Relax don't do it...

Frankie Goes to Hollywood Relax (Body Double) - More amazing video clips are a click away

Today one of the things we worked on was shomenuchi kaiten nage. I worked with an aikidota who was some sort of upper rank (shodan or above) but stopped practicing for many, many years. Anyway from the start of his practice last week his abdomen muscles hurt enough that he could not take any rolls.

But, DANG he felt like he knew what he was doing. His center was always right, his motions was right. Anyway, he pointed out the thing I've heard and mentioned many time, I “need to relax”, but think is, it is WAY easier to relax as Uke when Nage knows what he is doing and also performing the technique will some commitment.

So I could then take his comment to heart and I really did relax my shoulder and go with the flow and I always ended up with a small break fall. The break fall just felt right, and that helped even more because I knew I could relax since he would guide me in the correct direction.

Admittedly the burden is on my shoulders (sometimes literally) to relax but have the right nage REALLY makes “letting go” much easier.

Even though the real message of the video “Relax” don't apply, I just had to put it up there.

Below is a video of some of what we worked on.


Story Time

OK I'm changing the the blog plan again. I started with Animation, Aikido and Spanish. Then I changed animation to video and now although I haven't worked on Spanish for many months I STILL PLAN to get back to sometime, BUT I am now changing video to to visual art with an emphasis on comics, or more specifically “autobiography comic”. I'm taking my cue from such works as Persepolis, Jeffery Brown, Chester Brown and others.

I'm using Manga Studio Debut 3.0 and although I've had it a while I was uncertain whether it would do what I needed. It doesn't have the precision of pen and paper but the joy of just being able to copy and paste parts at will. It uses layers in the same way may other graphic application do, so that is also pretty convenient.

At this point in my life I just not willing to spend th time to lovingly draw panel after panel. Anyway the rough drawing was easy with the Wacom tablet but I didn't know if it would look OK once I “inked” it. YES it is crude, but that is my frame of mind now, that is me and I just don't have the wherewithal to craft it into something beautiful,

Anyway, above is one page of inked results, and I'm pretty pleased. I still need to put the classic comic panels in to clearly divide the flow. But my whole effort is to be simplistic in the story and the presentation.

I'm starting with a Zen retreat I once when to during my “Zen Years” that tells a bit of what it is like to practice Zen but admit idly just from my unique perspective.

Below is the example of what the rough work looks like.


Welcome Back Koshi-Nage

I suppose it is not surprising what I eventually found, but it took much searching but I discovered an example of the koshi nage we did tonight in a clip from Christian Tissier (Our Sensei's Shihan). Christian Tissier must have a strong influence over the dojos in France where Sidney first practiced Aikido. We did the first Koshi version demonstrated.

Anyway, it has be quite a while since we last worked on this technique, but it was great to get into it. I felt good about it tonight, I don't think I hurt my back at all which was a worry before.

We also worked on a type of Henka Waza where you attack, but before Nage gets you you try to take control of the situation. We started with ShomenUchi and Nage went for nikkyo but we allowed Uke to regain balance, stand up and try to apply ikkyo to Nage. BUT then Nage starts to fall back and then twists around to apply a throw. It was pretty cool an it took us out of our comfort zone as we had to work on letting go and in a sense control by NOT controlling everything. Simple to watch, hard to explain and very hard to perform.

It doesn't really apply but during the falling practice the old Joni Mitchell song "Help Me" kept running through my head. So here it is...


It's 2009 and “I Feel Free”

Tonight before class started I was testing my Ai-Hamni Nikkyo on somebody and Sensei came by to correct my technique. It is amazing how there was something I thought I knew but was somehow so wrong.

Anyway, I think that helped guide the night since Sensei saw we had a number of very new students plus we had limited space tonight. We work entirely from katate-tori with only backrolls. Front rolls were prohibitive because of so little space.

It has been a few weeks since I last got to the Dojo, and I was a bit trepidatious about going back tonight. It was a good work out but not too bad and by the time I left felt pretty frickin' great. Maybe
I exerted enough energy that some endorphins kicked in, but I felt like some upbeat song ought to be posted on the blog.

I had the feeling but I just didn't know what the song was. I first went with “Good Day Sunshine” but after searching on YouTube I figured “Sunshine of your Love” felt more appropriate. But then I saw “I Feel Free” by Cream and THAT felt right.

The last part of 2008 was a bit rough and the release of energy tonight was somehow cathartic and it finally felt like a new year was starting. I want to be optimistic about the future but even now I fear the Bell Jar is descending on 2009.

We will see.