This weekend was spent practicing aikido. On Saturday Gary and I went to the Aikikai seminar in Chryston for a seminar with Flower Sensei and Drake Sensei. I was a bit worried before (when am I not?) but especially because the Cumbernauld guys used to be hard as nails and trained without mercy. Excellent news is that 14 years later they have either become to injured to train, given up or softened considerably! Perhaps they injured each other to the point where nobody was left standing so an agreement was made? Who knows. One old friend from years ago was there – I used to avoid training with him because he was quite mean but even he has become kind in his old age. Just as well really since I trained with him for a technique that Involved grabbing ukes head and dropping to your knees. Very effective but quite scary. Anyway, during it I didn’t feel worried at all. I also trained with Mike Flynn Sensei quite by accident I bowed to someone then looked up and saw it was him. He had been going round the mat teaching and helping people who were stuck but he trained with me when I asked and was also very ….gentle is the wrong word but I never felt in any danger. In fact training with him was quite amazing. I was impressed with both the women Senseis because they were just so normal and themselves. Nobody was sent flying on massive high falls and nobody got hurt. They even demonstrated on kyu grades and children not just yudansha. I trained a few times with a blind guy who kept amazing contact not just through the technique but during ukemi and after too. That was how he knew when you were going to hit him. I also trained a lot with an older man who was really positive and encouraging -turns out he is a 4 th dan. It’s not the kind of aikido that is verbal so I have no idea what most of the techniques were the first set were all from shomen and the second set all had a back foot turning entry. The last 45 minutes was weapons. One person with bokken and one with jo. Lots of sliding in down the weapon to smash the fingers. Everyone had tsubas fitted on their bokkens. Luckily the instructor from the Aberdeen club trained with me for all the weapons. It was like that most of the time the yudansha trained with children and beginners. I was really tired by the end but had a fabulous time. I was on a high all evening.
Today I went to he Iwama seminar. It was cold…really cold. I do overheat easily but I also become hypothermic easily too. It takes a long time to happen and I think was only avoided today by the taijitsu. When I was rolling about I would get less cold but during weapons I would freeze. Maybe I’m not putting enough effort in to my weapons work! Then again it’s hard to work hard when you are doing it wrong! Needless to say I found it quite challenging but unlike the previous day in which I was challenged physically today it was all mental. At one point sensei said it wasn’t rocket science and walked away leaving neither of us knowing what to do. I would stand more chance with rocket science I think.