Monday, December 31, 2007

Plans for the New Year

I've been thinking recently about what I could do to improve my advancement in Judo and Aikido in the coming year. For those of you who remember me trying to start a club at UCF, I've officially been told that no clubs can have non-student members due to a liability issue that occurred earlier this year. That said, I started looking around and on the Aikido front I found a dojo quite near my apartment that's called Shoshin Aikido and they're linked to the Aikikai. I've spoken with the Sensei their and I'm going to visit after my trip back to Mississippi. It should definitely be a learning experience going to a more traditional dojo. As far as Judo goes, all I can think of is to volunteer at the local YMCA and practice with Andy when we can. If anyone else has any suggestions please feel free to send them.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Randori With Beleek

Saturday was a pretty slow day. After me and my roommates went to eat, I was in the mood to do a little Judo. I went downstairs to do some falling practice and Beleek called and agreed to practice a little with me. I went over a few chokes with her and showed how you can use a gi to your advantage with the collar and sleeves. Then we moved on to a little stand up randori. I showed Beleek O soto gari and told her to look for places it might come up. We moved at half speed and were careful when getting near the edges of the mat. I got a couple of good off-balances but the highlight was Beleek going for throws and she actually picked me up once! I was so proud :) I can't wait to see what happens next time.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Yearly Trek Back

Well January 7th-14th I'll be back in Mississippi to visit family and friends. I'm also planning to swing by Pat's and see what I need to brush up on. Careful Pat, I've been reading your blog and now I know your secrets so be ready when I challenge your dojo and take your sign muahahaha. :) Getting pummeled again should be fun. I plan on trying to get Bryce to show up too.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Swot'in my Blog

Pat's Swat yo Blog challenge is something I've been avoiding for a while...because I wasn't sure of my blog's goals. Originally I just wanted something in the blog sphere for Pat to look at and give me and Bryce pointers. Later as I kept writing, it was more of a journal for me to read my own progress. Most importantly it's been a great way for me to be introduced to other people's blogs like Dojo rat, Uchi-deshi, and Somaserious. Somaserious's blog is actually what reminded me to finally address what I want my blog to be. After Pat's bloggy award me and Andy started looking at where our blogs are in relation to each other and on the blogsphere in general. I'm almost dead last, lol :) I'm also for some reason not on google anywhere so my traffic must come from cross linking through Pat or Andy. For the past week I was kinda sad I have so few viewers, but not because I want to be high on the list or anything, but because I get so little feedback. I'm trying to teach myself and refine my skills with blinders on since Bryce left. I need all the advice I can get, lol. So where is all this going? Good question. I have a few ideas, but I'll start with Pat's suggested SWOT method.
Well I'm linked to the number 1 blog in our little sphere right now :)
Also I've been better about posting at least once or twice a week
Since this was originally geared at Pat, I use way too much technical jargon like "Honasu number 1" which is meaningless to someone who doesn't do our form of Aikido.
I would definitely like more entertaining stories on my blog, of Aikido/Judo nature or not.
Environmental factors that might help would be my roommates, maybe the Judo club over at UCF, and if I can get a link for my site on google, maybe that for more input.
Threats in my environment would be things like my and my roommates general laziness and opposing job schedule.
Once again the bureaucracy of the college when attempting to make or deal with any of the campus clubs.

Now comes the conclusion part where I have an epiphany and solve the hole problem...I'll get back to everyone on that...but I'd love some thoughts.

Back to Aikido

Well last night I got home I realized I haven't done anything in a week. This is a point Andy's been pointing out for this past week so I invited him and Beau down to the garage for a little falling practice and Honasu. Andy wasn't interested last night, his days have been longer with the approaching holidays and the WoW addiction has Beau firmly in its grip. So me and Beleek went down and we worked on her ukemi (falling). While things started out rocky she was definitely improving after a dozen or so falls. I forgot how hard it is to relax when you're not used to falling and someone's telling you "just don't resist". It'll come with time. We went over the 3rd and 1st wrist release and Beleek even got a few really good off-balances. It feels so good to practice some days :)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Promote 3 Meme Time Again!

Well normally I'd put 3 blogs that are below mine on the blog roll...but I'm 58 out of 61 so there aren't many choices. Congrats to Pat for being number 1 and Andy for being high up there. People reading his blog, means people reading about our training, so his blog victory is my blog victory. I still think more people should check out
Tales of a Mommy Karateka.
My other two are people above me in the blog roll, but who still don't get enough recognition.
Uchi-deshi-who's anecdotes keep me training and entertained continuously
Dojorat- who's urban and gritty views of the martial arts remind the layman that anyone can make training work.

Bad Timing?

Last night me and Andy went over Nijusan a bit and I realized I was getting a really good off balance. The problem lies in that as we analyzed it a correlation was discovered between Judo and Aikido as we noticed the off balance I was getting so well, was due to foot placement and I was either spinning Andy right on his feet on that first step, or getting the off balance so that he wasn't leaning forward or backwards, but just sort of stuck in limbo. I could hardly perform and of the moves because right after the off balance Andy wouldn't be able to regain his posture before falling. I know that in a real life situation this is the spot we aim for...but I couldn't stop doing it to actually practice kata without consciously forcing myself to take an awkward step but then I couldn't get out of my own head and just flow with things. It seems it's either one or the other. The highlight of the evening was definitely doing Honasu though. We stopped on the 2nd release as Andy noticed his initial step was a bit off so we looked at mine and I discovered that I was doing it completely different than what I was taught by Pat...and maybe different from what Bryce showed me too. Normally we step out of the way, same hand-same foot. That's what Andy was attempting. What we noticed I was doing was turning my opposite foot inward and giving uke my arm and wherever that non-turned foot stepped, I did a slight hip-switch to go back to same hand, same foot. They both work, I just noticed turning the opposite foot felt more natural to me. Pat, I'd love your thoughts on this...and anyone else's for that matter (assuming I've written this so that it's understandable.
UPDATE-just got off the phone with Bryce and I learned 2 things. The hip switch thing from Honasu Bryce apparently does too, so I picked it up from him (and I thought I'd done something original). 2. During Nijusan, I was apparently doing something more akin to Junana (the 17 techniques that used to be taught before Nijusan replaced them). I was (as best as Bryce can explain) off balancing Andy by pushing him on his back foot instead of redirecting him in a more outwardly circle. Basically I was applying force that were this a real life situation would be great, but for kata and practice makes doing a specific movement difficult. I'll play with this more and see what happens.