Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Pat's Naihanchi stuff this past Saturday was so interesting, it may have renewed my interest in karate. I think I'm going to try to start practicing Ten No Kata again, just to get my feet wet again. It's simple, it's easy, it's......universal?

Evasive Walking

I just thought of something I forgot to include in my last training log:

Saturday, during our walking kata, the wrong-footed portions felt more awkward to me than they usually do. So we spent more time on them, and talked about hip switches, ranges of motion, foot placement, etc. But the big "sticking point" for me was the "helicopter" motion (the first wrong-footed turn).

It turns out I've been leaving out the evasion aspect of that step and just doing a mechanical set of motions. When Pat emphasized the initial motion as an evasion, it made way more sense to me, and felt much better than it has in the past.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Back to Blogging

Well, after a while away and a false start or two, I'm gonna try blogging again with regard to my martial art studies. These really are the times that try men's souls; I have a job that keeps me busier than ever, a car that keeps giving me trouble, aches, pains, and general ailments. In a word, life.

Speaking of my martial studies, for the reasons listed above and more, I haven't been as consistent as I should have been. Part of that has been circumstances, part of it just some laziness I suppose. Maybe I need a good dose of a freezing waterfall in my undies or something.

My last post was about how I was all committed to training at the Shotokan Karate place, but I've since given that up, haha. I think they liked to "play Japanese" too much for me there. Yes, the training was tough, but I wasn't inclined to keep going there if they insisted on playing "warrior-monk".

I have continued training Aikido with Pat, albeit way too sporadically. Hopefully that will improve soon. I'm a sankyu (third brown) now, so if I can get my rear in gear, I might be looking at shodan sometime in 2012. Not that it matters...

So this past weekend, Pat and I worked on releases quite a bit. Big takeaways:
     --- In Release 1, I need to stay centered behind my hand and push, not try to push uke sideways with my arm (using my shoulder muscle - duh!). Pat tweaked this for me and it made good sense. Hopefully it will stick!
     --- Dare I hope Pat was able to fix my Release 6?!? Six (and eight) have been problematic for me since day one. Pat tweaked my footwork and the timing of my turn (and pointed out the need for some urgency when my back is to uke) that felt like it did the trick! Also pointed out a bit of the hip-switch in the walking kata that appears in Six. I felt better about that release maybe than I ever have.

From releases, we went into randori. I feel like I'm getting a little better at yielding. At least I think it kept me out of a particular bind I normally get myself into.

Lastly, we played with karate's Naihanchi kata, which fits surprisingly well with Aikido. I'm always amazed at the inter-relatedness of that martial arts. Truly genius.