Good Ol' Koshi Nage

We worked a bit on Koshi Nage tonight and I think it showed how I've changed since I first blogged on Kohsinage. Before I was in awe of the whole technique, and while I still have a bit of that, I realize for me now the most important thing is the “loading up” part. After that it is really easy to release and make the flashy finish.

Of course before I may have been a bit intimidated or even scared to be uke in a koshi nage, but now it is a breeze if nage knows what they are doing. However a clumsy or unsure nage can make your fall quite hard

Anyway, it is the fist half that embodies Aikido. You have to respond to the attacker and find your center while holding uke's center lightly on your hip. For all the flash, it is the quietness that makes it an Aikido move. There is a similar technique Judo and while I have not studied Judo (unless you count the one class I went to) my feeling is it requires more muscle and is a known response to a known attack while in aikido the Koshinage is a surprise. BUT the real point is that as with so many aikido techniques it is only done well when it is smooth, easy and gentle. At least gentle until the finish.

Nage is unbalanced and then rocked completely on your hip and then “poof” they are on the ground.

AND it was great to have Sensei Sidney back after a week and a half away. Charlie taught while Sidney was gone and while you relish the “real world” approach to Aikido, Sidney is so elegant it really makes the martial art an “Art”. He will comment on the applicability of certain parts but he really wants us to “feel” what it right. To sense what it happening and to respond accordingly.

In many ways it is simply a matter of emphasis but I'm in Aikido for the beauty and the truth of the act. I wonder if the fact our Sensei also practices painting in oils relates to how he views the practice of Aikido.

Think about it, where else can you combine the physical act with such an aesthetically refined movement AND a useful defense technique. Sidney often tells us that in “real life” you could not make such dramatic movements, BUT if you understand and integrate those extravagant motions when the time comes a reaction that has a more forced crudity will also include those inspirational approaches.

Anyway, it is good that he is back


3rd Kyu?

Sensei said I should take the 3rd Kyu test in May. So I guess I'm taking the 3rd Kyu test in May.

The problem is, 3rd Kyu implies you know some stuff. Not all, by any means, and you are sure not a black belt (shodan), but still you should be able to help out new students more and generally know the ropes.

BUT, after three years I now really know I'm just a beginner. I fear if I tell somebody at a practice that I'm 3rd kyu they may think I actually know something. It's like putting on airs.

BUT, if Sensei says I should take the 3rd kyu test, I guess I will take the 3rd Kyu test.

Here is the list:
3rd Kyu (>100 days practice after 4th kyu)
Yokomenuchi iriminage (2 ways)
Yokomenuchi kotegaeshi
Tsuki kaitennage
Ushiro ryokatatori sankyo (omote & ura)
Morotetori iriminage (2 ways)
Shomenuchi sankyo (omote & ura)
*Shomenuchi Kaitenage (Omote & Ura)
*Morotetori Sankyo (Omote & Ura)
*Ushiro Ryotetori (3 ways)
*Ushiro Ryokatatori (3 ways)
*Ryokatatori (3 ways)
*Jujinage (3 ways)
Suwari waza:
Shomenuchi iriminage
Shomenuchi nikkyo (omote & ura)
*Shomenuchi Ikkyo (Omote & Ura)
*Shomenuchi Sankyo (Omote & Ura)
*Shomenuchi Yonkyo (Omote & Ura)
Katatetori shihonage
Katatetori kaitennage (uchi & soto mawari)
*Ryotetori Shihonage (Omote & Ura)
*Morotetori Shihonage (Omote & Ura)
*Ai-Hanmi Katatetori Shihonage (Omote & Ura)



OK, here's the plan. I ride to Houston, then to Tennessee then to Oklahoma, then back to Dallas. I “plan” to camp as much as possible. For the adventure and for the economy.

On a Friday in May I head to Houston where I spend the weekend visiting relatives.

The Monday morning I leave Houston and drive to Jimmie Davis State Park near Chatham, LA

Tuesday morning go from Jimmie Davis State Park, LA to Trace State Park near Tupelo.

Wednesday leave Holly Springs for Rock Island, TN near Sparta, TN

Thursday Leave Rock Island headed to Jellico, TN but stop in Crossville, TN to get knobbies installed at a local motorcycle dealer.

Then on Friday I met two friends and ride the TransAmerica Trail(http://www.transamtrail.com/) to Oklahoma taking 7 days, arriving the following Thursday and I ride back to Dallas on Friday.

I've discovered I can update a blog with pictures taken from my blackberry, so I think I'll start a separate blog just for this trip and update it with more pictures and comments after it is all over.


View From My Roof

Here is the view after I raked off some leaves on my roof.
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