Friday, February 19, 2010

We put the "co" in "cooperation"

Friday nights are "open mat" nights at our dojo. It's nice to have a more laid-back time to just focus on whatever you want to focus on. I got to work with an experienced student who walked me through 3rd kyu.

I was kind of surprised; I didn't feel as dumb as I thought I would, considering I haven't been around faithfully for about two months or so.

Anyways, going through nights like these remind me of the greatness and beauty of student cooperation. It was an encouraging thing to have a fellow student point out flaws, give advice, and throw in a compliment here and there. Students, after all, make up most of the population in a dojo, and it is wonderful to see them help each other out. I think that in doing so, the help out the instructors in taking a tiny bit of the load off the teaching work. And, ultimately, it helps the student extending the information, because it forces them to really look at their own technique and find out what needs fixing.

Interestingly enough, things turned around and I ended helping another student with some bokken (I. Love. Bokken.) kata. Tonight's class was quite an interesting illustration of a "full circle".


Monday, January 4, 2010

A woman's place in grace

I was watching some women MMA on youtube a few minutes ago. Let me tell you something--it is NOT pretty. There is nothing attractive with two women in just sports bras and shorts beating the juice out of each other.

Being a tomboy myself, I know where they're coming from. Some girls love to fight and scrap. I'm one of them. But there comes a point where a woman needs to be a woman. Women were meant to love, nurture, and defend, not fight in front of thousands to show off their mad skills. We have a specific role--and it's a fact of life we've got to deal with.

I think in this day and age we have seen another surge of the movement that probably started shortly after WWII. Women "stand up for themselves" and rebel from the "weaker sex" stereotype. I think this is mostly unnecessary--and wrong.

We have a God-given place of our own. He provides a standard in 1 Peter 3:1-6, the key being verse 4:

"...rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God."

A woman shines the most in her place of quiet grace, meekness, and submission.

Thursday, December 31, 2009


I was reminded yet again of the great importance of openings.

We had a small group of three for a class, and Sensei decided that the tanto would get the limelight for weapons evening. Uke attacked shomen, as nage entered omote, irmi-ed, kaiten-ed, and tenshin-ed, bringing the arm down in the process.

I got frustrated after several futile attempts to bring uke's arm all the way down to the mat. Frustrating, I say. After doing some examination and thinking, it hit me--my entrance stunk. So, after a few modifications to timing (and thanks to a very patient uke), I finally got it right. Tally ho.


Friday, November 6, 2009

'Tis been but a while

I sorta noticed - there have been no recent posts since September! Big blog no-no. Oops. School's been a priority lately, thus less aikido, thus less to blog about. But, I found something! (Yay)

Last night, our dojo received a pleasant surprise. Tonya, who recently finished her sentence as an uchi-deshi at New York Aikikai, dropped by the dojo for a quick hello. Did you fall for that? No, she trained.

I think the second class was by far the one of the best classes I've experienced for a while. I felt so energized. I think seeing and training with Tonya again helped to revitalize the savage within.

Sorry for the delay of posts. Will try to fix that, but for now, American History calls-er, screams.


Thursday, September 17, 2009


Tonight was a good night on endurance. That doesn't sound right grammatically, and frankly, I'm too tired to care; sorry. There were four people in all; a nice, round number. One person would be uke, the other, nage. Once nage threw uke eight times, they switched roles. Uke was to give hard, fast, committed attacks each time. It worked out great, and the great and merciful Sensei allowed us to take breathers every now and again.

Basically, we went all out for 30ish minutes. Yeah, it was good.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Can you feeel eet, mon?

The sun is up, and I, barely. Yep, it's Saturday morning, and the bed is still whining for me, nipping at my heels. "Back!" I say, "Back!"

Aikido on Saturday has quite a different "feel" as opposed to aikido on a monday night. It's the "Oh-I-love-aikido through yawns" feel. I don't know. Maybe I'm just weird...


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Randori stuff

A few principles I've heard regarding randori:

  2. Once you make contact with one uke, immediately shift your focus to another.
  3. Use quick and easy techniques.
  4. Move with uke; don't clash. It's aikido randori, not a jousting tournament.
  5. If all else fails, scream, cry, and run away try, try, try again.
Oh, how can something so fun be so daunting? *sighs and looks at the sky*