The Old Man And The Ki

We had a good class tonight exemplified when Sensei was trying to get us to “get” a technique where the attack is shomenuchi and you try to do ikkyo but uke is catches his balance and is strong so he starts to stand up. You act like you are overcome and bring your legs together so it looks like you are about to be overpowered. Then you lean back as if to fall but at the last moment you swing around using uke's momentum and with hands still on the wrist and elbow of nage (you never let go) and FALL down and forward to project uke away and into a roll.

Sidney told us “this is what Aikido is all about” in that you don't exert yourself, you take whatever energy the attacker dishes out to you and redirect it. He of then point out that if the attack is not genuine the whole response would not work so he encouraged the ukes to really try and bully nage.

Anyway, it was pretty cool. I don't know what the technique is called and it may have been more of a training exercise than an actual technique.

After class as we where preparing to leave the discussion of how old everybody is came up. It looks like I am the oldest person there. There might be somebody older since not all Plano Aikido-ists where there. But I suspect tonight's class was pretty representative. So in a way I've been the Senior Student all along.

As for todays blog title...pretty clever play on the Hemingway novel isn't it?

"A man can be destroyed but not defeated"

“Everything about him was old except his eyes and they were the same color as the sea and were cheerful and undefeated.”

FYI 50 years old was the max age tonight.


The Long Way Round

Tonight we worked from Ushiro Tekubitori and went through quite a few responses. But the best moment was when Sidney saw all of us running around a stationary nage to grab the had on the other side. He stopped the the class to emphasize that there was a much more natural reason to approach it. The idea is that Nage is really stepping aside as Uke comes to him and grabs the wrist and so Uke goes past Nage and then Nage realizes he is not in complete control and grabs the other wrist from behind.

What was great was that Sidney pointed out the obvious AND gave a clear explanation of what we were doing. After all why would an attacker go to one side to grab a wrist and then run around the back of his opponent to grab the other hand.

The clip shows the ushiro tekubitoru attack but unfortunately it doesn't really show what Sidney explained.


La última Clase de Alberto

Today was Alberto's last day as the Saturday instructor. It was also the day of the Plano Aikdio garage sale, so the class somewhat smaller than usual.

We mainly worked from Shomenuchi and like last Saturday we had some time of almost freestyle where two people attacked with shomenuchi and the Nage was supposed to respond with one of the techniques we had worked on. Well...today I was more uptight I guess, because I kept freezing up as somebody else attacked. Perhaps shomenuchi is just more unatural for me than the katatetori we worked on last Saturday. Or it was just a bad day.

It was a good workout, which is Alberto's style. I was expecting a class of koshinage since that is one of his favorites, but also no.

tonight I watched Bloodsport with Jean Claude Van Damme. Not horrible, in that it held my interest. But it really a a pretty bad movie. I wonder what real martial arts people think of it. For me I saw every attack of force was met with a responding attack of force. No Aikido there.

The clip is similar to one move we worked on, and while I had never heard this teacher's explanation before...I liked it.


I Abide In My Abode

I was really tired and decided I would just go home and get to bed early rather than go to Aikido Class. Maybe I would work through a lesson of Spanish or maybe even spend an hour or two reading (like I used to do). But I ended up staying at work until almost 7:00 PM then by the time I started my dinner I saw that The Big Lebowski was on. So..........I watched most of that and THEN the Sopranos came on A&E.

Well I ended up skipping class and basically just watching TV the rest of the night. No wonder I never accomplish anything. The Dude abides but I just watch TV.


Main Entry: abide Listen to the pronunciation of abide
Pronunciation: \ə-ˈbīd\

1: to wait for :
2 a: to endure without yielding : withstand b: to bear patiently : tolerate
3: to accept without objection


Stand On Top Of Your Laptop, If You Can!

Six months ago I started this blog. Part of that start was the purchase of a new Thinkpad Notebook computer from Lenovo (formerly IBM).

This is just to say that after 6 months I stand by my laptop, and my cat stands on top of it. Sammy says “The Thinkpad fully supports me!”

At first I wanted it to say "Lenovo" since I know it came from China, but now that Lenovo has their own non-IBM notebook I feel like maybe I was fortunate to have the descendant of the IBM notebook. And Sammy feels wonderful about the notebook too!


A Stand Well Taken

Twice in the last week I was heartened during Aikido class.

Once we were practicing katatetori something and I was with a new student when Sensei came over to point out to the the new student that he was exposing his front to attack. And he then pointed out that I was only presenting my side rather than my front. All well and good. But I surprised that he used my stance as an example of the correct way to stand. I was shocked to realized I was in the correct position, it felt like an accident.

Then last Saturday Alberto had freestyle practice with the ushiro katatori attack, which what we had practiced that day. Sidney was in my group so I was a little intimidated, but at one point I was confused on what to do and “accidentally” used a juji-nage response. The thing was we were supposed to use what we had worked on that morning, but I was forced into doing something that felt natural rather than something I was supposed to be learning.

The best part was that Sidney merely indicated that it was an appropriate response after I apologized for using something out of that morning's repertoire.

Tonight one thing we worked on was a direct irimi-nage rather than an enter and tenkan. Something like the video above.

As an aside. This last month due to outside circumstance and a lack of moral fiber I stopped my morning bike rides. I've been eating a bit more and maybe drinking a bit more wine. I deal with stress by eating and drinking. The strange thing is that, I also do the same for non-stress. So I've put on a few pounds and boy have I been pooped during aikido class.

Tonight I meant to lay off the food and wine, but after a great workout I couldn't help myself. Maybe tomorrow I'll gather some gumption and have a light diner and skip the wine. We'll see.