Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Shochugeiko Day 2

Day two has begun. The schedule for the week, which I failed to mention yesterday, goes as follows (all times are part of the normal schedule except the 9:30 am and 2:30 pm sessions, which are unique to this week):

Monday
6:30 am Judo
9:30 am Aikido kata kihon/henka
2:30 pm Aikido Randori Renzuko Waza
6:00 pm Jodo
7:30 pm Aikido

Tuesday
6:30 am Aikido
9:30 am Aikido kata kihon/henka
12:00 pm Aikido
2:30 pm Aikido Randori Renzuko Waza
6:00 pm Aikido
7:30 pm Judo

Wednesday
6:30 am Judo
9:30 am Aikido kata kihon/henka
2:30 pm Aikido Randori Renzuko Waza
6:00 pm Judo or Chi Gung
7:30 pm Aikido

Thursday
6:30 am Aikido
9:30 am Aikido kata kihon/henka
12:00 pm Aikido
2:30 pm Aikido Randori Renzuko Waza
6:00 pm Aikido
7:30 pm Judo

Friday
6:30 am Jodo
9:30 am Aikido kata kihon/henka
12:00 pm Jodo
2:30 pm Aikido Randori Renzuko Waza
6:00 pm Aikido

Saturday
6:30 am Aikido
7:30 am Judo
9:00 am Jodo
11:30 Aikido

The Aikido emphasize for the week is to be on randori; the judo emphasis on ashi waza and ne waza; and the jodo emphasis on Setei no Kata and also the Koryu no Kata (Jack Bieler Sensei from Denton, Texas will be leading the instruction in the Koryu no Kata since our school only focuses on the Seiter no Kata).

The week will conclude on Saturday night with a potluck and Drum Beat party. Now what is a "drum beat" party you may ask? Some years ago, Windsong got into the tradition (which dates back even further to clinics in Houston with Karl Geis Shihan) of having everyone sitting around after a day of budo, finding whatever objects they can find, and simply beating on it like a drum, or making any kind of percussive noise they can. There's no established tempo, no one leads, there's no predetermined start or finish point, people migrate in and out of the "song" (although there are usually break in between songs). It's all very organic, very primal. And loads of fun.

Unfortunately, I haven't been to one in a long time. Something about having a wife and kids that tends to take priority over that sort of thing. Which is why I can't do too much this week. I'll hit all the morning classes as I normally do, and I've worked out a "deal" with the Mrs. to attend the Tuesday and Wednesday evening classes, as well as Saturday. I also arranged to be gone during work for the Tuesday, Thursday and Friday noon classes, but I will be unable to attend any of the special mid-morning or mid-afternoon classes.

I actually pretty disappointed in that. I'm told that there were a number of people at yesterday's special sessions, and I can't help but wonder, Who are these people?!? Don't they have jobs? Wives and children?

Some people, I know, have taken a week's vacation from work to participate. There's no way I could do that; if I take vacation, it's going to be spent with family and extended family. (Which is not a bad thing, please understand; I love my family. But sometimes I'm a little envious of some European countries and a few others who get up to a month of time off during a year. I'd sure like to spend some of that on budo!)

. . . . . . . . . .

At any rate, this morning in Aikido we worked on some kaeshi waza, or reversal techniques. We've actually been working on this for a week or so prior, and it's a little new. So far, we've taken the first five or six techniques of jun nana hon kata, and played with reversing the technique not just once but a few times (reversing the reversal and so on, going back and forth). It stems, obviously, from randori, but allows one to practice it in almost a kata-like way, being able to experience the subtle nuances of when a technique is working and when it's not, and why. Here's what I've seen so far:

1) Shomen ate > waki gatame > gedan ate or mae otoshi
2) Aigamae ate > oshi taoshi > oshi taoshi
3) Gyakugamae ate > gedan ate or mae otoshi > tenkai kote gaeshi/shomen ate (although the tenkai kote gaeshi is slightly different than the one in san kata; it's mirror handed, which is definitely different)

We experimented with various endings to these and everyone came up with some wonderful variations (including a few judo throws stuck in there, believe it or not). Even the green belt I was working with came up with a wonderful application, which just goes to show you that you can learn from anyone, regardless of rank (which helps keep those egos in check).

There are more variations written on the dry erase board, but I haven't had a chance to play with them yet (maybe Thursday).

I'm looking forward to a noon class and two evening classes to really get into the spirit of the shochugeiko. More on that later.

I also understand Dave Rose has been snapping pictures, so hopefully I'll have some to post online eventually, as well.


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