Thursday, June 25, 2009

Shoulder Pains

Tuesday was another decent lesson at the dojo. I was able to get a little more roll practice in, and even participated in a couple roll class exercises. After warming up we went into Kotegaesh practice and I was able to break things down and find my weak points. After fine tuning a few I was able to go through the technique with ease.
I didn't notice it until this morning but I must have landed on my shoulder pretty hard, as I woke up with an annoying pain in my right shoulder. It feels as if it needs to be popped really badly, but isn't out of place or anything. I made sure to take it easy on it at the gym tonight and only did minor weight lifting. Work was pretty draining tonight so I was only able to do minimal things at the gym, but should be good for a good amount of rest before Aikido tomorrow evening.
After my fourth full lesson, I feel that I am still progressing, slowly but surely. Hopefully my dizziness in roll practice will leave shortly and I can continue to grow there as well. Tomorrow is a new day, and with the day off from work I feel it necessary to do a little kata in the morning and spend most of the day getting ample rest!

Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something.
- Morihei Ueshiba

Monday, June 22, 2009

What I'm Expecting

Tomorrow will be my fourth lesson and I'm pretty excited. I took some good advice and practice some kata by slowly going through movements of certain techniques. This helped me find key points of certain techniques that I'm confused on or need work with. My back is still in some pain, but after the gym tonight with weight training, extensive stretching and the spa and sauna, I should be feeling much better.
This week I'm expecting to start participating in roll practice, no matter how terrible it looks. I also want to start concentrating more on stretching, as well as nikyo and sankyo so I can really start to understand their effectiveness. Hopefully tomorrow is a decent lesson and I can continue to progress!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Back Pain and Frustration

I finished up my first full week of Aikido with my third lesson last night. I arrived around six, thirty minutes early with hopes of getting some early stretching and roll practice in before the lesson began. Sadly, no one was there to unlock the door until about 5 minutes before the lesson, just enough time to change. It was a bit frustrating as I havent been able to participate in group roll exercises yet. I feel a bit frustrated as the class is moving ahead quite quickly, and I'm one of two new students. So far in three lessons we've gone over five different techniques and it feels a bit overwhelming. But I'm not easily discouraged so Hopefully with next week I will be a little more caught up. I'm surrounded by a great dojo family so they make things a lot easier.
Yesterday I had work from eleven to four, which required me to stand that entire time, then came home to find a giant pile of sand in the yard that had to be shoveled, then took a 15 minute break before Aikido. Needless to say my back was in some pain last night! With my back pain I skipped the gym. Which I felt was not only neccessary, but also very much needed and ok on a cardio only day. I stepped on the scale this morning and was greeted by the 180 pound class once again! I lost three pounds and it feels great! Hopefully it continues to drop and I continue to enjoy the benefits of a healthier life! I'm excited about aikido next week and I can't wait to see how I progress!

Cast off limiting thoughts and return to true emptiness. Stand in the midst of the Great Void. This is the secret of the Way of a Warrior.
- Morihei Ueshiba

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Second Lesson and Much Confusion

Today was my second lesson in Aikido. Sensei Marker was not in attendance so one of the brown belt students filled in, which wasn't a bother at all as he was my partner and was a great help. We started out with stretches and roll/falling practice. One other new student and myself were pulled to the side for this to work on this which led me to become quite dizzy. Afterward we went in to smaller basics such as wrist twists sankyo and nikyo. I still have a bit of confusion on exactly how to do sankyo, but I am catching on to nikyo pretty quickly.
We then moved to kotegaeshi practice. I've picked up on this easily and enjoy it quite a bit. However, we then moved on to variations, such as, instead of grabbing the hand we reached around the head and used this momentum to take our partner to the ground. After this we moved on to another variation where we grabbed the neck and pulled our partner into our opposite arm, twist them around and bring them to the ground. This technique is pretty difficult for me, mainly because I didn't get much practice as it was nearing the end of class, and it made me quite dizzy.
All in all it was a good lesson today. Maybe a little too much crammed into an hour for me, but something I need to get used to. I need to work on remembering names of techniques and definitely footing. I'm thankful to have a great group of people surrounding me too. One week in and I'm already hooked!

"Be grateful even for hardship, setbacks, and bad people. Dealing with such obstacles is an essential part of training in Aikido."
- Morihei Ueshiba

Monday, June 15, 2009

First Full Week

Starting tomorrow, this will be my first full week of Aikido lessons. I expect to continue learning how to breakfall much better and to progress with simple techniques. Right now my main focus is dropping some weight I've put on the past few months. I feelt that as soon as I get to my ideal weight I can being to really begin to progress at the pace I want to in my Aikido training. My schedule for the week right now is as goes for training and getting back into shape:

Monday - Gym (cardio, weight training, balance practice and sauna)
Tuesday - Aikido, Gym (cardio and sauna)
Wednesday - Gym (cardio, weight training, balance practice and sauna)
Thursday - Aikido, gym (cardio and sauna)
Friday - Gym (cardio, weight training, balance practice and sauna)
Saturday - Aikido
Sunday - Lots of rest!

Friday, June 12, 2009

First Full Lesson 6/11/09

Last night was my first full Aikido lesson at the Seishinkan Dojo here in Dickinson, Texas. Sensei Walter Marker was out of town on business all week, but we had the pleasure of another well trained instuctor filling in. I arrived around 5:45 only to wait outside with other students for the dojo to be opened, and spent some time introducing myself. The students I was able to meet and practice with were not only incredibly helpful and informative, but were also beyond friendly. I was able to get my gi as soon as I walked in and I'm hoping it's shrinking quite a bit in sleeve and pant length!

Once I was in my new gi and my shoes were off, I took my bow and entered the dojo for my first lesson. It was a bit nerve wrecking being surrounded by people of more experience, but once we got into the groove of things I felt right at home! We started with stretching, which turned out to be pretty rough on me, forcing me to come to terms with my lack of flexability. After stretching the other students moved in to break fall practice, in which I was taught how to fall. I picked up on the technique rather quickly, but still can improve.

With stretches and warm ups done we were able to move on to technique. For the life of me I can't even begin to remember the names of them! The first we went over was how to defend against a grab of the wrist, and continued to follow through with more technique starting with this basic movement. I was quite impressed with my immediate ability to bring down a much larger person with a simple twist of the hand and wrist!

I started out practicing with Eddie, a brown belt, as my partner. He was quick to correct me and I was very thankful as he was also quick to reward with comments on good technique as well. Eddie taught me a very simple way to falling back that would keep me from injury. As we moved on I was Partnered with J.T. who helped a great deal with remembering where to grab the hand.

All together it was a great experience, and a great workout. My legs and shoulders are quite sore, but nothing a little time can't cure! I'm excited about my next lesson on Tuesday, and hopefully I will be able to attend weapons class on Mondays soon. It's very pleasing and calming to find an outlet for energy that I enjoy and look forward too.

I'd like to send a big thanks out to everyone over at Martial Arts Planet, especially Koyo. You've really been an incredibly large help and influence already in this journey!

"Foster and polish the warrior spirit while serving in the world; illuminate the path according to your inner light."
- Morihei Ueshiba