Saturday, November 15, 2008
Aikijo and Iron
I woke up late and came horribly late for Doug Firestone's class on Friday. I can't seem to get the knack of Fridays, never on time.
I hadn't seen Doug for a few weeks, so I was surprised to see he had a full beard. He said he grew it for Halloween. He should keep it.
We did some jo work, which was very good -- especially the shihonage. An excellent class, though it was too short for me!
Saturday began as a typical morning. I slid in next to Mike Jones to get a good practice. For the second time Chris came later and joined us, which was fine. Then Mike Abrams arrived and fetched me, the odd man out of the trio at that moment.
I really like practicing with Mike Abrams. He's always very helpful and a good sport, all around. However, sometimes I have to say, he just doesn't know his own strength.
Don't let me exaggerate too much. He's been around a very long time and would never hurt a fly. So there is no fear. However, the man is made of iron. And he can be a lot to handle. If he doesn't like what nage is doing -- say he feels some tension in his partner -- and decides not to move, nothing on this earth can move him.
I've been thinking a lot about rooting lately. Well, He just puts roots deep into the ground. On the other hand, if you have a hold of him, and he wants to put you somewhere, good luck trying to stop that. An irritable force. Like trying to pull a moving locomotive to a stop. Good luck with that.
Despite all of that, or perhaps because of it, it is always a treat to partner with him. He's invariably generous and helpful with his advice, though sometimes he'll make you work for it.
He had me in katatetori, and I just couldn't budge him. I tried several times, until I finally said, "Well, I tried relaxing, extending and turning... I'm out of options." Sure enough he showed me my error (hard to describe) and then I was able to do the technique. He's always great for that.
After a while, Luke came in, so we were three again, and that was also good. It was interesting alternating between the two partners: Iron Mike and a bit softer, but still tough (and fast) Luke. Had to make adjustments...
A good class all around.