Thursday, December 22, 2005

Yudansha night

Sensei had all the yudansha teach, tonight. It's fun to see the different takes on things. We get a taste of the differences (and similarities) when we work with each of them on one or two techniques a night. When they get to teach the whole class, however, we get a more comprehensive view. T.G. sensei started us off with the shomenuchi taisabaki series. K.M. sensei showed us some blending kokyunage things (I still shy away from the koshinage, though, and I was pooped about then). Sensei lead us through jo tsuki suburi (T. loved that! She really likes the weapons.) and ended with munetsuki jodori.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Fancy Footwork

T. and I arrived late for warm-ups. After just a little time we were doing suwariwaza (techniques done when both uke and nage start from seiza) shomenuchi ikkyo. Next, we worked on some swoopy (technical term) ryotetori and munetsuki attacks. Proper footwork was very important for these techniques to work. We ended with more suwariwaza and kokyudosa. I only ran out of steam once or twice.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Three New Rokkyus

Sensei awarded all three of Tuesday's testers the rank of rokkyu! He complimented each one on doing a good job.

Then he turned the class over to K.W. sensei for the evening. He emphasized the circle in two very different ways. First, nage encloses uke in a circle and, second, nage attaches uke to the peripheral of a circle. In both cases nage is in control of the circle.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Woo Hoo!

T. tested tonight along with her cadre, L.U. and K.R.. The rest of our family came to watch the test and meet all the neat people T. and I get to play with every week.

We started the evening with techniques starting from ushirodori: kokyunage, shihonage, and others. Then we did the testing. L.U. went first then T. then K.R. Sensei had to laugh when T. charged up to be uke for L.U. though she really should have waited to be called. I got to be T.'s first uke and she had a lot of fun slamming me down with kotegaeshi, kokyunage and iriminage. On the last throw she knocked my glasses off! All three of them did very well. All that pretest work really paid off.

Afterward, a lot of us went to sushi to celebrate.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Mini Test Prep

T. and I got together with the rest of T.'s "test-sisters", T.M. sensei and M.K. at T.D.'s house. T.M. sensei ran them through the test process like we did last weekend. They did well.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Swinging the Bokken

T. and I got up in time (almost!) to get to the rec. center this morning to practice with the bokken. Our friend, E.P. came to watch. A.O. sensei warmed us up with lots of suburi then we worked on a paired bokken kata. The sun was warm for December and there wasn't much breeze so we got a little warm. Nevertheless, fun was had by all.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Munetsuki Variations

We ran through a bunch of techniques from munetsuki (pronounced "mu-net-ski"), some of them pretty tricky. No pre-test, tonight. We did have two guests with us. Both T. and I felt pretty good afterward.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Pretesting Begins!

We're definitely getting into gear for the three upcoming tests. We did a lot of work on katatori nikkyo, tonight, including some oyo waza (applied/advanced technique) variations that took some puzzling out for those of us still in the kihon waza (basic technique) end of things. One had us shifting from the entrance of nikkyo by slipping under uke's arm directly into an ikkyo nage. The other started the same but, with a slight but careful switch of the hands, shifted into sumi otoshi. It is very interesting to not only be exposed to but practice some of these advanced variations. Being able to practice them engages my mind, surprises my body with unexpected variations of the familiar moves, and hints at the depth of the art involved. Good stuff!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Monday class

T. and I went to T.M.'s Monday class tonight. It was small. We had a visitor from NC and he brought a new perspective. That's always fun. We did some kokyudosa, sudori and randori practice.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Afternoon brush-up

T. and I took our nearly-new-and-unused mat over to T.D.'s house this afternoon. B.N. helped those who are about to test (T., L.U., K.R.) work on the basics of the test as well as the techniques. M.L. and B.A. ran interference with T.D.'s delightful son. It went very well.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Early in the Morning!

T. actually got up in time to almost make it to the dojo on time! Saturday mornings are smaller classes than the usual Tuesday and Thursday classes so we have a lot more room to work so that's always fun.

M.K. sensei warmed us up then took us through some ukemi practice. We rolled (mai ukemi) over one of our fellow students. I haven't done that one since I worked with D.K. sensei about twenty years ago! I still drop to my knee on the left-side roll. I almost made it on my right side. I didn't hurt anyone, though - I worked off to the side. My shoulder-fear is still inhibiting me. Dang!

After that we broke down the iriminage, kokyunage, and kotegaeshi throws designed to help the people who are testing soon. I found it very instructive, too, since, as I wrote in the last post, I've been falling back on some of my twenty-plus year old style techniques and I need to update them.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Test Prep and Sushi!

T. and I had lots more energy tonight. I don't think either of us pooped out the whole evening. Chalk it up to healthier living. As she has the last couple classes, T. joined the others getting ready for testing before class started. I like to see her take initiative.

M.L. succeeded in his sankyu test on Tuesday.

While teaching shomenuchi iriminage, Sensei showed the "old" way of doing the first entry (think of the shomenuchi ikkyo undo aikitaiso). That's the way I've been doing it all along! I didn't realize that I hadn't been following Sensei's lesson. Toyoda shihan's method (the "new" way) is definitely more dynamic and involves more just plain old getting-out-of-the-way which, when properly done, leaves you in the right spot for a lot more choice in technique. Nevertheless, Sensei taught that the old way is a good basic technique.

We got to throw M.K. around since it was her birthday. We went out to sushi for M.K.'s birthday and M.L.'s sankyu promotion.