Friday, August 28, 2009

"I thought i could instruct him.... well as Yoda. I was wrong."

So today i got up early and went to USM to do some aikido with my buddy Jessie. He's taking an aikikai off-shoot there at the college so every once in a while we get together and compare notes and work with a few things and basically uke for each other.

Today i actually went with the idea of us doing a few reps of tegatana with a few of the ideas from Pat's 100 terrific things to try with in tegatana and then working on hanasu.

With tegatana we went through a few reps focusing on:

1. relax
61. same hand same foot
3. balls of feet, heels slightly brushing

What made this more challenging than usual was the fact that our place to practice happens to be the volleyball court outside the college's fitness center. After doing a rep in the sand we did the second one on pavement and for the heck of it did another rep in the sand.

Hanasu is where everything felt like it fell apart. As we went through the first 4 back and fourth i had a hard time conveying how uke should generally move during each technique. Hanasu basically boils down into 2 things for uke

1. uke grabs tori's opposite hand in an attempt to lead him off
2. uke grabs tori's hand on the same side and attempts to lead him off.

Somehow there was a gap in communication. Jessie would simply grab my wrist and just plant. It didn't stop me from completing the "kata" like continuation of the move.. but it didn't really move well at all. When i was playing uke i would follow through and things worked alright.

I eventually stepped back two steps away to see if i could maybe create what i was trying to relate and that seemed to solve it to an extent. It's so hard to get him to relax.

I'm not sure if it's just me not explaining things well (see subtitle at top of page) or the differences in style or his inexperience with aikido as a whole. It left me a little self-reflective, my thoughts as i repeated everything in my head became increasingly frustrating. I feel like at this point i should be able to show some of the simpler things of aikido but today that just was NOT the case.


Wednesday, August 05, 2009


As i moved around in class last night trying to remember how this technique goes or how that technique moves a certain way something occurred to me that i thought i'd waste the virtual ink to share.

One of the new guys (i say new guy but he's been going for almost 3 months and having only met him twice that shows how good i am, plus i can't remember his name) and i were working on a chain of techniques that hover around shomeate and kotegaeshi and wakigatame. I had been having trouble all class with my wakigatames, still getting an "arm bar" but the grip felt wrong or this or that but we continued to move around and bouncing comments back and forth to each other and eventually it started to run a tad more smoothly for me.

The rest of the class went great. Pat had a loaded house so it gave us all a chance to work with everyone else. Everyone in class has variances in height and size and levels of experience but we were all communally working towards helping each other out.

It dawned on me during the car ride back home how nice it is to be able to participate in something (anything) where everyone is helping everyone else get better. Even (and i'm preaching to myself too though for appearance sake i choose to make the implications as to who vague) thought sometimes it seems like everything is getting frustrating and you might not be progressing you actually ARE getting better. Bit by bit.

I wanted to end off with a Doogie Houwer type revelation for this post, but all i can really say is it's just nice to be a part of that.