Thursday, June 06, 2013

Updates for the summer

Been far longer between posts than I meant to happen, but that's how school gets ya.

I graduated from PRCC in May with special honors, as a Vice President of our Phi Theta Kappa chapter, and officer in Sigma Kappa delta, an inaugural member of the campus' Mu Alpha Theta chapter and as Vice President of History & Humanities. I also won a Coca-Cola Bronze scholarship and was a member of All Mississippi's Academic First team. Been dealing with senators concerning a tuition assistance program for Southern Mississippi Community colleges too, so all in all I've been pretty busy.

On the aikido front everything seems to be moving along for me to teach an aikido class at PRCC in the fall. It'll be a one credit hour class and i'll get paid to teach it! Still need to get cpr certified and get my application in. I've got all of my references covered so it looks like a shoe in. I'm going to try and get something started this summer, both to boost some interest and get my brain percolating on ideas for the fall.

That's about it for now. Hopefully there will be more to post soon!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Still learning.

So it has been 6 months since my last update and a lot has been going on. First thing's first, i was ranked to Shodan this Saturday. I feel rather weird about it right now, i sure don't feel like one....whatever that's supposed to feel like. There's so much for me to work on and i'm just figuring things out. Along with all the congratulations i also received this link, which is some really great advice and gives me even more to look forward to in the years to come. I'm just understanding the basics and i'm being shown glimpses of all the stuff i have yet to understand. Optimistic to say the least! 

It's hard to explain to people who don't really understand what i'm talking about.

I owe it all to a fantastic Sensei: Pat Parker! I can't say enough to show my appreciation for his patience and willingness to help me through all the self-imposed obsticles i placed in my way along with all the regular setbacks someone encounters in learning an art like Aikido.

On other fronts the park class fell apart again. Students just stopped coming. But in my determination to keep something rolling in the teaching department; i've revamped my aims to getting a club or an actually class started at the local community college and things are looking up. I have faculty support and i'm building a case to present to the school president. With any luck, i'll be an actual member of PRCC's faculty as an Aikido teacher!

In non-aikido related news i'm doing great in school. I'll be on the Dean's list this semester and am being considered for the All-Academic Team and am in Phi Theta Kappa's who's who this year on top of being Executive Vice President of PTK as well as Vice President of History and Humanities Club along with being inducted in Sigma Kappa Delta. It has been an extremely busy semester!

Here's hoping that i can provide more news here in the near future.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

How things are going so far.

It's been a while since I posted so here is what's been shaking lately:

Class is now three days a week, same time same place. The last class we had was a one on with one of my students. The focus of the class ended up being patience. Tori needs to wait for uke's movements using tori's arms as a "curb feeler". Uke will clue you into what he's planning to do far enough in advance to make the necessary counter movements. It was a pretty cool class and I hope to work on that some more with the others.

The unbendable arm position we use to block an attack makes the perfect "spring" between us and uke. It comes up alot in nijusan/junana and is a really important aspect of aikido (in my opinion). Maybe if i give the white belts more practice with it they'll turn into unstoppable aikidoka by the time they reach shodan.

Also, it's still a crazy foreign concept to think of anyone as MY student. Yet there it is i guess.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Week one 2.0

This Monday and Wednesday I taught aikido to a handful of friends at a local park as part of a continuing practice group. One successful week in the bag!

Monday I introduced them to tegatana, the first two moves of hanasu and shomen ate with emphasis on the initial brush off. The overall idea for this class was to be aware of ma'ai and to move as soon as uke crosses it.

Wednesday was more tegatana and additional work on hanasu 1 & 2. With tegatana the goal was smaller steps and trailing foot recovery. For hanasu I emphasized moving when ma'ai is crossed. Hanasu 1, the second step has tori stepping away from uke to face him at ma'ai distance. With Hanasu 2 I tried to explain the "open the door" movement tori can use to to redirect uke's strength.

Hopefully in the months to come I can get these guys ready to meet Pat!

Monday, April 02, 2012

A second go round.

Just an update that i'm trying to get another aikido class started at my local park. Nothing much to report at the moment, we're going to be rained out this week. Hopefully next week we can start training. We also have a facebook page!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


I've spent most of the morning thinking about some aikido stuff. It has mainly centered around initial off-balances, ushiro ate, and waki gatame. I think it would be fun to just have a class about the little brush off bump from inside the arm, the one that happens on the outside that "drops uke into the hole" as the intro to quite a bit of junana, the "cow catcher" as a brush off and using ushiro ate and waki gatame as the two ways to finish all these off balances. Then some multiple uke randori to use what we've learned.

So that's what I plan on doing next saturday. IF i can trick/beg people into showing.

As concerns the last post I decided that not advancing doesn't mean i can't progress. I'll just work with what i have. If Karl can become a super judo player with just a couple of sweeps i can be a decent aikidoka with just a hand full of nijusan/ junana.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

In case you were wondering.

It has been some time since my last post. This could very well be the last one you see. Class eventually declined into a series of nobody showing up leaving me to sit in the park, wait 15 minutes, then go home. I made attempts to get students to show but after weeks of no shows it felt like i was only begging. So for now, the little study group I had named Konwakai is defunct.

I guess the real problem is I don't believe i'll be restarting it.

I recently tried to demo for my shodan with dishearteningly lackluster results. I wasn't ready and not really great at the material I was familiar with and was rightly so denied the promotion.

But it got me to thinking. Maybe from a bad frame of mind, but thinking none the less. All this time i've been trying to learn aikido it's been at a progression best illustrated as a snail through molasses. Students that started years after I did have gotten shodan in far shorter time than I. They simply live closer to the dojo and have the fortune of being able to train more diligently. Something that I, living an hour and a half away from class, just can't commit to. And with something like a martial art any practitioner NEEDS practice. To maintain skill and to improve on it. And in that i have been found lacking. My attempt at finding others to practice with didn't work out and there is really very little one can do in aikido solo.

I feel that i'm really the only one holding a torch for my continued training but even that is getting dimmer as time goes by. I haven't fully decided, because i really enjoy aikido, but i think it is time to simply acknowledge things the way they are and close up shop so to speak.

Anyway, that's all for now...just wanted to see my thoughts in print more than anything else. To reflect on.

See you when I see you.