With Andy in Dubai and three others missing tonight it was a smaller class. We looked at movement. Both blending with a moving attack and absorbing it to create a tension that can be released to unbalance or throw uke. I took a gamble and did a technique from pre-Iwama days and found it still worked quite effectively. I would attempt to say what it was but I have no name for it which I suspect makes it Kokyunage. We definitely did do tainohenko, sumi otoshi, iriminage and kotegaeshi. Weapons we looked at the first 5 suburi and the 6 count kata.
I have a visitor from iaido coming to kids club tomorrow to see how to teach children. I’m not sure I always get it right but I do have some fairly amazing students. I love that they act as backup for my knowledge. They never seem to forget so I can teach them things like the 31 jo kata, not look at it again for weeks then they remind me of the bits I forget! I still forget a lot. I need to do much more weapons practice at home. Maybe after the Summer when my uni work is over.
It could be because I’m feeling so much better or it could have been just a good mix of people but the class tonight was really good fun. I don’t mean it was too lighthearted since everyone worked really hard. There just seemed to be lots of smiling and laughing. We finally had two women turn up on the same night so I’m hopeful they might support each other and stick at it. The two beginners from last week came back too. Numbers seem to be slowly improving. Not sure we have space for too many more but I know some will leave.
Tonight we did all the usual stuff as well as a kokyunage from shomen uchi. We also did nikyo from katate dori. Weapons was back to bokken with suburi and some awase.
Not exactly the end of the world for most people but enough to it give me a scary few days of delinquent body. With a raised temperature at the start of an infection my fried nerves seem to fall apart. I then fear the worst and start imagining an MS flare up followed by delight and relief to get a sore throat. The sore throat moved to pounding headache, shivers and the fear of flu. Flu triggered my last relapse. A day in bed and another day resting see me back on my feet again today. So it’s a cold, just a trivial little cold.
I knew we had two new beginners starting today so I really didn’t want to cancel class. The walk to the hall was just slightly too long for me and I arrived feeling wobbly, sore and out of breath. I knew Gary could take over but I asked Andy to do the warm up since he is keen to get his coaching qualification this year. He did really well for having it sprung on him. I demonstrated some techniques from suwariwaza but it confused the beginners so I resorted to standing techniques. Weapons remained helpfully locked away in a cupboard that I had forgotten the key for so it was two hours of mostly standing techniques. I survived and even felt better at the end than I did at the start. The beginners were such hard workers and a pleasure to teach. Hopefully they will come back. I was really disappointed that the new woman from last week didn’t come back. I know not to take it personally but I would love to have a a few women to train with.
Clive called in during practice to have a look at the hall. He thought it ideal for iaido and is going to negotiate with the main instructor about getting a class going maybe once a month. I’ve not done any iaido practice in far too long but I’m busy with open uni since I’m taking all 3 remaining courses just to finish the degree quickly as I’m bored by it now. I loved the second year design stuff and even the second year maths and third year structural engineering but the remaining courses are so dull I find motivation a problem so I’m finishing in the summer. No really, no more studying.
With an advert and flyers, it seems people are starting to hear about the club. We had one new person today- a woman! And two more people say they will come next week. The new woman has done ki aikido before but that was a long time ago. I really hope she comes back next week.
It was cold in the hall tonight. We did same as last week but with jo at the end instead of bokken. We did the first 5 jo suburi and the 6 count kata which was fine. Then I attempted the paired kata that Roger showed us- that didn’t go so well but we can keep working on it.
As Gary and I left the building a man walked in with a chain saw. That was a bit odd.
First night back in the new year and I managed to get quite spectacularly covered in in blood from a small cut on my finger. It didn’t hurt so I’m not sure when I did it so it managed to go all over my gi and cover my whole hand -good job we hadn’t started training.
Gary couldn’t come to the class tonight and one of the regulars had to be at a parents night so I joined in all of the training to make two pairs. I really enjoyed it with all the usual stuff. I couldn’t do the press-up challenge as my elbow is still sore and the student I wanted to stay active clearly didn’t and really struggled tonight. Whilst he was struggling physically he did seem to be much tougher mentally and kept going when it was obviously hard for him.
We worked with the bokken at the end of class and everyone was quite tired. Next week I’m going to put the weapons work at the start of the class so we are not always practicing weapons when already full of information. I’m also going to make more of an effort to get more people along. We need some beginners to allow the others to see how much they have improved.
I trained last on 29th December in Glasgow. Its not like me not to blog about it but I received a significant injury that made typing painful. It wasn’t anyone from Sensei’s club that hurt me. There were 8 yudansha on the mat and only Sensei and one other from his club. The rest were visitors – mostly from ADL and they were quite lost with the Iwama style sometimes but a delight to train with. One visitor from the Birankai club knew me and has known me since he first hurt me many years ago. He was one of the guys that trained at Gary’s club when Gary used to train there. He had a reputation then and it seems he still deserves it. He is small and of very slight build. I have never ever seen anybody turn up on a mat looking quite as scruffy as he was. This was at the start not after a couple of hours rolling about! His gi was wide open to the waist where it met his dishevelled hakama that appeared to have the legs somehow tucked in at the sides revealing splashes of white trousers at the bottom. Now I have been having hakama issues myself but nothing as severe as that. Also I know people put on weight at Christmas and may struggle to get their gi as closed as they might like but the ribs poking out of his gi indicated a different type of issue.
When he wanted to train with me I felt apprehensive but figured he would have mellowed with age. His technique is good. Well, its fluid and he has a huge repertoire of techniques. So we ended up training together and were supposed to be doing ushiro ryote katadori kotegaeshi – except he didn’t. He did four other techniques- the ukemi for them was hard but ok and I had no idea what was going on. I tried my best to maintain contact since he moves very fast and at times he lost me so I would just stand up which made him angry. Now bearing in mind he is from the lineage that teaches get up whatever happens get up if you can, even mid technique I felt safe to do that. He didn’t like it. On my turn to do the technique I was a bit confused and he told me to do shihonage even though I thought we were doing kote. I did shihonage and it was a bit rubbish so Sensei shouted at me (quite rightly). Then it was back to his go and I was feeling ruffled to say the least. I was still getting lost in the technique- I would do my best to keep up with him but it would feel like he just kept disapearing mid technique – not knowing what technique he was aiming for I couldnt even pretend and it was obvious he was getting annoyed at me being unpredictable for him! The inevitable happened he pinned hard when I was on the ground and my my newly recovered elbow got dammaged. I sat out for a bit then decided that even if the elbow felt better I didn’t want to be on the same mat as him. I should have stuck around and talked to him about it but I left.
I got home before storm Frank hit thank goodness. It has been utter chaos round here. The river broke its banks and flooded many homes. The roads were impassable and lots of people had power cuts. Anyway, its a new year now bringing new hope and new challenges. I challenged one of my students to be able to do 10 press ups by the time we got back since we could both only do 5- looks like I won’t manage that now with my injured elbow. I really hope he manages it. His fitness dips every time there is a break in training so I hoped it might keep him moving a bit through the festive season. I don’t think of aikido as exercise but for some people it seems to be aerobically challenging. My fitness challenge for the year is to cycle, row and swim a total of 1972 kilometers. Friends are including walking and running in their total. I have no idea if I can reach this target or not I guess it depends on staying well. I will also hopefully finish my engineering degree this year having decided to do the project at the same time as the rubbish design course that is not about design at all and all about writing essays. After that I’m going to try not to study for a while. I know, I always say that but this time I mean it…..again. Instead I intend re-focussing on my much neglected iaido practice. So thats it, good intentions for the new year. I wish you all the best of health, no injuries and hard practice in 2016.
It was the last class that I will teach this year tonight but I’m planning a visit to Glasgow so I may be back on the mat before the end of the year depending on when dear daughter needs a lift home. Andy was missing tonight since he is in Singapore and one of the beginners was feeling ill. For a time it was just going to be three students tonight but then Roger appeared taking us up to four.
We did a random mash of stuff. I feel very end of term and my walking is a bit rubbish so we did some swariwaza and some hanmihandachi just so I could teach sitting down for a while. Luckily Roger agreed to take the class for weapons so the end of the class was saved. We did the 6 count jo kata. The two beginners didn’t really know it and none of us knew the anti kata but Roger managed to get us all doing it in pairs by the end of the lesson. Gary even offered to practice it with me at home which is nothing short of amazing since he hates weapons training and normally refuses to even hold a weapon at home.
It’s the last day of school tomorrow at last. It’s been a tortuously long term filled with endless assessments to administer and mark then agonise over, internally verify, record and file but maybe I will escape to a new job in the new year.