Aikido Bridge Friendship Seminar 2010 – First Evening

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!