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Showing posts from September, 2009

Owaza Ju Pon (The Big 10)

It's been a while since I've had the chance to write anything, though it isn't for lack of anything to write about. Just time.
Lately, in Aikido, we've had mostly yudansha and maybe one brown belt, so I thought it might be nice to go over the last half of owazajupon, or "the Big 10". Typically, when we do a demonstration for shodan, we go through randori no kata (be it 17 or 23 techniques, depending upon a given point in history) and then the first 5 of the Big 10. I'm not entirely sure why we would only do the first half, but there it is.
Then, when we demonstrate for nidan, we'll show the last half, plus the first 16 techniques of sankata (we've left out koryudaiichi and nikatas for decades in our former organization, for nebulous reasons). After that, many of might do a demonstration for sandan, but after that the demonstrations for advanced die off. Ultimately, the last half of the Big 10 often gets lost in the shuffle, it seems. You look at it …

Fall godo geiko - Day 2

Saturday was fun, if anything because I get to see all the folks I hardly ever see anymore now that I've been relegated to the morning classes, and they're all genuinely good friends. But also because I get to absorb what they have to impart.I spent the better part of an hour with Nick Lowry sensei alone going over some insights into Tomiki's randori no kata (particularly the last three, uki waza, or floating techniques) that frankly blew my mind. To borrow an expression Kyle Sloan sensei is fond of saying, it wasn't so much drinking from the Fountain of Knowledge as it was the Firehose of Knowledge. I need to take some time processing it all, maybe reviewing with some of my early morning companions. At some point, I'd like to pontificate on it here, if possible.Ran some errands over lunch and came back and did a little randori with Byron, whom I used to get to play with at the noon classes. Always enjoyable.I'm really glad we've been doing more of these th…

Fall godo geiko - Day 1

The first stretch of the fall godo geiko (or "play-day" as it's affectionately referred to) is done. And I'm pooped. Judo is typically Friday evening, from 6 to 8-ish. I did about half throwing, and got a few pointers on doing sukui nage and/or ura nage from Kyle Sloan sensei, fortunately with the aid of two stacked crash pads.I spent the rest of the time feeling inadequate and helpless with ne waza. Several of us spent time trying to deal with the way one brown belt held ushiro kesa gatame. It frustrated most of us no end. It was a pretty darn good hold!In general though, I wish I could have done more, but I just don't have much gas in the tank. Meanwhile, I'm watching all these other guys grapple for like an hour! How do they do it? Am I that out of shape? They just seem to have limitless energy, and I get exhausted after a few minutes, and they look like they're working every bit as hard as me if not more! Doesn't seem to matter: age, weight, rank.…

Feeling a little dumb

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Do you ever get a point in your training when you realize you've either completely forgotten something important, or have gotten lazy, or even realized you never truly understood something as well as you feel you probably should?I've been having a few of those moments lately. One has to do with zanshin. Patrick Parker and Sensei Strange have been posting about it lately, and reading it has felt like pointing out that your fly is down. At first you're embarrassed; then you wonder, How long have I been walking around like that?It's something that I've heard before, but had partly forgotten, or sort of got lazy about, but also didn't truly understand (or perhaps internalize may be a better word?) Perhaps lower ranks don't notice anything missing (the see my fly down and think, Hey, that's just the way you wear pants.)I got to talking about oshi taoshi today with several students, and realized that we'd all been a little lazy about it. Or maybe lazy isn…