Monday, November 03, 2008

A busy day in the cold

A hectic day at the dojo. It was a kyu testing day, and that means lots of people -- especially for the second class, which is immediately prior to the tests.

The Aikipenguin didn't get to test, though. With the time off I took for injury, I was just a few classes short. That was a bummer, let me tell you. Well, the next tests are on February. I'll be there with bells on.

Keith taught the first class. I had a great time in it. Jon was an excellent partner and we had a good time exploring the slightly unusual techniques together.

We spent most of the time with henka waza (changing from one technique into another). Mostly katatetori. Though we did drift into yokomenuchi and shomenuchi. As an exercise, we did yokomenuchi shihonage to kotaegaeshi with just one hand. Which was quite interesting and instructive. The idea was to keep the connection, of course, and nage and uke both certainly have to for that to work. It was very cool.

Lately, I've been reminding myself more to keep relaxed, centered, with good posture and just generally in the zone. I had some success during the class. Hopefully as time goes by, I won't have to remind myself so much and it will just happen naturally. That's the idea, isn't it?

I was going to call it a day, but then I saw that Sugano-sensei was ready to teach the second class. Of course, he would be there to conduct the testing. So I decided to stay.

Unfortunately, the mat was so crowded I spent most of my attention just trying to not smash into the people on every side of me.

In addition, at some point during the class, I guess because it was so crowded, the windows were opened and the fans turned on. Now, there may have been a lot of bodies warming up the mat, but it is still November. Of course, I was standing right under a fan, and I found the draft very cold! I was just getting over a mild cold and I already feel it coming back, so it's straight to bed for me later today.

After class, I caught a glimpse of the testing, but couldn't bring myself to stay for the third kyus. I knew I'd be green with envy. Whaddayagonnado? ;)

Actually, I would have stayed if I could, but I had to get going. I hadn't even planned to stay for the second class as I had a busy day ahead.

I guess I can't complain too much. At least I'm not like the poor guys in the video above doing aikido in the snow!

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