Thursday, October 18, 2007


Yesterday AM was a good class, for me anyway. The morning classes tend to be a little less intense, though not necessarily. (It's less intense unless Sensei decides to throw you, er.. wake you up.) For at least the first year at the dojo, I would sometimes literally run out of energy, not only being winded, but not being able to move enough for the technique to be effective. Of course, I was "doing it wrong" and I was out of shape. I'm still not in the best of shape aerobically, and oh yeah, my back hurts--not good! But now I have an idea of what it feels like to use ki and not muscle. All the motion originates with your center, and in the hips. The energy ideally just radiates through the rest of your body like electricity. To do this you need to have the arms relaxed and the spine flexible. Your body moves more like a single unit and your arms and hands should (almost) never be moving without your center being in motion, because the center is driving the technique.

So a primary exercise is being able to maintain relaxation. This lessens the amount of energy required, and by the end of class you may be hardly winded.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Unnatural at 6:30 AM

I felt the need to workout this morning, at 5:50 AM. Dragged my ass out of bed and couldn't find my hakama (naturally). I made it to class on time and it was only Jim and me. That was cool, but there is something about hitting the mat that early.. the body just says: "What are you doing to me? Who signed me up for this?"

I always feel great after class, but after a few hours I'm about ready for a nap.

Today we went over some techniques Sensei taught last night (I wasn't in class, but fortunately Jim was). It was addressing the question of: "What if it doesn't work?" So you start with shomenuchi ikkyo, but you perhaps miss the elbow. Then it's a matter of reacting to the situation by flowing with the technique, seeing what is natural from where you are.

In general my Aikido is not spontaneous enough, a work in progress.