Saturday, December 30, 2006

It's all coming together.

At the moment my measuring stick for tegatana is rated on how many steps i make versus how many falls i make and lately it's about half and half, but i'm practicing on it. The main troubles that spring up is speed and that falling isn't 100% stuck in my head yet.

Tegatana spawned some exercises on speed and the size of a step. 3 or 4 small shuffle steps can cover distance much faster than a single lunging step forward. There's a shorter recovery time before the next fall and it can flow right into the next fall. Since a smaller step is faster Pat had us work on evasions with a smaller step, giving tori just a little bit more time to neutralize uke's attack. It was really cool to see just how it worked in nijusan and everywhere else in aikido for that matter. The smaller the action in aikido the more effective the end result.

Today was pretty cool and i think i did well. It must be the belt.

Monday, December 18, 2006

A neat thing to learn.

Pat showed us this cool litte manuver where you can flick an arm away with your fingertips like in tenkai kote gaeshi or shihonage. It's pretty cool that such a small thing can provide big results, i'm sure i could draw some sort of comparison with the rest of aikido with it but today you can build your own.

John's been telling me about some of the things that have been going on with his training down in florida. Neat stuff. He and bryce are fiddlin around with some of the things in hanasu like #1 where uke pushes down and it causes the fall forward step instead of stepping (which was something that had sorta snagged in my head recently). They're also doing some things with being attacked and different angles of attack and John says that's going pretty well.

I picked up Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere finally saturady. I own Secrets of the Samurai (the writer's other book) so i know i'm in for some extremely DRY reading but sheesh, it looks like it's going to be a slow going. Still a good book though. Some neat ideas.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

My time at Walmart ain't wasted.

I had some free time at work tonight so i played around with tegatana no kata. I went through it once as normal though the second time through i made sure to slow it down just enough to notice each shift and fall and how falling forward works when turning. I did a bunch of moving forwards and backwards with the ideas we went over saturday that the move will naturally place me to the side instead of straight forward.

Something that sorta stuck out in my head as i went through the kata a few more times is how the way i was doing Shomen te Gatane (the straight hand blade) was affecting that drop forward. I was sorta pushing the arm down/forward and it would cause me to step differently. So i went back and forth trying to figure it out and realized that when i bring my arm all the way up and then fall to the side naturally my arm will drop forward with the rest of my body and it ends up in the right place. I thought it was pretty cool. It sorta makes the arm ilrelevant at points. I was going to start going through the kata again and see at what point whichever arm is being used "exsists" and what points its "not there" but i had to leave for the night.

I'm gonna play around with that tomorrow and see what comes up. No wonder all the higher ups can spend all their time on the yellow belt stuff and learn all kinds of things.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

"There's something about that BELT you're wearing....."

I was the only one in class today so i got 2 whole hours of aiki to myself. I noticed in tegatana that with the way i'm currently walking through it my toes tend to point better on the turns than straight forward but that may be because i'm not falling through right. I'm not sure. When my knee is feeling a little less wonky i'll play around with it some more. Pat broke down the steps into shorter and longer ups and downs and showed that the forward and backwards naturally throw you into a diagonal movement.

We did hanasu and Pat asked which one i wanted to work on, which right now seems to be all the even numbered techniques. Since the ABG i've been trying to work on not anticipating which way i'm going and breaking #2 down through different parts of what can come out of it and what movements flow into helped alot.

So, the dreaded rank test! It wasn't as bad as all that, though it did appear in a form i didn't realize until class ended. We worked through 6-10(a&b) a bunch ending each with a pin. I'm still not real clear on which is actual "kata mode" though; each technique with a pin and disengage or 6&7 8&9 and 10&10? Number 9, ude heneri, is one i haven't QUITE gotten a total hang on yet. My arms sorta throw a wrench in the works. But in the end i passed.

Pat asked me what i thought and my reply was more or less that i can do the moves but proficiency seems to be something that weaves in and out of everything i've learned so far. It's hard to define proficiency from my end anyway but i'm more concerned with at least being able to apply the principles (or maybe just understand what the principles behind technique X are). Thankfully it was described to me that it's not uncommon to feel like the higher up i go the less i understand because i'm trying to measure up with what's on down the line than looking at how far i've come so far. On that point i can say that i do atleast feel more capable than i did at gokyu and that can be judged as improvement. On a 1-10 i think i'm at 6 on what i've learned so far. Pat thinks i'm doing good so i'll go along with that!