Here is a motorcycle I saw last month on my trip to Houston.

Wines I Like

It may be crude for sophisticated drinkers but for me it tastes good and doesn't suck. So it gets my rating of "Wines I like".

Plus it is from Sicily!!


What An Odd Thing It Is We Do

(forgive me but I broke my week long wine fast tonight so the post may have some grammatical and structural difficultiess)

Another Friday night randori and it makes me think about the specialized group we are. We have the occasional person under and just over 20 and probably most in 30s and 40s range and me in the 50s. I guess I am saying that, in general we are "seasoned" as opposed to being fresh.

Anyway I'm sure some dojos are kick ass, hardcore and mad about Aikido, But, while people come and go it seems there are a number of us that have other obligations, yet somehow we manage to hang on to the path. Maybe we are not as powerful and diligent in our practice as some of the more "martial" dojos...but we do what we can. Sooooo...again tonight we we had a bit of Randori where we attack not with the purpose of wining an attack but of attacking so we all learn.

Anyway, I have recorded both last week and this week (they will NOT be on You Tube) but it is instructive to watch, in that you see each of us trying to present an attack to give the nage (the one being attacked) the chance to respond appropriately. And it is not always obvious who is the best, of course one of our two newest black belts was it really good form. BUT, my point is where else can you experience such a situation where people are coming at you and you have to react. But you have to react using both your brain AND your body. It requires a whole different set of sensibilities and skills. Maybe we will never need to use these skills but it then again, maybe we are not only “thinking” out of the “box” but “act-ing” out of the box.

FYI, I had a bottle of one of my previously mentioned favorite wines, for under $9 I must say.


Freestyle Friday Night

Randori (乱取り) is a term used in Japanese martial arts to describe free-style practice or sparring, sometimes with multiple attackers. The term literally means "chaos taking" or "grasping freedom," implying a freedom from the structured practice of kata.

With the lure of Randori I declined some previous obligations and went to class on Friday. We worked on a few definite attacks and the in the last 10 minutes or so Sensei asked if we wanted to a bit of randori. Of course we did, even though we are mostly beginners in the sense that real Aikido doesn't start until AFTER you get your black belt.

Anyway everybody did some of it with the restrictions of only grabbing the shoulders, strike to the head and punch to the stomach as the attacks. I was OK I guess but really my only redeeming point was that I usually managed to get off-line of the attack but unfortunately I had trouble actually applying the techniques. MAYBE I was slightly better at my good point than some others, but most everybody else besides me managed to deliver on performing on actual techniques better than me, regardless of rank.
I brought my Sony “bloggie” and recorded most of the last 30 minutes of class (the max time the camera will record) and caught all of us.

I am sad that when “push comes to shove” I have a real problem with doing any cool Aikido, but maybe I have learned a little bit about not meeting force with force, maybe.

The above is NOT what we I did tonight but is does show Steven Seagal in his younger, slimmer Aikido days. I am not a huge fan of Seagal, and this video is a bit melodramatic...but I still kinda wanta root for the guy.


Wines I Like

New topic, pictures of wines I like.


Trip To Houston

Here are some pictures from my motorcycle trip to and around Houston this past weekend. I had a wonderfully pleasant ride with the Skeptical Walrus on Sunday which is heavily representing. Plus a trip downtown to an art fair.