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RisenPhoenix

RisenPhoenix Finds a Way to Harmonize his Energy

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I'm alive!  Honest!  I didn't join the hoard of the undead!

 

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Uh, just ignore the blood on my neck and that piece of brain hanging from my mouth.  Totally normal for me.  Yup.  Not a single Zombie trait about me.

 

*ahem*

 

Anyway.  Last two weeks were kinda challenge light, this past one mostly since Company was visiting.  Sooo.... yea.  Not so much on the challenge for a few reasons.

 

Ended up doing a lot more "out and about" things with Company this time (trips to see my parents, hanging out with some friends, visits to Museums), which ate up time that would normally be for aikido classes.  Can't say I feel bad, though I am surprised.  Normally I make it to 2 or 3 classes while Company is in town, and even she commented that she was kinda sad we didn't make to class once.  Weird, especially since I was trying to figure a way for her to get on the mat this time, too.  Oh well.

 

I did do a heavy amount of adulting.  Went on 3 mile hike/walk in my parent's back property (okay, Company was with me, but she doesn't impact my "with and/or having to deal with people meter, so I was mostly alone, and I'm counting it as my solo walk). Paid a lot of bills, including one updated bill for my knee issues.  That made me happy, actually.  The $400 doctor's visit got sorted and I only had to pay $60.  Much better and less stress inducing.  Moved funds from my checking to savings, too.  So lots of adulting, but very little else.

 

I need to get back on track now.  Diet is wonky, and I'm up in weight above where I was before I left for Japan.  I haven't really done any serious lifting in forever.  My mobility is shite and I need to fix that.  And I haven't been to aikido in well over a week and a half.  Hokay.  I gots this.

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No, no, no. This is how you make a sudden return to your thread after an extended absence.

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Ha.  I wish.  I've kinda felt like life has been doing this to me instead:

 

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Great to see that you've..risen..again..kinda like a phoenix...

 

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Glad you're back. 

Just caught up with your thread - WOW - JAPAN - WOW!!!!!!  All of the incredible! 

 

Go get back to the dojo.

 

Thanks Lou!  Glad you're back, too.

 

Yea, Japan was amazing.  I really can't wait to get back.

 

And that's the plan.  One or two classes tomorrow, I don't know yet.  Depends on how well I sleep tonight.  Also how much I need to stretch.

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Wait, we're on week 4 now?  Shiiiiiiiiiit.  Where did time go, guys!?!

 

Week 3 wrap up:

 

Like I said earlier, things were a bit rough at the beginning of last week since the girlfriend was in town.  But slowly working back into it.

 

~Got back on the mat for 3 more classes of aikido this weekend (~20 left for 2nd kyu) and did a bit of knee walking practice.  Still a ways to go, but I've been getting complemented on the effort, so it's doing something at least.

 

~Skimmed a chunk of Chapter 7 of Supple Leopard.  Never quite realized how much the book requires tools and equipment to do it's thing.  I have all the equipment, though, so I shouldn't have any excuses.  That being said, I may have to start applying the stretches at the dojo instead of at home or at the gym, simply from the time table requirement.

 

~Adulting-wise I managed to finish a book!  Holy crap!  It was a nice way to relax on Saturday night.  Other adulting-things were cleaning up a bit and doing laundry post-girlfriend visit.

______________________________________________

 

Anyway, getting back on the mat this weekend really made it clear how much I need to be there.  It really is a place I just completely relax at, and those places are few and far between.  And happily we have three new students.  One older guy and two guys around my age.  Excited to see how well they do and if they stick around (though one of the younger guys is a weekend-only, visiting black belt.  Still.  Fun to work with).  I really do love helping people understand aikido, and it's fun working on different parts of techniques with different people. 

 

Uh, I thought I had a few more things to cover but my brain isn't pulling them up.  I'll have the mini challenge up soon, promise.  Tomorrow by noon at the latest.  Hope you're all ready to kill stretch your IT band.

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Reading books is fun. Finishing books is fun also. I'm glad to hear you got to do that again. :)

 

Don't worry, I'll have the challenge up in a bit. You just start stretching.

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Don't worry, I'll have the challenge up in a bit. You just start stretching.

 

You know, I shouldn't fear that sentence as much as I do since I am the Boss Battle this week.

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Uh. So. Holy shit guys. TWO awesome things just happened. We shall start with the "Low" level of awesome.

Before class today, since I arrived early, Sempai (who is testing for his nidan-but-really-should-be-higher) asked if I would be okay practicing with him. At the end of class, I nabbed him to help me with some things for my exam (sheiko help was amazing, as well as some hammi hadatchi techniques). The end result was both of us saying we'd train with one another for respective tests. On top of that since he's an instructor who has keys and I live 10 minutes away, we talked about the potential to meet up during non-normal class hours to practice. Score.

Then the next fairly mind blowing news.

Uh, we have a world famous instructor from France teaching class at my dojo on Wednesday night. Like. Super famous. Just because he happens to be in the area, wanted to teach, and one of our regular members knows him.

Holy shit guys, my mind sometimes forgets how long my instructors have trained and how well connected they are.

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So.  There is a very, very good reason that Tissier sensei is world famous.  His aikido is freaking amazing.  Just.... fluid and no effort and perfect angles.  Very good reasons that he is both a Shihan and nearly an 8th dan.

 

The class itself was enjoyable, but there was so much talking.  Not that I object to a great deal of talking to describe the technique, but my dojo is a loud place (it's functionally a warehouse!) and Tissier sensei was speaking veeeeery softly.  So I was trying to watch his body movements more than anything.  But there was so much talking I didn't get a lot of time to practice.  Well, that, and we had 50 people on the mat.  Our dojo really wasn't built for 50 people on the mat at once.  Having 25 on the mat is taxing.  But the fact that there was barely 48 hours notice that this class was happening, I was really pleased with the turn out. (I may also be personally pleased since I was playing social media director all Tuesday.  I will take some credit for getting the news out - especially since I heard a lot of people found the class through facebook.) 

 

Anyway, did a bunch of stretching before class, some sheiko practice, and then had the class.  I really need to get better at talking to people I practice with after the class.  Just hard to over come my introverted nature.  Would much rather look around and people watch.  (Yes, Nerds will tell you I'm out going and extroverted.  And after making a comment about myself on how a returning student left "while I was in my wallflower stage" at the dojo a senior instructor commented that she couldn't see me having a wall flower stage.  But I assure you.  I'm very quiet in large groups until I'm comfortable.)

 

Post-class we tried to get a bunch of people to grab drinks, which kind of fell a bit flat - but in a good way.  So I had dinner and drinks with a few students, my chief instructor, another senior instructor, and Sempai.  Was an enjoyable evening.

 

I was planning on going to the gym today.  But my muscles are in full-on revolt this morning.  So a few rest days might be wise.

 

Maybe I can be effective and do some adulting tasks.

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So.  There is a very, very good reason that Tissier sensei is world famous.  His aikido is freaking amazing.  Just.... fluid and no effort and perfect angles.  Very good reasons that he is both a Shihan and nearly an 8th dan.

 

Wow, I'm jealous. Also proud of you for helping to make the event a success. :)

 

Training with really high-ranking people makes me realize just how far there is to go. Shodan in aikido means "beginning student". Very much so. In other arts I get the sense that black belt = competent. Not in aikido. In aikido a shodan means a person has a good enough grasp of basic movement to start learning the art.

 

My chief instructors are 6th dans. I know just how fortunate I am to have this level of instruction. The chief instructor at my first dojo was a nidan (at the time) and the instructor at my university was a sandan. I thought they were good. They were good at basic techniques. However they did not have the experience to take things up to the higher levels.

 

Also keep in mind that people get to be famous by working hard at something and keeping it up for years. From the inside they feel like they are normal people who have just taken a different path. Some are nice people and some are jerks, just like everyone else.

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Dude, that's awesome. Glad to see that you got some quality training and that you managed to pack the house to make it happen.

 

And yeah, being a flower on the wall is a pretty okay place to be sometimes.

 

Get some rest so you can hit it hard.

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Wow, I'm jealous. Also proud of you for helping to make the event a success. :)

 

Training with really high-ranking people makes me realize just how far there is to go. Shodan in aikido means "beginning student". Very much so. In other arts I get the sense that black belt = competent. Not in aikido. In aikido a shodan means a person has a good enough grasp of basic movement to start learning the art.

 

My chief instructors are 6th dans. I know just how fortunate I am to have this level of instruction. The chief instructor at my first dojo was a nidan (at the time) and the instructor at my university was a sandan. I thought they were good. They were good at basic techniques. However they did not have the experience to take things up to the higher levels.

 

It really was amazing.  Just wish we had more than a hour on the mat with him teaching.  I definitely will have his Montreal summer camp on my radar looking forward to the future.

 

And yea, I tend to forget how high ranking my instructors are.  And not only our instructors, our senior (kyu) students are extremely well experienced.  I know a couple of higher ranking students who have a decade-plus experience and yet still aren't shodan yet (mainly because of hour totals, rather than ability).  Though, this fact also feeds into my "Dear god, I think I'm going to fast!" mentality, even when I acknowledge that I put a high priority on training and have little else to do with my time.  Fun factoid, I found my uke for my exam and he thought I was testing for 1st kyu, not 2nd.  He's not the first to make that 'mistake.'  And then proceeded to doubt that I've only been practicing for 3 years. (I joined in 2012, shortly before I joined NF, actually).  Such a weird feeling to see people who have seen me climb ranks under them functionally tell me that they see me as roughly their equal. (Said uke tested for 1st kyu back in 2012 and will be testing for his shodan in December.  I am excite.  But the fact he thinks we would temporarily at least have the same ranking.... kinda blew my mind.)

 

 

Dude, that's awesome. Glad to see that you got some quality training and that you managed to pack the house to make it happen.

 

And yeah, being a flower on the wall is a pretty okay place to be sometimes.

 

Get some rest so you can hit it hard.

 

It was awesome.  So awesome.  Not sure what I can apply from it.  But awesome.

 

And I like being a wallflower!  Multiple people at the dojo now don't believe I was one!  I don't get it!  Don't they know they are blessed cursed stuck with the fact that I'm now comfortable in the dojo and therefore not a wallflower?

 

And rest I did.  Some of the rest was alcohol fueled.  But I did rest.

 

Week 4 Wrap up:

 

I really wanted this week to be a "get back to schedule" week.  Not exactly what happened because of both the impromptu seminar and the holiday weekend.

 

I currently have 20 classes left to get to my hour requirement.  Or 13.  I haven't yet determined if I'll ask to throw in my hours from Japan yet.  Sensei okayed it, but in the grand scheme of things no matter what I'll make 20 classes before my August 10th exam.  So no big worry there.  Though, uh, apparently I thought I knew all the techniques for the exam.  Apparently I was wrong.  I didn't have the correct version of one technique.  I had a version of ushiro tekubitori shihonage ura.  It worked, I've seen it before multiple times.  Apparently though it wasn't Kanai sensei's ushiro tekubitori shihonage ura.  So for 30 minutes after class today Sensei showed me the version that I need to have on my exam.  Not difficult, but not the version I've been practicing.

 

Let this be a lesson for you, people.  If you have to grade, probably a good idea to run though everything in front of your instructor at least once to make sure you actually have everything down.

 

Also learned one of my goals for the exam.... uh.... isn't allowed.  The attacks from behind I wanted to do dynamically, from movement.  Because that's the level at which I feel I should be performing (not other people who test for 2nd kyu - just me.  I have high standards for myself).  Buuuuuttttt..... Sensei said those techniques have to be static.  Because while fluidity and whatnot is being understood, this exam is still more-or-less about "Do I know the technique" than "Do the technique well."  Oh well.  Guess I can start polishing everything even more than without worrying about having a dynamic throw on my exam.

 

Sheiko practice was done 4/5 days.  At least extended sheiko practice.  I did walk around a bit today to work on it, but not enough to really classify it as practice - I spent my extra time working on exam stuff instead.

 

And as for Adult stuff.  I hosted a "Burgers and Board Games" night on Friday, which really turned into mostly just hanging out and drinking.  There may or may not be pictures of me pinning BigM on my kitchen floor. (Who while not a super admin any more still has enough special buttons that pinning him on the floor could be considered a poor life choice for me here.[YOU ARE CORRECT IT WAS A BAD DECISION!!!! -BIGM])  I will attest that he at least kind of had a smile on his face.  Kinda.  Grimace?  That's a kind of a smile, right?

 

Also been looking for jobs and been updating my resume.  There's a job in the same city as Company that I'm eyeing.  While the prospect of moving isn't the happiest thing for me to think about, the reality is I am more mobile right now than she is at the moment.  So that fact, paired with the point that this job would pay what I (and most others) consider obscenely well for the requirements they are asking for....  Well, I can probably put up with it for a few years.  Helps that I hate my job right now, too.

 

So that's about it.  Two weeks left in the challenge, lots of aikido to still do, lost of adulting, and trying to get back on track in general.  All is good and right with the world, I suppose.

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For what it's worth, I'm sure there's plenty of Aikido where Company is. It's a big town. And given the extensive connections your teachers seem to have I'm sure it'd be pretty painless to make the transition.

 

The test requirements sound kind of wonky from here. I would say that the fact that you can do the technique in front of your sensei proves that you know the technique. But that doesn't mean you can use the technique. I would say that being dynamic with it is the whole point, that this is the training effect that you're looking for. If you're not getting the effect, then it's kind of pointless.

 

/ramble

 

Don't worry about last week. Week 4 plus the holiday? Yeah. That was gonna be weird any way you cut it. But at least you pinned the BigM. I'd say that's good enough. :D

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For what it's worth, I'm sure there's plenty of Aikido where Company is. It's a big town. And given the extensive connections your teachers seem to have I'm sure it'd be pretty painless to make the transition.

 

The test requirements sound kind of wonky from here. I would say that the fact that you can do the technique in front of your sensei proves that you know the technique. But that doesn't mean you can use the technique. I would say that being dynamic with it is the whole point, that this is the training effect that you're looking for. If you're not getting the effect, then it's kind of pointless.

 

/ramble

 

Don't worry about last week. Week 4 plus the holiday? Yeah. That was gonna be weird any way you cut it. But at least you pinned the BigM. I'd say that's good enough. :D

 

You say that.  But the things I've seen.... haven't given me much faith in the area.  But trying to withhold judgement until I talk to people.  Or, you know, get a job there.

 

Oh, dynamic motion is definitely the final 'end point' for the technique.  But this particular exam is still more focused on "If I say this, do you do it?" than "If I say this, do you do it well?"  The dynamic motions are for higher ranks, and if done properly can obscure the actual technique and any flaws at the lower ranks.  So better to exam it from static than do it dynamically and actually do it wrong.  *shrug* no skin off my back.  But yea, I think it didn't help I did the wrong variation of the technique. 

 

And let me tell you how fun it was that I pinned the tall bugger.  Closest thing I'll get to pinning a Giant, I suspect.  Also there's a video of a drunk phone call to Emcee with me, raptron, and Biggums singing.  Ayup.  That happened.

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I hear you about demonstrating your chief instructor's version of a technique. My first shihan was Tohei (Akira). I've trained under two different shihans in the 16 years since Tohei sensei died. If I'm tired or surprised I will automatically go back to the first version I learned. I am going to have to get some coaching on which versions Saotome sensei prefers before my next test.

 

My sympathy on having to do your ushiro techniques from static. They make sooooooo much more sense done dynamically. My senseis agree completely with yours on what is expected at the kyu level tests.

 

Kishi - if you want to see full speed aikido with emphasis on the technique really working, watch a sandan test. Nidan tests tend to be pretty fast too, but the ukes are less likely to be out to get nage. Watch it on video so that you can slow down the playback to see what is happening. :)

 

Good luck on the job hunt.

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I hear you about demonstrating your chief instructor's version of a technique. My first shihan was Tohei (Akira). I've trained under two different shihans in the 16 years since Tohei sensei died. If I'm tired or surprised I will automatically go back to the first version I learned. I am going to have to get some coaching on which versions Saotome sensei prefers before my next test.

 

My sympathy on having to do your ushiro techniques from static. They make sooooooo much more sense done dynamically. My senseis agree completely with yours on what is expected at the kyu level tests.

 

Kishi - if you want to see full speed aikido with emphasis on the technique really working, watch a sandan test. Nidan tests tend to be pretty fast too, but the ukes are less likely to be out to get nage. Watch it on video so that you can slow down the playback to see what is happening. :)

 

I seriously never have seen this version of ushiro tekubitori shihonage ura.  Like, ever.  It's not terribly difficult, it makes a lot of sense, I just haven't seen it before and it's thrown me for a loop.

 

Yea, ushiro techniques make SO MUCH MORE SENSE when done dynamically.  I'm terrible at them that way, sadly.  I let my hands wander too far from my center, and don't lead enough, and don't bend my knees to get low enough, and and and.  I'm good enough to know my skill level, which is no where near good enough. Ha!

 

I've only seen one Sandan exam, and I was... kinda underwhelmed, to be honest.  I should look around for some others.  Sempai is testing for Nidan at the same time I'm testing for 2nd kyu.  I'm fairly certain that I'll be running up for his Randori.  And be totally out to get him.  Because.  I owe the bastard.  Haha.

 

 

Aikido last night, which was.... interesting.  I made the terrible mistake of pointing an issue out to/correcting an older student.  Not a senior student.  Just one who's significantly older than me.  He did not take it well.  Pretty much from that point on he resisted everything I did with fervor.  I'm all for resisting so people get things, but if you're resisting just because someone pointed out your flaws and then resist and do not try to help them learn from it, you are just being an ass.  And in this instance, not only was he an ass, he was an ass who ended up catching my thumb and torquing it in such a way that my thumb got screwed up.  I actually got off the mat to ice it because it wasn't really doing what I told it to do.  Still sore this morning, and I'm going to ice it a lot today before class.  But I'm annoyed that I was injured because I punctured someone's pride.  Sigh.

 

Anyway.  Lifted this morning, class for 2 hours tonight (though I may downgrade to one based on how my knee and thumb feel), and then Stairs tomorrow morning.  Huzzah, things!

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