Today was a fun day at the Dojo. Charlie taught and we worked techniques from yokomen uchi. The techniques we worked were irimi nage, kote gaeshi, Kaiten nage, gokyo and shiho nage. Each attack lends to a different flavor of a technique. The yokomen uchi strike allows me to play around with spiraling and blending more so than most other attacks.
It’s been a really long time since I did gokyo and I was surprised to see that after firing off a few, it started to feel fairly comfortable. I believe trhat if you have your fundamentals down, then you can feel the similarities from one technique to another and draw from them. The main difference with gokyo I have to remember is the grab during the take down. Once I got that, it felt pretty smooth. There’s always room for improvement but at least I’m not all left feet. 😀
We have a gentleman visiting our dojo from Greece. He’ll be here for another week or so. He is a black belt but can’t be sure of his rank. Nice guy, and has good energy. It will be fun to train with him for the next couple of days we have classes.
I’m continuing O’ Sensei’s biography, “A Life in Aikido”. It’s a bit difficult to keep all of the people and places straight in the text. We are used to “Rohnert Park, California”, “Marion, Iowa”, and “Mohammed Ali”. But I have a bit of a hard time with “Wakayama Prefecture”, “Tanabe” , and “Takeda Sokaku”. It’s hard to, as a friend of mine who’s studying modern Japan in a class were to say, “have a space in my head for all the names.”
Still, it is a fascinating read. O’ Sensei was a man of many many talents and worked hard to gain the physical prowess and strength that he achieved. He was also a champion of the oppressed. This gives me a different context to think of when I think of his notion of martial arts being for the “loving protection” of all.
Tomorrow, I’ll look forward to the gym and hanging out with my son after work. I’m enjoying writing these series of blog posts and feel connected to my training both on and off the mat as I can stitch this stuff together on the screen as well as in the dojo.