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 Aikido Training Log

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二百四

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PostSubject: Aikido Training Log   Fri Apr 06, 2018 6:07 pm

I started training at an Aikido dojo on February 19th. Mostly been focusing on my Ukemi (falling/rolling techniques), the Aiki Taiso (Aikido warm-up exercises), Shikko knee-walking technique, and sitting in Seiza for long periods without feeling like my legs are going to explode. Classes go from 8 to 10 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Fridays are weapons training days where we focus on jo staff, tanto and katana techniques. We also have some wooden guns, but I haven't learned any techniques with them yet. The last Friday of every month though is Movie Night, when Sensei brings in a movie for us to watch on the projector; we all bring snacks and beer and just hang out. Pretty chill. 

I feel pretty fortunate to have ended up with the Sensei that I did. He's a pretty remarkable man; his two top students who serve as assistant instructors have some pretty wild stories about him; guess he was a six year old kid in Nazi Germany; had to run across a field to get food for his family, occasionally with gunfire from aerial battles going on above him; guess when he was older he did some straight up Indiana Jones stuff where he helped smuggle priceless works of art out of war zones. He's pretty old now; pushing 80. He has trouble moving around sometimes; needs to use a cane. His spine is messed up from when he broke his back when he was about my age; he's getting surgery for it soon. He also had a stroke about 11 years ago when he was living in China, and thus can't feel parts of his body. Despite all this, he put on a little demonstration for some of the newer students by, with one hand mind you, flinging some of his black belt students all over the dojo by a single finger tip. It kinda blew my mind to see him move like that; that was before I even found out about all his medical issues; he's just been training so long that his muscle memory mitigates the effects of not being able to feel his hand for example; just because he can't feel what his hand is doing though doesn't mean his hand doesn't know what to do. Guess he tore a tendon in his finger a couple weeks ago during practice; he just kind of chuckled and said "Oh, that's fun!" He's kinda got a quirky sense of humor too haha.  Did I mention he studied under O'Sensei himself back in the sixties? That's the style of Aikido he's teaching now; softer/less violent style. O'Sensei taught a few different kinds of Aikido depending on different periods of his life. In his final years, he was teaching a much more spiritual and peaceful version of Aikido with less emphasis on striking. 

Here's a brief biographical timeline of my Sensei's experience in regards to martial arts, (he's also an expert on Art, specifically Chinese and Japanese Art; currently reading a book he wrote on the subject. He's written five books that I know of; he may write an autobiograhpy someday, but he says he doesn't want it published until after he's dead lmao):

1957 - Started Judo and Daito Ryu Jiu Jitsu with H. Steffin Sensei in Germany.

1958 - Studied with Nagaoka and Kondo Sensei of Kodokan in Basle, Switzerland

1959 - German National Judo Championship in Hamborn, Germany
 
1959-60 - Trained in Paris, France with Anton Gesink, Courtin and other Sensei

1960 - Came to USA. Trained with Harold Sharp Sensei and Gene Le Bell, studied Karate with Nishiyama Sensei.

1961-67 - Trained with Tohei Koichi, Takahashi Isao and Ueshiba Kisshomaru Sensei (1963). Studied Iaido and Kendo with Mori Tadao and Miahara (Sr.) Sensei. Trained and gave Sword Arts demonstrations with Yanagi-ryu Soke D. Angier. Charter member Nanka To Ken Kai (Japanese Sword Association). Started the first San Fernando Valley Aikido Dojo. 

1967-68 - Studied at the old Hombu Dojo in Shinjuku, Japan with Ueshiba Morihei (Doshu), Ueshiba Kissomaru (Waka), Saito Sensei and others.

1969-81 - Trained in Hawaii with Tohei Koichi and Suzuki Sensei until the Ki no Kenkyo Kai separation. Joined Wailai Dojo in order to stay with Hombu; trained with Yoshioka Sensei and later Aoyagi Sensei.

1972-73 - Returned to Japan for studies.

1973-75 - Trained in Hawaii at the Hawaii Aiki Kai Wailai Dojo.

1975 - Returned briefly to Japan, last visit with Kisshomaru Ueshiba Doshu.

1975-80 - Trained in Hawaii.

1980 - Moved to Montana and started [name of dojo censored].

1984 - Returned to Japan to revisit historic Aikido places like Tanabe, Shiratake Hokkaido, Aizu Wakamatsu, etc.

1994 - Returned once more to Japan to revisit historic Aikido places like Tanabe, Shiratake Hokkaido, Aizu Wakamatsu, etc.

1999 - Shaolin Temple, China (returned to China annually since then).

1999-2004 - Extensive travel for teaching and seminars.

2000 - Inducted into Martial Arts Hall of Fame (American Aikido Grandmaster)

2001 - Judge at NABA National Sword Cutting competition.

2001-present - Teaching in Montana with additional seminars throughout USA.

2009 - Severed relationship with [name of dojo censored], helped students found [name of dojo censored].

2009-present - Chief Instructor [name of dojo censored], additional seminars in Boston and Rhode Island.
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PostSubject: Re: Aikido Training Log   Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:31 am

I decided to skip training last night. Kinda regretted it, but I'd been awake too long, got too tired, and was still too sore from weapons training on Friday, and figured I'd just be a liability to myself and others if I showed up to class in that condition. 

Next class is on Thursday. We all keep track of our hours; each class goes from 8 PM to 10 PM officially, but the Sensei counts each class as only one hour, because a good portion of the time is spent getting suited up, then going through the Aiki Taiso ritual, then doing laps around the dojo practicing our Ukemi rolls and break-falls.

It will be twenty hours next Thursday that I've spent training in Aikido. I need thirty hours total in no less than four months total before I can take the test for 6th Kyu; also known as Roku-Kyu. The only days I have missed was last night, and the last Friday of February; it was a movie night at the dojo, but I had an un-official appointment with a guy about a job opportunity that night as well, so I decided to seek out employment instead of hanging out at the dojo with my buds, watching an old samurai movie and eat junk food and beer. If it were any other Friday of that month, which would be a Weapons training day, I would gladly have skipped the un-official appointment. Left it open-ended so I could've gone either way; just told him I'd try to show if I could and would let him know if I couldn't. 

Didn't pan out anyway. =/

--204
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PostSubject: Re: Aikido Training Log   Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:56 pm

I have training in a couple hours.
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PostSubject: Re: Aikido Training Log   Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:07 am

Last night's training went good. Finally learned what Kata-Dori Ude Osae is; it's one of the techniques I have to master for my first test. 

Weapons training is tomorrow.
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PostSubject: Re: Aikido Training Log   Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:36 am

Learned a Katana-disarming technique last night. I have 21 hours of training under my belt now. 9 more hours before I need to start getting ready for the 6th Kyu/Roku Kyu Test.
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PostSubject: Re: Aikido Training Log   Yesterday at 8:00 pm

Training went good last night; real smooth. I'm going to start bringing my journal to class to take notes on all the techniques I learn; they're all Japanese terms that are hard to remember and hard to pronounce for me.
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PostSubject: Re: Aikido Training Log   Yesterday at 8:01 pm

Weapons Training tonight.
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PostSubject: Re: Aikido Training Log   Yesterday at 8:01 pm

59 minutes to go; gotta start getting ready soon.
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