Sunday, October 29, 2006

Fire it home!

This weekend was the Aiki Buddy Gathering. It was awesome. There were a lot of things i fumbled through.. some call that learning. Pat wanted me to write down every single thing that happened this weekend but with all the stuff that went on my brain is still sorta smush on it all.

Some things that stand out right now are the extreme differences of pressure that come up when doing a technique. There's the incorrect way of just bully-ing through the motion which i still go through sometimes when a push/pull situation comes up (more on that in a minute) but then there is the eye opeining difference between dead arm weight and a practically feather touch. I know that that may seem an obvious thing but untill Sensei Rich showed me how i can be moved around with a pinky finger and when chris and i did some of the nijusan stuff i didn't even begin to think just how much of an ocean of difference it made. It seems that whenever something like that becomes apparent to me the figurative half full 8oz glass of water that is my brain suddenly gets empty. SO MUCH TO LEARN! And the bonus is that i'm no where near close to dying of old age.

The other thing that came up was the aforementioned push/pull idea. This came up alot when we were doing number 6 and 8 of hanasu. I've been having some trouble with this for the last few weeks but nothing can throw in the monkey wrench quicker than a new idea. We've been doing it where we follow an uke through to the arm turn but starkville does it where uke stops as soon as that contact is made (Just had a question pop up: Why would an uke stop in mid motion if there's no resistance? If he's coming forward at me as i step off the line what would incline him to suddenly change direction when his foot comes down? At the moment it would seem like a extra effort to do that) and then changes direction 45 or so degrees and walk in that direction. It's a cool switch from the norm but when i was trying to re-orient myself with uke i ended up pulling outward when i should have been pushing. Sensei Rich brought this up during one of our sessions that pushing was a better idea to have because as your arm is moving out you can't exactly pull away from your center of gravity easily. I also think that it's an easier thing mentally to get in the habit of doing, atleast in my case i feel less complicated to push and follow than pull and follow.

Both of these things that came up seriously altered the way i look at aikido. I think my extensions are better because of the pushing thing and my ideas about leading and moving got yet another callibration, though as usual it was greatly needed. I began to see just how the pushing movement made any motion in an upward direction that much more offbalancing for uke and i also noticed how it fits into jodo or just about anywhere for that matter. Not just offbalancing though but less complicated. That's another thing i just sorta noticed... though there is more for me to learn and work on certain ideas seem a bit more..sure i guess? Or a better way to put it is that there's less clutter in my thinking right now.. i just hope unlike my room it stays that way.

The randori session we had was really great. I have a greater appreciation for just how light Kristof's movments are now. Something that became glaringly obvious was that i have got to keep my arms centered when i move. I was having a embarasingly bad time keeping that straight so halfway throught the weekend i made it my mission to start practicing more on tegatana and keeping my arms in the right place, i just hope that i can keep it in my head not to try and keep them centered by force or all i did this weekend will be shot.

I can't really do this weekend justice by saying it was awesome. It was definately a unique experience and can't wait for the chance to do something like that again. I met cool people, made some friends, and learned really cool aikido. Definatley.

Though i am a bit disapointed that Woodhenge actually exists.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

It is not logical, yet it is so. - Spock

Today's tegatana was a little off for me, i felt like i was contstantly moving along a different beat from everyone else. I noticed that on the balls of my feet the up and down motions generated by movement in the kata is excentuated and it helps give me that little extra forward motion in my arms to move them into postion properly. Of course i also noticed that my foot spacing was off as well as having a few blank spots on what was next. One step forward one step back.

Ever since last saturday my training has fallen under a sligtly different angle. Kristof and i were practicing aigame ate (i'm starting to remember names, Excelent!) and his shomenate kept poping up at the right time to cause my feet to slide straigt out from under me, planting me pretty harshly. So we were about to move on to the next technique when Sensei tells me to have one more try at Kristof to get revenge when the thought pops into my head, " but i just want to get the move right". I thought it was a pretty cool way to look at it. And yes, though it falls under that whole "Transcending victory and defeat"mantra who really understands what that hell that even means untill you come across it on your own?

So today also had me deal with changing the way i do hanasu #2: Hon soto te osu ( i cheated on that one). Instead of Uke grabing my arm and pushing away with it as i walk around and let him have it i need to move into the technique like number one then step off and behind. Sensei brought up a great analogy about a rope but it escapes me at the moment. I'm going to have to ask gary to work with me on it a bit.

Off balancing was more or less the name of the game today. As we played with Ni Ju San i was instructed in the more subtle motions of the moves. Instead of just moving the attacking arm off to the side as uke steps in with a shomenate and leading it around untill i can throw up a shomenate or an ending offbalance, i need to make that first step off as close as i can to an offbalance between uke's legs as he steps to recover and if that doesn't release him into the ground then continue around in shikaku (sp?) or behind the arm untill something else occurs.

We also played around with the two "lost releases" from hanasu. It took me a while to catch on to... the purpose?.. or something, but once Sensei explained that the main release we were working on comes from me countering an attack with a two handed shomenate and then uke grabs a wrist things began to fall in place a little bit easier.

Once again i would like to appologize to any readers i have as to the confusing descriptions of the techniques i describe. It makes sense to me, lol. As a parting gift i give a blurb from the Hagakure. Granted some people consider it the romantizied ramblings of a samurai at the end of his life but i like the book, plus i'm feeling all sage-ly cause i'm watching The Last Samurai on amc. Enjoy:

Master Yagyu once remarked: I do not know the way to defeat others, but the way to defeat myself.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

New blog title! Now with more T's!!

I was killing time in class and realized that my blog said "sudent journal". Geeze.

This page is a great place to look at techniques. I was going through the hiji waza in my head and couldn't remember if waki gatame came before or after hiki taoshi. The moves have gotten jumbled in my head since saturday. Also, for anyone out there who thinks i'm a master of technique names, look no further than here for the source of my power. I'm just glad i have a while before i have to know all of these by heart.

Today, concerning a discusion with a fellow student, i realized that practicing uke moves solo might not really work. As uke, once that initial attack happens, your offbalance determines what happens next (for the most part) as tori moves around you, so trying to do hanasu as an uke kata might not work. Don't know though, my thoughts are definatley not aikido law.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Comments between comercials.

Right now i'm watching Heroes but realized i didn't comment on anything about class. So i'll make this quick.

We worked on Hanasu through the filter of "kata mode". Mr. M and i paired up and it sorta broke down into "experiment mode". Mr. M was having some trouble with the first 4 techniques, more or less experiencing the same problems i had once upon a time with hand up hand down. It was pretty cool to be able to help someone that has the same problem i did.