Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to share my favorite Christmas song with everyone. I hope everyone has a very merry Christmas.

"It is my heart-warm and world-embracing Christmas hope and aspiration that all of us, the high, the low, the rich, the poor, the admired, the despised, the loved, the hated, the civilized, the savage (every man and brother of us all throughout the whole earth), may eventually be gathered together in a heaven of everlasting rest and peace and bliss...." - Mark Twain

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Aikido ice cream cones

I made it to class today!!

Warm-up was pretty vigorous this morning. Pat and a new student ( i figured i'd forget his name by the time i sat down to write this...i was right) had already been doing Judo when i got there so to catch up quick i got to participate in something new. Setting the crash pad between them, i was thrown back and forth between the two of them like a human game of pong.

It worked 'cause i warmed up reaaaaal quick. It was fun though.

We did a single rep of tegatana and then a few reps of hanasu. It's nice to know after all this time i still need work on hanasu (not meant to sound bad). I have a real problem with 2 and 4 in the kata. Something about the way we sidestep and move directly behind uke i still haven't grasped yet. I can do the motions but it just doesnt feel natural.

As we did the first motion of hanasu Pat talked about the distinction between small circular motion and big circular motion when it comes to moving behind uke's arm. As we sidestep from the grab pushing out our arm in front of us then moving behind the arm it will create either a small conical motion, i.e. a small ice cream cone (in mokuren dojo lexicon) or a large conical motion, i.e. a large ice cream cone (see previous).

The smaller ice cream cone seems to me to be less effective for the first motion. When i did them this morning most of the time it caused uke's arm to break from a straight armed position to bend at the elbow. I think this has happened most of the time i've ended up with the smaller cone. The larger ice cream cone keeps uke's arm straight the entire time and just simply works better.

Who doesn't prefer a larger cone of ice cream anyway? Wakka Wakka.

The main bulk of today's class was aigame ate and the variations there of. A while back there was a discussion between Pat and John over aigame ate that you might want to check out. As we worked on it i couldn't quite remember why John thought the way he learned it in Seattle was different. The way we do it at Pat's is the same, and we've been doing that for years. =)

The only thing that might cause aigame ate to appear different is how uke responds to the initial off balance. In one version as tori sidesteps the attack to put uke's momentum in the hole caused by where his legs have ended up uke might spin around so tori would have to step to follow with him. The other version is when uke's momentum causes him to keep walking around to the right (or left depending on which way tori was attacked) until he finds a position to stop and confront tori, where he proceeds to get creamed.

We worked on oshi taoshi and a few variations of it. I needed to get reminded to side step instead of eating up a bunch of energy as i and uke spins apart.

Anyhoo, it was a great class and i've pretty much been jazzed up by it all day. Long absences make one forget just how much fun aikido is. I was having fun and maybe it showed today, Pat said my aikido was pretty good today. I'll take his word for it this time around, a bunch of stuff just seemed to be clicking right today. Can't wait to trek back after the holidays.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Give some advice!

Yeah, i haven't posted in a while. It's been a while since i've been to class. One of those things. But if you happen to read this you should go here and check out my buddy John's blog. He's teaching aikido up in Seattle, WA and if you can think of any kind of advice or ideas that would help him out as he gets his classes underway would be awesome. Thanks.