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March 23rd, 2006

01:04 am - Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Today was a good day. Jamie, the birthday girl, bowed us in today. Happy birthday Jamie!

After stretching sensei allowed those interested to jump over one, two, or three people in a line. This isn't something she encourages often anymore, given that accidents that can happen if things go wrong.

We then spent most of the rest of the day practicing belt test requirements, with Mike Andes being responsible for all white belts aspiring to take the yellow belt test. For those interested, Sensei taught us a kneeling koshi nage, or kneeling hip throw. Many of us found this hip throw to be more comfortable and more easily set up and controlled then the standing hip throw.

We were also allowed to do one and two partner rondori at the end of class, as well as three person rondoris in front of the whole class.

Remember: In rondori it is perfectly okay to pretend someone has attacked you, and throw that person before they even have a chance to actually provide an attack. And side stepping and moving forward are good, but backwards movement is bad. If you can remember this during your test Sensei will be happy to see it.

Seems how Sensei has made this open season for practicing belt test requirements, would anyone like me to post the belt test requirements here with their accompanying translations? (Don't expect Sensei to use anything but the japanese, though.) I can even write tips for troublesome moves from either myself or Jan if anyone is interested. Just drop a line or leave a comment.

- Kat

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March 16th, 2006

09:25 pm - Aikido on the 15th
It was a really good class we worked on highfalls and I managed to feel good about them for the first time ever, we also worked on tanto waza the defense was kote gaieshi, I don't recall if we did other defences than this. in jujitsu news Derek rolled over a line of five people, as I was one of the people he rolled over I was unable to witness this feat, however I assume that it was quite spectacular and that afterwards everyone in the class bowed and said "Hail cesar!" or rather they ought to have.
other than that it seems that we've entered belt testing preparedness season... good luck all!

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March 2nd, 2006

07:43 pm - Wednesday, March 1, 2006
Well we certainly did something that I haven't seen done in class for a long time. Today Sensei taught two different no hands throws. Per my understanding, no hands throws are about blue belt level (though they might not necessarily be on the blue belt test). The first throw required a cross shoulder grab, and the other required a same shoulder grab. You have to be careful with these because they are harder to do and easier to lose control on, though they seem very easy at the time.

From there Sensei moved to Irimi Nage, or entering throw. When she realized that the move she asked for (Irimi from a shoulder grab with the nage going under the uke's holding arm) was too difficult for the beginning students she asked all of the colored belt students to practice this while she taught a simpler form of Irimi to the white belts. She allowed for two or three more variations and then moved into group rondori, and then regular rondori.

In the regular rondori there were some nice moves out there, including throwing one nage into another and using a nage as a shield. This are both acceptable practices in rondori, and don't let anyone tell you differently. It is also wise not to let yourself get cornered, or to back up. Move forward, or if you have to, to one side, but please don't back up. It is also okay to attack an uke with a finishing move before the uke has actually attacked you. It generally gets your uke by surprise.

On another note, I am not noticing a great deal of interest in this community and am beginning to feel more like this is a blog (which i detest), then a community. Are there things that the students are looking for that I am not providing? Please drop me a line and let me know.

- Kat

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February 28th, 2006

09:31 pm - Monday, February 27, 2006
Today we focused again on morote dori kokyu ho. I am beginning to think that Sensei believes that there are those of us who need the extra practice. We also practiced shiho nage today. This is the under the arm move that some returning students might remember. Afterwards we did a double line rondori so that the whole class got the experience of getting thrown and throwing other people. There were some nice moves out there. Juji nage, kaiten nage . . . Thank you to all of the colored belts for helping with the rondori lines. As usual we finished with suwari waza.

My tips of the day are for shiho nage. There are two distinct parts to shiho nage. One important part is in the first part of the move. To get the move to set up correctly you need to make sure to push the uke's arm in front of him so that the elbow bends. This helps make the rest of the move easier. Also make sure to stay very close. If you try to keep some space between you and your uke the move will not work as well, if at all. When you get to the second part of the move and travel under the arm remember to bend the knees so that uke's upper arm can become as close to vertical to the floor as possible. This puts the uke off balance and makes pulling him backwards easier.

I hope this is helping somebody.

- Kat

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February 23rd, 2006

07:01 pm - The Jewish Samurai
Aikido is about having fun, and in this spirit I would like to share a joke a friend from work gave me:

The Jewish Samurai

There once was a powerful Japanese emperor who needed a new chief samurai. So he sent out a declaration throughout the entire known world that he was searching for a chief.

A year passed, and only three people applied for the very demanding position: a Japanese samurai, a Chinese samurai, and a Jewish samurai.

The emporer asked the Japanese samurai to come in and demonstrate why he should be the chief samurai. The Japanese samurai opened a matchbox, and out popped a bumblebee. Whoosh! went his sword. The bumblebee dropped dead, chopped in half.

The emporer exclaimed, "That is very impressive!" The emporer then issued the same challange to the Chinese samurai, to come in and demonstrate why he should be chosen. The Chinese samurai also opened a matchbox and out buzzed a fly. Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh! The fly dropped dead, chopped into four small pieces.

The emporer exclaimed, "That is very impressive!"

Now the emporer turned to the Jewish samurai, and asked him to demonstrate why he should be the chief samurai. The Jewish samurai opened a matchbox, and out flew a gnat. His flashing sword went Whoosh! but the gnat was still alive and flying around.

The emporer, obviously dissapointed, said, "Very ambitious, but why is the gnat not dead?"

The Jewish samurai just smiled and said, "Circumcision is not meant to kill."

Let me know if anyone thinks I should delete this entry.
- Kat

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01:36 am - Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Today was a good day. We went over Morote Dori Kokyu Ho again. We also did Sumiotoshi, sometimes refered to as the "arm bar". We practiced both opposite hand and same hand grabs. Sensei snuck off halfway through class and got a back massage. Too much stress in her life she said. With the knots in her back I can believe it. She left poor Derek holding the reins of the class again. Sorry Derek. :-) When Sensei took over the class again she did something I've never seen her do before. She asked two people up, as if it were rondori, and then asked the two unfortunates to finish only with sumiotoshi. When they finished she asked them each to find a new partner amongst those sitting and repeat the process. And again until she had the whole class doing sumiotoshi. She had the students practice this twice. I believe that the intent was for the students to see what was working and not working for people, to help the learning process. Afterwards the class did suwari waza, like usual.

I do have some pointers for those who are interested: The uke's held arm should have the palm up to facilitate effectiveness. Also, the arm that the nage (thrower) is using as the "bar" should be slightly bent with palm up at first, with the uke's arm between the shoulder and the elbow. As you get ready to throw you should act as if you are flipping your hand over. This straightens the bar arm and raises the uke up on the balls of their feet. (A good indicator of this is when your uke is standing on his toes.) You should also be standing behind the uke, but VERY close.

Hope this helps at least one person. Until next class.

- Kat

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February 16th, 2006

12:22 am - Class of Wednesday, February 15, 2006
As per Sensei's request Brian wrote morote dori kokyu ho on the board. I added heaven and earth throw (Tenchi Nage), koshi nage, 5 uke rondori, high falls and shiho nage to the list. Sensei noted this and started with morote dori kokyu ho, just straight, as seemed to be her plan for the day, and then went on to teach the straight and turning version of Tenchi Nage. She also mini rondoried all of us using tenchi nage only, in groups of four, followed by free technique rondori in front of the whole class. There were some very good rondoris out there, especially the super technique based rondori provided by Mike, Derek and Barret. Excellent job. Afterwards strong arm pin suwari waza kokyu ho was demonstrated and practiced.

As this is the first entry on this community I would please like to have some input on what I should and should not be including in the post for everyone to see. If there is something that you would like to share in this regard, please feel free to post or send me an e-mail on the subject. If there is anything you would like to discuss about today's class, feel free to post your comments.


- Kat

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