Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thursday Thoughts, 4/14/11

I follow Rener and Ryron Gracie on Twitter (@GracieBrothers), and they tweeted some really interesting statements this morning:

Imagine if the student was not fearful of disappointing the instructor.
Imagine if the student had the freedom to study the art to the extent that they would allow all inferior positions to happen.
The path to black belt can be cut in half.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Aikido, April 9 2011

Today we did "concrete aikido", out in the driveway. All the unusual aspects of that (wearing shoes, Sloping ground, acorns/debris, gnats and sweat in my eyes, etc) tend to shake things up, which I think is good once in a while, since chances are pretty low I'll be attacked on a mat while I'm barefoot.

Our walking kata was odd - it's tough to "fall into a step" uphill. We also did the kata with a knife in one hand, and that changes it up even more.

Releases were wonky too; for some reason, release 2 gave me fits this morning, and it usually doesn't. We talked about not only getting off the line, but getting out of the "box".

We played with Junana 1-10 with a knife-wielding uke. It was really interesting, and we explored ways to keep the knife at arms length by not engaging shoulder muscles. We talked about how Junana 1 and 2 were pretty much the only things that consistently had a chance for knife defense.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Aikido Buddies Gathering, April 2011

I was happy to be able to make the Saturday session for this Spring's Aikido Buddies Gathering this weekend. Pat led us in an exploration of 2-hand grabs in Koryu Dai Ichi and we had a really good time playing with it. There was some very cool stuff in there.

Some of the guys from Starkville came down; it was great getting to train with Dr. Usher, Chops, Ross, and Tony. It was nice seeing Andy again too, and training with Jason, Kel, and good to meet Kevin, a striker who's a little new to Aikido.

One of the highlights to me was getting to play almost-full-speed randori with Andy for a while... Pat and I normally practive very slowly, and Pat has probably 20+ years experience on me, so it was nice to see the effect of our normal training expressed in a more chaotic situation with someone closer to my level.

Bottom line: wow, the day was really fun. We ended with Kel's shodan demo and promotion. Big congratulations to him!