Sunday, April 26, 2009

Back in the Saddle (Partially)

This weekend I finally got to make it back out to Pat's for some Aikido (an extended Aikido session, no less)! It's been way too long. Sicknesses (on both sides of the state line), honey-do lists, tire blowouts, and the FDIC have all conspired together to make me miss about 4 consecutive weekends. I say I'm "partially" back in the saddle, because I know of a couple more weekends coming up in May that I'll have to miss, but I should be able to get back to my regular schedule after that.

Every part of class was an exercise in shaking cobwebs out of my mind. We started with tegatana, and did that a couple of times. The first "wrong-footed" turn screwed me up both times. Pat talked at length about otoshi motions and garuma motions, and we tried tegatana while mentally counting "otoshi, garuma, otoshi, garuma..." and so on instead of "1, 2, 3, 4" etc. I've assigned that to myself as a long-term homework project. I still have a problem with otoshi and garuma "clicking" in my head.

We went through releases 1-8 (more cobwebs). The we played with getting a gedanate out of a release 5 or 7. I need to remember to keep my shoulder relaxed so I don't interfere with uke's natural garuma motion if and when I miss the timing for the otoshi motion. I commented to Pat that it seems to me the higher numbered techniques are not the advanced Aikido material - the subtle principles (such as otoshi/garuma), and the ability to use them, are the real advanced stuff. I also need to remember to close the distance before trying gedanate, so more of my body acts as a "feeler" rather than just my hand. Easier to find the right timing to execute the technique that way.

Lastly, we played with the first three or four techniques from Owaza Ju Pon. Super slick, super cool stuff. Magic-looking stuff. I can't wait to be able to do those well! I love the way so many Aikido techniques come out problems with other techniques. It's a brilliantly fault-tolerant system.

It was really nice being back. I needed that.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday Night Videos, 4/10/09

Courtesy of my friend Ryan - one of the silliest and strangest "martial arts" videos I've ever seen.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Blogging Break

Unfortunately, I need to take a short break from blogging - I will be too busy with work to organize many thoughts for the next 2 or 3 weeks (FDIC Audit at our bank). I will still try to post training logs (when I have a chance to train - I've been sick the last few days, so I didn't get to train yesterday again...grrr...), but don't look for any "What-I'm-Reading Wednesdays", "Thursday Thoughts", or "Friday Night Videos" for a little while.

If I make it through the next few weeks with any mental faculty remaining, I'll see ya'll on the other side.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday Night Videos, 4/3/09

Here's a comedian my buddy Ryan just showed me. I love the following 3 bits:

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wednesday Weirdness

I'm not really reading any martial arts books this week, so I don't have a "What-I'm-Reading Wednesday" this week. But I thought I'd relate something strange that happened this morning:

I was driving to work and had my iPod playing my "Pop" playlist, and it was set to shuffle the songs randomly. I was listening to the song "Don't Drink the Water" by The Dave Matthews Band, and the very next song was "Drink the Water" by Jack Johnson.

I was so confused. I didn't know what to do. I wanted to rush home and climb back in bed until the world made sense again.