Showing posts from October, 2007

Spar, Boom, Jib

Kick to the leg, kick to the leg, kick to the leg then feint to the leg and kick to the head. God, I love sparring with new people. All the stuff I can't do with someone with experience actually works with new folks.

We haven't done any sparring for a very long time, but Sensei obviously thought it was time to get the new folks up to speed. I'm assuming it's a misnomer in our mixed Korean/Japanese class, but he likes to call slow speed sparring Randori. From what I understand it means different things in other schools and classes.

Needless to say it was pleasant to pick where I'd left off months ago. Except this time I was able to focus on a few techniques I hadn't been able to put into play in the past. I guess I'll have to learn a few more.

Cook is entering the question everything phase. I'm not sure what all the developmental phases of learning MA are, but one of them is definitely the "endless questions." Last night he had to ask abo…


I'm not even sure how to put tonight's thoughts into coherent, linear writing, but things were definitely percolating in my brain after the weekend.

I've mentioned that people have come and gone to our class over time, and because it's a small town you see these folks as you go through your regular living. So excuses of time and changes of schedule can be taken with a grain of salt if the class doesn't suit someone and they need to move on. I also know that Teacher's style might not "jive" with certain folks learning style and they might have to move in time as well.
So during the weekend I ran into Check who hasn't been to class for sometime. I had actually wondered if she moved because the Karate fairy dropped off a water weighted kicking dummy in front of my house several weeks ago. So we chatted and of course class came up. She basically was tired of second guessing Teacher and his methods. To me it sounded like the old quandary, do we blindly…


I've been tagged by Frotoe on the 7 Random facts meme.

1. I used to be Marriage and Family Therapist.

2. I've been married for 12 years.

3. I used to live in the Arctic.

4. I swam with Galapagos Penguins.

5. I'm a liberal and I like guns.

6. I love the clean and jerk.

7. I find cleaning the catbox relaxing. It's like a zen sand garden.


I'm not saying that we practice any "real" kind of Aikido, but we are heavy on the wrist and joint locks and we do love the throws based off those locks, however teaching these things and being Uki for these things is brutal in our class.

I'm definitely going to have to rethink the way I present this to a new person. I've been steadfastly telling new folks that you have to take me to the point of pain so you know how to do the technique properly. A half hour into instruction I'm barely able to move my right wrist without serious discomfort.

Of course the next day I have no problems with articulation or discomfort, but during a few of the locks I kept thinking to myself "man, that's got to be a light sprain." My wrists are never more than slightly sore are so you'd think I'd be better at dealing with the discomfort. And I might be, but pain is pain and wrist pain is something special in its dry intensity.

We started with a few one-two dr…

Peaks, Valleys, and Plateaus

I'm going to describe tonight in reverse order. As we exited the changing room Teacher asked me, "What has been your learning experience like?" I said at first it was exciting and everything was new and then I hit that plateau and since then it's been puncuated with small peaks and valleys. Everyone echoed this. We found out that Cook is very excited (stage one) and had one of those nights where everything felt wrong even when he was doing it right. We all laughed.

The lesson? When you do this you need to realize that you are only fighting yourself and that you need to relax. Cliche, but I can't describe it any better.

The whole first hour was kata. One through Nine. My legs were shaking and during instruction my mind kept going blank. Terrible feeling. Teacher would have to remind me the first step and then I was good to go. Urgh.

More Elvis hip twist drills that lead to a throw over the thigh. Fun. I was able to one, but not another that required …


Nilon came back this evening and I was proud to say that I didn't have any emotional responses to his appearance. I was more relieved that he showed so that class would have some more people. I was a bit chagrined when we got partnered once or twice. After doing the technique once or twice he becomes restless and wants to try other things. I don't know why that agitates me so, but I know he needs to focus on his basic technique and get that rote repetition in. Personally I want to do the technique over and over again so I get it right. When I was visiting an Aikido school in the big city they had the rule of four. Four times one side and then the other and then switch partners. That way you didn't get stuck with height and distance so much. Ah well, it's good training for me.

With the two girls we totalled six. Which I'm starting to think is the perfect number if we rotate frequently. If the new guy comes then we'll have seven which will be crazy. W…


In the words of the Rolling Stones - "Shadooby, shattered, shattered." Before class started we had a visitor share with us his desire to join but had to wait until a MRI cleared him for beatings. This brought up the inevitable conversation about what pains we all had; to be shared like a potluck to a pain picnic. In turn, Cook shared with the details of his intriguing back problem. As a youth he was driven over by a car - twice! No wonder he is the crooked man.

Ironically while we were all sharing, none of the catalog of injuries had anything to do with class. I totally forgot about my ankle. However we all said that we felt great after class. Teacher went on at length about how the work we do actually helps spinal health. I'm not totally convinced as I can still experience lower back issues now and then, but those are usually due to poor falls.

I believe I've mentioned that for the last month Teacher has been ratcheting up the complexity of the moves we'…