Friday, September 27, 2013

Notes on Stuff

One thing I will definitely forget if I don't write it down, so it might as well be here right? .. is to turn on the balls of the feet. OR, on the heels, but not some combination of both (which is apparently a specialty of mine). That's all for now. Hi internets!

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Back With Seminar Action..

Claire Keller's seminar today. Personal points for me:

- Be spontaneous in practice. Less calculating, more flow.
- Ushiro: don't turn toward the reaching hand. Do technique as if uke is not there. Just move forward.
- There is tension in shoulders (but we know that!)


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

1st Kyu Testing

It has been a year since writing here. Training continues, though blogging has fallen on hard times!

First kyu test is next Monday evening. While I enjoy the preparation, I can't say I like testing at all. Still, it gets me motivated to put in extra effort. This in itself is very useful.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Viva La Blog!

Forgive me blog readers... It has been a year since my last confession.

I have decided to once again pick up the pen (er um.. keyboard) and post now and then.

One year later, 2nd kyu, Aikido is keeping me alive during difficult times. I was out of work for 5 months beginning last December, and was rehired at my former company (now a struggling startup that may or may not survive). Staying with my practice has been essential for me during this time.

Carrboro classes (much closer to my home) have been consistent, though sometimes attendance is a bit low. Not so many people are willing to practice at 7AM classes, which is the schedule Monday and Friday, and Josh is teaching at 6:30AM on Wednesdays, which is twice as difficult to wake up for as 7 for some reason. Then again, I went to Tuesday evening class in Hillsborough and there were only 6 students.

On Tuesday evenings, Andy has been emphasizing freestyle randori. The goal is to really "go with the flow", and for me, the major difficulty is to not think, to enter the "no mind" state where action and reaction just happen. I am still far from this, but can see my sempai do pretty well.

It being Wednesday, I'm feeling a little slow right now... zzz.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Still Hitting the Morning Mat

The mat is always a little bit harder in the morning. The payoff, however, is that I always feel pretty good after class, even if it wasn't that hard a workout.

So, 11AM on Monday, I'm doing well, after barely dragging my ass out of bed in time. The debate goes: "zzz.. the choice is: be happier after working out, or sleep in and feel like a slug, a well-rested slug, but still a slug. OK, 5 more minutes..."

Yes, dear reader, I know I have not updated this blog since May! I know you're dying to hear the latest training trials and tribulations. Sorry, just not much drama. But wait! There's this!! Headline: "5 killed in tragic hakama explosion!!" Well, the "5 killed" part is a lie, but my hakama did kind of explode last week. The back support popped out of its seam after my uke stepped on it. I have to find time to sew it up, or buy a new hakama, which with the current exchange rates, will cost 3 years' wages. I suppose I can fashion a hakama out of curtains--it will become the height of fashion. You read it here first.

Anyway, training continues.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Seminar Last Weekend, etc..

We had another excellent seminar last weekend with Hal Lehrman Sensei. I was fortunately to attend Saturday's classes and work with some people I have not met before. Hal's approach is what I would call "position-based" Aikido. It's all about being in the right place at the right time, not giving any "fight" to your uke, and well, you just have to absorb the feeling of his techniques. There is a direct transmission of teaching that comes from just watching, being aware, and having the techniques performed on you. It's beyond words, really. I find this is especially true of the more advanced teachers. Subtle.

This morning it was just me and Andy, so we went through a lot of different techniques, and some of the more obscure ones that we don't do often, like gokyo and rokyo.

... and now I'm ready for a nap.


Friday, April 11, 2008

Sabbatical at an End

I have renewed my regular dojo attendance, after spending a few months only training in Carrboro mornings.

It has been great to return to the main dojo in Hillsborough, but last Monday, my second day back, I had the great wake-up call. One of my sempai asked me: "How did you get so stiff?" I was horrified. I guess in my quest to attack strongly I had been tensing up somewhat. What I think happened is that I have been backsliding a little into old habits, and also, two of my ukes in Carrboro spent 5 years training in Yoshinkan style Aikido, which is much more rigid than our style. No offense to Yoshinkan practitioners, but I think some of this rigidity rubbed off on me. Time to unlearn! (again..)

Then there was the freestyle (aka ju-waza) we practiced. I felt pretty lost! No flow at all!

No worries though, as all practice moves me forward.