Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Mental Training

When we get beyond the basics of knowing (more or less, sometimes more,
sometimes less) technique, training moves to a more subtle level.
I operate mostly by mimicking those whom I think do it "right",
especially Sensei, down to the level of detail where, if I succeed in my
training, a high ranking aikidoka could recognize the style of my teachers.

One measure of progress is how much mental garbage gets stirred up
during practice. Almost all of us carry on an unspoken dialogue with
ourselves. "Oh, that worked pretty well." Or maybe something closer to:
"DOH!" or worse. Last night I enjoyed practice and had not very much
"DOH!" in the mental flow. As I work with others, there is the sense of
their mental state that comes out in their technique. It's a curious
thing to watch. The beginner is saying: "I'm am unsure of my
technique." Sempai are often saying: "I am here to help." I also
notice how people bow before and after we have practiced together.
Everything we do speaks volumes.

The bad news: Sarah had an injury just before her test! She
unfortunately has to postpone her test. This too is part of her test.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Back From Plague

I haven't posted here in a while, mainly because I was out for a week
with the cold that has been going around, but finally I'm getting back
into the swing of things.

Last week I went to Thursday evening and Friday morning classes and got
a double dose of jo work. In Thursday class, Andy is working on jo
techniques in the style of Chiba Sensei, currently working on the kata
called Sansho. In Friday AM we are working on the 31 step kata from
Saito Sensei.

I really enjoy weapons training, or as we say here in the south, "I sho
nuff love that steeick fightin'!"

Tonight is Sarah's 3rd kyu test and afterward dojo cleanup in
preparation for a seminar in 2 weeks. Good luck to Sarah tonight!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

My Deadliest Technique

Last night was a nice class, redeeming from last Friday's AM class,
which had to be one of my most frustrating since I started again over a
year ago. Last Friday, we continued with the two-person 31-step jo
kata. I don't know about you, but my brain just doesn't want to think
about much at 7AM. I had trouble remembering the moves! Grrr. Well,
I'm about to go on break with jo in hand for a few reps of the 31-step
kata. I was thinking maybe I should try some ginkgo tea to stimulate
memory or something.

Anyway, on to last night. The high point was practicing kaitenage w/C.
The flow was there and I didn't get too winded, though after a few
minutes I'm thinking "OK, I'm getting tired... are we there yet? .. are
we there yet?" I also discovered my deadliest technique! At the end I
practiced kokyudosa with Max, a young guy around Cory's age. As Max
pushed me over the first time, the impact caused a "small explosion" of
gas. Were I working with an adult, this may have been politely
ignored. Max, however, was cracking up! I was glad I could provide
such fine entertainment, but young Max, you must beware lest I unleash
the full wrath of the gas attack upon you!!! None can withstand its powah!