It’s a Lot Like Line Dancing

I’m going to try to keep this brief, because come hell or high water I am going to get 8 hours’ sleep tonight.

Have you read the two diaries that make their way around the Internet every so often? One is by a cat, and one is by a dog. The cat reports the horrors of his captivity, while the dog is excited about everything that happens, all day long:

8:00 am – Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am – A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am – A walk in the park! My favorite thing!


My experience of Aikido all this week has been reminding me of the dog’s diary: “Woohoo! My favorite teacher.  Yay! My favorite kind of class. Awesome! My favorite people to train with. Oh, good! My favorite techniques.”

The teacher tonight asked me (since I’ve been to a lot of classes this week) what techniques we had been working on in the classes. Or at least what kind of work we had been doing. I could only come up with a very short list. I really should start being more conscious of that, I suppose. So I’ll try to post a very brief summary of at least a few memorable points from each class, mostly to use for my own review.

Tonight we did a lot of bokken work:

  • Cutting, one direction, and then with irimi
  • 8-directions cut (happo giri)
  • Front rolls, and back slap-falls (?) with bokken

We also did a bit of open-hand jiyuwaza.

A fairly large class, with a broad range of levels, learning happo giri looks a heck of lot like a big group of folks trying to learn a line dance. It went very smoothly, and none of us whacked each other. I couldn’t help but think of The Electric Slide (video on YouTube), though, as we all stepped and turned at the right angles, all together. A music video would be hilarious.

The most recent exams at the dojo were last week. Exams come around every few months, with the next date being February 6th, 2010. I don’t know if I’ll be testing then (for 5th kyu), and I don’t care. But I am setting it as a personal goal for myself to be on track to test then. That means paying even more careful attention to the techniques that are on the test, training thoughtfully, etc.

We each work with a senior student when preparing for an exam. It’s our responsibility to find a mentor, so I’ve been doing some watching and thinking about who I might want to work with some day. At least if my name does appear on the Dreaded Dojo Whiteboard, I’ll have an idea of who to ask.

To be clear, my goal is not to test on February 6th. I am not even hoping to test then. That’s up to Sensei, of course, and I’m not in any hurry to “get there” anyway. The goal is to train as if I will be testing, regardless.

OK… Off to bed. Two classes first thing in the morning. Right after my 8 hours of sleep.