Thursday, December 28, 2006

Low Blood Sugar!

I felt shaky like I had low blood sugar tonight. I ran out of steam several times. We worked on katatetori shihonage, yokomenuchi shihonage, yokomenuchi kotegaeshi, yokomenuchi sumi otoshi, yokomenuchi kokyunage, yokomenuchi ikkyo and a few others.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Multi-Sensei Night and Extravaganza!

Tonight, because they are replacing the carpeting in the Rec. room (where we usually work out), we held class in the small room in the front of the building. I arrived about 45 minutes late (working late) and was the 16th on the mat. Several came after me so it was a pretty crowded mat. Each of the yudansha got about 10 minutes to teach. Afterward, a bunch of us went to Kikuya Sushi for the First Annual Ryushinkan Holiday Extravaganza! Fun Aikido, fun food, fun people, good times.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Tanto Waza

Finally stopped coughing enough to practice (still coughing a little)!

Tonight, A.O. sensei took us through the tanto suburi and philosophy -- much different than bokken and jo -- and then we worked through the uke and nage skills for knife fighting. We all ended up with fore-arm bruised and sore knuckles but it was a good change-of-pace. It felt like some of my old fencing reflexes (poor though they were lo these many years ago) were more appropriate for this than the jo and bokken reflexes.

Weight: 303

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Still Coughing

I went to Aikido tonight but I didn't participate. My lingering cough is still getting in the way. C. got her rokkyu promotion and E.L. got his birthday rolls.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


I had a meeting tonight but showed up for the last ten minutes so I could see part of C.'s test. Her randori looked good to me!

Weight: 301

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Ryokatatori Variations

After stretching and aiki taiso Sensei started us off with ryokatatori ikkyo. We followed that with kokyunage, ikkyo nage with and without a tenkan, nikkyo, and sankyo!

Yes, I flaked last Thursday and yesterday. I will also miss this Thursday for a meeting.

Weight: 300

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Yokomenuchi Tai Sabaki

T. decided not to go tonight. After warming up we started with the basic yokomenuchi tai sabaki - drawing back away from the attacking hand at a 45 degree angle. This lead to yokomenuchi shihonage. It also lead to a couple variations of kokyunage and sumi otoshi. We also did two entering tai sabaki that are hard to explain except to say it looks like you're taking dancing lessons rather than aikido. Fun!

Weight: 300

Monday, November 27, 2006


T and I went tonight and M.L. led class - it was just the three of us working out. We went through bokken suburi, the two bokken kata, the six kumi tachi and then worked on some parrying exercises. We switched to jo and did the jo suburi, two jo kata, kumi jo, some jo parrying exercises and ended with the paired six jo kata.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Out again!

My chest cold prevented me from participating again, dangit! T. went, though, and worked on many ryotetori variations. Interesting to watch but frustrating!

Weight: 300

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A Bad Night

I felt bad and had to leave after warming up. Drag.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Shomenuchi Variations

Tonight we switched things around a bit. We warmed up with the hand art versions of the shomenuchi variations we practiced last night as tachi dori. Then we did paired stretching. The rest of the class was spent with more shomenuchi and ended with randori practice. T. seems to have lost her new blue belt. We can't find it in the house, the car or the rec center. Hmmm...

Weight: 299

Monday, November 13, 2006

Tachi Dori

Also known as bokken dori, these techniques involve neutralizing the uke who is attacking with a bokken. After stretching and warming up with some suburi (quietly so as not to disturb the yoga class next door!) Sensei worked us through nine (well, eight because koshinage would be too loud) techniques from kokyunage, kaitennage, ikkyonage and sumi otoshi to blade reversals where the uke has to let go and move away quickly to avoid getting cut by his or her own sword. Of course, with a bokken that's not as big a danger but it is part of training as an uke to be more than just a fall guy. T. and I really enjoy the weapons classes and we're glad that Sensei is continuing them on Monday nights.

Weight: 302

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Big Class Tonight!

We had several visiting yudansha, tonight. They were passing through on their way to a seminar in L.A. After warming up we started with tenchinage then went into a henkawaza variant with a tenkan turn leading to a kaitennage. We also used an internal tenkan (not sure of the correct terminology for that) to move under the uke's arm ending up with kaitennage again. We finished up by using the same entrance but shifting to ikkyo at the end.

T. had rehearsal tonight so she couldn't come to class.

Weight: 303

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Rokkyu Tests

T. decided that she was too stressed to go to Aikido tonight - not a good argument for Sensei on an election day! After warming up we went through all the rokkyu test techniques pretty quickly. After missing a week of working out I pooped out for about half an hour but was okay for the end of class. I got to be uke for P. for his test. L.P. also tested. Both did well (in my non-professional opinion) even in Randori.

Weight: 301

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Gokkyu Awarded and More Basics

T. has been nervous since last Thursday because she wasn't sure she passed her gokkyu test. Tonight, Sensei promoted her to gokkyu and she was happy. Sensei gave her my old blue belt (the one that's too small for me and pretty big for her). After that the class worked on katatori ikkyo and katatori nikkyo in preparation for the upcoming tests. I was not healthy enough (cough, sniffle) to practice so I watched and took a few pictures.

Weight: 300 (Dang Halloween Candy!)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Pretest Basics

We had a relatively low turnout tonight, presumably because it's Halloween (that's T.'s excuse, anyway). I was still not feeling better and, not wanting to spread the wealth (of germs), I didn't go on the mat tonight. I did take some pictures, though. Since all the people coming up for rokkyu testing in the next couple weeks were there the class worked on what they would need to know for their tests: kokyunage, iriminage, kotegaeshi. We ended with a little ikkyo and some randori.

Here are some of the pictures I took:

Our Sensei:

Shomenuchi at speed:


Weight: 298

Monday, October 30, 2006

Bokken Fun

Tonight, A.O. sensei went over the kumi tachi with an eye toward looking at effective responses to the various attacks. He told us they weren't AAA-approved. Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling up to participating (I didn't want to spread any germs) but T. enjoyed it and I took some pictures:

1 initial attack and parry
2 position for counter attack
3 counter attack

Weight: 299

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Gokkyu Test!

T. was nervous about her gokkyu test tonight. We got to the dojo too late to do any practice before class started. After warm up stretches and aiki taiso we started with yokomenuchi taisabaki. We worked on yokomenuchi attacks all night resolved with kokyunage, iriminage, sokomen iriminage, and shihonage. After a round of soon-to-test randori, Sensei started T.'s test.

In my opinion (which is obviously not binding on anyone else!), she did the techniques better than I did on my gokkyu test a year and a half ago. She did have trouble pulling up a couple techniques and did some iriminage to keep moving. She had the weapons stances and attacks down much better than I did on that test. Sensei called me up so she and I could demonstrate the six kumi tachi and, except for T. getting a bit excited and adding another strike at the end of number four (twice!) we did really well (we forgot to ki-ai several times, too). She got very tired in her test randori (already having done one plus the whole test) but did well even when Sensei sent in a fourth uke.

In circle, after class, we sang The Ryushinkan Chicken for Sensei's birthday. He knew something was up but he even joined in singing for the last half. Afterward, we took Sensei out for sushi. K.W. and S. brought their five month old son, A., and Sensei played with him for a long time. I got to hold A., too.

All around, a good evening. Lots of fun.

Weight: 300

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Jo Nage and Related Hand Techniques

Tonight, Sensei did his birthday rolls. We zoomed through aiki taiso but did 57 of several of them - hoo-wee, that's a workout! We started on technique with katateryotetori kokyunage to practice the open hand version of jo nage - throwing with the staff. It's all good!

Weight: 300

Monday, October 23, 2006

Kumi Tachi and Bokken Kata

T. and I went for the last outside night for Aikido we practiced the six kumi tachi and bokken katas one and two. We had a lot of fun working on bokken and jo the last few months. He might ask that A.O. and T.G. to do some weapons on some Monday evenings indoors.

Sensei wants to test T. for gokkyu on Thursday!

Weight: 302

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Ryotetori Nights

T. decided not to spread whatever virus she was feeling tonight.
After stretching and aiki taiso we worked on ryotetori (grabbing both hands/wrists) variations: tenchinage, kokyunage, iriminage.

We've been ending class by letting those close to testing do Randori. Since T. wasn't there I got to do it for her.

Weight: 300

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Katatetori Everything

T. and I got to class just barely early enough to run through the kumi tachi once each. T.G. showed us how to properly hold the bokken in waki gamae.

After warm up stretches and aiki taiso we worked on the katatetori tai sabaki. That lead to katatetori sumi otoshi and then the same with a tenkan step as the opening tai sabaki. We then worked on several variations of iriminage and then kokyunage. To illustrate extending on the throw instead of throwing down we worked on throwing two people, one on each wrist. Last, we worked on katatetori ikkyo with some of the same tai sabaki that we practiced earlier. We finished up with a round of randori for the soon-to-be-tested students then did some meditation on creating a better world. Visualize, decide, commit, perservere. Another wonderful night.

Weight: 303

Monday, October 16, 2006

Kumi Tachi

We practiced the full set of kumi tachi this evening. We spent a little extra time on five and six because they're trickier than the others. I've got the basic moves down. Now, I need to work on timing and ma ai. Attending to proper ma ai will also help keep me from overreaching. A.O. pointed out to me on Tuesday that I needed to keep bringing the bokken back to my center and not let it fly out to the limit of my arm's reach which nullifies the strength of my strike. I have to keep in mind that the while the bokken doesn't have an edge I'm still supposed to treat it like it has one. Repeat after me: "The bokken is not a club."

T. drove home the long way tonight.

Weight: 305

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Katatori Ikkyo and Nikkyo

T and I got there a little late for stretching but we got to do the aiki taiso and rolls. We worked on katatori ikkyo and katatori nikkyo tonight. They are on the rokkyu tests coming up soon for four people. They'd also likely be on T.'s gokkyu test, too. These are so basic and so integral to the art that no matter how long or how many times you practice on them you can always refine them, always improve them.

Sensei also had us practice that control hold that starts from ikkyo but, instead, nage slides the off-hand down to grasp around uke's thumb. Curling uke's hand back towards uke's ribs then up under that arm. Nage ends up with a control hold that the uke has no choice but to comply with whatever nage wants.

We spent about a quarter of an hour doing paired technique as Sensei called them out. He was specifically watching the people who are close to testing but he didn't want all the rest of us just sitting around. It was a very intense session and I finally had to sit down (but not until after 8:30!). Last, he ran each of the soon-to-be-tested people through a randori. T. did very well with hers even though she said she was completely exhausted. Hmmm... Maybe that helps!

Fun Stuff.

Weight: 303

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Shomenuchi Night

T. and I got there early enough to go through one round of all six kumi tachi each. Others were working on doing the ushiro ukemi (back roll) up to a standing position without letting their knees touch the ground.

Because so many of us were already warmed up Sensei started right in on shomenuchi iriminage instead of stretching and aiki taiso. We worked on two kokyunage variants, a flying kotegaeshi, and ikkyo ura. We ended with several rounds of randori. T. did one and Sensei sent in two extra ukes!

I almost had to sit out but managed not to have to. Fun!

Weight: 305

Monday, October 09, 2006

Kumi Tachi 5 and 6

A.O. sensei lead weapons class, tonight. We worked on kumi tachi 5 and 6 and then put them all together. Kumi tachi 5 starts just like kumi tachi 1 but continues with a corp-a-corp (fencing term - I don't know the japanese term) leading to a pivoting leg strike and the mirror parry followed by a yokomenuchi. Kumi tachi 6 is... well, harder to describe. We also did some mindfulness training by working on reacting to any attack and finding appropriate counterattacks. T. and A.O. sensei demonstrated. She was really getting into it and doing well.

T. drove home again. She's getting better.

Weight: 306

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Katate Cosa Dori

We worked on katate cosa dori tonight - cross-hand wrist grab. From that starting point we worked on iriminage, sokomen iriminage, shihonage, and kotegaeshi (and probably some others). T. got to do a randori at the end of class, again, and did pretty well.

Weight: 305

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Beginning Class?

T. and I got to class with just enough time to practice the kumi tachi we were working on last night before class started. After warming up we started with some ki training leading into katatetori kokyunage (with tenkan). That evolved into katatetori kaitenage. That evolved into... I'm not exactly sure what. After getting uke into the kaitenage position - bent over, arm extended over toward the other shoulder, hand on head - nage, instead of extending farther, steps around uke's head and leading his head the other direction and uke does a back roll or fall almost spinning on his/her back. Next, we used the same setup but switched hands into ikkyo ura. To close, we did some randori. Both T. and I got to do one. I felt pretty good doing mine and others said so, too.

Weight: 305

Monday, October 02, 2006

Kumi Tachi #4

T. and I went to weapons class, tonight. After running through bokken kata #2 we started working on kumi tachi #4. While it isn't particularly hard, it is tricky which makes it hard to get it right. There are several facets to the trickiness. First, the tsuki on steps one and two really need to be straight in toward the chest - not high or low or ascending or descending. Second, the response to the second tsuki relies on proper distance being created during the first tsuki and not being overbearing in the first parry. Third, the second parry requires that the parrying bokken pivot around the point of contact with the thrusting bokken, not the left hand as we often do. This type of pivot is used in when going from a parry across to a yokomenuchi strike while maintaining connection with the opposing bokken. This kind of move is essential to avoid giving the opponent something to struggle or push against. Fun stuff!

Tonight was Sensei's 28th anniversary of teaching Aikido at Standley Park.

Weight: 307

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Gokkyu Test!

I got to the dojo a little early tonight so I could work on the kumi tachi we learned on Monday. We did another fast-start warmup with tai sabaki stretches - initial movements leading to stretches rather than throws - then our regular stretches and S.W. special ab exercises. We then went very quickly through all the techniques for a gokkyu test. I was dripping and felt pretty wrung out but I stayed with it. Sensei even called me up as uke to demonstrate yokomenuchi sokomen iriminage. We did some randori and I was uke in two of them - whew! - then we did D.T.'s gokkyu test which went pretty well.

After class, Sensei complemented me on how much my endurance had improved. It really has even though this week I've felt more wrung out because I'm trying to eat less and better. A.O. also complemented my on my will power and the spirit I bring to class. Since I've just recognized a couple weeks ago that I've been resting on my habit of attending class and have been focusing on, well, focusing, staying intent and - a big one - getting up as quickly as possible and maintaining zanshin (another lesson I helped illustrate this evening). Aikido is a spiritual path for me since, as I said in my conversation with A.O., will power and even just being present can't rely on muscle strenth or even thinking. It takes spirit. A.O. said that it is a skill that you have to practice and really work at for it to improve. That sums it up very well.

Weight: 307.5

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Shomenuchi Ikkyo!

Tonight, after a quick warmup we worked on shomenuchi ikkyo. It's a basic art and is on the rokkyu and gokkyu tests that are coming up. We did several variations including a nage version, illuminated with a bokken (tenkan, right hand between uke's hands on the bokken, spin uke around, left hand comes up to uke's right elbo for ikkyo, and slide forward for the throw). We also practiced shomenuchi iriminage which is good for randori.

We also had birthday throws for M.R. and Z.

I was a bit under-powered tonight but never sat down for a round.

Weight: 305

Monday, September 25, 2006

Kumi Tachi 1, 2, 3

We worked on kumi tachi (paired bokken kata) numbers one through three. They're short but, still, they're harder than kata because you have to coordinate with another person. The part that's coming hardest for me is the footwork. (That, and occasionally, I'll throw up the wrong parry - bad plan!) Fun. We'll work on the other three next Monday.

Weight: 308

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Ushiro Hijitori Night

T. came to aikido tonight with the twin inducements of sushi and driving. We were a little late so we missed the beginning of warm-ups. After aiki taiso we worked on ushiro hijitori techniques (grabbing the elbows from behind): kokyunage, kotegaeshi, and iriminage. We ended with A.O.'s birthday rolls (25 was the number for the night) and a bit of randori for those who'll be testing in the next couple months. Afterward, some of went out for sushi to celebrate A.O.'s birthday and M.L.'s nikkyu advancement (last week).

Starting now, I'm going to be posting my weight. I am way overweight and it negatively impacts everything I do. It's, frankly, a danger to me on the mat and I need to put as much effort into losing weight as I do when I'm practicing Aikido. My weight certainly played a part when I hyperextended my knee in January 2005 and when I dislocated my shoulder a year ago.

Weight: 310

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Test Prep

Sensei is getting three of the new people ready for testing so the class worked on rokkyu and gokkyu techniques, tonight. I was feeling rumbly in my tumbly so I watched from the door.

Sensei showed something they did at the seminar this weekend called "monkey rolls" (no, it's not something you get at a sushi restaurant). Three people lie down side-by-side. The middle person rolls over toward one of the others. That person leaps over the roller and, lying flat, rolls toward the other person. The third person leaps over the second person and rolls toward the first. It's like braiding. Repeat until laughing occurs.

The class worked on katatori ikkyo omote with a low hand rotation with hip turn instead of the commonly-done high hand rotation. I like it. Next was munetsuki ikkyo omote, munetsuki kokyunage where uke continues straight forward.

The class ended with a lot of katatori nikkyo omote and ura. Sensei also showed variations that don't progress from basic ikkyo to nikkyo called "sword technique" and "spear technique". In "sword technique" nikkyo is applied quickly at the top of the hip and wrist turn like a vertical shomenuchi bokken strike. In "spear technique" nikkyo is applied past the top of the turn and uke's hand and wrist are rotated toward uke horizontally.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Nikkyu Test!

This was the biggest class we've had at the dojo since I started here. There were 27 people on the mat (including eight yudansha) and three or four watching from the sidelines!

After an A.O.-style tai sabaki warmup and aiki taiso we worked on ryokatatetori kokyunage and koshinage. At the end we had M.L.'s nikkyu test. Sensei called me to help with one part. The test went very well and he was promoted.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Ukemi, Kotegaeshi, and More

After warming up we worked on ukemi for a bit. Boy, is that something I need! After that, we worked on several variations of ryokatatori kotegaeshi. We did some jiyu waza - well, it was all katatori but still - which, with a big class, took quite a while. That pushed me hard but I didn't give up and I didn't get hurt.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Bokken Kata #2

T. and I went to weapons practice tonight. The evenings are getting shorter! After warming up with suburi we did some paired yokomenuchi practice. We then learned and practiced bokken kata #2 to end the evening.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Iriminage variations, mostly, but some other stuff, too. Tired but not as tired as I was on Tuesday! Fun.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I'm Back!

I'm back after a family trip up to Oregon. Beautiful coast, mountains, rivers, ... bookstores. We had a new student this evening, plus it was C's 22nd birthday so 22 was the number of the night for rolls, etc. We're also getting M.L. ready for his nikkyu test next week. After warming up (man, can a week and a half out of the dojo take the wind out of me! I did, however, manage to keep myself up through the suspend-myself-on-toes-and-elbows for a count of 22 - twice!) we did some ki testing practice and worked through the four principles of mind/body coordination:

  1. Keep one-point (mind)

  2. Relax completely (body)

  3. Weight underside (body)

  4. Extend ki (mind)

We progressed into katatori shihonage then munetsuki kotegaeshi (advanced people did the hanmi handachi version and ended up with munetsuki iriminage (the expand-the-circle-around-uke kind). We ended with mixed jiyu waza (sort of like one person randori) and birthday throws.

It was good to be back

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Tonight, we did tachidori and the related hand arts, shomenuchi kokyunage.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Bokken Suburi and Kata

Tonight, we switched from jo to bokken. We practiced the bokken suburi to start off with. Sensei insisted that we learn the stances (knee over the toe on the forward foot) and the hand position on the bokken (palms rotated to face downward). We did some paired practice then finished with bokken kata #1.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Kihon Waza

Kihon Waza means basic technique. Tonight T.M. sensei ran us through the six basic techniques that Sensei likes to have us demonstrate to show we know the basics. The techniques are: shomenuchi iriminage, yokomenuchi shihonage (omote and ura), munetsuki kotegaeshi, katatori nikkyo (omote and ura), ushiro tekubitori kubeshime, and ushirodori kokyunage. It's a demanding cycle for me because, as uke, I am attacking 16 times in a row. That's a lot of falling down and getting up to do in about two minutes!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Nikkyu Test Prep

K.M. sensei taught this evening. T. decided to stay home. We did quite a few variations of kokyunage. We also did some shikko practice in preparation for hanmi handachi, techniques done from seiza against a standing uke.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Jo Kata

Tonight, T.G. sensei led class. We went through jo katas one and two, working on some of the trickier bits. T. came to her first weapons class in a month or more but hit the ground running. We finished with the double six kata which can be done paired with one person half a step behind the other. When we did it together as a group in a circle it was like a dance. Fun!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Yudansha Night

T. came to class with me for the second session in a row, now. She does admit that she's better off when she attends though, with her long absence she's very stiff and sore from Tuesday's class.

Sensei is out of town for a week and a half so, tonight, we had... dun, dun, DUN - Yudansha Night! The black belts took turns teaching. We worked on some of the nikyu requirements because of an upcoming test. We ended the night with aiki volley ball and some randori practice for some of the new people.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Gokkyu Test!

After warming up we worked on the basic randori techniques: kokyunage, iriminage and feints (sudori is not basic). We did mini-randori practice. Then when she was all tired Sensei called L. "Dude" U. up for her gokyu test. She did very well and the test pushed her to her limits. She passed - YAY! We had a very full mat, tonight. T. came back this evening to be there for L.U. and I think she's back again. Another YAY!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Jo Kata #2

After warming up with some suburi and some paired practice we worked on Jo Kata #2 for the rest of the evening. I almost always get it, now!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Test Prep

We worked on lots of gokyu and yonkyu test requirements because we have several people approaching that. (L.U. is next Tuesday, I think.) A bit of ikkyo and a lot of shihonage and kokyunage.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


What do you get when you cross tenchinage with shihonage? If, instead of taking the down-hand down, you take the down hand high up over uke's shoulder (the closer one) you end up with a kind of shihonage throw over the close shoulder while still moving doing the over-the shoulder irimi-like move with the other hand. It's interesting but you really have to get that close hand high or you end up jamming into their shoulder and dissipating your energy.

We also did a low entry sumi otoshi, nikkyo and that fun, curl-around-behind sankyo.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Jo Kata #2

After warming up with some suburi we worked on the Lucas Kata.

The Lucas Kata:
Start in gyakutsuki, pull the jo back with the left hand sliding the right hand toward (but not all the way to) the front end of the jo then, while stepping back with the right foot the left had pushes the back end of the jo around in front to parry an incoming shomen strike and the jo flips up into hasso no kamai. We did this individually and in pairs then we did it in a circle where the one in the middle moves between the surrounding people. Fun!

We worked on Jo Kata #2 for the rest of the class. I remembered it pretty well once we got started but I don't think I would have been able to lead it.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

More Basics and Three Pretests

We had a full mat, tonight, with two new people and several returning people show up, tonight. We started with some paired stretching (like two-person yoga, almost) then went through the aikitaiso. We worked with blending tonight by doing the katatetori without grabbing - only resting our palms together softly with weight underside. It brings your attention to being too quick (forcing, not blending) or needing to be in control (grabbing) and not being relaxed. Using this non-dori dori, we went through ikkyo, kokyunage, iriminage, even shihonage.

At the end we had three pretests: L.U. and Z. for gokyu and D. for rokkyu.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

More Basics

 We went for more basics, tonight. Two-step kokyunage, iriminage, and ikkyo.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Tenchinage - Basic

We had a long-time-ago student return tonight and two brand-new people try us out. T. M. sensei taught tonight. We started out with ki exercises. We broke tenchinage into the ten-part and the chi-part - one hand at a time. We ended with "go", an awareness game.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


I think I pooped out tonight because I didn't eat anything after lunch (well... anything good for me, anyway). I was light-headed and a bit shaky several times and had to sit out way more than I like to. K. M. sensei taught tonight. We got her take on that whole weight-underside-down-the-back kokyunage that we worked on last week and the variation that leads into iriminage (Hombu-style - behind uke).

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Katatekosadori Ikkyo Variations

What's really amazing about aikido is how many variations you can manage from a simple technique. Tonight, from katatekosadori with an ikkyo opening we did ikkyo (omote and ura), ikkyo nage (omote and ura), iriminage, kokyunage (several), sumi otoshi and others I cannot remember. Lots of fun!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Munetsuki Variations

After warming up, we worked with a munetsuki attack this evening. We started with an inside tenkan so nage's forearms ended up resting on uke's shoulders and, using weight underside, dropped uke into ushiro ukemi (backward roll/fall). After that, we did an outside tenkan catching the underside of uke's arm and, with a sidestep, spun uke into position for irimi-nage (it sounds more complicated than it is). This same entry served us for kaitenage and sankyo, too. We ended up with a little one-armed kokyudosa to see what kind of differences that makes. I received my yonkyu certificate, tonight.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Flake Out!

I flaked completely, tonight. No aikido.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Jo Kata 1 With Context

T. felt like swinging some sticks so she came to class tonight. T. G. sensei warmed us up then we practiced some suburi. We went through Jo Kata #1 several times then started working in threes to show the attacks that the kata is defending against. That helps give the kata some context which can help us focus on what the various motions are intended to accomplish. We also played with the tempo. Some of the combinations of movements should happen much quicker than others. Fun! It was warm but not too bad.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Yudansha night

As hot and humid as it was, I only had to sit out for part of one technique, tonight. As we sometimes do when Sensei is out of town, all the yudansha took turns teaching class tonight. The lowest rank (most recent) starts and the others often build on what the previous ones started. Tonight we worked on variations of iriminage and sokomen iriminage ending with a bit of kotegaeshi.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A Soaker!

It was a hot day but I went anyway, knowing I'd melt. I did better than I thought I might, though, so that's good. We had some new people so we did some basic stuff (katatekosadori kokyunage and ikkyo) but with enough variation that could challenge all of us. We ended with a new bit of kokyudosa, starting with nage's hands resting on his knees.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Jo Kata 1 and Kumijo 1 and 2

We warmed up with and practiced jo kata #1 for a while tonight. I think I'm getting it down. Sensei said I did well when it was my turn to lead. Next, we worked on kumijo #1 and #2. The weather wasn't nearly as hot as I thought it would be. Fun!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Tenchinage, Iriminage, Kokyunage

As I predicted on Tuesday, I was pretty stiff to begin with. After warming up (it was a warm evening so I was soaked by then) sensei had us do some ryotetori (or ryokatatetori) tenchinage. Then we worked with variations of ryotetori and ryokatatori on the attack side and tenchinage, iriminage, and kokyunage on the defense side. Some of them felt very familiar but in some, sensei had us stepping off the line to the side I'm not used to for that particular attack. Interesting and engaging. Even though I got pretty tired the class went fast.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

No Aikido Tonight

Since it was my 19th wedding anniversary I went out with my family this evening instead of going to Aikido. I'll pay for it on Thursday by having extra stiff knees, etc., but that's the way it goes.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Birthday and Basics

We celebrated B.A.'s birthday a little late since he was gone for his birthday. T. was practicing singing tonight so she couldn't make it. While (as usual) I was soaked after warming up I managed to make it through most everything tonight. We worked on ryokatatori iriminage and kokyunage, katatetori sokomen iriminage (static), yokomenuchi iriminage and henkawaza to a kaitenage throw. Things got a little more esoteric from there. Fun stuff!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

And Now For Something Completely Different...

A.O. sensei led class tonight in sensei's absence. After warming up we started with katatori ikkyo, emphasizing footwork, appropriate distance and proper balance-breaking. From ikkyo we went to sankyo. Next, we practiced mae geri or front kick. Next, in pairs, we practiced mae geri kokyunage and mae geri sokomen iriminage in which nage enters to the outside of uke's kicking leg. Then we did another mae geri kokyunage (I think) where nage backs directly away from the kick catching uke's leg then pushes back. The uke either turns and rolls mai ukemi or falls back into ushiro ukemi. At speed, though, it would likely be a flat back breakfall. For the last mae geri nage steps to the inside of uke's kick, catches the heel and rotates the knee inward. Uke turns and falls face-first to the mat hopefully lowering himself on his arms. We ended with shomenuchi kotegaeshi.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Yokomenuchi Shihonage: Kihonwaza, Oyowaza, Henkawaza

Tonight, we did only one technique... well, sort of. We only used one attack: yokomenuchi. We started with the shihonage taisabaki, then we did the basic technique - kihon waza - but we added variations - oyowaza - and changing techniques - henkawaza.

Unfortunately, our newest nikkyu injured her shoulder in a fall. Now three of us have bum right shoulders. Dang! I didn't hurt mine again this week, though - YAY! T. didn't make it tonight since she was "hitting the books".

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Nikkyu Test!

Sensei awarded B.N. with ikkyu and K.R. with gokyu at the beginning of class. I was drenched by the end of aikitaiso - the weather was misty so the humidity was high. The temperature wasn't bad, though. T. stubbed her toe so she didn't go, tonight.

We had 24 people on the mat! It was crowded so we didn't do a lot of throws. My shoulder got some good stretching with nikkyo and sankyo pins - no damage and no pain!

We had our seventh test in two weeks, tonight. I think T.D. did very well in her nikkyu test. Afterward a bunch of us went to sushi and, afterward, spent an hour in the mist talking in the parking lot.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Kumi-Jo and Jo Kata #1

We had a good turn-out tonight for weapons class. T. and I were there remarkably early (traffic?). We warmed up, bowed in and did some suburi. We learned that in hasso no kamae the weapon (jo or bokken is held beside the shoulder pointing straight up) which is not to be confused by waki-gamae (weapon held hidden behind and down).

We worked on two of the kumi-jo which Thea hadn't done, yet, but I remembered from last summer. We ended with jo kata #1.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Gokyu Test!

This has been (and is going to be?) a busy couple weeks. Tonight, we had K.R.'s gokyu test. I think she did very well. T. was sorry she couldn't be here to support her but she's been fighting a cough and stuffy nose and didn't want to spread it. Sensei is also getting T.D. ready for her nikyu test next week.

I did my shoulder up again, tonight. Arrrgh! No so bad but very irritating. I've got to work on strengthening it and also being aware when techniques might involve motions that could harm it (all of them!?!). BE MORE AWARE!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


K.R. and T.D. are going to be testing this coming month.

Another Ikkyu Test

T. decided to stay home and work on school stuff this evening. She missed out watching (and participating in) B.N.'s ikkyu test. But first we worked on katatori menuchi ikkyo, katatori ganmenuchi ikkyo, yokomenuchi sudori, ushirodori jujinage and others.

What a test it was! I was called to do some of the techniques and several exhausting minutes (seconds?) of jiyuwaza. Great randoris. We're reasonably sure he passed but we have to wait until next week to find out for sure. Several of us took him out for sushi afterward.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Triple Birthday!!!

Tonight we celebrated three birthdays: M.R. (not the one who tested Tuesday), M.L. and T.G. After working on some tricky reverse tenkan entrances to munetsuki sokomen iriminage, kokyunage, kaiten nage and others we got down to birthday rolls. We did things a little differently this time (as usual). M.R. started off by doing randori with groups of three so he had a chance to throw everybody. After he was done, everyone else (including Sensei) did a round of randori with M.L. and T.G. as part of the uke team so they could ge their rolls in. I did my best randori ever and sensei complemented me on it! Afterward, we went out to sushi.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

An Ikkyu test

We worked with a lot of tanto dori this evening. Near the end of class, Sensei called M.R. to the front and gave him his ikkyu test. It was a very long test and he did well.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Twirlin' My Jo

T.'s done with her play so we went to Aikido tonight. A.O. sensei lead us in warm ups then we worked on some fine points of some degage'-like parries - left and right, over and under. After that we went through jo kata number 1. Finally, we walked through jo kata number 2. I don't think I've done 2 since last summer so I'm glad I remembered as much of it as I did. We concentrated on the sweeping spin at count 16. I'm glad we did since those usually get me off-balance and practicing it by itself with A. sensei's guidance helped me figure out how to do it.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Yonkyu! Woo-hoo!

All three of us passed our yonkyu tests on Tuesday! I felt pretty good. We had a good class, tonight (as usual, of course). We worked with tanto-dori since we have a couple ikkyu tests coming up (not me!). We did udegarami, a sokomen headlock pin, some classic ikkyo - a bunch of good stuff. Fun!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Well, Whaddayaknow!

Sensei said he had a surprise for us and that we'd find on at 8:10. We got down to it fast and furious tonight. We were zipping through techniques left and right. I was tired right from the start, wilting during the warm-up aikitaiso. I got dizzy a little and had to sit down a couple times. Every time I did Sensei said something about how I was doing well or how I certainly had a little more to give. Every time I got up and did some more. Then, after a little mini-randori practice (I sat out), he announced the surprise. Three yonkyu tests. ... That meant me. He called us up - Hai, Sensei! - and we started testing. B.A. and E.L. are in much better physical shape than I am. Miraculously, I wasn't so tired anymore. My brain locked up on a couple techniquest but i carried on. I did the third randori and was pretty wiped but I made it. *Whew*

T.M. and B.N. took me out to sushi aftwards. I feel good!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Jo-Nage to Jo-Dori

We warmed up with some taisabaki to get the blood flowing. We worked our way down lines of ukes doing katate kosadori tenkan and irimi movements. We continued from where we left off Tuesday with jo-nage, again, following what we were practicing by hand with the comparable jo move. We also tried the jo-dori version of some of the throws. The difference between jo-nage and jo-dori is who starts out with the jo. If the nage starts out with the jo it's jo-nage. If the uke starts out with the jo it's jo-dori.

My sore shoulder continued to hamper my participation. Sensei told me only to roll on the other side.

T. was called up for randori. Sensei stopped her a few seconds into the first one because she was trying to out-muscle M.L., S.F. and another big guy. She did much better on the second try.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Relation to Jo-Nage

After S.W. warmed us up, Sensei started off with a variation on a katate kosadori shihonage entrance, or rather, retreat. Nage steps back leading uke forward and attaching to uke's wrist with the off hand. Then nage does an internal tenkan step, stepping under uke's extended arm and ending up with a neat shihonage. Everything this evening proceded from this taisabaki: sokomen iriminage, kokyunage, iriminage. After every version Sensei demonstrated (and we practiced) the jo-nage version of the same technique. Jo art informs the body art and vice versa. Very interesting and enlightening. It helps (me, anyway) to switch between the two because the differences in working with a jo - the ultimate extended, unbendable arm - teach me how the technique should feel when done with my own less-than-perfectly extended, unbendable arm.

Other things that this made me aware of:
  • Stay closer to uke - spinning out too far saps my strenth by taking my center away
  • Don't collapse my arm to get closer to uke - I lose strength that way, too
  • Don't bend over - loss of strength, vulnerable to getting kicked - bend my knees, squat
  • Don't back up - this prevents or interferes with proper extension and I can't create "a throwing condition". This is especially noticeable when doing iriminage.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Jo Kata #2

Nothing like Mambo #5. T's really getting into the jo and bokken so she really likes Monday's classes. Her new yellow shoes beat L's boots for most arresting footgear of the night.

This evening, A.O. sensei started us off by warming up with jo kata #1. He suggested improvements and refinements to our stances based on what the kata was meant to be: quick, fluid and more true to the underlying combat skills. We started learning kata #2 in short segments partnered with someone doing the attacks and defenses that give the movements of the kata specific meaning. We got into the flow and worked so long we had to move off the grass to work under the lights.

My sore shoulder wasn't giving me nearly as much difficulty as I thought it would (*whew*). It got tired faster but didn't really hurt. T's captivating new shoes ended up hurting her feet - we really move around a lot with the jo katas - so, next time, I think she'll be wearing socks.

T.M. told us that K and S's baby was born Saturday morning (May 6) and that everyone was doing well.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

More Birthday Rolls!

T. was still to sniffly/coughy to be mixing it up with everybody. We worked on quite a few variations on ushirodori. Unfortunately, my "loose" shoulder didn't get along well with some of them and it gave a little too much. Dang! Since tomorrow is S.J.'s birthday we got to throw her around the mat.

This birthday custom of ours is greeted with nervousness by newcomers and embraced by those "in the family" since we do this in such a loving, accepting way. Sensei is always aware of how tired you are and adjusts accordingly. ("Accordingly" doesn't mean letting you just sit down, though. He pushes you to find your limits... and you do!) We went out afterward for a combined birthday sushi-fest.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Birthday Rolls!

T. was "on-duty" tonight so I came alone. After K.W. warmed us up, Sensei ran us through some variations on katatetori emphasizing using the body movement that K.W.'s warm-ups inspired. (Today is K's baby's due date so he was on call). Sensei emphasized the subtler body movements to draw the uke into nage's orbit rather than the larger moves our usual taisabaki uses. Interesting and challenging. Since it was L.U.'s birthday today we thoughtfully threw her around the room!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Nidan week (plus a surprise!)

T. and I got there a little late. While we were tying our obi in the hallway V. K. sensei from Utah walked up. T. M. sensei asked him to come and help teach tonight and he agreed so he shared the class with T. M. sensei and K. M. sensei. Fun stuff but I was drenched. Missing a full class every week is taking it's toll.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Jo Waza

T. really likes working with the weapons. Now that the sun goes down late enough we can practice with weapons outdoors. We started with practicing the strikes then went into jo kata number 1. I remembered it (mostly) from last year. Fun!

Thursday, April 20, 2006


After warming up we worked on several styles of katatori ikkyo - some emphasizing an upward arc and some a horizontal arc. Then we tried a new (or, rather, old) style of shomenuchi ikkyo emphasizing catching and guiding the striking arm on the outside of the arm rather than stopping the strike under uke's elbow. T. got to play with sensei practicing the unbendable arm used in the shomenuchi arm-catch. We ended with some randori.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


T. was too tired to come to Aikido, tonight. I almost didn't go, either, but I'm glad I did (as usual). After warming up we first worked on katatetori sokomen iriminage with a tenkan entrance. Next, we worked on ryokatatetori tenchinage by breaking it down. We started with the lower hand breaking balance behind the uke, then with the upper hand snaking over uke's shoulder. The trickiest part of these techniques are the ease with which they turn into contests of strength. Because I'm a big, tall guy I have to really work hard to overcome my tendency to muscle on through techniques like this. A constant challenge!

Thursday, April 06, 2006


T. had too much school work to do so I went to Aikido alone this evening. We started with warmups then went into yokomenuchi taisabaki. We quickly worked through many variations on yokomenuchi; sumi otoshi, iriminage, kokyunage, shihonage, and sokomen iriminage. We ended up concentrating on sudori, the disappearing throw. Unfortunately, when I was taking falls near the end of class a strong - but not too rough - sumi otoshi-like throw reinjured my right shoulder. My nage and I both felt it give with a mild pop and I sat out the rest of class. It doesn't hurt that bad but [sigh] I'm probably going to have to sit out a couple sessions.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Monday Evening

P. Sensei taught, this evening. We set up in the smaller front room. With only M., T. and me, the size wasn't a problem. We worked on ryotetori - grabbing both wrists - with several kokyunage variations, nikkyo, and sankyo. We also did a kind of a quick-entry shomenuchi nikkyo and sankyo that were interesting.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

S.'s Nikkyu Test

We got together this morning for S.'s nikkyu test. We had nineteen people on the mat which is pretty big for a Saturday morning class. This is the fourth time I've practiced on the mat this week and my legs were squealing! We worked from taisabaki stretches right into kokyunage rolls. Fun class, good test.


Okay, so it was April Fools Day, too. Most people on the mat had a rubber chicken tucked into their dogis. Mine fell out in front of Sensei but he didn't say anything. It wasn't until during the test when T.M.'s chicken fell out that he said that he knew something was up when he saw mine. At the end of the test after clapping for S. we all threw the multicolored rubber chickens at her.

In our closing circle, S. presented Sensei with her April Fools joke. It was a small cake with some japanese writing on it. M. translated it as Nan de kore!" - "What's this!"

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Jodori, Pretest for S. and My Birthday Rolls!

We warmed up this evening with jo kata number 1. I remembered a lot of it but there are some tricky transistions that I have trouble with. T. loves weapons (she prefers the bokken, though). We went from that into jodori - throws done when uke grabs the jo. These are very compelling throws because of the extra leverage the jo gives nage. I was doing pretty well in my rolls tonight.

Sensei called me up to demonstrate the advantage of leverage against a large person (that's me). He threw me a dozen or so times (*whew!*) then asked how many that was. Well, I hadn't been counting but someone had (B.?, T.?): 13. He threw me three more times and said that was the first third of my birthday rolls. After more practice he called me up again and gave me another 16 rolls - the second third of my 48. I was pretty winded but I kept getting up!. We practiced some more and he called me up again. This time, the yudansha got to throw me twice and everyone else got to throw me once except T., as the last, who, as my daughter, got to throw me as many times as she wanted. Fortunately, she only threw me twice. I'm happy that I did all my rolls in one night. Last year, Sensei spread them over three classes!

Then we went through S.'s last pretest before her Saturday test.

T. and several others took me out to sushi again for my birthday. T. said it was for my birthday rolls, this time. What a great bunch of people!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Ryokatatetori and Pretesting for S.

S. is getting ready for her nikyu test on April 1st. We worked with many variations of ryokatatetori - iriminage, kokyunage, ikkyo...
T. came tonigth because there was no rehearsal tonight (and she didn't come last night). My elbow was feeling a little better.

I'm having a weird thing with my right ear that started this morning. My unofficial diagnosis is tinnitus - ringing in the ears - but, of course, I'm worried that it might be permanent.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Randori and Pretest for S.

We had the usual cozy Monday evening class. T. didn't come tonight but said she'd go tomorrow since she doesn't have to wrangle rehearsal. We worked on randori, tonight, since S. is testing on Saturday. We had a good run and I got pretty pooped at one point. Good workout.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Birthday Rolls - Denied!

My dang elbow has cost me my birthday rolls! My right elbow has been sore since last Friday when I arm-wrestled four teenaged boys (15, 15, 16, 17) in about 5 minutes. In keeping with the old adage "Old age and trickery will always defeat youth and skill", I beat them all. Of course, I cheated: I used ki and patience. Unfortunately, I've been paying for it all week. Ah, well.

We worked on quite a few kaitenage variations this evening. We also worked with something I'd never seen before: katame nage - pinning throw. T. is rolling pretty well, these days, but she did fall and bonk her head tonight. She says she saw nothing but white for a little while. After a bit, though, she shook it off and kept going.

Several people took me out to sushi, afterward, for my birthday. Such good people!

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Since Sensei is off at March Madness each of the yudansha got to teach a portion of the class. We worked a lot with katatetori, doing kokyunage, iriminage, and ikkyo. We ended with a rousing couple rounds of aikivolleyball.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Bokken Fun

T. and I went to our new Monday-schedule class, tonight. T. sensei taught us Bokken kata number 1. Good workout for arms, shoulders, lower back and, especially, the bottom of my feet. Working barefoot on carpet teaches you to stop dragging your feet!

Thursday, March 09, 2006


T. needed me more tonight so we stayed home.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Moving to Mondays

T. and I planned to change from going to Aikido on Tuesday to going on Monday because of T.'s new schedule. I went alone tonight because she wasn't feeling well. We started with stretching then worked on some ukemi practice, which I really need. We spent the rest of the evening playing with randori skills, looking for the dynamic spaces that swirl around the ukes and nage.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Ryotetori all over the place!

Lots of ryotetori tonight. We started with kokyunage and tenchinage. Then we put a tenkan twist on the tenchinage and then sokomen iriminage. We even did a strange one where the high hand goes over uke's head and behind pulling the elbow up into a shihonage position.

We celebrated S.W.W.'s birthday with the traditional birthday throws and finished up with randori practice for those nearing testing.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Good Class!

After warm-ups, we started with munetsuki kotegaeshi. From that we jumped to munetsuki udegarami with an interesting lift pin at the end. Very compelling! We followed that with munetsuki sokomen iriminage and practiced using weight-underside with nage's elbow resting on uke's shoulder or collarbone. If you have acheived a "throwing condition" then it's easy. Next, we did a munetsuki sankyo variation that never really goes into the classic wind-up but, instead, nage drives the uke to the mat in a quick downward spiral. The last technique was munetsuki sumi otoshi. Then we did a few rounds of randori for those approaching testing and finished up with kokyu dosa.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Sankyu test for S.F. Part 2

Tonight we worked on more stuff for the rest of S.F.'s sankyu test. Suwariwaza (kneeling technique) versions of shomenuchi ikkyo, kokyunage and nikkyo. S.F. passed his test.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Sankyu test for S.F. Part 1

In helping S.F. prepare for his Sankyu test, we worked on Munetsuki Kokyunage variations. Instead of a pre-test, Sensei decided to have the first half of the test tonight and the last part on Thursday.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Ukemi and Munetsuki

T. had a sore throat so she didn't come to class tonight.

We started off by warming up with ukemi practice from variations on ryotetori (kokyunage, iriminage, sokomen iriminage, and others). To add intensity to the practice Sensei reminded us that when we're working without a weapon treat the attacks as if they did include a weapon and when working with a weapon do the technique as if there was no weapon there. The idea is to be in the state of mind that allows full concentration but stay open to the whole situation by not focusing exclusively on the weapon.

Then we worked with munetsuki variations, some that, for me, were awkward. After preemptively parrying the munetsuki at the elbow (weight underside!) we did an inside tenkan spin transferring the control of uke's elbow or forearm to the other hand behind our back. From there, as our movement spun uke around we have openings for, oh, so many techniques: iriminage, sumi otoshi, ikkyo, sankyo, kokyunage, etc.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Sensei was awarded the rank of godan (5th degree black belt) last weekend! Ya-tah!

We worked on some of the bokken techniques that they worked on at the instructor's seminar last weekend and the hand techniques that they inspire. We worked on the shomenuchi tai sabaki and, from there, progressed to several bokken-dori techniques (mostly kokyunage variations) and kumitachi (paired bokken work).

After class, many of us took sensei out to Kikuya for sushi. We (including T.!) made speeches extolling our love and appreciation for the gift of our teacher. Sensei also spoke about how his students inspire him to teach.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Ushiro Tekubitori

Tonight we worked on ushiro tekubitori variations, mostly kokyunage but also sankyo. I didn't poop out too much! T.'s foot is "colorful" again. Best showing (if I do say myself) in the last two weeks.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


I'm still feeling pretty wiped out from last week. T's foot got "colorful" - the top of her left foot is bruised. I can't even remember what we worked on, tonight.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

T's Birthday Rolls

Since Saturday is T's 17th birthday she got her first set of birthday rolls tonight. Sensei asked her to be his uke in almost every demonstration. At the end of class he reiterated all the throws (with her as uke) and then everyone got to throw her once except yudansha (and father-of-the-birthday-person -- a new custom) who can throw her as many times as they want. She was exhausted but was thrilled. Afterward, a bunch of us went out for sushi at our favorite place, Kikuya.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Ukemi practice

There isn't much more basic a practice in Aikido than ukemi, the ability to take a fall safely. We do it on every attack throughout a class. We worked on some basic falling starting with the exercise koho tento undo. We worked from katatetori most of the evening, nage concentrating on blending, uke concentrating to ukemi and both concentrating on staying connected.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Katatetori and Munetsuki

T. had a meeting so I went by myself, tonight. We worked on more ki and balance - the "inner bow" - to elongate our spines and let us relax into our proper shape. We worked with several variations of katatetori iriminage and then some munetsuki sumiotoshi. We finished up with kokyudosa.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Katatekosatori is a basic attack and allows you to do almost all the basic techniques. T. and I enjoyed the fun palm-over-uke's-wrist blend leading into ikkyo ura and omote. The kokyunage variation took me a bit to do - I was going ura instead of omote which worked but was a bit awkward. Fun!

Another new person joined us this evening. The mat is crowded but everyone is careful and we haven't had any crashes.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Kihon Waza

T. had a meeting tonight so I went alone. We had one new student, a visitor and one of the new people from Tuesday was back, too. We had a full mat, tonight!

First, we worked on basic aikitaiso and ki techniques. Then we worked on blending and maintaining balance when uke does katatetori. I still use too much shoulder and arm strength. I will always have to work on that (and much more!).

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Beginner's Mind

T. and I were tired but we went anyway. We were glad we did. We started a new session tonight. We had two new people and one that came back after 10 years. We did very basic stuff which gives us an opportunity to polish up a bit. Since P.H.'s birthday was Saturday, we all got to throw him. He's got a *lot* of stamina!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Happy New Year

T. and I went back to Aikido tonight. We worked with the jo all evening. Good fun.