Friday, July 29, 2005


Definition: Technique-o-Death refers to a technique done so poorly that
it could potentially cause death to anyone within a 2 mile radius.
Even gazing upon such a technique could mean instant death, possibly due
to uncontrollable laughter. (cue the "killer joke" Python sketch) It
can cause death by embarrassment to the practitioner if such a technique
is witnessed by Sensei. Such techniques are to be avoided!

So.. last night's ToD: shomenuchi kotogaeshi, or "wrist turn-out"
technique. This technique seems to show up in movies a lot, as it is
pretty basic and uke can fly across the mat if (s)he is thrown
properly. In this case, I was working with T last night, I felt too far
away from his center, I did not have control of him, and it just felt
crappy. What's worse, Sensei probably saw me do it. So that was
arguably the low point of practice. Fortunately, iriminage with M at
the end of class felt pretty good.

Interesting that there were no sempai in class last night of the
yudansha (black belt) variety. It's that vacation time of year. Other
than the ToD, a nice class. I have not been feeling 100% this week, so
I did not want to risk not making it to Friday 7AM class, or worse,
making it there partly asleep. My son C was nice enough to put up with
me dragging him along for the ride.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Last night was my first night of practice in a week. I did manage to
get some jo practice in over the weekend, so I guess that counts for
something, but I felt a little less than awesome in class last night. I
could blame some of this on the oppressive heat--it seems to just zap my
energy, but my aerobic conditioning is also not what it could be. I
wanted to make it to 7AM class this morning also, but today was not a
mind over matter day. Sleep won out. I am determined to make it Friday
AM AND be awake for it. Being fully awake is the hard part, as I'm
rarely able to get to be early.

Worked with J on shomenuchi sankyo, one of those techniques I can sort
of do, just not "properly". Unsubtle is how I would describe my
technique here. It is difficult to figure out the correct angle at
which to bring down my partner. The way I was doing it he was not able
to take the fall cleanly--his shoulder was vulnerable. I asked him to
show me the correct angle, but he said he wasn't sure. Basically, this
means I have to feel it for myself. The correct angle for him is not
necessarily the same as it would be for me, as he is about a foot taller
than I am.

Jo practice seems to go well enough--I can make it look like I have an
idea what I'm doing. A asked me if I did "hard style" weapons
practice. "Not really" was my answer, but I guess that was a little bit
of a lie. Over the last 30 years I've had a smattering of weapons
practice, mostly bo katas, and an introduction to some other weapons
(escrima, chain, nunchaku, sai, shiruken, iai), but I have not committed
myself to regular weapons training until now. I guess I would say my
prior training was not enough to shake a stick at. (punchline, ha ha)

Last, but not least, I am attempting to put together a video production
committee. I have put up a sign on the message board, but as yet none
have taken the bait. I haven't started "campaigning" for victims yet,
so the only ones who would have seen it so far would be the few who
check the board.

Monday, July 18, 2005


Made it to the beginning aikido class last Friday, and forced my son C
to sit and watch, poor boy. He seemed to enjoy watching Dad get thrown

These days beginner's classes are my favorites. I really need to go
back to school on the very basic elements. In fact, if my schedule were
more flexible I probably would go to mainly beginner's classes for
several months.

Learned more about kokyudosa, in particular how to extend into the
attack, forcing uke to commit, and then using the lower back to draw
energy upwards.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Back From Vac

Tuesday was my first class since returning from vacation. Nice to be
back. S led a fairly laid back class compared with some I have
attended, a nice reintroduction after an absence. Jo class with A. I
apparently have a habit of working too close to my partner with jo
techniques. We worked through some cool partnerwork sequences. Jackie
Chan watch out!

Before class Sensei was working with J on a Tai Chi kata. To me it
looked very Chinese, Kung Fu-like, with more striking techniques than I
normally associate with TC. Sometimes after class I think about going
over some of my old kata, especially to make sure I don't forget them.
I so far haven't asked if it's OK to practice "old school" techniques in
the dojo. I feel it's something I need to do now and then, but it's not
clear if it's appropriate for practice on the mat.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Vacation Time!

7AM class with JL today. I'm clearly in need of rest! Ran out of gas
at the end (again) during kaitenage. Per Sensei's suggestion, no
caffeine was involved, so I had to dig a little deeper, as he said.
Well, still digging.. No doubt, Friday AM is the worst time for me
energywise. I typically don't get more than 6 hours of sleep a night
during the week, so when Friday rolls around it's pretty sleepy. The
warrior got me out of bed and to class this morning, but the slacker
also showed up. Clearly, the solution here is to go on vacation! See
y'all in a week.

Posted a couple of aikido kids day camp fliers after class.