Showing posts from January, 2007


Class was very small again last night. Just Arms of Steel and myself. I'm learning to appreciate it more as the night goes quickly and it's very intensive. After warming up we started with randori - the real one with multiple attackers; not much aikido though.

I'm limping this morning because I thought I was being clever. I grabbed Teacher from behind while AOS front kicked him. After Teacher blocked that he kicked my leg out from underneath me. He simply waited until I put most of my weight on that leg before administering the coup de grace. I should have choked him. Duh.

During our action-packed fist fest I found that I had a few chunks of flesh missing and had bled on Teacher on AOS for their troubles. Hah. I think AOS needs to clip those toe nails...

Lesson for the night: When I learn an advanced move (in this case someone grabs me from the rear and I clamp on their hand and slide to the rear bringing their arm into a figure 7 arm bar) with one person very well, that it…


First of all thanks to all for the comments. I mentioned somewhere that there isn't a lot of people to celebrate the accomplishment with, so knowing that there is someone out there who knows how I feel by virtue of experiencing the same thing is awesome.

Following my test the class has gone through a substantial change or maybe I wasn't paying attention. The adult class was down to me and Check last night. When I first started four years ago there would be occasions where the class would be just one person and it would feel like private lessons.

I found out later that Arms of Steel fell on the ice and hurt his leg and Kid Speed had a birthday party to attend. Still the class feels empty. At the very least Beard shows up regularly for the second hour, but even he didn't show last night. I know our weather is bad, but this seems ridiculous.

I realize the life blood of our class is to have many folks attend regularly. We have been suffering lately. I guess I wish more parents …

Test Night - passed

I could go into a lot of detail about the test, but really the important thing was that Teacher doesn't give the belt test until the student is ready. In a way I had already passed and the test just acted as a formalized initiation. Nothing grueling in itself, but the class was tough because, as I thought about it afterword, the whole class was the real test. Thankfully I was on balance and on timing pretty much the whole time.

I was so proud that I didn't get to sleep until 11:30pm. When I came home I forced my wife to listen to me babble for an hour straight. Not that I said anything coherent mind you.

When the class is small Teacher lets us warm up on our own. Last night was very small again so I ran through every kick and punch about three times to make sure my flexibility was there. We used the whole first hour on two-step attacks. I'm not sure what the technical term for this is, but uke throws two of whatever; kick and punch, punch and punch, etc. and then we respond…

Advanced class

With only Check and myself in the class I expected time to slow way down. Foul weather embraced our small town like a grand-mother's hug. No one was moving anywhere and if they did it wasn't fast. So Teacher made due with what he had and made an advanced class. Both Check and I have different levels of green belt so the things were trying weren't normally touched upon in my memory.

Check is a 40 something mother of three who has been divorced for over five years. She's secure, humorous, and flirtatious. I believe she sees the class as her brothers and she has become good friends to most of us. In sparring or exercises with her I notice how she is better at some things than I am even though she has less experience and when she allows herself to make contact she can put her entire weight behind her fist. Amazing for someone who probably only weighs 130.

So the exercise that ties this all together was something pulled out of one of our kata (pinan cho dan) in which you punc…

Anxiety again

So much for the energy of Tuesday. I forced myself to go to beatings and was surprised when we only had four people. This is usually a great class because it's almost like private lessons. Teacher had us pair up and start randori. I got paired with Check. She's probably a foot shorter than me so it means that she has to get inside to be effective. And effective she is. She can tangle my arms and set me up for a kick regularly. I can only be effective at the end of my reach. So I attack and try to stay away. I didn't feel like a superstar.

At the end of class Teacher pulled me aside and he said that I'll be testing for my next rank in the next two weeks or so. I told me that I wished he wouldn't let me know ahead of time and he replied, "well, you don't actually know what day it is." Touche.

Anxiety is now my close friend even though I think I'll be fine.


Normally the fear of injury, the lack of energy, the endless dark, or frustrations with other students have a way making beatings very difficult to get motivated for. Although every once in awhile I'm reinvigorated as if I was in that first year again. I'm trying to figure out why that was the case last night, because I was totally energized and ready to go.

Maybe it was the good dinner or I was just very rested and mentally and emotionally in a good place. I ended up warming up at home while my wife and I watched TV. I wanted to get those kicks just right and be limber as I could be.

Class was pretty standard, but one of the kicks we worked on the was the back kick. I'm ashamed to say that we haven't worked on it in ages. That means I haven't been practicing it either. So we worked and worked and my hamstrings were feeling like banjo strings - ouch.

Kid Speed is a step away from his Brown belt. This means that he is capable of doing most, if not all, techniq…

Stupor 2

After only three weeks of lethargy I didn't think it would be possible to be as sore as I felt before going to beatings last night. My wife told me a joke and if felt like all my ribs were broken when I laughed. Not the best way to enter a night of physical frivolity.

It felt like an old home week because Teacher Slim was there. His attendance has been extremely sporadic over the last year, but I can't fault him. I suspect he gets bored by us and our lack of skills. However, this is never mentioned and he's always very jovial.

I mention him because after a half hour of side kicks (for you Mat) we were broke into skill groups. Check, Vet and I were passed to Teacher Slim for "Aikido" practice. I put that in quotes because I feel like I'm not be respectful to the folks that actually do traditional Aikido whereas we do the watered down locks and throws that only make up an extremely small portion of the art. That being said Check and I attempted to teach Vet all t…


After several weeks of vacation I can't say that I was surprised by my own lack of energy before class last night, but it was surprising to see pretty much everyone else in the same boat. We knew it was sad because everyone stood in a circle; not talking, not really doing anything, but looking vaguely in the middle distance.

Teacher took pity on us or wasn't feeling sprightly himself so the class was pretty much basics taken at a slow pace. At least we weren't yawning too much so the pace must have been good.

Good to be back at it.