- The first 15 minutes are devoted to tradition, meditation, & stretching.
- One of the Aikido warm-ups has you mapping out your spacial awareness with your arms as they relate to your hips (belt line). If your arms go too far out you transition power from the hips to muscle which is not good in Aikido.
- After warm-ups we do a solid hour (or more) of Aikido. This breaks out to 2-3 techniques.
- I’ve seen different students in each class. Really do wish I would have started sooner with this dojo. One guy–maybe 22 years old–has about two years under his belt and is pretty fluid. If I would have started two years ago that could have been me!
- Turning your back on the kamiza while sensei is instructing you is bad. Also supposed to get into sezai every time he talks. Goddamn seiza will be the death of my knees!
- Sensei shows atemi options in just about EVERY technique. Usually the “kung-fu” vertical punch (I’m sure they have a name for it) or a low side kick to collapse a knee. It’s not a technically sound karate or tkd side kick but it gets the job done!
- What I call in my head “The Drill”. It goes like this: Sensei has us sit in seiza. Sensei demonstrates a technique. Knees start to hurt. He demonstrates it 3 more times. Then he lectures. Knees really start to hurt. Two more times but this time with “options.” Options include anything from a soft pin to breaking wrists, elbows, and dislocating the shoulder. By now knees are numb. No! No! Don’t show us atemi! Goddamnit he showed us atemi. Then sensei has us get up and practice the technique. By this time my knees are roached and I hobble up like an old man. Usually takes 30 or so seconds to shake it out while my partner politely waits.
- I think we practiced one basic technique which comes from 5th kyu material. Everything else was more advanced. I really struggled to keep up with some of the advanced material — it was UGLY.
- The only technique I remember is yokomenuchi kotegaeshi. And by “remember” I mean that I remember the name of it. I definitely stunk up the dojo with this one. I sucked as nage. As uke I reached a point where I was half-way fluid in taking the fall without getting my wrist dislocated. I will consider this a success. In fact, one of my partners said: “You’re doing great for only your fourth class!” Here’s YK in all of its glory:
- My plan this weekend is to practice the basics. Specifically footwork, front rolls, back rolls, and standing up into hanmi from the rolls.
I will practice the basics at home. If I can get them to fall in line the rest should too!
First Fishing Trip of the Year!
There is a 5 mile stretch of river between two reservoirs. This stretch is blue ribbon trout waters. In the spring walleye come down from the lakes to spawn. I got intel that said this was happening so tried what the locals try: bounce trolling live minnows for walleye. The guys next to me caught two walleye. I caught zero, however, I did catch four trout. Three where rainbow trouts and one was my first cutbow trout! The bad part is that my iPhone blurred the photo. 17″ and my first cutbow so that was cool! Here’s the photos — just click on them to enlarge: