Today was the last day of the Aikido Bridge Friendship Seminar 2010, at Jiai Aikido in San Diego. I’ll write up more notes another time (because our power is flickering with the arrival of a storm, and I’m going to shut the computer off).
The very short version is that it was a tremendous opportunity to see and practice a lot of Aikido, and was great fun.
If you were there, please find me on Facebook or Twitter, or even email, at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to stay in touch.
I had a great time today (Sunday) at the Aikido Bridge Friendship Seminar at Jiai Aikido in San Diego. I found myself understanding a bit more, able to do a bit more, and somehow not being quite as exhausted or sore at the end of the day as I was on Saturday. Maybe one eventually gets used to training all day? LOL All in all a really enjoyable day, and I feel like I can actually apply some of what I learned.
The guest instructor this afternoon was Francis Takahashi Shihan, 7th Dan. He was very generous about working with everyone, and has a warm sense of humor. He will be holding an Intensive Practice on Saturday, February 6th in Alhambra, California. Here’s a flyer (PDF) with all the info. (Post it at your dojo!)
After the seminar tonight a really big group went out to dinner at Todai (a Japanese buffet). The photo above is of a few of us stragglers still hanging out and talking as the staff tried to close up for the night. A special shout out to Wayne. Looking forward to training with you and everyone on Monday morning.
What a long day! I’m exhausted. A hot bath and a good night sleep (and some ice packs on my knee) are at the top of the priority list, so just a quick post tonight. I need to sit down with my notebook and try to remember what we did today. It’s all in there somewhere, but describing much of it is beyond me at this point.
The guest instructor this evening was Wilco Vriesman Sensei from the Netherlands. (The video above is of him at another seminar – not today.) He had a really interesting way of breaking down the areas of the body, and which area does what. A sort of short hierarchical checklist one can go through when doing techniques to be more aware of where things are falling apart. I would love to spend more time on it (and will try to be aware of it when I’m practicing). There was a lot packed into that one hour!
Umm… O… M… G…! What fun! I’ve met dozens of lovely people (and I’m sure will have to be reminded of their names in the morning) from all over California and the West – a few from the Bay Area, some from Boulder, Colorado, one who drove down from the Tahoe area, I believe. Some are even from here in San Diego. ;-)
Each of the three featured instructors, Ikeda, Doran, and Tissier, taught for part of the evening tonight (from 6-8). I wouldn’t want to guess how many participants there were tonight, but it’s a big dojo, and it was pretty crowded – we lined up two rows deep, the length of the dojo. A very good environment for developing eyes in the back of your head – both to find a safe place to fall (or to throw someone), and to keep an eye on the instructors, who move through the dojo stopping to work with groups here and there. They are all very generous, patient, and approachable. When Ikeda Sensei wasn’t teaching, he was in the loft getting video of the event.
There were at least 5 people from my dojo, and I think I got to train with all of them, but we weren’t sticking together overly much. The evening was very fast-paced. The instructor would show a technique, possibly pointing out a detail or or two, and set us to training for a few minutes. Then another, and another… I may have found a cure for thinking too much: Train so fast you don’t have time to think. :-) I got to work with a couple dozen people or so, and experience a huge variety of feels, body types, styles, temperaments… Well, a lot of variety. I got the idea of most of what was being shown, and was able to do most of it OK. Nikkyo is still a mystery. LOL At one point Tissier Sensei picked me out of the crowd and had me try the technique we were doing on him, and later demonstrated a different technique on me, and worked with my partner on it for a few minutes. I also got to train a couple of times with Jeff Sodeman Sensei, whose dojo, Jiai Aikido, hosts the seminar. My little 6th-kyu head is spinning a little from all of this. Haha. Seriously, it was great fun, with tons of new… I don’t want to say “information,” but lots of new stuff to play with.
By the way, the floor, which I’d been concerned about because it looked and sounded hard in the video of an earlier seminar, is perfectly fine – not squishy-soft, but firm and springy, and very comfortable to move and fall on.
The image above is of the back of the seminar t-shirt. If I heard correctly, Sodeman Sensei created the design. In any case it’s very pretty.
At the end of the evening I met someone who knew my name because he reads my blog! Now I can’t think of his, dangit. That was very cool. (If you’re reading this, thanks! And come say hi again!)
Time to feed the critters (who had a late lunch today), grab some dinner and a shower, ice a few things, and get some sleep! Back on the mat at 9:30 in the morning!