is I fail it and have to take it again at some point.  I should do fine unless I'm having an off night.

A long time ago, I would have been been asked to run through the rest in front of an instructor before being allowed to test.  That hasn't been done in years though.

Interesting ASU Stuff

NSA had a visitor a little while back.  Someone from the asu branch of aikido came for a visit.  He was kind enough to lead a class.  Was sort of like having a mini seminar.  His aikido was really interesting.  It was soft and effective.  I'd definitely like to see more of that style of aikido some day.

In some sends I felt a little bit like some lumbering barbarian after experiencing that class.  I was able to do a reasonable job of doing his techniques during the class.  Unfortunately the exposure was too short for me to permanently assimilate anything.