Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Comic Update

For any of you interested, I haven't mentioned the comic in a while. It's still coming along. We're getting it lettered this week and next week it gets submitted for publishing. The art is being done by Zack Finfrock. Here's a sample of the first page for your viewing glory. That's right...it's a purse snatcher. Who can stop such a diabolical fiend?

Too much at a time

So anyone who's met me knows I tend to ramble. Not such a great thing when trying to teach new students. I'll over-explain something or get excited over a question and go on and on about whatever. Well I came up with a great idea to show the correlation between honasu and nijusaan by doing wrist release number 5 and should Tori also spin, it can become Ushiro ate. I was excited at the prospect but my students just said "that's great, but can we just work more on honasu until we get it down pat?" Well you gotta give the fans what they want. Next week, all honasu, all the time.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Delayed Post

This should have been yesterday but I've started a new job and have been getting up super early. After class last night, I came home and crashed, thus no post till now. Last night we went over hanasu 5-8. I had a Hapkido student from the class in front of mine stay to see what Aikido was all about and he picked up the wrist and arm movements relatively fast. The stance for Hapkido they use is wide so his movements were a bit flat footed and slow, but for his first day he picked up everything pretty rapidly. While my other two students reviewed wrist releases 5 and 6, I went over a few basics with the new guy and showed how each release can chain into another. I did have a nice moment where we were going over release number 8 and Uke (the attacker) turned with me which ended up in us facing each other with Uke still holding onto my wrist. I continued the motion and it turned into something similar to release number 3 with me getting behind the arm. I had the class play around with going 2-3 steps beyond the end of the release just to see where it ended up. I can't wait for next week.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Class of Two

It's not unusual for me to only have two students in my class, but last night Olivia (the 13 year old) didn't show up. Her mother said she was feeling ill so she came by herself. I'm only a Shodan so I can't rank my students (not until Nidan as I understand it), but I wanted to make sure they know what they're supposed to when it would be time for them to rank test if I could rank them. In order for that to happen, they'd need to know Tegatana and Honasu when approaching 30 hours of class time. They're only at about 10 hours thus far. There still seems to be a lot of confusion over the order of wrist releases so last night I decided I'd go over numbers 1-4 a few times until everyone felt more comfortable with them. Later we tried an excercise where uke and tori keep going a few steps after the release. There were questions of "what next?" so I showed them how even after the release has been performed, wherever uke goes, tori would still be safe. Overall it went really well. I think they're finally understanding that the point of the releases (at least as I see it) is not to get Uke to release your wrist, it's to release the tension generated.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ushiro ate

Tonight I had four people in class, which was very nice. My circle we usually make at the start of class, actually looked more like a circle instead of my usual triangle. We briefly went over the 8 wrist releases (honasu) and the walking kata (tegatana). After a quick explanation and run-through, we moved into Ushiro ate. Ushiro ate is the first move I learned when coming into Aikido and when done right, it FEELS like Aikido...it's almost as if the person doesn't feel you doing anything at all. I was told my new student who was a student of Tae Kwon Do when youger, will be back next week. At the end of class I even had enough people to do a multi-person SLOW randori session where one defender gently brushes off each attacker. All in all, a great class after an otherwise bad day. I also wanted to say, that's my favorite thing about Aikido. No matter how bad a day you've had otherwise, all your problems are left at the door of the dojo (or in my case YMCA dance studio entrance), and all there is during that special time IS Aikido. I love being in the moment and feel better after class, every class.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A few cool tricks

Tonight in class we went over Honasu (the wrist releases) number 5. My plan was to do number 6 as well but we got caught up in the turning motion of number 5. Afterward, I was asked "What happens if you're against a wall or something" which lead into the "lost releases". Class ran a little short due to me going over Tegatana (the walking kata) a few times and emphasizing how different your movements are in Aikido when you change how you think about something. Next week I plan on doing Ushiro ate and a few movement games. The only area that really needs improvement that I can see is that my two students seem to not want to move their feet. They'll lean as far as they can before taking a step when Uke, and wait until Uke is RIGHT next to them before moving when Tori. Any suggestions from the peanut gallery?